The Perfect Shade of Pink
by Margo Smith
Trafford Publishing

"He was happy just being Ed, the pink flamingo. Ed realized that people liked him for himself."

In this delightful children's story Margo Smith transforms the Biblical parable of "The Prodigal Son" into an innovative tale that offers up valuable lessons about unconditional love, forgiveness, and being happy with yourself.

Ed, the pink flamingo, lives with his family and fellow stilt-legged birds in the Land of Pink. He spends time with his older brother Sam, but Sam happens to be the ideal shade of pink which ignites a bit of jealousy in the paler Ed. To enhance his pigment Ed eats lots of shrimp, but it merely makes him sick. Tired of comparisons to his brother, Ed takes his inheritance to the land of Green Pens where he encounters green pigs, green food, and ultimately morphs into his own shade of lime. With money literally flying out the window, Ed finds a job but is quickly disheartened by his circumstances. He returns home to his parent's welcoming arms, but Sam shows visible resentment. The jealous twist is soon remedied as Sam's father explains the younger brother's shortcomings.

In this story of individuality and redemption, illustrator Kenn Yapsangco creatively integrates the colors of pink and green as reflections of anger and jealousy in the characters. Bucket hats, flippy hairdos, and polka dot bows reminiscent of accessories worn by a TGI Fridays waitstaff, express unique personalities within a flock. The blue skies, palm trees, and radiant orange sunsets lend the narrative a lush tropical feel.

While an entertaining story for young readers, this book also offers a quiet shared experience for a parent and child. There is certainly visible charm in these quirky looking birds, but Smith's underlying message is a gentle reminder of the goodness and grace that lies within our hearts, just waiting to surface.

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