Goose leaves Duck in charge when she leaves her pond, with unhappy results.
Power goes immediately to Duck’s head. First, he stops the dragonflies from racing, although they point out that flying is what they do. The next day, a big sign appears: "NO RACING! by order of Duck (in charge of pond)." Soon he forbids the kingfishers from fishing and the frogs from diving, and more signs appear forbidding, well, everything. Then Duck realizes all his friends have gone off to more congenial surroundings. Shedding a tear, he takes down all the old signs and welcomes everyone back to do what they do. The ring-necked hero decides being in charge is “much too hard” and is hardly ever bossy again. The illustrations are Popsicle-colored and gently exaggerated, and each creature is utterly anthropomorphized: Goose leaves sporting a fetching lavender scarf and a bead-handled purse; one frog has reading glasses, and another feeds her baby from a bottle; the dragonflies come in pastel colors and silly grins.
Despite the forced whimsy of the illustrations, the book positively reeks of a Lesson to be Learned, so it is just about as much fun as Duck. (Picture book. 4-7)