The splash and chatter of a raft of ducks temporarily disrupts the peace of a wildlife-filled pond.
Smoothly crafted couplets and the occasional triplet describe a moment in the natural world when a “quack of ducks” descends on a pond. The unnamed narrator, who is walking with a leashed dog, is depicted as an adult with light-brown skin. She describes the sights and sounds of mallards landing, the other animals scattering, and the water rippling. “Every part of me was changed, / I looked like I’d been re-arranged.” Just as quickly the ducks move on, and peace returns. A prolific and skillful writer, Yolen chooses her words carefully and interestingly, putting them together in ways that read aloud gracefully. This companion volume to On Bird Hill (2016) again speaks to the joy of paying attention to one’s surroundings. The text describes some of the pond’s inhabitants: trout, turtles, tadpoles, a bullfrog, and a blue heron. The illustrations show many more. Fourteen are identified in a key in the backmatter, and there are a few fast facts. Young readers and listeners will be encouraged to discover them in their habitat on these pages. Marstall’s delicately colored paintings are less whimsical and more realistic than in the previous book. They show the pond from many angles, including close-up images of lily pads and broad vistas.
Another fine entry for a “sense of wonder” collection. (Picture book. 2-5)