illus. by author. 40p. S & S/Paula Wiseman Bks. Sept. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-7392-8; ebook available. LC 2012026356.
RedReviewStarK-Gr 2—If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…but wait, this white-feathered yellow-billed bird is barking like a dog, slobbering like a dog, chewing up socks like a dog. What gives? That's what Fox wants to know after he inadvertently grabs a duck out of the henhouse intent on enjoying a chicken dinner. But maybe a duck will do? Clever duck manages to avoid the cookpot by declaring, "You are mistaken, sir. I am NOT a DUCK!" and adopting a variety of classic doggy behaviors such as wagging her tail and peeing on the carpet. Finally, Fox relents and takes the "dog" back to the farm where she belongs, only to find a surprise in the house that blows the lid off the whole ruse. The hilarious illustrations sketched with marker and colored pencil are designed like large comic book panels and have a real slapstick appeal that is perfectly suited to the comedic text. Kids will love being in on the joke, and the large word bubbles make reading easy even for beginners. Don't be outfoxed. Get quacking and buy this book.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
Fox faces a dilemma after a late-night chicken heist. He had broken into the henhouse under the cover of darkness; back in his brightly lit den, he’s surprised to find that he’s nabbed a duck by mistake. The problem? The duck claims to be a dog, sniffing and slobbering and wagging with puppy-like enthusiasm. Fox is skeptical. Duck, however, is very convincing, and by the time Duck “runs into [the] living room and pees on [the] carpet,” Fox gives up for the night: “I might still have you for breakfast.” Duck’s bold scheme (and Fox’s credulity) will thrill young readers, even those who’ve previously encountered the old dinner-tricks-predator-and-gets-away premise. Cartoonist Twohy knows how to wield a black line; his comical illustrations are integral to the storytelling, conveying tone and helping to advance the story. The straight-faced narrator’s commentary—“in the morning Fox wakes up to hot duck breath and a wet face”—manages to play up the farce while letting Duck’s shenanigans speak for themselves. Fox is howling mad to discover he’s been hoodwinked, but storytime audiences will howl with laughter when Fox finds what the “little doggie” left behind. The yolk’s on Fox, but at least he can have the egg for dinner. kitty flynn

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