FINE FEATHERED FRIENDS by Caldecott Honored illustrator-author Molly Idle

A new family recently moved into our neighborhood… a family of woodpeckers.

Living in the middle of a city, that is in the middle of a desert, this family’s arrival came as something of a surprise… albeit a pleasant one.

They are fun to watch, these birds are. Their movements, their mannerisms, their seemingly effortless flight.  And one morning, a few weeks ago, while watching them covertly (like any good nosy neighbor) over the rim of my morning coffee cup, I thought…

“Birds! I should make a book about birds!”

Then I stopped. And I thought.

“Um…. Wait a sec.”

Because, you see, I’ve already made Flora and the Flamingo, and Flora and the Penguin, AND I am currently working on Flora and the Peacocks



And more birds!!!

But the thing is, it had never occurred to me before that, that I was making books about birds.

I thought I was making books about relationships.

To me, the winged characters in those books, are just like people. Like friends… who just happened to have feathers.

So the realization that I was already making books about birds, came as much of a pleasant surprise as my new fine feathered friends, who have taken up residence in our neighborhood.

I’m glad they’ve moved in.

I hope they’ll stick around.

Maybe I should bake a them a coffee cake, take it over, and introduce myself. You know, make them feel welcome.

Or better yet, maybe I’ll plant them another tree in our yard, so their family has room to grow. Then, I’ll eat the coffee cake, whilst enjoying the company of our new neighbors over my morning cuppa joe.

It is for my neighbors (avian and non) that I participate in A4ED. One book, one school, one neighborhood at a time we can all help make a difference for the better.

Friends of a feather flock together!

Molly Idle began her art career as an animator for DreamWorks Feature Animation Studios, where she earned film credits on movies like Spirit. She is now the illustrator-author of over a dozen books for young readers. Her fresh illustrative style has garnered broad attention, winning her a 2014 Caldecott Honor for her picture book Flora and the Flamingo. Find more at


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