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The Duckling and the Swan

by Jan Ormerod & illustrated by Jan Ormerod

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-439-82281-5
Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

While Ormerod’s beginning chapter book covers familiar territory, she infuses it with enough sparkle and subtle wit to make it refreshing. Her tale of two sisters is told from the “wiser” perspective of the beleaguered older sibling, who handles the adoration and subsequent imitation of her younger sister with pleasing tolerance. In three short chapters, Ormerod address practicing, getting ready for and attending dance class—high-interest topics to young readers of a certain age with ballerina dreams dancing in their heads. Ormerod lightly addresses sibling rivalry, yet keeps the text appropriately brief for readers just venturing into easy-reader territory. Comical moments propel the action in each chapter, maintaining the momentum of the simply wrought tale. Her colorfully rendered sketches—bordered by dainty ribbon frames, with a different ribbon color denoting a new chapter—convey the humorous side of sibling life. Ormerod’s twinkling tale is ideally suited for aspiring prima ballerinas ready to move onto big girl books. (Easy reader. 4-8)