QUACK, QUACK! by Philippe Dupasquier


Age Range: 5 - 8
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A pet duck throws previously neighborly neighbors into discord, provoking all manner of wild imaginings by the children involved. Vicki Jones, her brother Ben, and their parents live on the edge of an English town. Everything is hunky-dory when Mrs. Spikes moves in next door—they enjoy chatting over the hedge, and Mrs. Spikes invites the children over for a glass of her secret red cordial—but when Mrs. Spikes brings home a duck for her garden pond, things delaminate. The duck won’t stop quacking; Mrs. Spikes pooh-poohs Mr. Jones’s suggestion that the duck is noisy; Mr. Jones finally blows a fuse; the neighbors stop talking to one another; and the children start to see dark doings at Mrs. Spikes’s house. They decide she is a witch who reads from a spell book (“What about that horrible syrup she made us drink,” asks Vicki about the heretofore tasty cordial) and keeps bats. When in an act of revenge, Mr. Jones gets his own duck to out-quack Mrs. Spikes’s, all goes strangely quiet. The tranquillity prompts neighbor to start talking to neighbor again, so much so that they even join yards to give the ducks access to each other. Some problems get solved in spite of themselves, the author seems to be suggesting, for there are no tactics to resolving neighborly spats being tendered here. But his expressive, comical paintings and the gentleness of the narrative put spats between neighbors in context. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2002
ISBN: 1-84270-015-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Andersen/Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2002


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