Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ducks on ice

Every morning I take my dog Pinot for a walk. On our way down the hill back into the center of town we walk past the duck pond in the park. Most days we stop to look at the ducks and I smile when I see the solitary large white Pekin duck swimming among all the wild ducks. I don't know where he came from, but he appears to be happy and holding his own.

This morning the pond was almost completely frozen over, and the ducks were sitting on the ice looking cold and confused. There isn't much water for them to swim in any more, and to say that the look ridiculous sitting on the ice is an understatement. I was reminded of a little picture book that I reviewed a few years ago. Here is my review:

Duck Skates
Lynne Berry
Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata
Picture book
Ages 2 to 4
Henry Holt, 2005, 0-8050-7219-5
Five ducks wake up one winter day to discover that it is snowing outside. There is no time to waste and soon all five are outside in their “bright new boots” and their snowsuits. Down to the pond they go and, after putting on their skates, the little ducks go out onto the ice. They “wiggle,” “topple” and “giggle” as they all fall down and get up again.
Then two of the little ducks see a sign and they get a wonderful idea. They lead the way across the ice and straight into an enormous snow bank. Then a snowball fight ensues. What a wonderful time they all have on this snow filled day.
With charming, delicate and often amusing watercolor paintings and a simple rhyming text, this picture book celebration of a day spent playing in the snow will give young readers lots of pleasure. Surely there is nothing quite like spending a day outdoors on a snowy day with lots of companions to play with.

It's a pity the pond ducks here in Ashland aren't able to bundle up in snow clothes so that they can enjoy a good skate.


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