Bunting’s singsong rhymes don’t skip a beat as the duck’s trepidation turns into triumph. Hillenbrand is just as successful at capturing the duck’s growing confidence…It’s an endearing allegorical tale whose messages about practice and taking things at one’s own speed will buoy the spirits of children facing new challenges.
Told with a storyteller’s flair, the unpretentious but precisely worded tale flows along steadily, easy to read aloud and pleasing in its expression of feelings familiar to young children. The delicate mixed-media illustrations, created with muted colors and understated patterns, perfectly capture the duckling’s fear, tentative attempts to overcome it, and final triumph. A beguiling picture book.
This gentle tale about overcoming fear will comfort and encourage many a reluctant kid (or duck)…The duckling itself is reminiscent of Olivier Dunrea’s Gossie and Gertie, with an innocent expression and oversized bill and an overall endearing look. This is definitely a "message" book, but any message in such effective hands will reach its intended audience where they are.