If I had to sum up my carnival experiences in just one word, it would be “really not that good”. Not only am I not what you would call a “math person”, I am also not good at fair rides. Don’t even ask about my Gravitron experience in 4th grade. One ride I can handle is the merry-go-round. Or as it is known in “Duck”, the carousel. Potatoes, Po-tah-tos. Any way you look at it, Randy Cecil’s tale of a carousel fowl that dreams of flying is worthy of being given away as a dunk tank prize any day.
Duck would love to fly, but there is something getting in her way. Wood carvings are not usually created for successful takeoffs and landings. But dream she does until one day a wayward duckling wanders onto the scene. Duck and Duckling become fast friends, but the time soon comes for the youngster to re-join his family. Duck sets out to make the reunion a reality and is a bit too successful: duckling takes off without looking back. Now our heroine is 0 for 2: no friend, no flight. But Duckling doesn’t forget his pal, and he has an idea about how to make her dream come true.
Cecil’s oil illustrations are a great match for this touching story. I don’t like to throw that word around, but touching it is. “Duck” gives me more joy than a trip to the county fair.