New York Times best-selling author Jill Ker Conway has written a charming story that has several themes relevant to all children:
--The pain of teasing and name calling
--Body image (being different)
--Supporting and helpful friends
The drawings by Lokken Millis are whimsical and wonderful, incorporating ocean birds and turtles in their natural surroundings.
Little ones would love this fun and funny story read to them. Middle readers will enjoy the new words they will learn, like: "raucous laugh"; "orange fritillaries" (butterflies); and her hair was plaited (braided) in a long pigtail."
In the end Felipe the Flamingo, who had a stiff and short neck and white feathers, has human and ocean friends who help him solve the problem, stretch his neck so he can eat, and feed him until he can eat the food that makes him pink--like all the other flamingos. Until then, he is teased and very unhappy.
Armchair Interviews says: Felipe had a great adventure that any child will enjoy being a part of as his parents, his friends and he work to help him become PINK. --Connie Anderson
Children's Literature - Barbara Youngblood
This is a darling, coming-of-age story illustrated with great watercolor prints of the characters in the story. Felipe has not grown as his parents expected. His neck is still stiff so it is hard for him to eat on his own, and he is still very white, not pink like his parents and the other flamingos in their group. His parents are leaders of the group and need to fly with the other flamingos to show them the way to the next feeding area. So little Felipe stays behind with Eleanor Egret to watch over him. Other animals and a little human girl in a kayak all start to help Felipe with his problems. A couple of friends bring him lots of shrimp, a turtle who once had a stiff neck comes over to try a new neck stretching method, and butterflies teach some of their tricks for flying. Felipe starts to change little by little. He is enjoying all his newfound friends; everyone is helping him so much. His neck feels better and his tummy is full. Felipe can even tuck his head under his wing and has a few successes with flying attempts. Then the big day arrives and he realizes that the feathers that he is preening are PINK, PINK, PINK. The benefits of close friendship, the normal patterns of growing up, and the sharing of common feelings are all displayed in this colorful book.