Averting Cat-astrophe! Just A Duck? by Carin Bramsen
"MY GOOD FRIEND DUCK! WHY DO YOU SLINK LIKE THAT? SAID CAT.
I AM A CAT," SAID DUCK.
"BUT YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE ME.
I WILL, WHEN I GROW UP. YOU'LL SEE!" SAID DUCK.
Cat and Duck are best friends, and Duck wants to do everything Cat can do.
But cat can do some intimidating things. Slinking is the easiest of them, as the little duckling ducks his fuzzy head low and waddles unseen through the tall grass.
Cat points out that Duck doesn't seem to have two pointy ears. He doesn't seem to have any ears!
Duck is undeterred, and the empathetic Cat rushes to reassure his friend. Maybe duck will grow some ears soon, he suggests.
To encourage his friend, he promises to show him his favorite tree.
"I'LL RACE YOU TO THE TOP!" HE SAYS. "LET'S GO!"
But climbing a tree is a no-go for webbed feet. Duck quickly finds himself on his back on the ground, looking up at Cat in the tree. It seems claws are required for climbing.
"YOUR CLAWS MIGHT NEED SOME TIME TO GROW," CAT SAYS HOPEFULLY.
The two agree that while they wait for Duck's ears and claws to grow, they will do something they can both do already. Cat suggests a game of chase, and when Cat gets too close, Duck flutters into the lake. Cat leaps after him, and ....
Cat struggles in the chilly water and manages to clamber precariously up on a log, His fur is bedraggled and his eyes are wild.
Duck paddles speedily to Cat, gently pushing the log toward the shore, where Cat makes his trademark leap for the land. Duck swims up and beaches himself neatly, and Cat is agog at his friend's swimming.
"ARE YOU SOME SORT OF SUPERCAT?" HE ASKS HIS WEB-FOOTED FRIEND.
But Duck has to tell it like it is. He's just a duck who can do what ducks do, in Carin Bramsen's sweet story of unlikely friends, Just a Duck? (Random House, 2015). Sometimes opposites attract, and readers know that somehow this odd couple will be combining their talents in more adventures to come. Bramsen's illustrations are soft and textured, with big baby eyes and AWWWW-inspiring charm that is nigh irresistible. Youngsters will identify with the problem of accepting differences with their playmates. Not everybody is good at everything friends can do, but as Duck's water rescue proves, different strokes for different folks can often get the job done.
Pair this one with its predecessor, Hey, Duck! for a ducky spring duo.
"A gently funny story of the differences, similarities, and compromises that make for rewarding friendships," says Publishers Weekly.