Flora and the Penguin plus a Giveaway!

florapenguinTitle: Flora and the Penguin
Author & Illustrator: Molly Idle (interview at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast)

Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2014
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 2-6
Themes: Friendship

Synopsis (from Amazon website):

Having mastered ballet in Flora and the Flamingo, Flora takes to the ice and forms an unexpected friendship with a penguin. Twirling, leaping, spinning, and gliding, on skates and flippers, the duo mirror each other’s graceful dance above and below the ice. But when Flora gives the penguin the cold shoulder, the pair must figure out a way to work together for uplifting results. Artist Molly Idle creates an innovative, wordless picture book with clever flaps that reveal Flora and the penguin coming together, spiraling apart, and coming back together as only true friends do.


Why I Like This Book:

A year ago I was amazed with Ms. Idle’s book Flora and the Flamingo, a beautifully crafted visual tale about making friends involving a girl, a flamingo, and ballet. Ms. Idle’s latest book in the series is just as gorgeous, this time through ice-dancing and a penguin friend, while exploring a different aspect of friendship. “What happens when two friends want different things?”

Flora and penguin glide, twirl, and pirouette on the ice as any great ice-dancing duo. But Flora is left befuddled during her sit-spin when penguin abandons her to leap down into the ice hole after a fish. Could it be just that the two friends aren’t on the same wavelength, for Penguin returns offering her a gift, a fish. Flora behaves much in the way any child does when they get something they don’t want (my girls certainly behave this way), she simply tosses it away. How will the duo find their way back, well you’ll have to read it to find out.

Ms. Idle has created a story arc about the natural, undulating waves in friendship. The subdued color palette of white, yellows, and pale blues lends a soft, innocence touch to the story. The flaps move from right-left allowing the characters to glide back and forth across the page. I love how moving the flaps reveal a new emotions or actions to move the story forward. Do take notice of the fish swimming in the opening scenes and how they mirror the skating movements above.



Flora and Penguin is a charming tale and a great addition to the series.

I have a special treat this time. I have an extra copy of the book that I will be giving away (yes, before the release date!!). Leave a comment stating what animal you would like Flora to be friends with and what activity they would do together. Deadline to enter is September 19th 9pm PST.

Be sure to check-out Ms. Idle’s interview on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, to get a behind the scenes look at her thought process into making this book. Also find out about the next book in this series!

Enjoy the delightful trailer.

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher Chronicle Books. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

51 Responses to “Flora and the Penguin plus a Giveaway!”

  1. I think I love this Flora book even more than the first. I love how they glide over the ice. The author has so many possibilities for her Flora series. Such entertaining books for kids. I think I’d like to see Flora be friends with a dolphin and learn to swim.

  2. I haven’t read this yet and I just can’t wait!!!! Thanks for the review!

  3. So excited to see this when it comes out. Molly is brilliant.

    • Thanks for stopping by Cathy! Don’t forget to answer the question about who Flora’s next friend & activity should be? You never know you might win the book. 🙂

    • Gosh – I’ll go with Flora and the Stork. They can deliver eggs and baby birds around the world! 🙂

  4. I love Flora! I would like Flora to be friends with a hummingbird and I would like to see her in exotic gardens and in the Amazon jungle.

  5. Hmmm… perhaps she could be friends with an elephant and they could paint together? It looks like a beautiful book – you’ve done a great job convincing me to check it out!

  6. Love Flora! How about a lemur because they have good night vision and native only to Madagascar.

  7. I wasn’t going to ask to have my name in the hat, but can’t resist thinking up an animal…FOX, I would love to see Flora tip-toe through trees staking out chicken coops, and the non-verbal communication when she doesn’t agree with that activity!

  8. Flora and Otter. She could learn how to swim and do fancy dives.

  9. We can’t wait to read this book! How about a woodpecker and tap dancing for #3?

  10. Molly’s use of tone in illustration is superb! How about a trek with a mountain goat. They are so nimble!

  11. Oh how fun to get a sneak peek at an upcoming release! I’d like to see Flora with a macaw in a rain-forest jungle setting … maybe the macaw can teach her to fly? Would love to have a copy; thanks for a fun giveaway and a wonderful review!

  12. Giraffe or monkey climbing adventure. It doesn’t really matter Molly will make the animal adventure a success.
    Ohh elephant can be a mud puddle stomping sprinkler adventure

  13. The first book was one of my perfect picture book Friday selections, because it was SO good! Waiting for #2 is hard. 🙂 And I’d like to see Flora branch out from the bird world–maybe Flora and the chameleon go on a colorful adventure?

  14. This is an amazing book, and Ms. Idle is a MARVELOUS person! I know that Flora is meeting 2 peacocks next, but I’d like to see her with an ostrich. Doing the Can-can. 😉

  15. This looks delightful Darshana! And you’ve piqued my interest to find out how Flora and the penguin work out the hurt feelings of the tossed-away gift! Thanks so much for sharing this lovely wordless tale!

  16. I’d love to see her go tree climbing with an orangutan.

  17. How about Flora and a Pig—Hamming it up together! 😉

    • I am sure Flora would love to hamm it up! Hi creslibrary – please send me your email or a link to your on-line presence daisygardener12 (at) gmail (dot) com. Right now your name isn’t linked to anything so I don’t know who you are. In case you win. 🙂

  18. Lovely book and great review, Darshana! I’m so very happy #PPBF is back – it feels nice to visit with everyone again. 🙂 I’d love to see Flora team up with a monkey for some gymnastic free style dancing – monkey see – monkey do. 😉 Thank you for doing the giveaway!

  19. This looks like a great book. I mean, what kid wouldn’t like to hang out with a penguin!

    I think I’d like to see Flora become friends with a rabbit. They could play hopscotch together, jump rope, and maybe even make up a tap dance routine.

  20. Ha, love Vivian’s idea. This is a beautiful series of Flora. It’s possible she is going along delicate dancing lines with slender animals (birds) but I was thinking she might want to learn tobogganing with a polar (or brown) bear. Maybe they win a race or rescue the day? Just a thought. Thanks for a lovely review Darshana. Like Vivian I’m so glad PPBF is back and able to visit with everyone.

  21. Idle’s books are always so stunning. I think Flora should snorkel with a platypus next.

  22. A flamingo and now, a penguin! I love her sweet and fun illustrations!
    Best regards from Barcelona,

  23. Well, horses are my favorite! So Flora could run, gallop and jump!

  24. Love this. Hmm… Flora could go snow shoeing with … wolf.

  25. I can imagine that it would be fun for Flora to become friends with a kangaroo. They could have so much fun jumping and bouncing together 🙂

  26. Congrats to Barbara Gruener for winning the giveaway!


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