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by Tim Egan & illustrated by Tim Egan

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: April 18th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-547-39006-2
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Egan’s understated, hilarious travelogue continues as Dodsworth and his duck pal explore Rome, Italy. The duck—still wearing an acorn beret from Paris (Dodsworth in Paris, 2008)—is the motor for most of the laughs. Standing beside colossal columns in St. Peter’s Square, he comments dryly, “I feel smaller than usual.” Inside the Sistine Chapel, he notes placidly, “That’s weird…. There isn’t one duck in the entire painting.” Moments later, he’s on the ceiling with white paint, remedying that omission. Ink-and-watercolor illustrations employ tiny smiles and minimalist expressions to underscore the humor. In a pizza-throwing contest (“You’re good at throwing food,” comments Dodsworth, and indeed, the duck throws things in every city), the duck sneaks Dodsworth’s suitcase behind a table to stand on, never telling Dodsworth. A chaotic search for the suitcase yields nothing, and without the cash inside it, Dodsworth can’t afford a hotel. They doze overnight on the Spanish Steps. Next day, they dine heartily on found money—until honest Dodsworth discovers that the duck “found” the coins in the Trevi Fountain. Is the duck a descendent of Amelia Bedelia, innocently believing that a flea market contains fleas and that “Rome” means to roam around? Or is he slyly “mak[ing] the trip a little more exciting?” Deadpan delivery means there’s no way to tell, and that’s the brilliance of the duck. May the journey continue. (Early reader. 5-8)