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Flora is the new Chloe?

Last year, Betsy Bird commented on the “Cluster of Chloes” showing up in children’s books. (And, in the comments section, Lois Lowry noted the Emmas and Bens of yore.) A new crop of books seems to have blossomed, all starring girls (or other animals) named Flora.

Recent books…and counting:

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle (Chronicle, 2013)

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by K. G. Campbell (Candlewick, 2013)

The teenage sister in After Iris by Natasha Farrant (Dial, 2013)

The porcine star of The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz, illus. by Jennifer Black Reinhardt (Harcourt, 2013)

Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall, illus. by Matt Phelan (Clarion, 2010)

Day-Fairy-wannabe from The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick, 2010)

Flora Segunda series by Ysabeau S. Wilce (Harcourt)

Meanwhile, a quick search on the Horn Book Guide Online brought up these classics (along with a good many more):

The brothers Sendak’s Circus Girl (Harper, 1957)

Flora and Tiger: 19 Very Short Stories from My Life by Eric Carle (Philomel, 1997)

Babar and Celeste’s daughter

The little girl from Zoo-Looking by Mem Fox, illus. by Candace Whitman (Mondo, 1996)

Titular rodent from The School Mouse by Dick King-Smith, illus. by Cynthia Fisher (Hyperion, 1995)

Star of Margaret Mahy’s Dangerous Spaces (Viking, 1991)

Borneo-raised teen from Other Echoes by Adele Geras (Atheneum, 1982)

Flora McDonnell’s ABC (Candlewick, 1997)

Flora the Frog by Shirley Isherwood (Peachtree, 2000)

Flora’s Red Socks by Anne Harvey and Bernice McMullan (Bedrick, 1991)

Bunny star of popular Debi Gliori picture books (Scholastic/Orchard)


Any favorite Floras we’re missing? Let us know in the comments!

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.



  1. writersideup says:

    Well, I don’t know about all the other Floras, but , my guess on FLORA AND THE FLAMINGO (LOVE this! OWN this!) is it was a combo of the flower on her cap and the alliteration (the “FL”) 🙂

  2. Elissa Gershowitz Elissa Gershowitz says:

    We love Flora and the Flamingo at my house, too. My (truck- and train-loving) boy thinks the big splash at the end is hilarious. What song is in your head when you read it? Here’s the author’s answer:

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