Quackers

Liz Wong. Knopf, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-553-51154-3
Quackers “knows he is a duck because he lives at the duck pond with all the other ducks.” Circumstantial evidence aside, Quackers looks (and sounds) an awful lot like an orange tabby cat. Working in watercolor and digital media, newcomer Wong brings deadpan humor to both her narration and illustrations, which have the feel of cut-paper collages. Wong frames the dialogue and narration in lightly textured panels and speech balloons in a style reminiscent of Peter Brown’s Children Make Terrible Pets; one page features neatly labeled rows of duck “dinner options” like slugs, snails, seeds, worms, algae, and duckweed (“Not duckweed again!” protests Quackers below). A chance encounter with a cat named Mittens leads Quackers to an existential reassessment, but Wong doesn’t force him to choose: “Quackers is a duck. And Quackers is a cat. But, most of all, he’s just Quackers, and that makes him completely happy.” While the message about embracing one’s individuality is clear, Wong never gets heavy-handed. The ducks’ wholesale acceptance of Quackers, an ostensible predator, is one of the book’s most charming aspects. Ages 3–7. Agent: Alexandra Penfold, Upstart Crow Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016
Release date: 03/22/2016
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-0-553-51156-7
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-0-553-51155-0
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