A night in the life of a mallard and her new ducklings. Arnosky's (Every Autumn Comes the Bear, 1993, etc.) pictures are carefully selected, representative events: the warm apricot and lemon of the sun's slanted rays at sunset and sunrise; the soft lavenders and greens of twilight puddled to portray the lake where the duck takes her brood at nightfall. Streaked horizontally to convey the effects of light, these luminous watercolors define the ducklings, their plump mother, and other species they encounter. Observed with Arnosky's usual care and precision, these include frogs, insects, and birds as well as predators -- a pike and a snake. Still, this mother's vigilance keeps her brood from harm. As in McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings, an aura of security pervades the simple, descriptive text and lovely art here, making this a wonderful introduction to wildlife observation.