Synopses & Reviews
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.
Its the first sound I hear every morning.
The young girl in this story may live in the city, but outside her window theres 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.
"While there's much to be said for interactive, hands-on learning, Davies's (Talk, Talk, Squawk) 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. She knows about their eating habits (there's 'dabbling' and 'upending'), their wooing and parenting ('I like it when a drake shows off his handsome feathers to the ducks, trying to get one to be his girlfriend'), even how they sleep or not ('one night at choir practice, we heard them quacking softly outside the window as they ate worms off the lawn in the dark!'). The text, set in a beautiful typeface that recalls rippling water, is pitch-perfect throughout, enthusiastic and confident, knowing without becoming precocious (the girl's commentary is amplified with factual nuggets set in small type). Rubbino's (A Walk in London) watercolors, which range from closeup portraits to gorgeous waterscapes, 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. Ages 5 up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
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.