This affable tale chronicles the adventures of a rubber duck on the loose, with Brown impishly recounting the story from the faux fowl’s point of view. Love-a-Duck is quite content to be Jane’s bath toy. However, when the waterlogged plaything is unable to squeak, it fears losing Jane’s affection. A tumble from the windowsill and the intervention of the family pooch lead to a calamitous day outside. Young readers will be entertained by the travails of the beleaguered bath toy as it finds itself unceremoniously dropped in a pond, where it comes face to face with a flock of real ducks. A happy ending is in store for the yellow toy as it returns home with its exultant squeak restored. The avuncular narrative voice engages the audience in repetitive questions and answers, and Love-a-Duck’s comical attempts at speaking provide plenty of participation opportunities. Chessa’s lively pencil sketches comically convey Love-a-Duck’s exasperation as it endures the events of the day. Her cheery, inviting paintings are the just-right complement to this quirky tale. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2263-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

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The true essence of a picture book: a unique balance of visual and written narrative sure to enchant young and old alike.


A delightful depiction of the parallel lives of a young girl and a tiny chick from dawn to dusk.

Preschooler Naomi stretches to greet the day while a picture of a wide-eyed yellow chick looks on passively from the wall behind her bed. Appel’s lithe translation from the Hebrew of Golan’s plain, lightly rhymed verse describes consecutive phases of a typical day in the little girl’s life, with each segment ending with the refrain, “But not Little Chick.” Awakened by her father, Naomi brushes her teeth, eats, goes to preschool, plays, makes art, listens to a story, naps, goes shopping with her mother, puts on her pajamas and eventually hops back into bed with her stuffed bear—“But not Little Chick.” Those following the text alone might think the only thing Little Chick has in common with Naomi is “snuggl[ing] in for the night” and feel a bit sorry for her. But the visual narrative portrayed in Karas’ warmly expressive crayon-and-pencil illustrations on the right side of each spread reveals an equally adventuresome, action-packed day for Little Chick. Pre-readers are sure to revel in the hilarious mischief Little Chick enjoys with barnyard friends, while those reading to them will be fascinated by the effective conveyance of this information through images alone.

The true essence of a picture book: a unique balance of visual and written narrative sure to enchant young and old alike. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5427-8

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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Little Bear Brushes His Teeth (PLB $14.90; paper $8.95; Mar. 1997; 32 pp.; PLB 0-7613-0190-9; paper 0-7613-0230-1): Little Bear is not happy about his first encounter with toothbrushes and paste: ``Blech! Ptooey! This is horrible!'' He fancies himself a soldier, who doesn't need to brush anyway. When the mother's entreaties don't work, the father is enlisted, but he succeeds only by roaring. A lightbulb clicks on in Mama Bear's head: Why not depict bacteria as an army battling Little Bear's teeth? ``Pass me my sword,'' commands Little Bear. Using a hook to overcome life's early trials makes this book a stronger effort than the companion volume, Little Bear Goes to Kindergarten (0-7613-0231-X), which relies on trickery. Sobat's warm artwork adds a comforting touch. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-7613-0190-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1997

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