by Randy Cecil

“Duck was a carousel animal who longed to fly. She knew her carved wooden wings... read more

“Duck was a carousel animal who longed to fly. She knew her carved wooden wings were not made for flying. But she couldn’t stop thinking about it, even when the carousel was whirling around.” There is a hole in Duck’s heart—both literal and figurative—and Randy Cecil’s text and images convey her longing with equal parts poignancy and humor. Textured oil paints capture the whimsy and at the same time cast a slightly somber shadow. One day, Duck’s daydreams are deferred when a small yellow duckling turns up at the park, walks right up to Duck, and announces himself with an affirmative “Quack!” Duck and Duckling are together from that moment on. As Duckling’s feathers turn from fuzzy and yellow to mature and white, Duck realizes that while Duckling can learn to play and hunt for bugs from her, he can never learn to fly. Duck seeks out a flock of fliers, and in a tender moment of truth, she sends Duckling up, up, up, soaring away into the clouds, her rainbow scarf around his neck, while she stays rooted to the ground. In what could have been a bittersweet conclusion to this tale of love and loss, Duckling returns to Duck the following spring to tie up loose ends…with the rainbow scarf, of course. (Ages 3–7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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