Booklist Reviews

Papa Duck and his five little ducklings go out to play on Monday, marching "through the woods and far away," until one goes missing. Tuesday through Friday additional ducklings disappear, despite Papa's persistent quacking for their return. Luckily, on Saturday they all return safe and sound. On Sunday all are ready to go again, until Mama Duck insists that everyone take a day to rest. Fleming's version of this familiar finger play features her signature pulp-painting artwork, hued predominantly in blues and greens that contrast nicely with the mallards' brown bodies. The illustrations become an alternate narrative of sorts, detailing the other creatures the birds encounter, and suggesting the sources of the fledglings' distractions. A final spread offers additional information about mallards and the other key characters (frogs, flying squirrels, wild turkeys, box turtles, pigs, and a young child) and identifies the other depicted animals. This is a natural fit for toddler story hours or one-on-one sharing; the inclusion of a male primary caregiver is an added bonus. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews

Listeners familiar with the nursery rhyme know the plot line: every day ducks go out; every day the returning group shrinks by one. But the particulars--highlighted in glorious pulp-painted illustrations and chock-full of opportunities for participation--create a multilayered adventure. The book is filled with the wonder of the natural world alongside practical information such as counting and days of the week; animal picture glossary appended. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews

Listeners familiar with the traditional nursery rhyme and song know the general plotline: every day ducks go out; every day the returning group shrinks by one. But the particulars--highlighted in glorious full-bleed, pulp-painted illustrations and chock-full of opportunities for listener participation--create a multilayered adventure for preschoolers. Glorious endpapers, showing pond grasses, lily pads, a frog, a couple of dragonflies, and a pair of turtles, not only signal the ducks' habitat but also provide an opportunity to identify some of the creatures that live there. On the first spread: "5 little ducks went out Monday," accompanied by Papa Duck. They leave their familiar pond and enter the neighboring woods, where they encounter even more wildlife (butterflies, deer, rabbit, flying squirrel). Papa Duck calls, "Quack, quack, quack," but as we expect, "only 4 little ducks came back." The fifth duck is partially hidden in the illustration, creating a pattern for the decreasing numbers that continues through Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday--when we see a little girl playing in her plastic pool, now with a ducky friend. All ends well for the duck family members, and on Sunday they rest. Here's a journey worth taking, filled with the wonder and grandeur of the natural world alongside practical information such as counting and days of the week. Back matter provides a picture glossary, identifying many of the creatures from the story. betty carter Copyright 2016 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews

A traditional rhyme serves as the basis for an adaptation with an expanded worldview.As in the original, the story begins with five ducklings and a parent. But this time it's Papa Duck doing the calling. The little ducks' adventures take place over a week, with one fewer returning home each day. Rather than always going "over the hills and far away," however, these five little ducks enjoy exploring new places and meeting new friends. They have fun playing in the woods with a winsome flying squirrel, frolicking with wild turkey chicks, imitating a turtle, wallowing in the mud, and splashing in a kiddie pool. On Saturday, however, all five respond to their father's call, and the family is reunited just in time to share a day of rest on Sunday (mandated by Mama Duck). Two pages of information follow, offering close-up portraits and basic facts about some of the animals featured. As always, Fleming's artwork, created by pulp painting with pastel pencil accents, is lively and appealing. Her clever tweaks to the familiar text allow her to showcase a variety of natural environments. Whether it's a panorama of farmland or a shadowy woodland glade, each double-page spread offers plenty of intriguing details limned in bright colors. Packed with personality and charm, these five ducklings will waddle their ways into the hearts of readers and listeners. (Picture book. 2-6) Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Fleming (Maggie and Michael Get Dressed) infuses a well-loved nursery song with the vivid hues of her signature pulp-painting illustrations in this joyful interpretation. The five tiny members of a mallard family waddle away from Papa Duck on Monday, headed "through the woods and far away," but only four return when Papa calls them home with a "Quack, quack, quack!" The pattern repeats as the week rolls on, and also through a series of outdoor scenes—"past the paddock," "across the fields," and "down the road"—giving a strong sense of the ducks' rural environs. By Saturday, the family is reunited, and on Sunday everyone follows Mama Duck's advice: "Today is the day we all rest!" In addition to incorporating the days of the week into this adaptation, Fleming introduces farm and woodland animals (flying squirrels, wild turkeys, pigs, and more), further expanding the ducks' world and readers' experience. A closing section identifies these animals, as well as a girl named Anna, who splashes around with one duck in her wading pool on Friday. A fresh rendition of a favorite. Up to age 8. (Nov.)

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School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 1—This stunning version of the familiar children's song features a quacking father duck and ducklings who travel not just "over the hill" but "through the woods," "past the paddock," "across the fields," and "down the road" on successive days of the week. By Saturday all are gone until they heed sad Papa Duck's final "quack, quack, quack!" and come running home. On Sunday, Mama Duck suggests that the family rest. Fleming's signature pulp paper paintings bleed to the edges of every spread, providing vibrant textured backdrops for the ducks' adventures. In a brilliant use of color to represent various environments and temperatures, her speckled skies change from the cool blues of the pond to deep forest green to bright blue and then the yellow of a sun-hot day on the farm. Several creatures, including a less familiar flying squirrel, share scenes with the ducks, and some appear repeatedly. A huge, multicolored turkey spills over two pages, as do a group of pigs contentedly wallowing in mud. Papa Duck's wings are outstretched to welcome his little wanderers just back from their final encounter—charming young Anna in her wading pool. VERDICT Large, repetitive text that invites participation; the opportunity to learn the days of the week; and interesting back matter that contains brief information about the ducks and other animals in the book make this a great storytime choice for all libraries.—Marianne Saccardi, Children's Literature Consultant, Cambridge, MA. Copyright 2016 School Library Journal.