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Children's LiteratureThe flamingo story begins with a mother flamingo on her mud nest in a salt lake shimmering in the heat. Many other flamingos are also there, with father birds taking turns on the nests as the mothers stretch and fly off in search of food. Surviving a storm, an egg finally hatches in the nest. The parents both feed it; the chick grows, changes, begins to fly. The birds survive dry and wet periods, and an attack by wild pigs. After five years the chick is grown up enough to search for a mate. A nest is made, and a new life cycle begins. The simple language celebrates the wonder of the life of these birds as it delivers the facts about them. Gouache and watercolors combine to create dramatic double-page scenes of tropical storms as well as sensitive portraits of the growing chick. Naturalistic, informative illustrations hold our attention by including considerable contextual detail. Guiberson's esthetic sensibilities are exploited in the designing of the interactions of scores of birds while choosing environmental colors that add emotional impact. 2005, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz