Surrogate Mom: Waddles by David McPhaIl
WADDLES WALKED LIKE A DUCK. BUT HE WAS NOT A DUCK.
EVERY DAY WADDLES WALKED DOWN TO THE POND TO VISIT WITH HIS BEST FRIEND EMILY. EMILY WAS A DUCK.
Waddles is a raccoon whose waddle comes not from hanging out with Emily but from his big appetite. He and Emily spend their days together, foraging for food in the pond--and occasionally Emily keeps Waddles company while he searches a few trash cans for more exotic fare. The spring days pass happily.
Then Emily says it's time to lay her eggs, and soon she's sitting on her clutch contentedly--until, watching Waddles taking his morning dip, she begins to yearn for a swim, too. Waddles agrees that his round tummy and fuzzy fur is a good substitute for feathers and gladly agrees to stand in, er, sit in, for Emily while she hits the water.
Just as Waddles settles in, thinking this job is a piece of cake, he finds himself confronting a hungry red fox with a yen for eggs for breakfast. But bravely Waddles summons his best raccoon growl, and the fox decides his chosen breakfast is not a piece of cake and skedaddles. Just in time, too, because Waddles begins to experience a strange feeling under his derriere.
SOON FIVE LITTLE DUCKLINGS POKED THEIR HEADS OUT OF THEIR SHELLS AND BEGAN TO CHIRP.
"LET'S GO FIND YOUR MOTHER!" WADDLES TOLD THE DUCKLINGS.
Emily may be their mother, but since Waddles' is the first face they see, the ducklings are permanently imprinted on Waddles, too, and he is just as proud as is Emily of the fine family.
Summer and early autumn pass joyfully as the ducklings grow, and then Emily has another surprise for Waddles--it's time for mallard to immigrate to the south for the winter. Waddles is sad and spends a long, dreary winter alone at the pond. Then comes spring and Emily's little flock returns, now all grown up, and they all celebrate with a swim in their pond.
Notable author-illustrator David McPhail's latest, Waddles features the gentle storytelling and beloved soft pen and watercolor illustrations that have delighted generations of youngsters. This is a fine book for springtime reading or for preschool units on the changing seasons and introduces a new character to McPhail's menagerie.