The miracle of bird migration is told by seasoned British author/illustrator Foreman in this warm, sympathetic story of a young duck who loses his family but gains a mate.
Tufty and his tufted siblings grow up on a lake beside a recognizable Buckingham Palace, with the British royal family (somewhat ducklike in appearance) in residence. Humorously dubbed the “Royal Duck and Duckess,” the royals feed and care for the ducks, providing entertainment with their grand parties in the royal ballroom, avidly watched through the window by the ducks. On the flight south, Tufty becomes separated from his flock and is taken in by a homeless white man, who cares for him and feeds him throughout the winter until he is ready to rejoin the duck family on their return to the royal lake. In his signature, delicate pencil-and-watercolor style, Foreman deftly portrays the drama of the small, lost duck, hinting at an ecological message when Tufty loses his way flying through a vast urban maze of man-made structures. The plight of the duck and the kindness of the homeless man who rescues him are heartfelt, and the man’s cozy camp in a hollow tree beside the lake to which Tufty returns with his eventual mate will have a vicarious appeal for young readers.
A satisfying story with the feel of a classic, well told and beautifully illustrated. (Picture book. 4-8)