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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Duck, Duck, Moose! Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Noah Z Jones. Disney Hyperion, Hachette. 2014. $17.99 ages 3 and up




I want to make it my mission to get little ones reading again....AND LOVING IT! We are pushing too many young and vulnerable children into reading levelled books that have no real meaning. If kids don't see story in the books they are reading, they will learn to decode! They may know how to read; but, they don't want to read a book that has no innate appeal. How do you become a lifelong reader if you don't read anything that speaks to your heart, your head, or your funny bone?

There are hundreds of books written by brilliant and talented artists out there! We need to get those books to our little ones, and ensure that they grow to be readers who long to read because they are reading books they love and want to share.

That little bit of a rant brings me to this book....two words, that's it! Kids will want to read it again and again, and then again. It is full of the kind of humor that little ones get; it tells the story of three friends and it speaks to us of real friendship. We meet the three on the cover and then once more, on the title page. As we move to the dedication page, we begin to learn something about them. The ducks, in nightcaps, are quietly sleeping on tidy beds marked with a D. Moose, on the other hand, is sprawled across his much-too-small bed, feet hanging over the end, on his tummy, mouth wide open and clothes strewn around him. His blanket barely covers his back!

The kitchen table shows signs of his appearance at breakfast. The coffee is spilled on the tablecloth and the floor, his chair is upended, and he is out the door with a cheery wave. The ducks sit quietly reading the morning news, coffee cups at hand and their food carefully consumed.

As the ducks set themselves to a morning's work and then set the table with a delicious lunch, we prepare ourselves for Moose's return. Some return it turns out to be! Hilarious and sure to delight, we are bombarded with the cleanliness and fastidiousness of the ducks and the total annihilation of their ordered world by their friend. It turns out that they are preparing for a party. Moose manages to make every part of the plan a catastrophe!

Poor Moose! He doesn't mean to cause persistent problems for his friends. Off he goes. The party plans move into high gear, and all is ready! Where's Moose?

As I said, written words number two...they are repeated on each double page spread. But, their impact is created by perfectly chosen punctuation and lively digital art that says everything else that needs to be said.  It's a story filled with fun and friendship, and will certainly leave young readers wanting to read other books just like it! That's exactly what we want, if they are to live a literate life!
Oh, he comes!

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