“This two color, two word book is utterly enjoyable—two thumbs up!”
While a family of ducks swims happily on a pond, one little duck gets distracted by a butterfly only to discover, when it again becomes aware of its surroundings, that its family has disappeared! Duck’s hopes are continually raised then dashed as a host of things initially resembling various duck attributes—in sound, foot pattern, feathers, and more—are discovered upon closer inspection to not be ducks at all in this hilarious (if unintentional) parody of the “duck test”—even if it sounds like a duck, it still might not be a duck. Duck is inspired by a lost dog flyer to create one of its own just before the tender realization that its family has already covered the next telephone pole in flyers, and they are joyfully reunited. McBeth’s simple yet effective orange and blue illustrations are perfectly paired with Underwood’s sparse text to create a story that’s remarkably expressive and full, particularly for one built entirely on the words “duck” and “no.” Duck’s facial expressions are particularly demonstrative, conveying the roller coaster of emotions it experiences throughout the story. The delicious hint of suspense, clever reveals of the mistaken “ducks” (and opportunities for guessing beforehand), and just the right balance of repetition and novelty carry the story forward to a resoundingly sweet and clever finale.
A funny, visual story from Bearnard’s Book author Deborah Underwood, about a duck who wanders away from the rest of the flock and must find the way back.
Ducks. Ducks? NO DUCKS!
Duck wanders away from the pond for a moment and returns to find the other ducks gone! Searching high and low, Duck discovers many clues around the city―footprints, feathers, eggs―but no ducks. Will Duck’s feathered friends finally be found?
With spare storytelling and lots of visual jokes, this is a funny and sweet celebration of family.
Have you heard of the duck test? Basically the idea is if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, swims like a duck, etc., then it’s probably a duck. But it turns out that’s not always the case. What are the characteristics of ducks that get mimicked in the story? Can you think of any other characteristics you could mimic?
Have you ever been lost? How did you feel? Does your family have a plan for what to do if you ever get lost? If not, make one now.
Originally from Ohio, T.L. McBeth is an author and illustrator living and working in New York. He is the illustrator of Stegothesaurus and the Big Words Small Stories series, and is also working on writing and illustrating a few books of his own. His work has been featured on Threadless and displayed at the Society of Illustrators.