Bramsen (The Yellow Tutu) introduces an enthusiastically oblivious duckling who believes the cat he meets is a duck. The concept and rhyming exchange between the characters should tickle preschoolers, who will love feeling smarter than the duckling: "Hey, duck! Why do you walk like that?/ I slink because I am a cat./ Hey, duck! Why is your tail so long?/ Oh, please don't call me duck. It's wrong." However, the cat, as aloof as Greta Garbo, wants to be alone, and sends the duckling packing. Bramsen's artwork has a fluffy, dreamy, and almost three-dimensional quality that excels at expressing the characters' shock, dismay, delight, or surprise. In a gratifying if somewhat mystifying turn, the cat has a change of heart and seeks out the duckling, telling him, "My sense of me has gone amuck!/ I'm pretty sure I am a duck./ I'm not a cat, this much I know./ For no real cat could miss you so." Despite the odd turnaround, readers will enjoy the unlikely friends' realization that, feathers or fur, it makes no difference when it comes to fun. Ages 3-7. Agent: Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency.
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A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend. He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn't waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts. When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other's company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms--or paws and webbed feet. A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)
From the Publisher
Praise for Carin Bramsen's Duck and Cat books!
"A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together." - Kirkus Reviews
". . . should tickle preschoolers." - Publishers Weekly
Just a Duck?
"Outstanding . . . An endearing story for group or one-on-one sharing." - School Library Journal
"The tale is equal in every way to the visual appeal . . . Sweet, tender and delightful." - Kirkus Reviews
"A gently funny story of the differences, similarities, and compromises that make for rewarding friendships" - Publishers Weekly
2016 Buckeye Book Award nominee!
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
A young, yellow-feathered duckling seems to be looking for a friend. Coming across a cat, the duckling wonders why this new acquaintance has non-duck-like features like a long tail and fur. Although the cat responds that it is a cat, the duckling continues to engage in conversation and invites the cat to play canoe and dance. The cat takes to a tree in order to be away from the duckling; is the bird feels discouraged, and the two creatures part ways. Moments later, the cat realizes that it misses the duckling and begins to look for it. The cat mistakenly finds other objects that are yellow like the duckling. The reader may be nearly as confused as the cat when it comes across a fuzzy yellow chick and thinks that it is the duckling. A humorous twist at the end of the story adds fun. The colorful illustrations complement the text, providing additional information like facial expressions showing the cat and duckling's feelings as the plot moves. Children may enjoy the rhyming lines and light banter between the two characters. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—The "duck" of the title is actually a cat, a fact that children will immediately recognize. But the duckling calling out to the feline still insists on calling it a duck and wanting to be friends. In spite of his persistent badgering, the cat politely refuses to join the little guy in dancing the puddle stomp. But after napping, the cat suddenly has a change of heart and decides to befriend the duckling after all. Bramsen's rhyming text is accompanied by bright illustrations in a pastoral setting. The detailed drawings are lovely-every blade of grass, flower petal, piece of tree bark, drop of splashed water, yellow fuzz on the duckling, and strand of white, black, and brown fur on the cat is meticulously rendered. Duckling displays several priceless facial expressions, although the cat doesn't look nearly as annoyed as it sounds. However, the story is slight, and the cat's decision to become the duckling's playmate is unconvincing. An additional offering.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
What People are saying about this
From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2012:
"A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together."