If Make Way for Ducklings had been chock-full of whiny fowl, it might have looked like this thinly veiled metaphor of a family road trip.
Mother Duck’s children Eeny, Meeny and Miney are sick of their old pond. While Little Moe protests that he loves it, his older siblings do nothing but kvetch. Mother’s solution is a trip, complete with duckweed sandwiches and lots of walking. As they journey, Mother Duck points out the various farm animals along the way (her children remain unimpressed, save her youngest, who dutifully supplies every animal noise). Yet by the day’s end, even the stalwart Little Moe is quacking a desperate, “Are we there yet?” while his siblings debate who pushed whom. Imagine their surprise when the destination turns out to be their original pond. The now-overjoyed ducklings quack high praise for the formerly detested spot, not a word of complaint out of them. The old story will be new to the young audience, and the simple language gives the book high read-aloud potential. There’s no guarantee the preschool audience will catch the car-trip analogy, but they may be so caught up in Stojic’s thick digital paints and Williams' droll storytelling that it doesn’t matter.
A measured counterattack for those parents planning on going anywhere with chronic complainers in tow. (Picture book. 4-8)