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!
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.
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!