Two Dumb Ducks

Maxwell Eaton III, Knopf, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-84576-5
Okay, Steve and Carl may be a little geeky, but if this is dumb, readers won't want to be smart. Steve can make awesome things out of tin cans ("Aluminum monster!" he shouts, while clanging around with cans on every appendage), and Carl is some kind of magician with socks ("Squishy and smelly!"). But that doesn't seem to matter to a bunch of bullying seagulls, who relentlessly tease the heroes, crying "Two dumb ducks! Two dumb ducks!" Self-esteem isn't a major problem for this pair ("Have you seen his amazing sock friends?" Steve asks readers as Carl holds up two lumpy creations), but the insults still sting. Steve and Carl try it all, from empathy ("Troubles at home?") to simply asking the gulls to stop, but nothing works—until they get an inadvertent assist from some very mucky mud. Eaton's (the Max and Pinky books) story may not be deemed suitable for an antibullying curriculum, but it is utterly genuine in both its humor and pain; Eaton's bold cartooning and deadpan, economic storytelling make every page a treat. Ages 5–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/20/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-375-94576-2
Open Ebook - 32 pages - 978-0-375-98333-7
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