This Duck (a confident female) and That Duck (a trepidatious male) enjoy each other’s companionship in the “wadey-water” until discovering a wider world makes the extrovert wish for more friends.
This Duck yearns to lead a “more ducky” line when they move about, prompting her to wish for Other Ducks. Yeomans’ language is a delightful combination of the childlike and the existential. When questioned about the meaning of “Other Ducks,” she replies, “Like us, only not us.” Sheban’s soft, textured compositions are rendered in watercolor, colored pencil, and graphite; they start out sunny, with warm greens and yellows in the foreground and cool lavender shadows and shapes on the horizon. The lighting and mood change with the seasons and situations. As they explore, This Duck, who is observant but not always accurate, speaks to her mate in ways that will remind adults of an old married couple. Their misunderstandings and postures are humorous, as when they see their reflections and attempt to coax their new liquid companions into line. Nature’s pull leads the pair to follow their autumnal instincts—learning to fly and falling into formation with others of their kind. While that experience is exhilarating, it pales in comparison to the feeling next summer when four adorable ducklings bring up the rear.
A marvelous portrayal of the humor and uncertainty surrounding growth—and the comfort in having a fellow traveler. (Picture book. 4-6)