Webster J. Duck

( 1 )

Overview

A search for love and reassurance—from master storyteller Martin Waddell.

When little Webster J. Duck cracks open his egg, he’s all alone. "Where’s my mother?" Webster wonders, and sets off to find her. Though he meets some waggly, woolly, very friendly animals along the way, his mother is nowhere to be seen. It looks as if Webster is all alone-until his new friends lend a helping hand. With delightful illustrations by David Parkins, master storyteller Martin Waddell celebrates ...

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Overview

A search for love and reassurance—from master storyteller Martin Waddell.

When little Webster J. Duck cracks open his egg, he’s all alone. "Where’s my mother?" Webster wonders, and sets off to find her. Though he meets some waggly, woolly, very friendly animals along the way, his mother is nowhere to be seen. It looks as if Webster is all alone-until his new friends lend a helping hand. With delightful illustrations by David Parkins, master storyteller Martin Waddell celebrates the wonderful feeling of being found by someone you love.

Webster J. Duck turns to several animals when he tries to find his mother.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Whether it be in a park or the friendly neighborhood supermarket, it can be a terrifying experience for a child to lose sight of her mother. Webster J. Duck's experience is even worse—his mother is nowhere to be seen when he first cracks open his egg and enters the world. The courageous duckling sets off to find his mother. He meets a wooly duck that says "baa," a waggly-tailed duck that says "bow-wow," and a big-eared duck that says "moo." Nowhere, however, can he find a duck that says "quack." In the way of all good picture books, Webster's mother does return. The delight on both Webster's face and his mother's is palpable. The gentle watercolors are as comforting as the text. They are very focused with few extraneous details, appropriate for the very young reader, as is the simple word repetition. Read before playtime or naptime, this book assures the child that she can depend on her mother's presence. 2001, Candlewick Press, $13.99. Ages 18 mo. to 4. Reviewer:Stephanie Farrow
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Waddell's solid pacing and concrete imagery are wasted on this hackneyed plot of a baby duck in search of his mother. Parkins uses pastel watercolor and pencil for endearing portraits of the hatchling in appealing postures and to depict friendly farm animals that assist in the successful hunt. Fine turns of phrase ("feathers were shiny with tiny duck tears") are offset by unanswered questions-children never do learn where the mother has been. Lovely springtime fare to behold, but nothing fresh or innovative.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Webster J. Duck emerges from his egg a beguiling, web-footed, and fuzzyheaded yellow duckling who has not yet seen his mother. Mother Duck seems to be nowhere in sight. When Webster sets off to find her, he meets in turn a dog, a sheep, and a cow, or, as he thinks of them, a Duck with a Waggly Tail, a Big Woolly Duck, and a Bigger Big Duck. They offer barks and baas and moos to his questioning "quack-quack?," but the newly hatched Webster, unlike his literary antecedents, has his wits about him. He knows that these other creatures could not be his mother: "My mother would go ‘quack-quack' like me!" But where is she? Poor Webster is soon in tears, and though the larger animals try to help by calling for the mother duck in their own languages, Webster is the very picture of a duckling in despair. Mother Duck appears at last, and Webster swims off with her. Gentle watercolor and pencil paintings suffuse the meadow and Webster's reedy birthplace on the bank of the lake with the warmth of a summer day. The illustrations go right to the edge of the page, and the text, in a clear, agreeable, good-sized font, is beautifully laid out, a complement to the pictures-giving a classic, harmonious look to the overall result. Pair this with Waddell's equally reassuring Owl Babies (1996) for comfort night and day. Simple, sweetly humorous, and just ducky. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763624316
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 1/14/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 714,201
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.95 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Waddell is the author of many well-loved books for children, including A KITTEN CALLED MOONLIGHT; CAN'T YOU SLEEP, LITTLE BEAR? (one of four tales about Big Bear and Little Bear); FARMER DUCK; OWL BABIES; and WHO DO YOU LOVE? He says, "WEBSTER J. DUCK is a sunny story, born of long holiday with my children by a lake on the river Shannon in Ireland. We saw a nest in the reeds and a watchful cow in the mud by the lakeside. In that moment, Webster's story was born."

David Parkins is also the illustrator of AUNT NANCY AND OLD MAN TROUBLE and AUNT NANCY AND COUSIN LAZY-BONES by Phyllis Root, as well as Dick King-Smith's chapter books SOPHIE'S TOM, SOPHIE HITS SIX, SOPHIE IN THE SADDLE, SOPHIE IS SEVEN, and SOPHIE'S LUCKY.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2001

    A WARM, FUZZY REMINDER OF MOTHER LOVE

    Few children's stories are more affecting than those concerning mother and child. Add to that scenario an adorable baby duck, and you have a sure winner. Such is the case with Martin Waddell's latest. When tiny Webster J. Duck became restless he tapped on his eggshell with his beak. Crack went the shell and Webster got his first glimpse of a very large world. But Webster was puzzled because he didn't see his mother, and he thought that all baby ducks had a mother. He quacked and quacked, but she didn't come so he set off to find her. In his search he found friends with wiggly tails, and wool for coats. Webster was sure none of them were his mother. Of course, the story has a happy ending, and is reassuring to young ears. It's a warm, fuzzy reminder that mother's love them and are nearby.

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