WE'RE GOING ON A PICNIC!
Hutchins's (Changes, Changes) high-spirited caper follows Hen, Duck and Goose on a quest to find just the right spot for a picnic. After filling a basket with berries ("because Hen liked berries best"), apples ("because Goose liked apples best") and pears ("because Duck liked pears best"), the trio sets off, taking turns carrying the basket. What the three don't notice—and what youngsters will delight in observing—is that each time the feathered friends pause to switch, a critter climbs in and helps itself to the picnic fare. Concluding that the food has fallen out, the pals simply refill the basket; the audience will revel in knowing that the still-hungry culprits lurk nearby. Kitchen-bright illustrations outlined with a sure black line show the traveling, industrious trio, and they make hilarious unwitting straight men. With an understated humor infusing both narrative and pictures, Hutchins successfully pulls off the child-pleasing contrivance of letting readers in on the secret. Beginning readers especially will appreciate the brevity and ample repetition of the text. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)
Release date: 02/01/2002