Flo is the smallest member of a large family of overprogrammed pandas.
She is intensely curious and easily distracted. She explores “the immense and mysterious sea” in her bathtub, eccentrically dressed in a woolen cap and snorkel. While getting ready for the day she dances to whale song. The other pandas have been waiting for her for a while. They are dressed in sporty garb and holding unicycles. They wait while Flo works her way through a large stack of pancakes and savors the last strawberry. When she finally joins the others, they show her their elaborate schedule for the week, with myriad activities listed. Flo’s personal activities consist of greeting birds, clouds, butterflies, and roses with exquisite good cheer: “Hello, Roses that I would like to stop and smell.” When the other pandas give up and abandon her for their next scheduled activity, which ends in mild calamity, readers won’t be surprised that it’s Flo who comes to the rescue. The deadpan text works beautifully with speech balloons that extend characterizations. Fleck’s whimsical, bold, bright, acrylic illustrations set the tone perfectly for this lighthearted tale, Flo and the other pandas standing out against muted pastels. Flo is distinguished from the other pandas by accessories, her size, and her smile.
Though clearly a message about the dangers of overscheduling children, the lesson goes down easily; caregivers may even take note. (Picture book. 3-6)