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WADDLES by David McPhail


by David McPhail & illustrated by David McPhail

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8415-8
Publisher: Abrams

McPhail’s latest follows a year in the life of Waddles, a rotund raccoon, and his best friend, Emily, a duck who lives in the pond near Waddles’ tree home. They share companionship, swimming forays and, sometimes, dining adventures. When Emily lays her eggs in the spring, Waddles brings her food every day, then offers to sit on the nest in her place to give her swim breaks. Hortonlike, Waddles determinedly guards his charges, even against a hungry fox. When the ducklings hatch beneath his soft, warm fur, Waddles brings the new babies down to the pond to meet their mother, ushering in a fun-filled summer. Sadness is on the horizon with winter, though, as Emily tells Waddles that she and the ducklings must fly south, and he is left bereft in the cold, not even able to muster his usual voracious appetite. Then spring and Emily and the now not-so-tiny ducklings return. Food tastes good to Waddles again, though he realizes fullness really comes from the heart, not the tummy. Purportedly a story about how much Waddles loves to eat and perhaps even meant to be a cautionary tale about overeating, this aspect of the story quickly gets lost. The charming, expressive paintings that capture the friends’ cozy relationship are the real draw in this friendship story. (Picture book. 3- 6)