Review by Booklist Review
Bibi is respected as a wise elder in the flamingo flock, imparting all kinds of knowledge regarding their kind. She's taught youngsters to stand on one foot and preen their feathers, and she also helps new parents with their nests and chicks. When their lake begins drying up, it's clear that the flock needs to move on, but there's a major problem: some birds are too young to fly. Bibi comes to the rescue, offering to walk the chicks over the blistering sand-flats to the next lake while the rest of the flock flies ahead. It's an arduous trek, but the intrepid Bibi makes certain that no bird is left behind, and the chicks are reunited with their waiting parents. Thrilled to have ushered the babies to safety, Bibi fears she may not have the energy to make the next necessary journey when the chicks are grown. The other grateful flamingos insist on turning the tables and caring for the elderly bird until they can all depart as a complete flock. The sweet story, based on real flamingo behavior, radiates kindness and camaraderie. The gorgeous charcoal and digitally-colored illustrations are a striking combination of soft pinks and grays, alternately conveying the wonderful coziness of the flock and the daunting vastness of their journey. A beautiful celebration of wise elders and unfailing kindness.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Flamingo matriarch Bibi, who's "older than anyone knew," is both the leader of her flock and its repository of wisdom. When summer comes and parches the lake, adult flamingoes can fly to the place where water remains, but the chicks must walk, and Bibi leads them, having made the journey as a youth. When young flamingo Toto collapses from exhaustion and the rest grumble, Bibi extends her wings to shade them all: "We'll rest... until we're all strong enough to continue together." They make it to the water and the whole flock prepares to migrate, but Bibi feels tired and old, and she slips away on her own--at least until Toto and others recall a Bibi-taught lesson. Charcoal drawings by Weaver (Narwhal: The Arctic Unicorn) render Bibi and her fellow flamingoes naturalistically, in quiet pinks and grays, paying careful attention to the graceful forms' feathers and beaks, and giving a hint of animation to the birds' faces. It's a true-to-life account of natural events that flamingoes face, and a fable about a community supporting all of its members. An end note provides context. Ages 3--7. (May)
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A lyrical celebration of old age and the wisdom and love that accompany it. Bibi, grandmother in Swahili, is the oldest flamingo in the flock, and the other birds follow her and rely on her guidance and teaching for everything from preening to standing on one leg to nest-building. Bibi greets each new chick by name, the latest being Toto (child). When the sun evaporates the lake water, Bibi leads the flightless chicks to the new shoreline while the parents fly. As they walk, Bibi reassures the frightened chicks, shelters them under her outstretched wings, and tells them stories of life on the lake. Reaching their destination, the chicks feed, turn pink, and get ready to fly. But Bibi is feeling her age, wondering if she can make the flight when it's time for the birds to move on. Toto leads the flock in rallying around their beloved elder, showing her the same love and compassion she once showed them and echoing back her words. And though it's clear Bibi's goodbye to this particular lake is a final one, the last spread is triumphant, the flock flying together against a full-moon sky. Weaver's charcoal illustrations with digital pink tinges lend a nostalgic tone to the remarkably lifelike flamingos. Backmatter fills in the facts about the real Lake Natron in Tanzania and the flamingos that migrate there to breed. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A marvelous model of respect for elders that all humans should emulate. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.