Book Review: Cold Little Duck Duck Duck

Rating: ★★★★☆

This is a charming, simple story about a young duck who arrives home just a bit early for Springtime, so that her cold little feet stick to the frozen pond.  When another animal admonishes her to go back, she refuses and, filled with hope, turns her thoughts toward the warm Spring until it arrives.

Peters’ use of language is wonderful: her well-chosen words enrich the listener’s vocabulary, and at the end of each lyrical phrase she repeats one word three times for a rhythmic, almost musical effect that will make this book popular with toddlers.  Williams’ watercolors capture the temperature, action and mood of each scene in an artistically vivid way that is pleasant and comforting.

The story events turn on a theme of positive thinking: it is clearly implied that the young duck’s thoughts of Spring are what bring about the change in the weather, and some parents may be uncomfortable with the underlying psychological theory of positive thinking.  However, this kind of thing does happen in the real world: ducks do sometimes return to their homes while the water is frozen, then wait for it to thaw.  It is possible to interpret the duck’s mind as being filled with hopeful expectation that Spring — as it always does, however slow — rather than being the mechanism by which it comes.  Still, since the book is aimed at very young readers who cannot engage in discussion about causality, parents will need to decide for themselves whether this book is appropriate for their children.

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Publication Information: Peters, Lisa Westberg. Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck. Williams, Sam (Illustrator). Greenwillow. 2000. ISBN: 0688161782.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 00-04, Books Children Love, Honey For a Child's Heart
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Posted on February 11, 2011

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