Cover of PuddleDuck
PuddleDuck
HarperCollinsPublishersLtd
© 1997
ISBN 0-00-224388-1

Award-winning author Nancy Hundal's PuddleDuck is a superb picture book, one with that rare combination: perfectly matched text and illustrations. Both are masterful and rich; each enhances the other.

Written in prose, PuddleDuck is poetic in style; Hundal's use of language and imagery is fresh and intensely evocative. She captures the imaginative life of a child without being condescending or cute. The story combines down-to-earth realism and whimsical fantasy to create a poignant yet unsentimental tale. Reminiscent of Margery William's beloved Velveteen Rabbit, the story concerns a little girl, Bianca, whose stuffed duck mysteriously disappears one summer day near a pond. She searches for him frantically and, failing to find him, decides to wait for his return. When ducks come back to the pond the next spring, there is a new white duck among them. Bianca suspects it is PuddleDuck. How she comes to terms with her loss, and how the love of her lost duck continues into adulthood, make this tale strongly realistic. Unlike the the Velveteen Rabbit, this story is told from the child's perspective, and the real pain of a child who has lost a precious toy is forcefully conveyed. This is a stirring story, beautifully told.

J.R. Wytenbrock, Quill & Quire, April 1995.



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