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Review of Flora and the Peacocks

idle_flora and the peacocksFlora and the Peacocks
by Molly Idle; illus. by the author
Preschool    Chronicle    40 pp.
5/16    978-1-4521-3816-9    $17.99

Idle’s third wordless picture book starring Flora (Flora and the Flamingo, rev. 7/13; Flora and the Penguin, rev. 11/14) is, appropriately, about a three-way friendship and the tricky dynamics thereof. Flora curtsies hello to a pair of peacocks. One of them seems taken with her — it crosses the gutter to join her on the left-hand page — the other, scowling, is not so sure (it remains on the right, tail firmly turned to viewers). When diplomat Flora approaches the scowler, the first peacock becomes 
jealous. An angry tug-of-war — of 
Flora’s decorative fan but also of her affections — ensues, leading to a broken fan and hurt feelings. Luckily, the peacocks get a clue, and their resplendent show (of tail feathers) cheers everyone right up. The rhythm of this Flora book is like the other two — girl approaches bird, bird spurns friendship, girl gets upset, bird makes amends, plus there’s dancing — but the addition of that third character adds a storytelling layer. Idle once again sticks to a limited color palette, this time peacock blues, greens, and yellows, with the flowers in Flora’s hair a sweet nod to her previous headwear. And if not every flap in the book is as inventive as we’ve come to expect, that last, glorious one is a showstopper.

From the May/June 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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.

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