cover image Lucky Ducklings

Lucky Ducklings

Eva Moore, illus. by Nancy Carpenter. Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-439-44861-1

Carpenter’s warm, retro spreads salute McCloskey in what might turn out to be this generation’s duckling rescue story. Seeing public officials put civic machinery to work to save baby animals is every bit as charming today as it was 70 years ago. “Help!” cries a woman who sees five pint-size ducklings follow their mother across a storm drain and disappear through the grate one by one. “Call the fire department!” Carpenter (Heroes of the Surf) supplies a ducklings’-eye view of their wait in the darkness as curious faces stare down at them. The firefighters can’t budge the drain cover, but a truck driver named Perry drags it off so they can free “Pippin, Bippin, Tippin, Dippin... and last of all, Little Joe,” who await their mother in a handy bucket of water. The rescue depicted actually took place on Long Island in 2000; Moore enlivens the account with engaging narrative devices, repeating the duckling’s rhyming names and punctuating the story with “Oh, dear! That could have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t.” It’s worthy of its predecessor, and a welcome sequel of sorts. Ages 5–7. (Feb.)