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Wrong Way

Wrong Way

by Mark Macleod, Judith Rossell

Sometimes a day out doesn't turn out according to plan. But when one little duck wants to make a big splash all by himself, the wrong way to do things turns out to be just right!


Sometimes a day out doesn't turn out according to plan. But when one little duck wants to make a big splash all by himself, the wrong way to do things turns out to be just right!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wrong Way is the name of a duckling problem child. He “always wanted to do things differently,” writes Australian author Macleod, as Rossell shows the antihero lolling on the grass, in striking contrast to his keenly attentive siblings, Right Way and Your Way. A journey to the pond offers more opportunities for Wrong Way to assert his gleeful individuality—and seeming indestructibility. By book’s end, the duckling’s firm but loving mother has accepted that Wrong Way just quacks to a different drummer. “I think we’d better call you My Way,” she says. “Now let’s get a move on!” Rossell excels at portraying the ducks’ downy, webby adorability, and her initial portrayal of family dynamics is promising. But even though Macleod hands her a steady stream of comic cues (“Wrong Way grinned... and popped the snail into his mouth with a little quack”), there’s an inherent placidness to her watercolor and pencil drawings that puts a damper on the physical humor and clash of personalities driving the story. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Jodell Sadler
Great duck names like Right Way, Your Way, and Wrong Way start this fun tale just right, and clearly let the reader know this book is all about learning which way is right. But what happens to the one duck, Wrong Way, who wants to be different? Wrong Way is stubborn, curious, and mischievous. Mama duck pampers him. Mama gives him a ride as disaster strikes, and Wrong Way is tossed off his mother's back. But this time, Mama and her other ducklings will not wait, so Wrong Way must decide if he will do things right. When Wrong Way waddles to catch up, readers believe he just might. Until they discover that Wrong Way is splashing into the pond differently, swimming on his back differently, and following Mama the way he wants to. Unlike the other ducklings, he is simply different, and discovers that sometimes "the wrong way to do things turns out to be just right!" Reviewer: Jodell Sadler
School Library Journal
Gr 1—This book has lively watercolor illustrations and charming ducks, but the text is wordy and confusing. It focuses on three baby ducks: obedient Right Way and Your Way, and their brother, Wrong Way, who clearly marches to the beat of a different drummer. Despite nearly getting hit by a car and then getting lost, the independent duckling eventually joins the rest of the family at the pond. Their mother instructs her children to slide into the water gently and kick their legs as fast as they can. Wrong Way makes a big show of jumping in and swims on his back. "That's the wrong way to cross the pond," says his mother. The duckling replies, "It's just different and it's fun." The story ends with Mother Duck suggesting that she change his name to My Way. This is supposed to be an affirming message but one has to wonder why a parent would name a child Wrong Way to begin with. Stick with Jonathan Emmett's Ruby in Her Own Time (Scholastic, 2004) or Jane Simmons's Come Along, Daisy! (Little, Brown, 1998) for stories about ducks with minds of their own.—Kathy Buchsbaum, Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A mother duck's instructive intentions are interrupted by one of her mischievous ducklings and his wayward ways. A duck family of four sets out for the pond and a beginning swim lesson. Ducklings Right Way and Your Way follow obediently, while Wrong Way promptly refuses to comply, plopping down in the middle of the path, diving into the bushes to retrieve a juicy snail, splashing through a puddle and otherwise slowing the trip down for all. "At this rate, we'll never make it to the pond…. I'd better carry you, I suppose" is mother duck's exasperated response. But when a passing car forces everyone to quickly flap out of its path, Wrong Way, who wasn't paying attention, is blown, tossed and tumbled onto his back and left behind. Eager to catch up, he rushes right past his family and splashes out into the middle of the pond. Recognizing his unorthodox ways, mother finally acknowledges that her little impish duckling should be renamed My Way. Light charcoal sketches infused with green and yellow muted watercolor washes adroitly depict the humorous scenarios, yet the unfortunate choice of names creates a level of didactic moralizing that spoils the overall theme of individuality in a large family. A mediocre substitute for the eloquent simplicity of Nancy Tafuri's definitive Have You Seen My Duckling or even the classic Story About Ping. (Picture book. 3-5)

Product Details

Kane/Miller Book Publishers
Publication date:
Picture Bks
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

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