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by Toni Buzzeo & illustrated by Margaret Spengler

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8037-2731-3
Publisher: Dial

In her sophomore outing, Buzzeo (The Sea Chest, p. 949) introduces a duckling that likes to do his own thing: “Across the bay / on the blue waves rolling, / one Mama Duck / paddles and quacks. / One, two, three ducklings / swim behind / But the fourth little duckling / dawdles and dreams.” In a full-bleed illustration rendered in pastels, Spengler’s (Storm Is Coming, 2001, etc.) duckling stops to greet a fish just below the surface. The duckling is charmingly plump and cheerful and Spengler’s palette, full of deep, celestial blues and lemon yellow is deliciously lush. “No! Quack! Quack! / I won’t catch up,” he says in response to his mother’s call. Youngsters will enjoy predicting what’s next and chanting the duckling’s defiant refrain as the back and forth repeats throughout. In the end, the duckling follows his mother’s directions for the first time, just in time to save himself from the toothsome creature lurking at water’s edge, making Buzzeo’s gentle lesson just right for the preschool set. (Picture book. 2-6)