Delushka Duck's youngest, Number Nine (Number Nine Duckling, 1993), is back, a surrogate for every child who, fearful of new experiences, decides he doesn't like an activity even before he tries it. Number Nine won't go in the water with his siblings for a swimming lesson; left behind on the bank, he unsuccessfully tries climbing, flying, and leaping, concluding crossly that ""ducklings don't do"" those things. He finally tries swimming and learns that his fears were unfounded, only to balk at the next new challenge--eating a worm. With torn-paper illustrations in the flat, bright colors of a paintbox, this good-natured story is an ideal read-aloud and discussion-starter. It provides gentle support for the reluctant child--Number Nine's anxieties are never ridiculed, and his understanding mother is encouraging, not pushy.