THE DUCK AND THE OWL by Hanna Johansen

THE DUCK AND THE OWL

by , illustrated by , translated by
Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Two birds residing in the same meadow take a rather neurotic stab at friendship in this Swiss import. In a text heavy with dialogue and a bit choppy in translation, a duck and an owl bicker—about the best time of day to sleep, what to eat, who starts the arguments and more. There are brief truces and even the occasional compliment, but this duo can’t seem to resist taking potshots at each other’s lifestyle, even as they learn the details for the first time. The nattering pairs a bit oddly with Bhend’s lovely, meticulously rendered naturalistic ink drawings. The text suggests squawky, feather-flying movement, but Bhend answers with quiet, minutely detailed compositions. Indeed, the illustrations so teem with interesting details (a snake’s body bulging with its latest meal, a seven-legged spider, the tiny bones at the base of the owl’s tree), that observant children might prefer poring over the book to hearing it read aloud. There’s a resolution of sorts—“See you again soon,” says the owl, dozing into his much-needed day’s sleep—but one doesn’t hold out much hope for the relationship. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 2005
ISBN: 1-56792-285-6
Page count: 72pp
Publisher: Godine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2005




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