Spotlight: Molly Idle’s ‘Flora’ Picture Books

flora_cover Last year I read Molly Idle’s wordless picture book Flora and the Flamingo and it instantly became a favourite of mine. When I found out that another Flora book was planned, I was ecstatic…but wondered if a follow-up could be as magical, as lyrical, as the first. Well, I can tell you that Flora and the Penguin is marvelous- perhaps even more delightful and more buoyant than the first!

flora_thepenguin_9781452128917_350Idle’s work, like the terrific wordless picture books of  Suzy Lee and David Wiesner, manages to incite emotions as well as spur stories and imagination in ways that many books with words cannot.

In Flora and the Penguin, we are treated to two narratives: that of our intrepid Flora, skating with a very robust and capable penguin, and the swirl of fish below the icy surface- performing their own dance. As Flora and the penguin perform a beautiful pairs routine on ice, penguin loses his focus due to the balletic fish- leading to some friction between the two star performers. Lift-the-flaps add extra to the irreverent and enchanting duo while penguin’s wandering attention brings about some unexpected skating maneuvers- and one grande finale.

Image via Chronicle Books
Image via Chronicle Books


Idle has plans for a third entry to the Flora series called Flora and the Peacocks. You can read about that and much more in this Publisher’s Weekly Q & A. This post on on the author’s site also provides some more insight on the storytelling process, as well as some sketches!

Author: michelle@fabbookreviews

Reference & Children's Librarian. Reader. Reviewer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.