Yet another remake of the classic fingerplay.
Burton and Rescek need to find a new song to parody or, better yet, come up with something original. As in earlier remakes—The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim, The Istsy Bitsy Bunny, The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer (all 2016), and The Itsy Bitsy Snowman (2015)—the words are meant to be sung to the tune of the favorite nursery rhyme. In this outing, the rhymes work, but the meter is clunky. Rescek’s characters are cheery enough as they celebrate the transition from winter to spring. The question is why ducklings should replace spiders. “Down came the rain and chased the snow away” is simply not as satisfying as “washed the spider out.” The elements of danger, pluck, and mastery inherent in the original song are missing, as are the actions. A scene of anthropomorphic animals of different species sharing a den confuses rather than enlightens. There is no clear change from winter to spring; the color palette throughout is bright and springlike, and the duckling is about as realistic as an Easter Peep. Sturdy board pages may stand up to lots of handling, but young children are unlikely to ask for it more than once.
Toddlers are better served by a chorus of the original, accompanied by the finger motions. (Board book. 1-3)