Hello, Mandarin Duck!

by Bao Phi (Author) Dion Mbd (Illustrator)

Hello, Mandarin Duck!
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Twins Hue and Hoa are excited for the May Day parade! While waiting at the park for the parade to begin, they spot a little duck who seems new to the neighborhood--and looks confused by the crowd and commotion. How can the twins help the duck get to the pond? Many friends from the neighborhood stop to say hello and offer suggestions. Teamwork, collective brainstorming, and the duck's own inspiration finally help it reach its new home--with an entire community welcoming it with a parade! A celebration of a vibrant, multicultural neighborhood that warmly welcomes newcomers from near and far, this story also encourages communal problem-solving and offers a gentle reminder of the deportation fears many children and families face.


A joyous and inclusive primer on how communities can unite to welcome newcomers. (Picture book. 5-8)

Copyright 2021 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission

School Library Journal

Starred Review
K-Gr 3– A lone mandarin duck has wandered into the local May Day Parade, and twins Hue and Hoa greet it in Vietnamese. As the duck walks through the parade, various neighborhood children stop to greet it in different languages, helping to lead it to water. Eventually, the bird leads the whole parade to the pond! The languages used are not specifically indicated except in the back matter. The wide array includes Indigenous languages, such as Anishinaabe and Dakota. Issues of social justice are woven in through background images, such as paradegoers carrying signs stating “Black Lives Matter,” “No DAPL,” and “We have only one Earth.” There is also a moment when police sirens go off and everything is dark and quiet, highlighting the fears of various community members. The back matter provides information about the author’s experience with a similar event and what being and feeling welcome means to him. The artwork flows nicely with the text, enhancing the story. The illustrations are colorful, and the use of linework and shading will draw readers in. 
VERDICT A solid addition to collections, especially where titles about belonging are needed.
Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
February 20, 2021

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