FICTION

Quackers

illus. by Liz Wong. 40p. ebook available. Knopf. Mar. 2016. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780553511543.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 1—Quackers is a cat convinced that he is a duck because he lives at a pond where everyone he knows is clearly a duck. Still, he often feels out of place because he meows instead of quacking, doesn't care for the dinner options (particularly duckweed), and especially hates getting wet. When Quackers unexpectedly meets "a strange duck" named Mittens, he is overjoyed to befriend another creature who understands him, shares a common desire to chase mice, and drinks milk instead of (yucky) duckweed. When Mittens sets him straight about his identity, Quackers feels right at home with the other felines, until he misses his winged friends. Ultimately, he discovers that he is fully able to maintain a dual identity as both cat and duck, which makes him happiest of all. Wong's delightful blend of both digital and watercolor illustrations, featuring the sweet orange tabby who radically sticks out in the vast midst of identical white ducks, perfectly captures the sweet silliness of this story. The simplicity of the illustrations, encompassing little more than black dots for eyes, never detracts from the expressiveness of the main character. Children will appreciate Quackers's quirky dilemma, and the underlying message that friends do not have to be all the same will surely not be lost on young listeners.
VERDICT A humorous picture book story about the value of friendship despite differences.

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