A DOZEN DUCKLINGS LOST AND FOUND

Harriet Ziefert, Author, Donald Dreifess, Illustrator, Donald Dreifuss, Illustrator , illus. by Donald Dreifuss. Houghton/Lorraine $15 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-14175-3

Part counting story, part separation-anxiety anodyne, Zeifert's (Lunchtime for a Purple Snake, reviewed below) workmanlike text serves mostly as occasion for Dreifuss's (Birdhouse for Rent) uneven art. Leading her 12 ducklings over to Farmer Donald's, Mother Duck fails to observe that eight of her offspring fall into holes the farmer has dug for fence posts. "Peep! Peep! Peep! Peep!" they cry, precipitating a rescue from helpful Farmer Donald and a reunion with the rest of the brood. Rendered in a densely saturated palette, Dreifuss's art pulses with lots of surface energy. Crayon-y scrawls of purples, greens and teals animate a grassy background, while other color fields occasionally take on the appearance of graffiti. At their best, the pictures almost glow; elsewhere, particularly in views of the farmer, the colors work against each other. Illustrated endnotes supply facts about ducks and ducklings. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/03/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
Genre: Children's
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