cover image Chicken, Chicken, Duck!

Chicken, Chicken, Duck!

Nadia Krilanovich, Random/Tricycle, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58246-385-8

"Chicken Chicken Duck/ Goat Sheep Llama/ maa maa baa baa snuffle cluck/ QUACK!" A feisty white duck coordinates an impressive stunt amid lots of barnyard noise in Krilanovich's rhythmic book for very young readers. Paintings of the duck with outstretched wings suggest her cheerleader role directing a flock of chickens, a cat, a dog, and assorted other barnyard animals as they prepare to form a Flying Wallendas–style pyramid. The animals appear in tight closeup against clean white pages; they'd look clinical if not for their obvious excitement, the intensity of their interactions, and the painterly attention Krilanovich (Moon Child) devotes to their feathers, whiskers, black noses, and furry tails. The final arrangement, shown in a vertical spread, is a thing of beauty, the chickens perched symmetrically on the back of a retriever, who in turn stands poised on the back of a goat, and so on all the way down: there's even an egg positioned carefully in the middle. Especially pleasing is the idea that there's no audience for the animals' acrobatics—it's just for the joy of it. Ages 1–4. (Mar.)