GIGGLE, GIGGLE, QUACK

Cronin and Lewin team up again for a sequel about the clever crew from the Caldecott Honor–winning, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (2000). This time, Farmer Brown is away on vacation, and his brother Bob is taking care of the farm animals, with instructions to follow the notes the farmer left behind. The mischievous action is led by the duck, the “neutral party” in the previous story, who has learned to print neatly with a pencil. Does the quick-witted duck replace all Farmer Brown’s notes with his own carefully printed orders? Do the farm animals get to order pizza, take bubble baths, and watch old movies? Do ducks quack? Lewin’s bold watercolors with thick black outlines are just as funny as those in the first story, but a duck writing notes with a red pencil doesn’t have the off-beat humor of cows click-clacking away on a typewriter. Similarly, the concept of farm animals tricking their kindly sitter into forbidden treats doesn’t have the panache of going on strike for electric blankets. The refrain in this story changes with each incident to reflect the three kinds of animals, again suffering in comparison with that delightfully repetitive refrain in the original story. The many fans of Click, Clack, Moo (both adults and children) will want to read about the cows and their duck friend to see what happens next, but like most sequels, the second story stands not on top, but in the shadow of the innovative original. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-84506-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2002

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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A sweet, simple story with a nicely offbeat heroine.

THE FRIEND SHIP

All the animals are welcome to come aboard.

Hedgehog seems very lonely, “curled up in a prickly little ball in a lonely little nook of a lonely little tree.” When she overhears a sympathetic conversation about friendship “out there,” she perks up, picturing a beautiful “Friend Ship.” Hedgehog sets sail with a curious beaver in a small boat to find it. Before long, the duo spots a herd of migrating deer on the shore. Hedgehog asks if they’ve seen the Friend Ship; all reply that they could use a friend and hop aboard. Next, the company spies a rat, who asks to join them. They sail in multiple directions to no avail. Hedgehog begins to lose hope, but her companions convince her to persist. She spots a small island, its only resident an elephant. Hedgehog swims the distance and asks the elephant about the Friend Ship. The elephant points at Hedgehog’s small boat full of animals and asks, “Isn’t that it—right over there?” It’s a lightning-bolt moment. Hedgehog invites the elephant aboard, and they sail west, celebrating all the while…into the sunset together. Yeh makes effective use of dialogue and repetition, investing her characters with personality with just a few lines. Groenink employs sunny, warm hues that increase in saturation as the boat fills and Hedgehog becomes surrounded by friends.

A sweet, simple story with a nicely offbeat heroine. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4847-0726-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

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