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by Arnold Adoff, Karen Barbour (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Flamboyan was born with hair the color of the flame-red blossoms of the Flamboyan tree. As she grows up, the tree is her special place to sit gazing at the sky and dreaming of being as free as the birds above. Flamboyan tends the animals in her yard and helps her mother sell their oranges and candies. She participates in the busy life around her; still, a part of her longs to fly away. One lazy afternoon, her dream comes true and she rises above her tree to join the many birds in mid-air. They fly and dive over Flamboyan's favorite people and places; then she gently lands back under her dear tree. Adoff has created a magical story of a girl's yearning to be outside her own life. He vividly describes the colorful Caribbean island and the lively spirit of Flamboyan. The text, although at times a bit long-winded, has a nice rhythm to it, its punctuation provided by small red marks. Barbour's pictures, with strong colors and primitive designs, bring to mind the vibrant paintings of Henri Matisse. Her color choices do not always agree with the written word, but the general effect is dazzling; this story will appeal to all who long to go beyond the ordinary. Ages 5-8. (September)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 A lyrical picture book whose text, about a Puerto Rican girl who wishes to fly and finally realizes her dream in an afternoon's reverie, is a prose poem. The unique quality of the language is highlighted by an unusual typographic device, a red leaf which appears in the text to slow readers and to lend a stately, magical cadence to the lines. It does not appear where usual English grammar demands a pause; the resulting lilting effect is both majestic and calming, like the chant of a lullabye. Barbour's illustrations are also remarkable, combining the wild tropical colors of Gaugin's paintings with a two-dimensional primitiveness and changing perspective that accurately and appropriately transmit the dream-like, enchanted quality of the tale. A dazzling combination of both text and illustration. Ruth K. MacDonald, Perdue University Calumet, Hammond, Ind.

Product Details

Harcourt Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
11.37(w) x 8.86(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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