Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Flora's Very Windy Day

Flora's Very Windy Day

Jeanne Birdsall
Illustrator:  Matt Phelan 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Clarion Books, 2010   ISBN: 978-0618986767

One day Flora is sitting at a table painting, when her little brother Crispin tips over the paint water and makes a mess of everything. Instead of commiserating with Flora, Flora’s mother tells Flora to go outside. Worse still, Flora has to take Crispin with her.

It is very windy outside, so Flora puts on her “super-special heavy-duty red boots.” Flora is sure that her boots will keep her from being blown away. Crispin’s boots are not special in any way, so not surprisingly the wind picks him up and lifts him up into the air. When she sees her brother’s frightened little face, Flora knows that she cannot simply stand by. She kicks off her special red boots and soon she is “sailing up toward Crispin.”

Across the sky Flora and Crispin float, and they meet a dragonfly, a bird, a rainbow, and others characters. All of these characters want Flora to give them Crispin because they all know that Flora is eager to get rid of her little brother.  Should Flora keep her pesky brother or give him away?

Sometimes little brothers and sisters are a nuisance. This may not be a very nice thing to say, but it is the truth. Who can blame Flora for wanting to give her brother away, and yet when push comes to shove, Flora discovers that giving away a little sibling is not an easy thing to do.

Accompanied by Matt Phelan’s glorious swirly illustrations – which seem to float across the page – Jeanne Birdsall’s delightful story addresses an issue that readers of all ages will recognize. Would we really get rid of the people who annoy us if the opportunity presented itself, or would we decide to keep them and love them, annoying habits and all.