Publication Date: March 27, 2012
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A young girl shares her observations about the mallards near her house in an engaging, informative story sure to make a splash with duck lovers.
Quack quack, Quack-quaack-quack.
It’s the first sound I hear every morning.
The young girl in this story may live in the city, but outside her window there’s a river full of mallard ducks! She hears them as soon as she wakes up, and on the way to school she sees them upside down bobbing for food. Interspersed with fun facts, her enthusiastic commentary about her feathered neighbors — what they look like, how they behave, where they nest, where they sleep — pairs swimmingly with cheerful watercolor illustrations.
Nicola Davies is a zoologist and the award-winning author of many books for children, including Surprising Sharks, illustrated by James Croft; Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear, illustrated by Gary Blyth; and White Owl, Barn Owl, illustrated by Michael Foreman. Nicola Davies lives in Wales.
Salvatore Rubbino is the author-illustrator of A Walk in New York and A Walk in London, the latter of which is an ode to his home city.
Davies’s young narrator builds an impressive body of knowledge about ducks simply by watching the birds that live on and around the river that runs through her town...The text, set in a beautiful typeface that recalls rippling water, is pitch-perfect throughout, enthusiastic and confident, knowing without becoming precocious. Rubbino’s watercolors combine a sketchbook immediacy and economy with an appreciation for the ducks’ streamlined shape, handsome coloration, and placid and genial demeanor. Positively ducky all around.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The daily activities of a young girl propel the easy-flowing language full of ducky details. Perfectly placed additional facts in smaller and similar-in-tone text are included on each spread...While Davies’ text gently informs, Rubbino’s mixed-media illustrations, done in a subdued palette of watery greens, grays and browns, truly impress... An ideal introduction to this familiar waterfowl—readers will enjoy diving right in.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A charming and informative tribute to the ubiquitous duck... The mixed-media artwork adds a sweet, old-fashioned character to the story. Created in a palette of greens and browns, the illustrations reflect the peaceful setting of the natural habitat in which these birds live. Like Robert McCloskey’s MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS (Viking, 1941), this gentle picture book celebrates the wonder and awe nature can inspire in everyday life.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
The easy-going, colloquial tone of the text makes the information surprisingly easy to absorb... Rubbino’s watercolor paintings have a wonderful freshness and spontaneity about them, capturing the look and body language of ducks, while including details of physiology mentioned in the story. Beautiful, informative, and fine for reading aloud.
—Booklist (starred review)
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