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I Love You Just Enough

Overview

While pulling weeds and planting seeds with her dad on Hazel Ridge Farm's prairie, Heather discovers a wood duckling alone in the grass. Worried for the duckling's safety, Heather asks her dad if she can care for him. "You have to keep him safe and warm and fed. You have to teach him how to be a duck--to swim, to hunt for bugs, and how to fly." Aptly named Mr. Peet for his chirping sound, the ducking accompanies Heather as she feeds the chickens, rabbits, and horses. They spend the summer swimming together in the...
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Overview

While pulling weeds and planting seeds with her dad on Hazel Ridge Farm's prairie, Heather discovers a wood duckling alone in the grass. Worried for the duckling's safety, Heather asks her dad if she can care for him. "You have to keep him safe and warm and fed. You have to teach him how to be a duck--to swim, to hunt for bugs, and how to fly." Aptly named Mr. Peet for his chirping sound, the ducking accompanies Heather as she feeds the chickens, rabbits, and horses. They spend the summer swimming together in the pond, and Mr. Peet eventually masters how to fly. Heather becomes concerned when she hasn't seen Mr. Peet in 10 days. Her dad reassures her that the wood duck may have found his own place in nature. Heather is proud of her work and she knows Mr. Peet will be ok, because she loved him just enough.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 1–3—When her bus drops her off to begin her summer vacation, Heather is overjoyed with the promise of new adventures. While helping her dad weed the garden, she discovers a baby duckling. She begs to adopt the little fluff ball, but her father warns her about the responsibilities of raising a wild animal, particularly the difficulty of letting the duck return to its natural habitat when the time comes. The title reflects his caution that Heather can love the bird but not too much. In a gentle, compassionate voice, the text details the work and joys of protecting and caring for a wild animal. The soft oil illustrations depict idyllic farm life and bucolic splendor, with changing artistic perspectives often focusing on small details made large. This book would be useful as a departure point for discussions about the animal life cycle, relationships among species, taking responsibility, and letting go.—Mary Hazelton, formerly at Warren & Waldoboro Elementary Schools, ME
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-29
It's hard to love just enough to let go…. Based on their experiences running a wildlife refuge, the author-and-illustrator team brings forth a satisfying tale of their daughter's temporary adoption of an abandoned wild wood duck. "The hardest thing you will have to do is not to love him too much," Dad explains when Heather finds the tiny chick she names Mr. Peet. "His true family should be with other ducks. Saying goodbye will be hard." Plaintive, descriptive text and colorful, painterly pictures highlight Heather's evident fondness for Mr. Peet as she cares for him, feeds him, plays with him and teaches him what he needs to know to go back into the wild. When the time comes for Mr. Peet to separate himself and eventually take leave of his human family, it isn't easy for Heather at all, but she finds comfort in what she's done. With support from her father, she feels proud of her accomplishments. Though the telling of the tale is sometimes a bit clunky, readers will step away with a new understanding of animals and conservation. An author's note discusses life at the animal refuge and the imperative that wild animals remain in the wild. Animal lovers will enjoy this straightforward tale with an important message meant to be shared. (Picture book. 5-8)
Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
On the last day of school, Heather jumps off the bus and accompanies her dad to the plush green field on their farm. While her dad pulls weeds, Heather gathers nature treasures. Then she discovers something in the weeds that needs help—small wood duckling hunkered down because it is separated from its family. Together Heather and Dad decide she can take it home and teach it what a wood duck needs to know: how to eat, stay safe, and fly. They know that once that’s done, the duckling needs to go back to live in nature and find its own place. Throughout the summer Heather shows great responsibility caring for the duck and she teaches it well. In the fall, she returns to school and the duck returns to the wild. This heart-warming tale is rich with ideas about the importance of wild things finding their own place in nature. It also shows how small steps and diligent teaching work to accomplish a task. The author uses lovely phrases to tell the tale, using a voice that speaks well to young readers. Compassion, intelligence, and kindness come across. This book is from the “Hazel Ridge Farm” series and gives readers and listeners good ideas about farm life and nature. Heather’s characterization paints situations and feelings in ways with which young people can relate. The beautiful, realistic illustrations add to the text will draw readers back to the book many times. This book and others from the series should be included in school libraries. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury; Ages 6 to 9.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585368396
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
  • Publication date: 3/3/2014
  • Series: The Hazel Ridge Farm Stories
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 587,972
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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