JACK QUACK

The clumsy duckling overcomes his growing pains and gets the girl in this wonderfully silly story. Mother mallard gives flying and swimming lessons to her seven young drakes, but Otis always gets distracted by other things. Tadpoles and hummingbirds are fascinating to him—so interesting, in fact, that although he learns to fly he somehow misses the landing lessons. All seven brothers are smitten by Violet, who lives on the same lake. Each shows off his own talents trying to win her favor, but she dreams of a daring duck and a life of adventure. All but Otis give up. Instead, he picks her a bouquet and then crash-lands in the mud during delivery. When she laughs at him, he wanders into the forest and spends a lonely winter. Upon his return, he’s a changed duck—“Jack Quack, Renegade Drake. Prince of the Forest, King of the Lake.” Otis still has mishaps, but now they are seen as daring rescues. Will Violet see through his disguise to the duck she has always dreamed of? Nolan has a masterful pace, mixing the humorous with the adventurous, and making Otis the hero of it all. The marvelously funny illustrations show all of Otis’s clumsy mistakes and rescues. Newcomer Wesson’s watercolors are especially vibrant and detailed, especially in the ducks’ facial expressions. Jack Quack is sure to take off. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7614-5091-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

JOHN PHILIP DUCK

Edward and his father work for the Peabody Hotel in Memphis since the Depression has brought hard times for so many. On weekends they return to their farm in the hills and it’s there Edward finds John Philip Duck, named for the composer whose marches Edward listens to on the radio. Edward has to look after the scrawny duckling during the week, so he risks the ire of the hotel manager by taking John Philip with him. The expected occurs when Mr. Shutt finds the duckling. The blustery manager makes Edward a deal. If Edward can train John Philip to swim in the hotel fountain all day (and lure in more customers), Edward and the duck can stay. After much hard work, John Philip learns to stay put and Edward becomes the first Duck Master at the hotel. This half-imagined story of the first of the famous Peabody Hotel ducks is one of Polacco’s most charming efforts to date. Her signature illustrations are a bit brighter and full of the music of the march. An excellent read aloud for older crowds, but the ever-so-slightly anthropomorphic ducks will come across best shared one-on-one. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-399-24262-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more