Little Quack Reviews
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Debut artist Anderson's portrait of a quintet of plucky ducklings and their enticing pond habitat make this familiar tale memorable. Widdle, Waddle, Piddle, Puddle and Little Quack are perfectly content to remain in the nest and view the pond from afar. But Mama Duck will not give up until they take their first swim. "Come little ducklings," she says. "Paddle on the water with me." Anderson paints the pond surface as a velvety quiltwork of violets and shimmery sky blues. A clunky "Quack-U-Lator"-a purple box that runs along the bottom of every spread-keeps track of the ducks entering the water (e.g., when Widdle and Waddle are swimming, the Quack-U-Lator shows two duck icons on the left, joined by the plus sign, and the numeral 2 follows an equals sign; opposite, in capital letters, reads, "Two ducklings in the pond"). With a judicious use of repetition and an ear for both Mama's mellifluous pleadings and the squawkings of her recalcitrant crew, Thompson's (Mouse's First Christmas) text trips off the tongue. But it's Anderson's depiction of the adorable ducklings, working up their courage to join their fuzzy siblings ("You can do it,... I know you can," cheers Mama) that will keep toddlers coming back. The cocky look of the ducklings already floating, and the expression of lone Little Quack as he tentatively dips a tip of his webbed foot in the water, will make this a nursery favorite. Ages 2-6. (Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
PreS-K. Here's a familiar story kicked up a notch by a counting element and irresistible art. The story is reassuring and utterly straightforward. A mother duck encourages her five ducklings to leave the nest and take a swim. Each baby, in turn, exhibits the jitters, with the smallest, Little Quack, the most reluctant to take the plunge. The charm is in Anderson's comical, eye-commanding acrylics. Each duckling looks different in some way--one has a flower on its head, another has downy head feathers that stick straight up. Little Quack is, of course, the most endearing of all. Each duck's entry into the water is registered on a "Quack-U-Lator," running along the bottom of the spread, which gives youngsters a bit of very basic addition practice: one duck + one duck + one duck + one duck + one duck = 5, "five ducklings in the pond." Connie Fletcher (Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved)
The odyssey of ducklings venturing forth from their comfortable nests into the big world resonates with children and has been a well-traveled subject of many works geared toward young readers. Thompson's (Mouse's First Valentine, 2002, etc.) latest effort will certainly appeal to youngsters despite its lack of originality. Mama Duck is coaxing her five hesitant ducklings (Widdle, Waddle, Piddle, Puddle, and Little Quack) into the water one at a time. A "quack-u-lator" at the bottom of the pages adds an interesting mathematical element, helping children count along as ducklings jump into the pond. Mama encourages each nervous duckling to "paddle on the water with me . . . you can do it . . . I know you can." Overcoming their initial fright, the first four ducklings "splish, splash, sploosh, and splosh" happily into the water. The simple tale's climax occurs when Little Quack wavers at the water's edge. "Could he do it? Did he dare?" Not to spoil the ending, but suffice it to say all five ducklings swim off "proud as can be." In his debut effort, Anderson's bright and colorful illustrations are lively and captivating. The five adorable ducklings embark on this rite of passage sporting unique looks ranging from Mohawk-type head feathers to orange spots and flowered hair adornments. A pleasant enough take on an old standby. (Picture book. 2-5)
From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This delightfully simple story is sure to become a storytime favorite. Imagine Mama Duck's surprise when her five ducklings are more than a little reluctant to leave their cozy nest for the big pond. One by one, though, she manages to coax them into the water-first Widdle, next Waddle, then Piddle, and Puddle, but Little Quack can't be budged. Eventually, after some convincing from his mother and his siblings, he dives in and-guess what-he loves it! Whether counting up or counting down, this early introduction to math provides a painless lesson, and the "quack-u-lator" across the bottom of the pages that "adds" ducklings to the pond makes it even more fun. Anderson's colorful paintings complete the package. Each duckling has its own personality and its own "feather do," too. Young readers and budding mathematicians are sure to enjoy a sense of accomplishment along with these ducklings. Little Quack may also have some bibliotherapeutic applications during swim-lesson season. Team up this charmer with Jane Simmons's "Daisy" stories (Little, Brown) and Amy Hest's "Baby Duck" (Candlewick) for a ducky time.-Jeanne Clancy Watkins, Chester County Library, Exton, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.