The Flamingo

Random House Studio. Sept. 2022. 144p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593127315.
Gr 2 Up–A girl goes to visit her grandmother, who lives in a house near the beach. She finds a pink feather at Lao Lao’s house that sparks her curiosity. The book gently transitions between the real and the imaginary, as Lao Lao tells her a story about a girl who found an egg at the beach. Lao Lao tells her story a little at a time, gradually revealing that a tiny white chick hatched out of the egg, and that the chick grew up into a pink flamingo, which eventually flew away. When the girl returns home, she’s inspired to write her own conclusion to the story, which (be forewarned) might make more sensitive readers cry. This book is mostly wordless, which will give readers more time to focus on the ethereal, and often breathtaking, artwork. The palette changes as the story moves from the real world into the fictional and back again. The real world is beautiful, but has only a few colors, while the fictional world uses many colors to great effect, like Isabelle Arsenault’s artwork in Fanny Britt’s Jane, the Fox & Me. The cover illustration of a flamingo with outstretched wings on a fire escape will probably get the most attention, but some of the interior artwork—the image of the girl, her dog, and the chick watching a sunset together—is equally astonishing.
VERDICT For readers who enjoy emotionally moving stories about family, love, and the power of imagination.

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