By: Edward Lear
Illustrated by: Jane Wattenberg
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: September 2009
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: January 2010
Duck peered through a telescope to catch a glimpse of Kangaroo. He was amazed at how wonderfully the kangaroo could hop over a herd of sheep, "over the fields and the water too." Duck's life in the pond was one big bore and he wanted to get out and see the world. "I wish I could hop like you!" he exclaimed to the Kangaroo and begged for a ride. He promised to be quiet as they roamed the land and seas. Kangaroo looked quietly at him as he lay on his side and painted some fungi he had spotted on the forest floor. Duck continued to plead, even as he posed for Kangaroo so he could paint him. Roo was wavering a bit, but would he finally give him a ride?
"Said the Kangaroo to the Duck,
`This requires some little reflection;
Perhaps on the whole it might bring me luck,
And there seems to be one objection,
Which is, if you'll let me speak so bold,
Your feet are unpleasantly wet and cold,
And would probably give me the roo-
Matiz!' (O my achy bones that is)
said the Kangaroo."
The love between Kangaroo and Duck is a match made in heaven, but the stunning collage is what makes this book. Hiding in the pages are details from the artwork of many naturalists, including John James Audubon, Charles Darwin, and Edward Lear. This book will not only appeal to young children with its rhythmical text and charming story, but will also appeal to the art lover. It is a visual treat and a hide-and-seek adventure for those who think they know their art. Can you spot Audubon's Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca) in these pages?
Quill says: Not just a sweet story, but a visual treat.