Idle brings her balletic heroine Flora to a younger audience in this nearly wordless board book that finds the girl struggling to keep up with a nestful of hatching chickens. As the book counts up to 10 (the numbers are the book's only text, other than "The End"), children can open page-size flaps to follow the unfolding action. Clad in red overalls and a kerchief, Flora is as graceful as ever, lunging and dipping with elan as she gathers up the not-easily-gathered chicks, whose first steps and tussles offer gentle laughs throughout. Count on multiple readings. Up to age 3. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
PreS--With the latest offerings starring the beloved Flora, Idle tackles the concepts of counting and opposites. Donning a yellow kerchief and a pair of red overalls in Chicks, Flora attempts to keep track of a bevy of chickens as they hatch and cavort around the farmyard. Readers will enjoy counting the chicks as page by page they increase in number. Flora displays moves that would earn the admiration of any ballerina, performing jetes and plies as she corrals the wayward chicks. In Ostrich, Flora befriends the long-necked bird. Wearing a purple, lace-trimmed romper and holding a yellow umbrella, the little girl is the perfect visual match for the feathered animal, but the shy ostrich is initially skeptical. As Flora tries to say "hello," the ostrich buries its head in the sand ("goodbye"). After a misunderstanding, Flora kneels in the foreground looking somber ("near") while in the background the ostrich nervously gazes at her ("far"), but eventually the two forge a strong bond. Gentle pastel hues pop against the white space, and the author/illustrator makes artful use of the gutter. Idle's characters, girl and birds alike, are wonderfully expressive, and the images have a timeless quality. Though the foldout pages may not survive numerous checkouts, they're enchanting, offering readers many delightful surprises. VERDICT Must-haves for any board book collection.--Mahnaz Dar, School Library JournalCopyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.