cover image My Brother the Duck

My Brother the Duck

Pat Zietlow Miller, illus. by Daniel Wiseman. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-4283-8

Redheaded Stella Wells is a self-described “fledging scientist” with a chip on her shoulder (the new sibling kind) and a hypothesis to prove: “my baby brother might be a duck.” The theory starts with her pregnant mother’s waddle and seems confirmed by the baby’s name—Drake—his annoying quack-like cry, and uncanny resemblance to a duck when he uses a pacifier or gets dried off with his duck hoodie towel. Stella collaborates with her friend and coresearcher Carla Martinez in evidence collection, and Principal Kowalski provides further confirmation when she tells the girls (not knowing their theory), “If it looks like duck and sounds like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” First-person narration by Miller (When You Are Brave) skews straightforwardly precocious, while Wiseman’s (When Your Llama Needs a Haircut) round-headed cast and skillful wielding of pop-off-the-page colors (including a blazing duck yellow) exudes a cheery goodwill. However disgruntled Stella may be, her STEM skills are a model for any sibling, human or otherwise. Ages 3–5. [em](Apr.) [/em]