Splish, Splash, Ducky! by Lucy Cousins

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Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406376791
(Ages: 1-3) Themes: Rain, Rhyming Books. Lucy Cousins (Maisy) brings her distinctive style to a new picture book about a duckling and the joys of a rainy day. She uses the same bold black outlines and vivid colours that have made her such a standout in the world of toddler books. As in most of her books, animals, birds and flowers are abundant and there is minimal background detail or fuss. Also true to her past form, it has good rhythm and sounds great read aloud. It uses simple and short rhymes with a repeated "quack, quack, quack", which children will love joining in with. Duckling loves playing out in the rain with his friends ("Into the pond to play with the swans", "We shake our feathers in the rainy weather") but when the rain stops he is feeling sad and heads off to find his dad. This is a great change from the numerous books that use a mother figure as the go-to parent. Dad makes him see that the sun can also be fun, especially for some other creatures. There are lots of action words (hop, squirm, hug, swim, shake) and water sound words (drip, drop, plip, plop, splash, splish) and young children will be able to relate this to their own experiences with the rain and how it feels and sounds. This is simple, cheerful and vibrant and will be a hit with the toddler crowd, especially those who are fans of the Maisy books.
Nicole Nelson