"Splish, clomp, pleep, plop, plunk, sloosh, slosh, slink, zing." Who can resist a read-aloud featuring sounds like these? When, "Down by the marsh, by the sleepy, slimy marsh, one duck gets stuck in the muck," who comes to the rescue? Two fish, splishing, for starters. Then three moose clomping, four crickets pleeping, and so on. Still, "No luck. Still stuck." It takes a whole lot of teamwork to get this particular stuck duck unstuck from the muck, but this cheerful bunch is definitely up to the task.
From one duck to 10 dragonflies, the muddy fun never stops in Phyllis Root's chunky little board book. Young readers will giggle their way through the numbers, and by the time the duck's foot is released with a "Spluck!" counting will be a cinch. Jane Chapman's lush illustrations are full of marshy colors and muddy detail. The right side of each two-page spread shows the hapless duck earnestly waiting for liberation by its lively rescuers, while on the opposite side the featured number is printed, large and bold, over the text, and the splishers and ploppers are depicted again for easy counting. Chapman's enchanting art is also found in The Emperor's Egg, among other titles, and Root's other popular stories include Kiss the Cow!. (Baby to preschool) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Just as the title of this satisfying counting book says, there's one duck stuck (in the muck, as it turns out). Different groups of marshland creatures, from two fish to 10 dragonflies, appear with an offer of help. Each arrival is described with verbal relish: "Nine snakes/ leaving little wakes/ slither to the duck./ Slink, slink." However, no matter what the number or the species, the result is the same: the duck stays stuck. Root's (Mrs. Potter's Pig) wordplay finds an effective visual counterpart in Chapman's (Dora's Eggs) full-bleed gouaches. The illustrator revels in juxtaposing strong colors, so that the hues in her palette pop with a primary-like brightness. But the book does suffer from a major leap in logic: it's never clear how the animals tried to use their distinctive talents in their failed attempts to free the duck. When they all finally gather to effect a joint rescue effort, nothing happens except a recap of the funny noises they make; on the penultimate spread, the duck simply steps out of the goo with a "Spluck!" Will children wonder why the duck didn't extract itself earlier? Probably notAthey'll be too enchanted by Chapman's vibrant pictures and the immensely satisfying sounds and rhythms of Root's text. Ages 2-5.
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