Flora and the Peacocks

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Flora and the Peacocks Book Poster Image
Gorgeous look at negotiating a three-way friendship.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows the beauty and grace of peacocks. Could build awareness of the fan shape and how two fan shapes together can form a semicircle. 

Positive Messages

It can be hard for three friends to get along without conflict, but it can be done. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The little girl is a friend to all, and she tries to reach out, keep the peace, and ease tension when the two peacocks get jealous or upset. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Molly Idle's Flora and the Peacocks is the third wordless book about young Flora's graceful and humorous encounters with birds, following Caldecott Honor Book Flora and the Flamingo and Flora and the Penguin. The big difference here is the challenge of befriending two birds at once and dancing around their moods and jealousies. The art is more dazzling than ever, while the personal dynamics are highly relatable. 

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What's the story?

Flora has a fan and is dressed in peacock green and blue when she meets two peacocks. She bows in what appears to be an invitation to dance. One peacock is interested; the other looks jealous. Flora tries to bring that peacock into the dance, but then the other looks unhappy. She tries to stop them from fighting and make peace but then gives up. Finally, the peacocks see it's more fun if all three of them play nicely together. 

Is it any good?

This beautiful book offers wordless fun and clever play with mirror images, fans, and flaps, but there's also a strong message about getting along in a trio. Kids know how tough it can be when three friends or siblings play together, so they'll instantly relate to FLORA AND THE PEACOCKS as they work out their issues. It's hard to share, especially when it means sharing your friend with a new friend. 

Author-illustrator Molly Idle has outdone herself this time with both her square format, gorgeous blue-and-green palette, and ingenious engineering of the flaps and the climactic spread that extends beyond the bounds of the two pages. A pure delight.   

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about trios. Is it harder to play when there are three people in the group? Does one person tend to feel left out? Might two friends side against the third one? Have you ever had this happen to you? 

  • How do you like wordless stories compared with written stories? How do the position of the characters' bodies and the expressions on their faces help tell the story?  

  • Try creating your story in pictures without words. 

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