A newly arrived duck who would rather oink, neigh, and even belt out “HIP-HIP HOORAY!” than quack has all the farmyard’s residents aflutter.
Duddle Puck’s little quirk is such a source of irritation—“Hank the Horse was stunned; / he was taken quite aback. / ‘Ducks should never neigh, / they really oughta quack!’ ”—that everyone including the farmer gangs up at last and quacks loudly in chorus to demonstrate how it’s supposed to be done. More amused than cowed, Duddle obligingly utters a gigantic “QUACK-” that is followed on the ensuing spread with an equally stentorian “A-DOODLE-DOO!” Echoing the author-illustrator duo’s previous nod to nonconformity, The Cow Loves Cookies (2010), Wilson contributes a rollicking rhymed narrative (a bit challenging to read, at least aloud, due to sudden metrical shifts and the protagonist’s tongue-twister name). Though Hall lays out the farm differently, it’s still an idyllic setting, into which he brings back both the spade-bearded farmer and, in an inconspicuous cameo, the cow. Topped by a feed cap just like the farmer’s, Duddle Puck struts insouciantly past the offended livestock, hops up onto a picnic table to cheer on a birthday celebration, and is last seen crowing proudly from the henhouse roof.
Encouragement for all who waddle to the beat of a different drummer. (Picture book. 6-8)