cover image Dr. Duck

Dr. Duck

Harriet Ziefert, H. M. Ehrlich. Orchard Books (NY), $14.95 (36pp) ISBN 978-0-531-30254-5

This jolly picture book should prove the perfect elixir for young readers with a case of doctor-itis. Driving his big red van, Dr. Duck makes forest-, barnyard- and pasture-calls to treat his menagerie of patients, prescribing such remedies as ""Cough syrup for a sheep/ Who had a bad flu/ Pink pills for a cow/ Too hoarse to moo"" (dialogue balloons within the art show the duck telling the sheep, ""This will do for the flu"" and reassuring the cow, ""Take two and you'll moo!""). But when Dr. Duck finds himself laid up with a terrible fever, who will care for him? Luckily his grateful patients come to the rescue and Dr. Duck is soon fit as a fiddle. In jaunty and sweet-natured rhymes, Ehrlich (who appears to be Harriet Ziefert, writing under a pseudonym) clearly expresses the rewards Dr. Duck reaps in his caring profession. Rader's (Pete's Chicken) spry and sunny watercolors capture a compassionate and friendly animal community at its best. Satisfied kids will soon attest that Dr. Duck is no quack. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)