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ODD DUCK by Cecil Castellucci Kirkus Star


by Cecil Castellucci ; illustrated by Sara Varon

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: May 14th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59643-557-5
Publisher: First Second/Roaring Brook

A sublime tale of two strange ducks who overcome the odds—pun completely intended—and become friends.

Theodora is an odd duck indeed: She spends her days swimming with a teacup balanced on her head, flavoring her duck pellets with mango salsa and watching the stars. She is content, her days are full—but they’re not quite fulfilling. One fateful day, a new duck named Chad moves next door. He’s strange, unstructured, disorderly and loud—the opposite of quietly meticulous Theodora. Despite his eccentricities—and her initial judgment of him—the pair bond over a shared love of the stars. During an outing, another duck loudly points out that “odd duck” as the pair waddle past. Each thinks that the other must be the odd one, resulting in an argument. As Theodora ponders their fight, she realizes that though she’s happy with her life, it doesn’t mean much without someone to share it with. A moral that could have been nauseatingly saccharine in the hands of a lesser author is handled deftly here. Castellucci and Varon shine together, with Varon’s trademark animal characters and Castellucci’s careful prose. Readers expecting a typical graphic novel may be a bit put off; reading like a long picture book, this is reliant on illustrations that stretch across an entire page as opposed to many boxy, structured panels, resulting in a wonderfully odd and endearing little offering.

This clever celebration of individuality delights. (Graphic fiction. 6-10)