Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Flora and the Flamingo

Title: Flora and the Flamingo 
Author: Molly Idle   
Illustrator: Molly Idle  
Publisher: Chronicle Books  
Publication Date: February 2013 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Wordless Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: In this innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony. Full of humor and heart, this stunning performance (and splashy ending!) will have readers clapping for more!   
What I Think: Subtle colors and artwork and such graceful characters make this book easy to adore. I'm partial to the color pink so that might have something do to with it, but I can't imagine anyone could pick this book up and not feel soothed by this sweet stories of two unlikely friends. In this wordless picture book, Molly Idle brings two characters to life with her artwork. Despite that fact that there are no words in this book, the book completely spoke to me. It's like I know Flora and the flamingo inside and out. What I love most about this story is that when you really think about friendship, there truly is an unsaid connection that brings friends together. This book brings George Carlin's quote, "Everyone smiles in the same language" to life. In one of my Sunday posts, I've shared before how I believe in the power of a smile and that smile is actually an acronym for Show Me I'm Loved Everyday. This book is just a great way to share how we can connect with each other without having to say a word. We can show each other that we care and respect and value each other without having to say anything about it. I think this book would make a great beginning of the year read with elementary students to talk about how we interact and support each other. With older students, I can see how it could be used as an activity to discuss non-verbal communication and how we express so much without even saying a word or how even when we say a word, our body language and intonation add so much more meaning to the word.
     As a wordless picture book with great characters and a wonderful story, this can also be used as a writing exercise. Students can practice their descriptive writing by narrating what is happening in a scene/layout. It would be neat to divide students up into pairs and then give the pairs different layouts to describe. The final product would be a story that all the students had a part in writing and it would be neat to see how they used their descriptive writing skills to bring the story to life.
Read Together: Grades Pre-K - 3 
Read Alone: Grades Pre-K - 3 
Read With: Dogs Don't Do Ballet by Anna Kemp, Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman 
Snatch of Text: Visit this link to see the adorable book trailer for Flora and the Flamingo 
Reading Strategies to Practice: Making Inferences, Making Predictions 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Descriptive 
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you made a new friend. How did you introduce yourself? Did you get along right away? Did you find something in common? Choose one of the pictures in the book and narrate what is happening, use as much show-don't-tell language as you can to describe what is happening between Flora and the flamingo.
Topics Covered: Friendship, Courage
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