Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

Pinkness and the joy of dance when raising kids

Posted on | March 6, 2013 | 11 Comments

We don’t do much pinkness in this home full of females. Indeed I taught myself to sew when my girls were really tiny because I was determined not to dress them in pink, and at the time it seemed that if you wanted skirts and dresses for female babies the only option in shops was pink, pink and PINK. That said, sometimes you just have to embrace the pinkness, and revel in it. So that’s what we’ve done for today’s post. Think cerise, coral, fuchsia, geranium, rose, salmon, pale pink, dusky pink, day-glow pink – we’ve got ‘em all!

pinkness


floraAnd why is today’s post brought to you by PINKVISION™? Well, it’s all down to Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle, a giggle inducing, wordless book about friendship and finding one’s feet, in which a graceful, elegant flamingo patiently teaches a slightly podgy young girl to dance with joy and confidence, but not without a tumble or two along the way.

The setting is a dreamy, cherry blossom bowered pool, and the young girl is dressed in a bathing suit and flippers. The flamingo shows her a pose and the child tries to copy. Although at first she is somewhat clumsy, all elbows and knees, by the end of their duet, she’s learned to pick herself up and dust herself down, her growing self belief has drawn out an elegance and beauty, and she and her flamingo friend have delighted in the sheer exuberance and joy that can from dancing.

Flaps bring added fun and interaction to this charming tale. And it reminded me of one suggestion that I’ve held on to from a child rearing guide I read about the same time I was teaching myself to sew. It was in a Steve Biddulph book, and he recommended trying to dance with your kids every way as an easy way to have fun and be physically close. It struck a chord with me, and 8 years on, it’s still something I try to do with the girls every day (which is partly why I always include music suggestions with our book reviews).

Given our propensity to boogie in the kitchen, it seemed very natural to turn it into a theatre to act out, I mean DANCE out Molly Idle’s beautiful, heartwarming, and VERY PINK story.

The stage was set with a large cloth (tip: we buy kingsized duvet covers from TK Maxx and then cut them open to use for tent building, or in this case an instance stage drop) and a garland of tissue paper flowers (made using this super easy and very satisfying technique).

flamingo6

We danced mostly to Coppélia by Delibes, but also to:

  • Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns. Unfortunately there isn’t a section dedicated to the flamingo, but it’s still fun music to know.
  • Pretty Flamingo by Manfred Mann
  • Lily the Pink by The Scaffold
  • The Pink Panther Theme by Henry Mancini and His Orchestra
  • We had a LOT of fun…
    flamingo1

    flamingo4

    .. and of course, when the swirling, pirouetting, leaping and bounding was over, the dancers received bouquets of flowers from an adoring audience!

    flamingo2



    Other activities which you might be inspired to try following a read of Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle include:

  • Making flamingos out of pipecleaners with this tutorial from the National Wildlife Foundation.
  • Creating a flamingo croquet set (along with reading Alice in Wonderland) – see this post from Party Dreamers to get an idea.
  • Sewing this show-stopper flamingo kids’ costume, from BabyccinoKids.


  • What are you going to dance to today? I’m off to put Lily the Pink back on, even though the girls are at school right now…

    Disclosure: I received a a free review copy of this book from the publisher. I was under no obligation to review this book, nor did I receive any payment for this review. I have no personal connection to the author.

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    Comments

    11 Responses to “Pinkness and the joy of dance when raising kids”

    1. Rhythm
      March 6th, 2013 @ 4:27 am

      Absolutely fabulous!! We have some dancing princesses who need this book! Thanks for all the fun ideas!
      Rhythm recently posted..ABCs Part 2

    2. Zoe
      March 6th, 2013 @ 6:44 am

      Thank you Rhythm, we had lots of fun!

    3. Polly
      March 6th, 2013 @ 7:50 am

      Ha! I was RIGHT!!

      Looks wonderful- We are great fans of kitchen dancing here too- although our music of choice tends to be the Star Wars Imperial Death March (sigh)
      Very pleased to see Lily the Pink featured too- one of about five 45′ singles we played to death as children
      Polly recently posted..Claude

    4. Zoe
      March 6th, 2013 @ 7:54 am

      Yep, Polly, you were right all along…. ahhhh ;-) The star wars music is great though – I’d dance to that!
      Zoe recently posted..Pinkness and the joy of dance when raising kids

    5. ReadItDaddy
      March 6th, 2013 @ 9:11 am

      A lovely post. We see a lot of negative stuff attached to ‘pink’ and I guess I can see the point in the whole campaign for not dividing the genders, would be great to see boys growing up considering pink as a colour rather than as an issue (and girls for that matter!)

      C loves it and would probably have us paint the house pink and driving around in a pink cadillac if she could. We do draw the line there though!
      ReadItDaddy recently posted..But Excuse Me That Is My Book (Charlie and Lola, based on characters created by Lauren Child) – (Puffin Books)

    6. Zoe
      March 6th, 2013 @ 9:41 am

      ReadItDaddy – I agree entirely. And I think my youngest would like to move in with your C’s dream house!
      Zoe recently posted..Pinkness and the joy of dance when raising kids

    7. Amy Seto Musser
      March 6th, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

      I love this book! It was part of my February Round-Up! Such a playful book on friendship.
      Amy Seto Musser recently posted..The Misadventures of Maude March, or, Trouble Rides a Fast Horse by Audrey Couloumbis

    8. Library Mice
      March 6th, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

      I really want to have look at this book, I love wordless books.
      Library Mice recently posted..Open This Little Book

    9. BooKa Uhu
      March 7th, 2013 @ 9:10 pm

      I obviously need to get me a flamingo! Incidentally, thank you for reintroducing me to a truly great word to say – flamingo rolls so neatly off the tongue!
      BooKa Uhu recently posted..So shiny… so pretty…. I want! *grabby hands*

    10. gisele barcellos
      March 8th, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

      BRAVO! BRAVO!
      :)
      PINK RULES!
      gisele barcellos recently posted..Super Mario Bros. – Partituras

    11. Kerry Aradhya
      April 17th, 2013 @ 8:39 am

      Oh, did I really not comment on this post? I thought I had! Such a lovely way you celebrated this book with your girls…and embraced the pinkness of it! Glad you were part of my roundup for March :)

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