Book Review: In the Rain with Baby Duck

Rating: ★★★★☆

Amy Hest has a gift for capturing warm, secure family relationships, and this book does not disappoint.  Baby Duck is resentful of being required to walk through the rain to Grandpa’s house for Pancake Sunday, and she resists all her parents’ efforts to cheer her up.  When they arrive, Grandpa sympathizes with her distress and takes her on an excursion into the attic to look for a tall, green bag, which are found to contain a pair of red boots and matching umbrella.  Mrs. Duck recognizes them as the boots and umbrella she had owned as a girl, and after a pancake supper, Grandfather takes her outside to enjoy the rain.

Although Baby Duck’s complaining attitude is nothing to be admired, every child can identify with being required to participate in some experience which they do not understand and may not appreciate.  Grandpa’s sympathetic gentleness help the child change her attitude toward this family tradition, while reinforcing the generational connection through shared food and the handing down of prized possessions.  The well-written text is simple and evocative, and perfectly complemented by the bright, pleasant illustrations.  It’s a perfect read-aloud for preschoolers.

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Publication Information: Hest, Amy. In the Rain with Baby Duck. Barton, Jill (Illustrator). Candlewick. 1999. ISBN: 0763606979.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 00-04, Read-Aloud Handbook
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Posted on July 31, 2011


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