Written and Illustrated by: Molly Idle
Talk to your child about what s/he sees on the cover and in the illustrations. Encourage him/her to make observations and predictions about the story to get him/her warmed up for narrating this wordless book.
What is Flora wearing?
What is she doing?
What do flamingos look like?
How do you think Flora met the flamingo?
What do you think they will do together?
Focus on Sounds.
Be sure to point out that "Flora" and "flamingo" start with the same sound. Ask your child about what words start with the same sound as his/her name. For example, if your child's name is Sara or Sam, ask, "What words start with the sssss sound? What about 'song' or 'silly'?"
As You Read
Narrate the Story Yourselves
With no words provided in the story, it is up to you and your child to come up with the narrative as you go along. But don't be scared, wordless books are a great way to engage your child's imagination and get him/her to come up with the words for the story on his/her own. Start off by narrating the first illustration yourself, describing what you see, saying what you think is happening and then asking your child what s/he thinks will happen next based on the image.
You can say something like "One beautiful spring day, a lovely pink flamingo was standing on one leg minding his/her own business. What do you think will happen next? Why do you think that?" Now, let your child take over and narrate the next page and then take turns from there. Work together to flip back the flaps and encourage your child to predict what is behind each one.
Help build your child's vocabulary by incorporating potentially new or unfamiliar words into your descriptions like:
Flora's feelings are hurt when the flamingo scares her and makes her fall over. Ask your child, "How do you think Flora feels? Have someone ever hurt your feelings? What happened? What do you think will happen next?"
Summarize and Interpret
Talk to your child about what happened in the story and what his/her favorite illustration is.
Get Your Child's Opinion.
What is your favorite picture?
Why is that one your favorite?
Discuss the Story.
Why was Flora copying the flamingo?
What did the flamingo do to get her to stop?
What did Flora teach the flamingo?
What did they do at the end of the story?
Activity: Act Out the Story
Inspired by: Crafty Moms Share
Let your child throw on his/her favorite bathing suit and try to act out the different moves that Flora and the flamingo do. You can act as the flamingo, dressed in whatever pink clothing you have and lead him/her in the "Flamingo Dance". Start off with the flamingo poses like in the story and then continue on into the partner dance. You can even put on some music to set the mood.
Talk to your child about flamingos! Use sites like this one to inform your discussion, and discuss how flamingos get their pink color, where they live, how they find food, and why they tend to stand on one leg. Connect this information to the story you have just read by talking about the setting and the pink theme in the story. Also, discuss how flamingos lay eggs, keeping them warm in their nests for 30 days until they hatch.
See For Yourself
Check out this resource by the San Diego Zoo about flamingos for more information. Watch the short video and take a moment every once in awhile during the video to recap and pull out the main chunks of information so that your child can fully comprehend. Say something like, "Wow. Flamingos aren't actually born pink, they turn pink because of the foods that they eat! What would happen if we turned the color of the foods that we eat? What color would you turn if you ate lots of ______?"