Duck, Duck, Dinosaur: Perfect Pumpkin (I Can Read! My First: Shared Reading)

by Kallie George (Author) Oriol Vidal (Illustrator)

Duck, Duck, Dinosaur: Perfect Pumpkin (I Can Read! My First: Shared Reading)
Feather, Flap, and Spike are on the hunt for the perfect pumpkin to decorate in this sweet story about autumn fun. Spike thinks all the pumpkins they find are perfect, indeed: for juggling, leaping over, and bowling! But what will they do when Spike accidentally squishes all the perfect pumpkins that the ducklings find? These silly siblings learn one way a squished pumpkin can still be perfect--for making pumpkin pie! Duck, Duck, Dinosaur: Perfect Pumpkin is a My First I Can Read book, which means it's perfect for shared reading with a child.

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Sibling competition is muffled beneath the wings of loving Mama Duck in this oblique pondside parable.

Though the first duckling to hatch, Feather is the most insecure. “I AM big,” she boasts, lording it over her drooping younger brother Flap. “I am full of bigness.” But then, out of the third, oddly humongous egg in the clutch, comes Spike—a massive green dinosaur whose first, roared word says it all: “BIG!” The tension continues as Feather’s claim to be “sweeter” after bringing Mama a flower is trumped when Spike lumbers up with an entire flowering tree (“SWEET!”) and culminates, after a splashy dip in the pond, with all three sibs wet and shivering. “That won’t do,” says Mama. “Who wants a cuddle?” In the ensuing cozy scene, as throughout, Vidal’s large, soft-edged, broadly curved figures create an underlying visual harmony that takes the edge off the trio’s rivalry. But not only does Spike’s outsized presence arrest a slide into blandness, occasional touches such as a final view of Mama Duck with a watering can, sprinkling the pond greenery, add further whimsical elements. Moreover, Mama Duck’s equal and unfeigned delight with all three of her hatchlings sits at the story’s center, serving as both a worthy model for parents and potential reassurance for sibs unsure of their places in the family pecking order. 

Ultimately, with differences at least temporarily forgotten, everyone here is, as Spike puts it, “HAPPY!” (Picture book. 3-5)

Copyright 2017 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission.

Kallie George

Kallie George is an author and picture book editor who has written numerous acclaimed books for children. She grew up on the Sunshine Coast in BC, where she spent her days roaming the forests and listening to all the sounds within. Now, she and her husband have made a home in the woods so that her son can do the same.

Carmen Mok studied studio art at the University of Waterloo and design at Sheridan College. Her illustrations have been published in magazines across Canada and the U.S., as well as in greeting cards, stationery, and children's home accessories. She has now decided to dedicate herself to children's book illustration, and she has received several illustration awards, including the SCBWI Canada East People's Choice Portfolio Award for Illustration in 2017 and 2018, as well as the Storyteller Award in 2018. Carmen is the illustrator of Grandmother's Visit, written by Betty Quan; Violet Shrink, written by Christine Baldacchino; and A Stopwatch from Grampa, written by Loretta Garbutt. She currently lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
July 20, 2017
I Can Read! My First: Shared Reading

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