From the Publisher
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, December 12, 2005:
"Hills' feathered heroes enact a dialogue familiar to anyone who has negotiated with siblings or playground rivals."
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2005:
"Every artistic decision underscores the humor with deft mastery ... Readers will hope to see more of this adorable couple."
Review, Parents Magazine, March 2009:
“The title characters have a big fight over a giant egg. When it turns out to be a ball, they learn to play with it together.”
From different directions, a young duck and a little goose march across a grassy field toward a big spotted sphere. Upon quick inspection, they decide it is an egg, although shrewd readers may point out that it closely resembles a soccer ball. "I saw it first," says the yellow duck. "I touched it first," taunts the white-feathered goose, placing his black foot against it. In separate thought bubbles, each imagines building a fence around the presumed egg, Duck posting a "no honking" sign, Goose with an "absolutely no quacking" placard. "After a flurry of fussing,/ grunting and groaning,/ slipping and sliding," they climb atop their claim and huffily sit back to back. But as time passes, they begin planning their hatchling's future and referring to it as "our baby," at least until a bluebird comes by to ask if she can play with their ball too (then exits to let them resolve their differences). Hills (My Fuzzy Friends) pictures the cartoonish characters against a sky blue and summer green landscape that provides a theatrical backdrop to the argument. This mini-drama implies that a plaything can be more fun for two and shows how even stubborn characters can cooperate. Hills's feathered heroes enact a dialogue familiar to anyone who has negotiated with siblings or playground rivals. Ages 3-7. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
What a great combination! Duck and Goose each spy an "egg" decorated with large brightly hued circles, and each claim it as their own. Feathers are ruffled; webbed feet are tangled, as each vie for the best position to sit on the new found orb. Though each have their own individual ideas and agendas about hatching the "egg," ultimately realizing what is best for the new baby results in both fowl sharing the parental duty. Everyone can relate to the antics of these two, from one-up-man-ship to sibling rivalry, culminating in peace making and being protective of the impending new arrival. What Duck and Goose don't realize is that their egg is not an egg, and it takes another friend to reveal their misunderstanding. Find out what the egg really is while enjoying this entertaining tale of newfound friends. The colors are delightful, the whimsical portrayal of each bird is attractive enough, and the text weaves it all together in a happy resolution in this wonderful story of sharing, conflict resolution, humility, and even play. Mr. Hills has a bright future ahead of him if this book is indicative of forthcoming works. 2006, Schwartz and Wade Books/Random House, Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-In this goofy story, a duck and goose mistake a big spotted ball for an egg. Each one claims it and they fight over taking care of it. In the end, they realize their foolishness and become friends, enjoying their ball together. The themes of getting along, sharing, and settling one's differences come across loud and clear, and the author does a good job with the subject without becoming too didactic. While the narrative is fairly straightforward and has touches of childlike humor throughout, it's the bright and colorful artwork that will attract youngsters' attention. The cartoon-style oil paintings set against soft-focus, almost impressionistic backgrounds keep Duck and Goose center stage, and their expressions are priceless. A sweet addition.-Lisa S. Schindler, Bethpage Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
When Duck and Goose enter the stage from opposite sides of the frontispiece, striding determinedly across a meadow toward a large, polka-dotted ball, the stage is set for a classic noodlehead story. Each believes the ball to be an egg. Each claims it, competes to hatch it and ends up sitting atop it together, whiling away long hours by agreeing on the many duck and goose skills they will teach their baby. When an observant bird points out that their egg is a ball, Duck and Goose, realizing their mistake, are just as happy to play with it. Delighted listeners will immediately see Duck and Goose's mistake and wait expectantly for the predictable "big reveal." Every artistic decision underscores the humor with deft mastery: the cheerful primary palette; the artfully balanced composition; and the simplicity of line that depicts every inch of these ridiculously earnest fowls, from the tips of their beaks to their expressive eyes to the bottoms of their feet. Duck and Goose's gradual shift from adversaries to partners to playmates is indicated artfully by effective but subtle changes in book design and text. Readers will likely hope to see more of this adorable odd couple. (Picture book. 3-6)