When Harold the alligator runs away from the zoo after being wrongfully accused of eating a dog, Max the Duck comes to his rescue. He convinces Brody, Dakota, Bebe, and the rest of the menagerie to hide their toothy friend, regardless of their worries about Harold's bottomless appetite. So much fun you'll quack with laughter.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Max the duck, hero of Duck at the Door and Duck Soup, is at Irene's house playing with his animal friends when Harold, a large alligator, arrives. He begs them to hide him from the zoo detectives, since he has mistakenly eaten someone's dog. Although the other animals fear his appetite, Max remembers when he needed help and asks Irene and the others to hide Harold. And so begins a series of absurd and unworkable suggestions, until the detective arrives. Irene says she hasn't seen the alligator, while the others manage to conceal him. Harold spends the night. The next day they try to fool the returning detective. But he tells them that Harold only ate a hot dog, not a pet dog. The zoo wants him back, to the relief of the others whom Harold's appetite has made a bit nervous. The farce-like actions have the quality of an elaborate cartoon, with side comments without speech balloons and above all the exaggerated gestures of the characters. Full-page scenes, in sequence, use only enough detail to carry the plot with comic interactions. The double-page assemblage of all the animals in homemade alligator costumes makes a fitting, amusing highlight. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Irene, the patient host to a menagerie of quirky animals, finds a new visitor at her door in this follow-up to Duck at the Door (2007) and Duck Soup (2008, both HarperCollins). Her visitor is Harold, an alligator on the lam from the zoo detectives. His crime? "I just had a snack! Okay, so it was someone's pet. I didn't know that!" Max the duck puts aside his fears of being eaten and convinces everyone to take Harold in. Sure enough, he has a large appetite, though he seems happy with the gang's culinary offerings. Eventually the zoo detectives show up at Irene's door, but Harold is off the hook. "The dog we thought Harold ate wasn't the girl's PET DOG. It was her HOT DOG." The charming watercolors will give audiences plenty to look at as these expressive creatures search the house for an alligator-sized hiding place and plot to save their new guest. The animals are clearly the movers and shakers in this household, and Urbanovic has done a fine job of rendering each one with clever humanlike postures and expressions. Readers will be especially tickled by the illustration of a room full of animals all dressed in homemade alligator costumes. With a comedic story and strong visuals, Duck and Cover is sure to please.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI