GRUMPY DUCK by Joyce Dunbar

GRUMPY DUCK

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 6
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A disgruntled duck brings a dark cloud upon her friends.

Duck is grumpy, the pond is dry, and there’s nobody to play with. A little gray cloud forms above her head, matching her mood. Though friends suggest activities to smooth her ruffled feathers, she rudely turns up her bill at digging holes with Dog or munching laundry with Goat, and she “just [doesn’t] do cockadoodling.” With each snub and each animal’s retort (including Pig’s out-of-place “honked” oink), Duck’s cloud swells until it’s “BLACK” and “GINORMOUS” and everybody’s grumpy, demonstrating the cumulative effect of taking anger out on others. Just as it threatens to blot out the sun forever, it bursts with a “SPLATT PLITTER PLATT” into “MILLIONS OF BIG SHINY WET SPLASHY RAINDROPS,” conveniently remedying Duck’s initial complaint. The animals burst into a waddling, barking, cockadoodling rendition of “Singin’ in the Rain,” and Duck exits under a double-page rainbow, her rudeness apparently forgotten. The author’s storm metaphor is simultaneously clichéd and unclear. Though the exuberant downpour may symbolize that “GLOOM cloud[s]” pass, its literal gratification of Duck’s griping may imply that bad moods are good reasons to be unkind—a message caregivers won’t appreciate. Horácek’s bold, textured mixed-media illustrations pop, but his animated critters can’t save the text’s muddled moral.

To wash away a stubborn case of the grumps, skip this and pick up Claire Messer’s Grumpy Pants (2016) instead. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5362-0424-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2019




MORE BY JOYCE DUNBAR

ChildrenPAT-A-CAKE BABY by Joyce Dunbar
by Joyce Dunbar
ChildrenPUSS JEKYLL CAT HYDE by Joyce Dunbar
by Joyce Dunbar
ChildrenODDLY by Joyce Dunbar
by Joyce Dunbar

MORE BY PETR HORÁCEK

ChildrenTHE GREEDY GOAT by Petr Horácek
by Petr Horácek
ChildrenSONG OF THE WILD by Nicola Davies
by Nicola Davies
ChildrenBLUE PENGUIN by Petr Horácek
by Petr Horácek

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenGRUMPY PANTS by Claire Messer
by Claire Messer
ChildrenGRUMPY MONKEY by Suzanne Lang
by Suzanne Lang
ChildrenGRUMPY GOAT by Brett Helquist
by Brett Helquist