Saturday, March 15, 2014

Duck, Duck, MOOSE! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quillen

Duck and Duck have it all under control.

It's morning, and the two dapper ducks sit down at their tidy table to sip their first cups of coffee, peruse their newspapers, and...


Moose barges in and takes out the table, sloshing their coffee all over himself, both Ducks, and the tidy tablecloth as well.

Duck and Duck quietly begin to put things to rights. Moose's mess all mopped up, they sweep, do the dishes, polish the silverware, and step back to admire their work, just as Moose returns.


Moose makes another dramatic entrance, this time right through the wall and takes out the table yet again.

Duck and Duck quietly make repairs, paint the repaired wall, and then begin preparing for what looks like a party. Duck makes a lovely cake, while Duck blows up helium balloons and ties on the strings. Just as they have a proper bunch of them, Moose charges in, gets his antlers and hooves tangled in the balloons, and starts to float away. Luckily, Duck brings him down, but Moose chooses the table with its decorated cake as his emergency landing pad!


Crestfallen, Moose is banished from the Ducks' domicile, properly chastened, and Duck and Duck do it all over again inside, hanging garlands, wrapping gifts, mixing punch, and even hanging a pinata. A new cake is baked and frosted, this one with three tiers and bright birthday candles.

Will Moose make it back inside to enjoy his own birthday party before disaster strikes? Yes, and no, in Sudipta Bardhan-Quillen's Duck, Duck, Moose! (Hyperion Books, 2014). Author Bardhan-Quillen makes the most of her words, limited totally to "Duck! Duck! Moose!"  and artist Noah Z. Jones' rowdy illustrations make the best of the bedlam, setting the prim and proper, bow-tied Duck and Duck off against the galloping blunderbuss that is Moose.  There's a surprise ending at the last page turn, with Moose as the Prince of Pratfalls, to keep kids laughing all the way.  "Good fun that gives a whole new meaning to the word 'duck,''' says School Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews sums it up this way: "Two ducks plus one moose equals mayhem, mischief and true friendship. Fun, Fun, Fun!"

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