Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: John Arnold
Publisher: John Arnold
“I’m twelve years old. That’s over a hundred, compared to human beings. But who wants to be compared to humans, right? They’re not all bad.” Donald reports in John Arnold’s short children’s story, Autobiography of a Duck.
This thirty-three page, paperback book has a photograph of an adorable fluffy duckling (not to be confused with a chick, of course) on the front cover and two pictures of the author, at both a young and adult age, each time holding a duck, on the back cover. Dedicated to a young boy holding two ducklings, there is one more photograph inside with a few sophomoric drawings of ducks, a bird, a cat and a child along with web foot prints among its pages. With no profanity or overtly scary scenes, this is the ideal book to read to or by a young child but can easily be enjoyed by an adult.
Writer Arnold’s duck does an excellent job telling the reader in first “duck” about his exciting life. One learns Donald is snatched early from his mother and siblings, and put in a bouncy truck, only to be given as a prize at the Lake Brothers’ Traveling Carnival and Circus by mean owner J.L. While waiting to be won, he befriends Waddles, another duck who escapes from the carnival to live a life on the lam, meeting up with Donald again whenever he is in the neighborhood. Donald loves his new home where he is taken care of, hugged a lot and told many things by a young boy. He even wins first prize at his owner’s school for “Most Unusual Pet.”
However, Donald is very wary of neighborhood cats, especially those that taunt Waddles or Sapphire who mocks Donald but he stands up to her hecklings. He describes the escapades of the messenger Bluebird, another fine feathered friend LeRoy who he met at summer camp, and Seymour, the nice cat who visited his cage. Besides going to the ocean for vacation and not enjoying either the water or hot sand, Donald also gets trapped in the bushes in his yard when he was oh-so-close to getting a big fat snail. After years of a peaceful, happy life, Bluebird comes with the message that now it is time for Donald to close his eyes.
This is a darling story, written with humor and compassion for a family pet duck that sticks with the reader later. It is a charming bedtime story that many children and adults will enjoy and reread with delight and amusement.
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