The irrepressible Flora returns for
an encore avian duet, this time on ice with a penguin.
Similar in feel to Idle’s Caldecott Honor book, Flora and the Flamingo (2013), this wordless picture book follows Flora as she dons her ice skates, spies an intriguing beak poking up through the ice and begins her balletic adventure. Bird and girl meet and greet, then glide, twirl and pirouette together on the ice. Their newfound harmony is disrupted when the penguin spies a fish and disappears rapidly through a hole in the ice, causing Flora to glide away in a sulk. But wait! He was not ignoring her, just bringing her a gift! Having no use for a fish, she casually flips it back into the water, much to the penguin’s chagrin. Now both are in a huff, and Flora grumpily removes her skates. The dangling lace gives her an idea, and she creatively uses it as a fishing line. Penguin is appeased, and now both are engaged in common pursuits, fishing and dancing. Idle’s restrained palette of icy blues and soft grays combined with fluid composition that always leads the eye to the next scene in the drama keep the wordless narrative effortlessly flowing along. Small double-sided flaps on some of the pages expand the visual vocabulary, and a subtle message about friendship and compromise is conveyed.
Funny and charming—a winning, worthy follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)