Duck

Juan Wijngarrd, Author Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers $3.95 (10p) ISBN 978-0-517-58204-6
If ever the promotional copy on a book hit the nail on the head, this is it: ``Everyday objects and a baby duck dog, cat, bear combine to make five simple stories for parents and toddlers to tell together.'' What the copy does not indicate, however, is the--surprisingly large--amount of charm packed into this clever quartet. The five spreads in each board book tell a mini-story, and the only difficulty will be choosing a favorite. The dog leaps at a beach ball, only to have it deflate in his mouth; the duck spies a fluffy pink slipper and settles in for a snooze. All of the animals, in fact, are fast asleep at each conclusion, a nicety that will not escape parents' attention. It's clear Wijngaard knows his animals--these frolicsome creatures are realistically portrayed and remain refreshingly true to their behavioral patterns. (The cat rubs contentedly against the closed jack-in-the-box, but his euphoria ends abruptly when a clown pops out.) Brevity is not only the soul of wit, it would appear, but the inspiration for certain delectable books. Ages 6 mos.-3 yrs. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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