Pinky Got Out!

by Michael Portis (Author) Lori Richmond (Illustrator)

Pinky Got Out!
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Fans of Tad Hills and Jory John will love this hilarious picture book about Pinky, a flamingo at the zoo who sneakily slips out to join a group of kids on their zoo tour. Pinky isn't your typical flamingo. He's a real escape artist! When he sees a young girl named Penny and her class touring the zoo, Pinky feels like they're birds of a feather and decides to make a break for it. Penny is the first to spot the flamingo hiding in plain sight. One by one, she lets her friends in on Pinky's antics as he tries to blend in with the seals, the meerkats, and even the pandas. Young readers will enjoy trying to find Pinky on every spread and will be curious to discover whether he can actually fly the coop!

Publishers Weekly

It's a game of spot-the-flamingo when the aptly named Pinky escapes his flock's enclosure during a class's zoo field trip. "These birds always stick together," a zookeeper tells the class--meanwhile, a sharp-eyed girl named Penny sees the bird take wing and alerts her classmates: "Pinky got out." The phrase becomes a refrain as Pinky sneaks away to hide variously among meerkats and monkeys, pandas and pythons. Making his debut, children's book app designer Portis moves the lighthearted story along while deftly incorporating facts about different animal species: "Some seals hold their breath while sleeping underwater," says the zookeeper, ever oblivious to Pinky's antics. Illustrations by Richmond (Pax and Blue) will keep readers turning pages as they search for hints of flamingo in each spread (in one, the long-legged bird, sporting snorkel gear, floats among seals; in another, he hides among stuffed monkeys in the gift shop). The kids are glad to share what they learned at the zoo: "Pinky got out!" they shout with glee. And in a final scene that lends heart to the otherwise game-like tale, Pinky perches outside Penny's window at night, sticking with the friend who sees him best. Ages 3-7. (May)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-A class field trip, an oblivious zookeeper, and an avian escape artist set the stage for a series of humorous seek-and-find animal exhibits. After arriving at the zoo, an observant student immediately points out that Pinky the famous flamingo has managed to flee her flock. While the zookeeper stays on script, Penny points to Pinky scuba diving with seals and dangling from trees with the monkeys. By the time the zookeeper finally notices the missing flamingo, the entire class is in on the hunt. They all cheerfully clutch their gift shop animals as they board their school bus, waving goodbye to the zookeeper who has a firm grip on Pinky's wing. This story is similar in theme to other zoo animal escapade stories like Juliette MacIver's That's Not a Hippopotamus! While it doesn't use a refrain or rhyme scheme to propel the story, it does impart interesting animal facts, and the opportunity to find Pinky on each page. VERDICT The bright and humorous illustrations featuring Pinky's gleeful game of hide-and-seek in the other animal enclosures will make this an enjoyable read-aloud for the storytime set. -Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, Beavercreek, OH

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Michael Portis
Michael Portis is a children's book author and illustrator from Studio City, California. He received his MFA in art at UCLA and is an art director and children's book app designer. Pinky Got Out! is his debut picture book. You can visit him at

Lori Richmond got out of her studio and explored the Bronx Zoo while making this book. She is the illustrator of several picture books and the author-illustrator of Pax and Blue and Bunny's Staycation. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @loririchmond or visit her at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
May 20, 2019

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