Philippe Dupasquier, Author . Andersen $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-84270-015-0

In British author Dupasquier's (A Sunday with Grandpa) tidy little tale, young Vicki's family gets a new next-door neighbor, Mrs. Sparks. When the newcomer brings home a duck and places it in the small pond in her yard, narrator Vicki comments, "It was brilliant." But the girl soon changes her mind as the duck quacks loudly from morning to dusk. Mrs. Sparks exchanges angry words with Vicki's father about the constant noise, and the girl and her younger brother, Ben, speculate that the woman may actually be a witch. The summery pictures turn foreboding as the woman's house takes on a haunted look. Hatching a rather unlikely plan to solve the problem, their father purchases his own duck, and digs a pond in their yard, musing that the quacking clamor will be unbearable and bring the neighbor around to their point of view. Yet not only does the new pet not utter a single quack, the original duck also goes mute. After it becomes clear that the two canards are pining for each other, the neighbors cut down the hedge between their properties and join the two ponds. Dupasquier's amiable cartoon art enhances the comic hyperbole of the story, which ends on a buoyant—and predictably loud—note. Ages 5-8. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/17/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-84270-112-6
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