Holt/Godwin Bks. Feb. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250127099.
Toddler-PreS–Four little ducks are quacking along when one gets distracted and wanders off. The poor thing isn’t gone long, but when it turns around there are “no ducks!” Hearing a sound, he investigates. Sadly, there are “no ducks” again. Trail after trail leads to the same, prompting various exaggerated expressions from the cartoonish character. This happens until an idea strikes, and a heartfelt family reunion occurs. Underwood’s (The Panda Problem, The Quiet Book) latest has a minimalist aesthetic, both in terms of text and illustrations, that works magnificently for toddlers. Everything has a solid blue, orange, white, or black color, including the repeating phrases and onomatopoeia words which are boldly splattered every few pages. Spreads follow the formulaic question-and-response format, which, along with other elements such as clues, offer plenty of opportunities to interact with a storytime audience.
VERDICT Caregivers may recognize their own wandering toddler in this funny, yet reassuring title. An excellent read-aloud choice for home and in larger groups.

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