Flora’s Wish

Dial. Aug. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593462454.
K-Gr 3–A whimsical picture book with engaging illustrations that tells the story of a unique friendship between a field mouse, dandelion, and scarecrow. The relationship between Flora (the mouse) and Lion (the dandelion) is portrayed with tenderness, allowing children to connect with the characters. When Lion begins to age and seemingly disappears, Scarecrow becomes a comfort for Flora and highlights the importance of cherishing memories. The illustrations are done in a way that allows readers to follow along even without the text, as the emotions are conveyed through facial expressions and the use of color on each page. The passing of seasons is made clear in the images, and older readers may notice Flora processing through varied stages of grief. The writing itself is sprinkled with just enough alliteration to feel fun to read without being overbearing. Although there are a couple of choice phrases that may be confusing or repetitive, the story will be an adorable addition to any school or public library collection.
VERDICT Halliday skillfully weaves together themes of friendship, aging, loss, and resilience, creating a narrative that is heartwarming and empowering.

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