From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K–In this newly illustrated version of the classic song, the ducklings become distracted by creatures in their environs and wander away from their mother. When fewer and fewer of her offspring return, she looks increasingly forlorn and anxious. When the sad mother duck goes out for her final Quack, quack, quack, all of the youngsters return, each one bearing her a gift from their adventures. Batess muted watercolors bring a lively energy, reminiscent of Robert McCloskeys ducklings, to this beloved song. The artists sweet and nostalgic adaptation is unique for its gentle and warm tone. Some young children may confuse the brown markings on the ducklings for mud, but this bit of realism will also help them tell one yellow duck from another.–Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
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PreS. There are two familiar ditties known by the title "Five Little Ducks"; presented here, along with its musical notation, is the counting song about a mother who loses track of her distractible ducklings. British illustrator Bates, whose watercolors resemble those of Sam Williams (Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck,
2000), clearly represents the subtractive concepts as each of five ducklings wanders off one by one, although some young readers may be baffled by Mother's merry continuation despite her diminishing brood. All is swiftly set to rights, though, when Mother's final, plaintive "Quack, quack, quack" brings the prodigal ducklings "waddling back"--each bearing gifts for Mother. Although more literal and visually staid than Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey's version (1989) in the Raffi Songs to Read series, this one's pastel hues will plug especially well into springtime themes, and new perspectives on favorite songs can always find a place in the storytime circuit. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved