Monday, July 9, 2012
Happiness is...a good book (Summer Reading edition #11)
The Duckling Gets a Cookie
Author and Illustrator: Mo Willems
Age Range: 2+
Genre: Picture Book
Cover Score: ****
Overall Score: ****
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!