cover image OH, DUCKY!: A Chocolate Calamity

OH, DUCKY!: A Chocolate Calamity

Chronicle Books, David Slonim, . . Chronicle, $15.95 (36pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-3562-6

Slonim's (illustrator of Moishe's Miracle) first solo book venture is a lighthearted caper with a kid-pleasing setting: a candy factory. The elfin Johnny operates the candy machine with his beloved rubber Ducky by his side while Pauline, who is "in charge of Quality Control," happily tastes the chocolate morsels that spill from the apparatus. One day, as Johnny tries to repair a leaky valve, he inadvertently knocks Ducky into the chocolate batter and the toy clogs the machine. Amid sirens and alarms, Mr. Peters, the factory owner, rushes in, dons a diving suit and announces, "I'm going in!" He swims through the maze of pipes, past an amusing array of chocolate-covered objects (a giant crab, sunken pirate ship, treasure chest and fiendish fish) before finally reaching—and dislodging—Ducky. Yet by freeing the rubber duck, he unleashes a chocolate torrent that coats Ducky and gives the candy maker a "big idea," which readers can happily guess. Sound effects and hand-lettered asides amplify the outlandish humor of this romp, which Slonim illustrates with suitably silly pen-and-ink cartoons. A tasty tidbit. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)