Filippo the flamingo just wants to play. But every time he asks Zac the zebra and Poncho the panda if he can join them, they come up with a new excuse. “You’re too pink,” says Zac. “Pink gives me a headache,” says Poncho. “Pink doesn’t mix with black and white,” adds Zac.
Filippo does the only thing he can think of, painting himself black and white. At which point shy Ludo the lemur, who has been hanging around the periphery (a game can be made out of finding Ludo in the busy spreads), steps in to remind Filippo of all the things that wouldn’t exist in the world if there was no pink: bubble gum, roses, and shrimp, to name a few.
In this heartwarming story, award-winning author Andrée Poulin (The Biggest Poutine in the World) uses Ludo’s incredible tenderness to remind young readers how important it is to be kind, while also showing how tumultuous a child’s journey to self-confidence can be – especially when their peers see only flaws. And Poulin seems to relish the opportunity to debunk the stereotype that “pink is for babies and princesses” by making it perfectly clear that the colour is for everyone, including boys like Filippo and a host of other animals, who – by the end of the story – ask to be painted pink.
By making Filippo the only splash of colour in the book’s black-and-white setting, illustrator Lucile Danis Drouot masterfully sets the tone for the flamingo’s loneliness. But as his confidence blossoms, so does Drouot’s use of pink. Eventually, the storybook world is just as rosy as he is.