Chloe Douglass, Author and Illustrator
Magination Press, Fiction, Sep. 8, 2020
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes: Animals, Band, Making Friends, Social anxiety, Self-esteem, Courage
Opening: “Duck lived by himself. Most days Duck fished, ate lunch, combed the beach, made tea by himself…”
Book Jacket Synopsis:
Duck is a solo act. He loves the peace and solitude of his beachside home, strumming his ukulele beneath the stars. After helping stranded band players, Bear, Fox, and Seagull, fix their broken-down tour van, he has tons of fun playing songs and hanging out with his new friends.
Maybe he could ask The Band if they want to play with him again. But why would they want to be friends with Duck?
When Seagull gets sick, it looks like the concert will get cancelled. Or will Duck drum up the courage and accept Bear’s invitation to join The Band? Will Duck help his new friends out?
Why I like this book:
Chloe Douglass has written an engaging book for children who are shy about making new friends and suffer social anxiety. Some may wonder if they are good enough. Sometimes it may be easier to do things by yourself and not risk being rejected. It may be the safer path, but a lonely one as Duck discovers. Once Duck meets Bear, Fox and Seagull and gets a taste of what it’s like to have friends, he has to find the courage inside himself to take the next step. When they ask him to join the band and play in their concert, Duck says no. But then he remembers the fun he had. Just maybe…
Douglass’s illustrations are delightful! There is a double spread in the middle of the book free of words. Douglass shows Duck deep in thought and her warm illustrations support the moment of Duck’s deep contemplation. You can almost hear Duck thinking out loud. Encourage children to fill in his thoughts with their words because they will know what he’s feeling.
Make sure you check out the fun endpapers because Douglass has illustrated a multitude of singers as animals – Justin Beaver, Alpaca Morrissette, Amy Winegrouse and many others.
Resources: This book is a wonderful resource for home and school. Ask kids if they ever feel like Duck. Encourage them to talk about what makes them anxious about social settings and making new friends. Ask them what would help them to step outside of his comfort zone? Help them make a list of the things they may try. After all, they don’t want to miss out on the fun.
Chloe Douglass works in her home studio to create illustrations, character designs, and story ideas. She graduated from Kingston University with and MA Illustration degree. She lives in Tooting, London. Visit her at her website.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Reviewed from a copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a review.