Monday, June 05, 2017

Quacker Tracker: What Is Chasing Duck? by Jan Thomas

Duck is clearly freaking out.


Sheep is spooked.  What could turn Duck's waddle into a mad dash? Could it be something ...


Her imagination summons up a something with big claws.

Sheep stampedes!

Both of them scamper, page right, almost colliding with Donkey, who asks the logical question...


Donkey is disturbed. What could be frightful enough to get Duck's feathers and Sheep's fleece all aflutter?

Something with terrible teeth? Donkey conjures up a mental image of a gaping mouth with sharp incisors! Egad!

Donkey dashes, page right, with Sheep and Duck leading the way.

But then they run right into Bear, who refuses to flee what he cannot see. Buck up, he counsels!


But big, burly Bear does not offer to defend Duck and Sheep. He suggests Donkey do that. Suddenly, Duck sounds the alarm with a extra loud QUACK. He points at his pursuer!


The three friends relax. Then they look at their alarmist friend, Duck, who is feeling rather foolish. After all, what's more harmless than a squirrel bearing an acorn... and... a turnip? What's with the turnip? Read on, kids....!

It's all been much ado about nothing. In this clever re-run of the Chicken Little trope, Jan Thomas's What Is Chasing Duck? (The Giggle Gang) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), the author has a rib-tickling conclusion in which she turns the tables on the supercilious squirrel when it's his turn to scarper from a mystery pursuer. Thomas's fearful friends are drawn in charmingly simple cartoon style, with blackline drawings set against a series of double-page spreads in strong colors, paced with crafty page turns to heighten the suspense. This silly "noodle" tale with its ditzy critters makes for a fun and easy outing for emergent readers with a lighthearted premise of first facing fears before taking flight.

Other books in the Giggle Gang series include There's a Pest in the Garden! (The Giggle Gang),My Toothbrush Is Missing! (The Giggle Gang), and My Friends Make Me Happy! (The Giggle Gang).

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