Without losing identity as a duck, one mallard duckling follows the instincts of his species yet manages a few special escapades as well. Before he is full grown, the duckling learns the dangers of a swooping hawk, a barking dog and a hunter's rifle. He takes off with his flock and is captured first by a farmer's boy and then by a child on a cruise ship who transports him to the park pond where he lives happily. Signs of spring evoke ""memories"" of the marshlands, and the little duckling takes off for his natural environment. On the credit ledger the habits of wild ducks are described with accuracy -- the illustrations in black and white are quite charming. Unfortunately, the debits here include a cheerless text and poster-type color illustrations. We wonder if in the future the Haders will ever recapture the vitality and vigor of The Big Snow.