Guide/Reviews Database
Lobel, Anita

Ducks on the Road: A Counting Adventure

(2) PS Mama and Papa Duck are walking down a country road lined with flowers, with their ten little ducklings following behind them--but there aren't ten for long. "The tenth little duck in line turned back to quack, 'Hello, Frog!'" Mama and Papa Duck continue to lead the way, breaking out of the frame of the picture, oblivious to their missing baby. They don't notice when the ninth duckling stops off by an apple tree to say, "Hello, Mouse!" or when the eighth duckling stops to greet a squirrel. Lobel uses gouache, colored pencil, and felt-tip pen in cheery shades of orange and yellow, with a pale blue sky, and her animals are realistic, not cartoonish. She varies the foliage, giving each greeted creature a different type of tree or flower to sit under, and she keeps the landscape interesting with the addition of a fence or curves in the road, which stretches off into the distance. Each of the ten ducklings finds someone to say hello to, including a cat, a dog, a sheep, an owl, and even another duckling. The story's roots may be in the somewhat ominous old children's song "Five Little Ducks," but Lobel keeps the feeling warm, safe, and cozy. In addition to counting the ducklings, children will enjoy making the animal sounds on the final page, with all ten ducklings--plus one--back home in their pond, surrounded by their new animal friends. Even very young children can "read" this book on their own once they know the basic story, but it will also be a great choice for toddler storytime.


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