DO NOT DISTURB! Duck's Vacation by Gilad Soffer
JUST ME AND THE SEA.
THE PERFECT VACATION."
Duck's got it done in the sun in the South Seas (Bora Bora, if you can read the passport stamp on the cover). He's got the comfy canvas folding chair. He's got the tall tropical drink with the little fruited umbrella. He's got an ice cream cone in his hand. He's got sun glasses and a big red and yellow beach--
"WHOA! "WHO TURNED THE PAGE?"
Somebody must've. His sun glasses and ice cream cone are in the sand and...
"OH. IT'S YOU."
Duck's beady eyes are on the reader, that reckless page turner who--
With the riffle of a page the fantasy fourth wall that keeps the reader out of the book comes down. Duck tries to regain control of his vacation.
"DO. NOT. TURN. ANY. MORE. PAGES."
But the cat is out of the metafictional bag by now. In short order, the crab on the beach attacks Duck's foot, a seagull makes an, er, deposit on his head, two paddle ball players use Duck for a net, and a mob of blubbery beachgoers descend to his piece of sand to have a gab session all around poor Duck.
FINE! TURN THE PAGE.
IT CAN'T POSSIBLY GET WORSE.
But Duck misses the warning signs. Dark clouds are gathering and even an octopus in the shallows opens his umbrella. A freakish snow covers the sand and penguins waddle out of the water. But one more page turn brings back the sunny scene of sandy beach and blue seas with a tall sailing ship offshore. Duck relaxes.
"I COULD STAY ON THIS PAGE FOREVER."
Or not. A longboat full of pirates rows to shore from the ship, promptly plop Duck into a stew pot, and prepare to dine on duck soup. Duck regrets his previous statement.
"THIS WOULD BE THE PERFECT TIME TO TURN THE PAGE." HE WHISPERS.
Gilad Soffer's jolly Duck's Vacation (Feiwel and Friends, 2015) adds one more infectiously witty metabook to the growing number of authors who think outside the book. Not since Mo Willems' We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) and Herve Tullet's Press Here have readers been invited into the metafictional merriment with more elan, almost hearing Donald Duck's voice sputtering out Duck's orders. Soffer's comic illustrations are spot on, and kids will love the surprise ending in which the privateers, all ready to rock and roll in the perfect place for piracy, are foiled by those most deadly of words on the next page: