Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be accomplished with a hot air balloon today.
George Laurent, a duck, has many skills. His baking is magnifique! His yoga is skillful! And his ironing is…prompt. But George is missing one important skill that every duck should have: George never learned how to fly and has been procrastinating ever since. Procrastinating, that is, until one winter when George finds himself alone. Mostly alone, anyway; George’s bearish neighbor, Pascal Lombard, is still around, and he quickly helps George face his dillydallying. Pascal’s attempts to help George lead to some creative solutions, which ultimately end in the creation of the aforementioned hot air balloon and some fabulous travels. Gordon’s story will amuse readers with its snappy narration and dry-as-a-pizzelle wit, but some of his choices may lead to a few head scratches. For example: how is a traditionally Austrian strudel evocative of Paris, as a friend claims? Likewise, is an éclair reminiscent of the Andes? Less-ambiguous visual cues might have helped decode these quirks. The illustrations, a mix of watercolor, pencil, crayon, and cut paper, are a delectable treat, but they’re best served up close as a lap-read as opposed to in a crowded storytime. Readers who enjoy Angela Dominguez’s Let’s Go, Hugo! and Ryan T. Higgins’ Mother Bruce will particularly appreciate meeting George.
Successful overall, if not without a few puzzlements. (Picture book. 6-8)