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ROSALIE, MY ROSALIE by Jacquelyn Mitchard


The Tale of a Duckling

by Jacquelyn Mitchard & illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-072219-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

Nine-year-old Henry is a girl who’s bored with her family’s quiet life, but her request for a baby or a pet is turned down until the day her father brings home a baby duckling that imprints on her. Named Rosalie, the duck becomes Henry’s adored piece of luck and the two are inseparable. Nevertheless, ducks do what ducks do and even though Henry trains Rosalie to “flop” outside, as the duck grows, she needs space and water to swim. The golf course and park provide the necessary water and even wild-duck friends, but eventually Henry has to face the inevitable. The behavioral process of imprinting propels the story and becomes a sub-plot when Henry’s mom becomes pregnant. Perceptive older readers may question why Rosalie didn’t imprint on Henry’s dad first. The large type, length and black-and-white spot art suggest an early chapter book, but adult author Mitchard’s fey style, though often humorous, seems out of step with the intended audience. If it looks and walks like a duck. . . . This tale is a pleasant, but odd duck. (Fiction. 7-9)