D is for Duck!
written and illustrated by David Melling
2017 (Kane Miller)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Panic Quick (Quack) Run!
33 words. That's all that is in this book. Oh, and the words are mostly in alphabetical order. It's going to take some magic to pull off an engaging story. Our protagonist duck magician starts with Abracadabra. Following in order from the top hat are a Bunny and a Chicken. I'm pretty sure you can guess who represents the letter D. From this point on, the magic show goes sideways. When an Egg appears, all sorts of possibilities present themselves. It's the letter J that puts Duck in a jam and that's not what comes out of the hat. One of the hidden joys of this book is a constant stream of cause and effect. If a gargantuan Lion appears, you have to do something! This would be such a fun text for a mini-lesson to teach cause and effect. Another enjoyable aspect of this book is the surprise element. The letter N signals the end of one problem only for O to present a new one. Which sets the table for preK - 1st grade brains to put their prediction hats on. X can be a throwaway in alphabet books, but here it's a highlight of the book. One final surprise in the end will zing readers with delight.
With just 33 words, this book opens a world of possibilities for skills lessons. It doesn't hurt that it's funny and adorable. Young readers will find it to be absolutely enchanting.