Based on events that occurred in Montauk, N.Y., in 2000, this title begins when Mama and her five little ducks go for a walk. A surprising fall leads to a dramatic rescue and this endearing story that’s sure to warm hearts for years to come.
Moore chooses straightforward, rhythmic language that engages young readers. “Mama Duck swam to shore. She hopped out onto the grass. Right behind her came Pippin, Bippin, Tippin, Dippin…and last of all…Little Joe.” The family walks through the park, stops for “a bite to eat” and goes on their way. When Mama crosses a storm drain, her little ones follow. Unfortunately the slats in the drain are quite wide, and each duckling falls in. “That could have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t, because…” each time all seems lost for the ducklings, a concerned citizen becomes involved in a step that leads to their eventual rescue. Carpenter uses charcoal and digital media to create illustrations that have a distinctly retro appeal that enhances this classic-feeling tale. From the ducklings’-eye view of alarmed people peering through the grate to the traffic-stopping moment when Mama and her babies are reunited, young ones will be enticed by the events on every page.
Although inevitably and consciously reminiscent of Make Way for Ducklings, this book impresses all on its own with its fine design, compelling story, expressive images and gentle environmental message. (Picture book. 4-7)