What Mr. Duck wants most in the world is a little bit of peace and quiet, but the other animals on the farm simply don’t understand. But as Mr. Duck discovers, sometimes peace and quiet can be just a little bit lonely. And making friends might mean making a little noise. Award-winning author Tammi Sauer presents a simple, short text that emphasizes the importance of friendship in a fun and effective way, with a sweet—but not too sweet—ending that will have children clamoring for repeated readings.
Mr. Duck enjoys solitude and follows a strict routine in his pond. "At precisely 8:01, he would glide across the perfectly still water," flanked by hand-painted signs that read "No Visitors Welcome" and "Don't Even Think About It." Everything changes one day when a pig does a cannonball off the dock, disrupting the tranquillity. "Mr. Duck all set to give Pig a strongly worded speech regarding private property," when a delighted cow dives in, too, followed by a goat, horse, and chickens. Mack (Hush Little Polar Bear) plays up both the barnyard crew's aquatic glee (at one point the pig and cow do a synchronized swimming routine) as well as Mr. Duck's party-pooper reactions. Amid the festivities, a fuzzy yellow peep finally notices Duck's displeasure: "Perhaps we've overstayed our welcome." Mr. Duck resumes his routine, but, predictably, feels lonesome. He paints a revised sign allowing "noise" for two set hours every afternoon. The animals' merriment is always tangible, yet the fuddy-duddy's new regulations don't really redeem his preceding grumpiness. Even with his late-in-the-game compromise, Mr. Duck is never quite likable. Ages 4 8.