This is something of a departure for me, as I have not reviewed an audio book on this Blog before. However, I don’t think this will be the last time that I look at this version of a book. There are large numbers of readers for whom this is the best option and of course it also allows for the possibility of multi-tasking; after all doing the ironing can be a very boring option!
This particular story is a short picture book that last just over 5 minutes, making it a good choice for young children as part of their pre-bedtime reading. The actual story line is about two flamingos, Freddie and Fifi, who love their fashion and decide to set up a boutique, so that they can ‘style’ some of the other animals. They are particularly fond of anything pink, frothy and fluffy and whilst that might work for them, it does not suit some of the others. They are soon in trouble with the Lion, Crocodile, Hippo and Giraffe (among others) as the animals can no longer fulfill their natural ways of living and hunting. Luckily the two fashionistas realize their mistakes and rectify them, bringing the other animals back to their natural state. What they realize is that we are all special, but in different ways and that we should be kind and love ourselves as we are. Which is a lesson that all of us can take on board, even from a very young age.
As a spoken word story it is greatly impacted by the audio part of the book. We have a light and pleasant introductory music, which is then repeated at the end. The introduction tells us about the author and narrator, so that we have a feel for what is coming. The narrator is Michael Maloney and he uses an excellent range of voices, although his voice for ‘Fifi’ is somewhat irritating (perhaps this is on purpose?); however, his voice for the lion is an almost perfect reflection of the inimitable Kenneth Williams and is exactly right for the character.
I am delighted to say that the publisher has created a place online, so that children can create their own activities and also follow some ideas that the author has come up with. If children want to see the animals in all of their glory then you will need to look at the kindle version, as this does not appear to have been printed as a hard-copy at the moment. However, I think the audio book is an excellent way of telling the story and enables the children to create their own interpretation of the animals and their fashions.
About the author
Sam Hunter is a full-time mum, podcast host and entrepreneur. She started writing after the birth of her son in 2017 and self-published her first book – Flamingo Fashion – at the end of 2020.
Sam wrote creatively as a young girl on her weekends and during visits to her mum’s office in the summer holidays. All of her writing was about animals and it is no wonder that her first book is a children’s story set in an animal’s world!
Her first book, a middle grade novel called Freddie’s Fantastic Adventures, was inspired by a children’s t-shirt with a flamingo on the front and while out walking a few years later, the idea for Flamingo Fashion popped into her head!
Sam is passionate about developing both children’s and adult’s creativity and her writing is designed to inspire imaginations in a fun and playful way. Proceeds from the book are going to the LitWorld charity, who work to develop children’s creative confidence and literacy skills, through the power of storytelling.
Sam lives with her son, daughter and husband in Hertfordshire, England.