FOLLOW ME, FLO
Written and Illustrated by Jarvis
Candlewick Press 3/10/2020
32 Pages Age 4—8
Genre: Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes: Listening, Following Directions
Little Flo isn’t very good at following her daddy. She would much rather chase and hide. Luckily, Daddy Duck has a trick to make sure Flo stays by his side. He sings his follow song:
“Follow me UP,
Follow me DOWN.
Look straight ahead
and NOT AROUND!”
But on the way to visit Auntie Jenna, Flow decides to sing her own louder, higher version of the follow song . . . with surprising results!
From award-winning creator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth comes a hilarious and heartfelt daddy-and-daughter cautionary tale, sure to get little ones laughing and singing. (from jacket flap)
“There are certain things that all little duckies must do every day: eat their dinner (seeds and berries), preen themselves clean (with beaks and bubbles), and go to bed (all in a row). Little Flo did not do ANY of these things.”
Why I like Follow Me, Flo
Flo is not a typical duck. She would rather jump into the pond and scatter frogs to cleaning and preening. Flo just isn’t good at following directions. Daddy Duck wants to make sure he doesn’t lose Flo on their trip to see Auntie Jenna’s new home. He sings his “Follow me, Flo!” song to keep Flo behind him all the way. But Flo doesn’t like Daddy’s singing. She decides to sing her own follow me song, and, in her naïveté way, Flo loses track of Daddy. Out of the woods she goes, through an unusual place for a duckie to be found, and back into the woods. Upon re-entering the woods, Flo only now notices a little fox, Roxy Fox, is following her. Flo switches songs to give her more momentum and speeds up. Roxy Fox ends up in a jam. Flo runs into her daddy, who has no clue where she’s been.
Jarvis uses beautiful colors to create his soft pastel backgrounds and then increases saturation to create his characters. The much darker shades help Flo and company pop into view, including secondary characters like the frogs, and flying insects. The waterfall looks especially lovely, and if you look closely, you might see one or two fish swimming down the fall with Flo. Jarvis uses the entire spread and expressive eyes to get Flo and Roxy’s emotions across to readers. Roxy’s snarl certainly sends Flo a message.
Young children will love Flo, with her soft rebellion, and errant trail to Aunt Jenna’s home. I suspect they will laugh at Flo’s adventure and sing along with her. Young children can learn how important listening can be, especially to their parents, and following directions. Kids will be carrying Follow Me, Flo around when not listening to the story . . . again. Follow Me, Flo is the perfect story for kindergarten classes.
Follow Me, Flo is a happy story with roller-coaster emotions that leaves Roxy in that jam and Flo leading daddy home, her way. If daddy were to take joy in his daughter’s way of life, now would be a good time.
I like Flo, I really do, but . . . Roxy Fox is a formidable adversary and perfectly matched to Flo. If this fox were fully-grown the story would end much differently. I like that Roxy has enough naïveté of her own to be as amused by Flo as she is hungry. I also love her snarl, so fierce and yet so . . . many teeth!
Illustrations Rendered in pencil, chalk, and paint; and colored digitally
Available at Amazon
FOLLOW ME, FLO. Copyright © 2020 by Jarvis. Published by Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
Copyright © 2020 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
[352 word count-review only]
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