Collective noun: a noun such as “team” or “flock” that refers to a group of people or thing
A drumming of woodpeckers
A regatta of swans
A waddle of penguins
A happiness of larks
A flamboyance of flamingos
Feathered friends are flustered when flamingos move into the neighborhood… This story is a welcome springboard for age-appropriate discussions of assumptions, stereotypes, and inclusion. Engaging wordplay makes a serious point about inclusion.
They’re So Flamboyant by Michael Genhart, PhD, is a story about inclusion, exclusion, and the stereotypes, fears, and assumptions that can lead to discrimination.
Indirectly, They’re So Flamboyant also refers to the word “flamboyant”—a word traditionally used in a derogatory sense to refer to someone who is gay. This story playfully reclaims the word and shows the flamboyant flamingos as gracious and neighborly, modeling positive and welcoming behavior for the other birds.
Conversations with children about the assumptions and stereotypes that can lead to excluding behavior are vitally important if we are to live in a world that is more inclusive, fair and welcoming. Here are some tips to help you talk with kids about inclusion and discrimination.
- Conversations about diversity should be straightforward, open, and honest.
- As children notice the world around them and ask questions, adults can have age-appropriate conversations with kids about age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, body type, disability, income-level, or religion.
- Since stress associated with discrimination can affect self-esteem, talking with children about diversity as well as modeling inclusivity can help kids learn to appreciate people from all backgrounds.
- While, in the story, the flamingos model welcoming behavior, it’s important to let kids know that it is not the responsibility of those being discriminated against to make others feel comfortable.
Related Books from Magination Press
They’re So Flamboyant
flam·boy·ant – (of a person—or bird!—or their behavior) tending to attract attention because of their confidence, exuberance, and stylishness
This fun and funny bird’s-eye tome to individuality, community, and harmony follows the reactions of a neighborhood full of birds when a “flamboyance” of flamingos moves in. Each band of birds—a gaggle of geese, a dole of doves, a charm of finches, a brood of chickens, a scream of swifts, and an unkindness of ravens—all have their feathers ruffled and express their apprehension about the new and different arrivals. Bright pink colors, long legs, how dare they!
Even a watch of nightingales patrols after dark. When the band of jays decides it is time to settle down the neighborhood, the pride of peacocks takes the lead, with support from a waddle of penguins, a venue of vultures, a mob of emus, and a gulp of cormorants.
Finally, they all land at the flamingos’ welcome party only to realize that they had all been birdbrained. Their new neighbors are actually quite charming, and not so scary and different after all. Includes a note from the author on helping children to learn about acceptance, avoid stereotyping, and model welcoming behavior.