Monday, July 9, 2012

Happiness is...a good book (Summer Reading edition #11)

The Duckling Gets a Cookie
Author and Illustrator: Mo Willems
Published: 2012
Pages: 32
Age Range: 2+
Genre: Picture Book
Cover Score: ****
Overall Score: ****
Rating: G

First sentence: (From the title page.) I do not like the look of that title.

After pigeon's initial declaration of foreboding we see duckling 'scooty scoot, scoot' onto the page and politely ask for a cookie. One miraculously falls from the sky (it even has nuts!) and he's most grateful. Pigeon comes along and throws a pigeon-like fit listing all the things he asks for (all the time) and fails to get, sort of like a 'best of Pigeon books' moment. It all ends with a pigeon-sized pout. Duckling takes it all in stride and when he's yelled at one more time he confesses he got the cookie so he could give it to pigeon. Pigeon is knocked momentarily speechless. He thanks Duckling and walks away munching on the cookie and singing Ducklings praises. When he's gone Duckling looks out at the audience and politely asks for another cookie. This time with no nuts!

Willems' comic timing is golden, his deceptively simple sketches convey more emotion and meaning than most of today's working actors, his story lines cut right tot he heart of the drama and angst of being a child, he can pretty much do no wrong! If for some reason you've been living under a rock for the last 10 years and haven't seen or heard of these books (or Knuffle Bunny or my personal faves Elephant and Piggie) get thee to a bookstore or your local library stat!


  1. There's a new Elephant and Piggie book coming out in the fall along with another book about 3 Dinosaurs akin to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Jack is apparently stacking all of the Elephant and Piggie books in his bed and doing dramatic readings sometimes on his own and sometimes with the assistance of others. Amy said sometimes he reads the role of Gerald and then will have someone else read the role of Piggie. Gerald and Piggie live on in the Hatcher household!

  2. Ever see Mo emcee a bunch of librarians in an all-out book cart drill? Now THAT's comic timing.

    These books are some of my standard go-to shower gifts. They always win.