Summary: Meet a flamingo of a different stripe!
“Mama, why are we pink?” asks an irrepressible and ever-curious young flamingo named Sylvie. When she learns that it’s due to the little pink brine shrimp they eat, Sylvie takes the maxim “You are what you eat!” to a whole new level. Her new diet leads to some very interesting new looks—from scarlet to stripey to positively purple! Like Leo Lionni’s chameleon in A Color of His Own, Sylvie eventually comes to learn that being yourself is the best thing to be—though with her own flair! -- Random House
I just might have found my favorite new picture book -- it's called SYLVIE and it's written and illustrated by Jennifer Sattler. I should probably start out this review by saying that I absolutely love flamingos and I have ever since I was in high school. I'm not the type to put the plastic ones in my yard, but I think real, live flamingos are just beautiful. So when I found a book that featured an adorable little flamingo, I couldn't wait to read it!
SYLVIE is just a wonderful book for so many different reasons. First of all, it is an extremely entertaining story and very funny too! When Sylvie realizes that she is pink because she eats pink shrimp, she decides to try some other foods that are different colors (and patterns) to see what happens. She eventually gets sick and doesn't feel (or look) at all like herself. When she returns home and sees her family, she realizes that she should just be herself.
I also thought that the illustrations in the book were just beautiful. Since the author uses a variety of colors and patterns to tell the story, she had the opportunity to make everything in this book extremely eye-catching. Each page is just filled with tons of bright colors, and there are just a few words per page -- absolutely perfect for preschoolers! I have a feeling that it's a book that we're going to read again and again.
I also really liked the message in this story -- that it's always important to be true to yourself. And even if you seem to be just like everyone else (like Sylvie), you can still be special and have your own unique traits. That is a message that I'm constantly trying to tell each of my children and I love that this book reinforces it.
Even though this book features a pink bird, my almost five-year old son loved it too! I'm not going to tell you that my enthusiasm for this book didn't have a little something to do with that, but I really think he did like the book on his own. After we finished reading it (and before I could even ask him what was his favorite part), he told me that he liked "everything" in the story. When I asked him to explain to me what was the best part of the book, he told me that he thought it was funny when Sylvie got sick from eating too much. And then he told me that he really liked the end when Sylvie decided to go back to her family and start eating like a normal flamingo. I was so happy that he grasped the entire story and the message in it.
Thanks to Random House for sending me a copy of this wonderful book!