cover image The Other Ducks

The Other Ducks

Ellen Yeomans, illus. by Chris Sheban. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-502-7

In this tale from author Yeomans (Jubilee) and illustrator Sheban (I Met a Dinosaur), This Duck and That Duck are best friends trying to figure out the whole duck thing, which is tough without other ducks around to show them the ropes. But This Duck—small and brown compared to the bigger, green-headed That Duck—has the right instincts and moxie. She knows, for instance, that ducks are supposed to waddle in a line and that “Two is not a line. Two is a follow. A line is better. A line is more ducky.” As This Duck nudges her more dubious and dense friend, the two soon get the hang of swimming, flying, and migrating. The following spring, they return to the pond with four adorable offspring, clearly having gotten their ducks in a row in more ways than one (although That Duck still seems a little in the dark). The central conceit—that the two ducks regard their reflections as the eponymous “Other Ducks”—doesn’t add much by way of narrative ballast, but the slightly addlepated patter proves endearing, and the watercolor-and-pencil drawings combine comic exaggeration and intricate, evocative textures to wonderful effect. Ages 3–8. [em]Author’s agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (May) [/em]