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Duck on a Bike Hardcover – April 1, 2002
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When Duck gets the zany idea to ride a bike one day, each animal on the farm has a reaction. "M-o-o-o," says Cow. But what she's really thinking is, "A duck on a bike? That's the silliest thing I've ever seen!" Pig and Pig say "Oink," thinking all the while, "Duck is such a show-off!" But it's not until a crew of kids shows up and leaves their bikes lying about that the true feelings of all the animals come to light, and for one brief, glorious moment, the farm is a mad, mad world of two-wheeling road hogs (and chickens and horses and goats). David Shannon, the creator of Caldecott Honor Book, No, David!, fills the pages of this barnyard romp with sun-soaked color, charming animals, and unusual perspectives. We see Cat, for example, looming belly-first in the foreground, with Duck merrily pedaling away in the distance. The story itself is nothing to write home about--No, David! is far snappier and more original--but younger kids may well enjoy the repetitive crescendo and the goofy finale. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Shannon serves up a sunny blend of humor and action in this delightful tale of a Duck who spies a red bicycle one day and gets "a wild idea." Sure enough, in no time flat, he's tooling around the farmyard. A succession of his barnyard friends greet him politely enough, but their private responses range from scornful ("That's the silliest thing I've ever seen," from Cow) to boastful ("You're still not as fast as me," from Horse) to wistful ("I wish I could ride a bike just like Duck," from Mouse). Then a herd of kids rides down the road in a blur of dust; they park their bikes and head indoors. A wordless spread records the sublime moment when the animals all gather with identical wide-eyed looks and sly smiles. Readers can almost see what they're thinking, and sure enough, the next spread shows them all zipping around on bikes, with Duck in the lead. Shannon makes the most of awkward appendages on wheels and handlebars, and deftly balances clean compositions with just the right amount of detail. Varying perspectives including the chicken's-eye-view of Duck's bike wheel looming large provide plenty of good-natured dash. Add to all this the abundant opportunity for youngsters to chime in with barnyard responses ("M-o-o-o"; "Cluck! Cluck!"), and the result is one swell read-aloud, packed with freewheeling fun. Ages 3-up.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.