Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyAuch's (Bantam of the Opera) latest fowl farce unfortunately lays an egg. A cover illustration of a duck in front of a Christmas tree, donning a tiara and dancing dress and holding a nutcracker, suggests a laughter-filled lampoon of Tchaikovsky's holiday ballet. But the story, about Clara the duck's search for Christmas, meanders and then disappoints in a contrived ending. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Clara the duck is so impatient to discover the farm animals' secret of Christmas that she puts herself in danger and almost misses the party. Full color.
Children's Literature - Dianne OchiltreeClara, the duckling who is the heroine of this very funny holiday story, hears the other farm animals whispering to each another one winter morning. But no one will tell her what the big secret is! She does, however, catch the word "Christmas" as she eavesdrops in the barnyard. Being a curious and confident young duck, Clara decides to go out and find this thing called Christmas on her own. Children will love her funny misadventures in the woods as she searches. Auch lets young readers share in visual jokes--for example, when Clara sees a "giant monster with huge eyes," kids will readily identify it in the illustration as a harmless farm tractor. Auch's full color illustrations are as cheerful and good-natured as the spirit of the season itself. Kids, and the grownups reading this delightful hardcover book to them, will love looking at the animals' facial expressions and body language--which clue us into what everyone else is really up to as Clara sets off in search of Christmas. The dialogue provides ample opportunity for read-aloud fun, too. When Clara finds out what Christmas is all about, she can't stop grinning--and neither will you!
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