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In this funny nod to Chicken Little, a quiet afternoon on the farm might be the scene of a barnyard disaster waiting to happen.
When Duck runs around the farm shouting “DUCK!” to the other animals, they grow exasperated as they haughtily explain to Duck which animal is which. Unfortunately, something is falling from the sky. But perhaps “DUCK!” isn’t the best warning. Perhaps what Duck should have said is . . . “RUN!”
About the Author
Meg McKinlay is an award-winning author of children's picture books and novels. Her work includes Duck for a Day and No Bears, both illustrated by Leila Rudge. Meg McKinlay lives in Australia.
Nathaniel Eckstrom has illustrated a number of picture books. DUCK! is his first picture book with Candlewick Press. He lives in Sydney, Australia.
Eckstrom's cartoon-style art enhances the humor at every turn, even including tiny, distant images of the house hurtling through the sky on pages before its crash-landing. Wonderful—sure to beckon repeat reads.
The pencil, acrylic, and digital art undercuts some of the action with fuzzy edges and a muted palette, but the real possibility here lies in the performance, with the animals’ compounding upon their frustrated answers to Duck’s misinterpreted command (“You are a duck, and he is a horse, and she is a cow, and he is a pig, and I am a sheep”), culminating in a very adult-sounding lecture about the value of difference—right before the wind picks up. Use this as a playful counterpart to the classic “Chicken Little” for an engaging storytime.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books