cover image Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck

Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck

Lisa Westberg Peters. Greenwillow Books, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-16178-1

In this visually sumptuous testimony to patience and the power of positive thinking, a brown duckling arrives back at her pond a bit too early for spring. Her feet stick to the frozen water--""stuck stuck stuck""--and the brisk air makes her ""shake shake shake."" But when she concentrates hard on all the wonderful things that warm weather will bring--""crocuses and applebuds/ And blades of grass in squishy mud""--a flock of ducks appears in the sky, with spring right on their webbed heels. With tightly composed vignettes and watercolor spreads, British artist Williams depicts a landscape on the verge of transformation. In the opening pages, his purple skies and expanses of white convey both the physical and spiritual chill of winter; when spring blossoms forth, the pages pulse with heartwarming blues, yellows and greens. Peters's (October Smiled Back) rhythmic text set in huge, elegant type and punctuated on each page by the graphic treatment of a single-syllable evocative verb, acts as just the right introduction to the change of seasons. For example, a spread featuring the text ""The ducks flew down, they dipped and splashed"" also shows the words ""dunk dunk dunk"" bobbing in the water, circling a duck with its backside protruding from the pond. All told, a wonderful answer to the perennial question: ""Will spring ever get here?"" Ages 4-up. (Mar.)