A lesson in diversity and making people welcome that starts kids off on the right foot in these rough, divided times. (Picture book. 3-8)
Copyright 2017 Kirkus Reviews LLC Used with permission.
Little Duck has big plans for Valentine's Day in this exuberant addition to Cronin and Lewin's long-running series. Cronin has fun detailing Little Duck's preparations ("She tied balloons to... everything. She hung streamers from... everything"), as well as the social dynamics at the party ("The sheep headed right for the chips and salsa"). When a young fox shows up uninvited, the animals are startled, but Little Duck invites Little Fox in, and the party is all the better for it: animals that had been keeping to themselves on the dance floor start to mix it up. Lewin's watercolors are as expressive and playful as ever (though they are covered with an inordinate amount of glitter accents, even for Valentine's Day), and Cronin subtly passes along some sage advice: the best parties have an element of the unexpected. Ages 4-8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Dec.)Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
PreS-Gr 1--It's Valentine's Day on Farmer Brown's farm. Little Duck is getting ready for the big dance, decorating everything, and making valentines for everyone. Soon the guests arrive, with each species dancing with themselves. A little fox hears the revelry and makes her way to the party. While the other animals shrink in terror, Little Duck welcomes little fox, gives her a valentine, and they begin to dance together. Soon, all of the animals join in, grouped into interspecies couples, and enjoy themselves--until the cows come home. Lewin's trademark watercolor illustrations are in full force here. Her funny, expressive animals enhance the text, weaving in among the story as spot art, as well as single pages and spreads. When fox arrives, covered in hearts and streamers, she sits mournfully on the edge of the page, while across the gutter the rest of the animals recoil. As anthropomorphized as the animals are, they never speak, simply quack or yip, cleverly enhancing the story. Even the text is visual, with little fox's "yips" angling up the page as an enormous question. The economical text maximizes impact while giving the illustrations plenty of space to help tell the story. The textual simplicity and bright, clear visuals lend themselves well to storytimes and one-on-one reading, although the complexity of the pictures does invite more thorough contemplation. VERDICT A delightful holiday addition to the canon, sure to please librarians and patrons alike.--Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CTCopyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.