Muddle & Mo by Nikki Slade Robinson
Starfish Bay, 2015. ISBN 9780994100757
(Age: 2-5) Ducks. Goats. Identity. Muddle is a small yellow duck who peppers her friend Mo, a very long-suffering white goat with lots of questions. Muddle compares her duck features with Mo's, they are different colours, the goat's beak is hairy, his wings are on his head, even his poos are different. As they walk together, Mo is silent, he's a listener. When they arrive at Goat Farm, Muddle's lightbulb moment occurs and he sees why Mo is different. Mo finds his voice and explains to his little friend 'You are one hundred percent duck!'
Set on a textural background of compressed cardboard, Muddle and Mo are simply and expressively painted. With simple brush strokes, we see Muddle's beak opened wide to state his ideas about wings or be surprised about the different kinds of beaks. This is an easy to read story, a simple tale of two animals' friendship and a search for identity. Nikki Slade Robinson's observations about her own pets gave her the core idea for this story.