BooksForKidsBlog

Friday, December 03, 2021

And A Ducky New Year! A Very Quacky Christmas by Francis Watts

SAMANTHA DUCK WAS GETTING READY FOR CHRISTMAS. "WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS," SHE SANG, AS SHE WRAPPED TINSEL AROUND THE REEDS.

Her very sensible friend Sebastian the turtle was bemused.

"CHRISTMAS IS NOT FOR ANIMALS," HE OBSERVED.

But Samantha is not deterred by his nay-saying. Soon there are ornamnents hanging on most of the trees. She hangs her Christmas stocking. She informs Sebastian that she is going to give presents to animals all over the world! Sebastian repeats his injunction that animals don't do Christmas.

"CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT GIVING AND SHARING, ISN'T IT?

AND ANIMALS LIKE TO GIVE AND SHARE, DON'T THEY?" ASKED SAMANTHA.

Sebastian reluctantly agrees. Well, then, that's settled. Samantha suggests that Sebastian has to help her make and deliver all those gifts.

It's a case of Sense and Sensibility. Sebastian has huge doubts, but Samantha feels that giving gifts around the world is the thing to do and do-able, besides. And when the animals of the farm hear Samantha's idea, they pitch right in. The sheep give wool and Samanatha (and Sebastian) knit socks and scarves. The chickens lay lots of eggs and Samantha makes Christmas goodies. The cows donate daisies from their pasture and Samantha and Sebastian make dozens and dozens of daisy chains. Donkey offers his cart to deliver the gifts and all pitch in to load the gifts into his wagon. But Sebastian points out an apparent delivery problem.

"WE'LL MAKE A BIG RUN, SAMANTHA SUGGESTED, "AND I'LL FLAP MY WINGS AND WE'LL FLY."

"ABSURD!" SAID SEBASTIAN. "IT'LL NEVER WORK!"

Samantha flaps furiously, but the lift-off fails twice. Perhaps Sebastian was right from the beginning, she thinks sadly.

"NO, YOU WERE RIGHT!" SAID SEBASTIAN. "CHRISTMAS IS FOR ANIMALS. LET'S GIVE IT ONE MORE TRY."

And before the evening star has risen to its meridian, the cart rises in the sky and the two stand-in Santas are on the way to bring Christmas to animals all over the world....

And it's a quacky New Year" all around as well, in Frances Watts' plucky, ducky story, A Very Quacky Christmas (Doubleday Books). Author Watts is assisted by the award-winning Aussie illustrator Ann James' fine line drawings that puts the emphasis on the two benefactors' good intentions. Says School Library Journal, "Giving and sharing never had a better advertisement than this sweet farm story."

Share this one with Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin's wacky, quacky Christmas farm yarn with another jolly substitute Santa Duck, Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! (A Click Clack Book). (See my review here.)

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