Make room on your bookshelves for one more duckling book this spring. Eva Moore’s Lucky Ducklings: A True Rescue Story has the feel and look of a modern classic. At the same time, the plot derives from events that occurred in Montauk, NY, in 2000, when the community came together to save some hapless little ducks.
As this charming picture book relates, nature does not exist solely in the country. “The Duck family lived in a pretty pond in a green, green park, in a sunlit little town at the end of a long, long island.” The illustrator Nancy Carpenter beautifully evokes the setting with her muted, watery palette, achieved with charcoal and digital media.
“It’s a fine day for a walk!” Mama Duck proclaims. With simple, rhythmic language, Ms. Moore takes us along with Pippin, Bippin, Tippin, Dippin, and Little Joe as they make their way past overflowing trash cans, head off the curb, and follow Mama over the storm grate. Mama steps across easily, but, oh, my, the ducklings fall through! That could have been the end of the story, the author notes, but, thankfully, it didn’t stop there.
Plenty of folks pitch in to help the little ones; an observant bystander notices what happened and calls for help. Firemen and a tow-truck driver are able to save the ducklings and reunite them with their mama.
The afterward, too, shows how the community prevented other small animals from the same predicament: they replaced the storm drain grate with a new one with smaller openings.
Evocative, simple, and memorable, Lucky Ducklings makes for a fine read-aloud for ages 5 to 7.
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