Wrong Way

Mark MacLeod, Author
Mark Macleod, illus. by Judith Rossell. EDC/Kane Miller, $14.99 (36p) ISBN 978-1-61067-077-7
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Wrong Way is the name of a duckling problem child. He “always wanted to do things differently,” writes Australian author Macleod, as Rossell shows the antihero lolling on the grass, in striking contrast to his keenly attentive siblings, Right Way and Your Way. A journey to the pond offers more opportunities for Wrong Way to assert his gleeful individuality—and seeming indestructibility. By book’s end, the duckling’s firm but loving mother has accepted that Wrong Way just quacks to a different drummer. “I think we’d better call you My Way,” she says. “Now let’s get a move on!” Rossell excels at portraying the ducks’ downy, webby adorability, and her initial portrayal of family dynamics is promising. But even though Macleod hands her a steady stream of comic cues (“Wrong Way grinned... and popped the snail into his mouth with a little quack”), there’s an inherent placidness to her watercolor and pencil drawings that puts a damper on the physical humor and clash of personalities driving the story. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
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