Waddles the raccoon loves to eat. In fact, he eats so much that his usual walk has turned into a waddle.
He also loves to spend time with his best friend, Emily the duck, and together they like to go swimming for fish. One day Emily asks Waddles if he could do her a big favor and sit on her unhatched eggs while she takes a swim. The very cuddly Waddles is happy to oblige, but he gets a big surprise when the ducklings begin to hatch! Waddles soon finds himself very attached to the family of ducklings and worries about what will happen when they have to fly south for the winter.
Waddles introduces a lovable new character in a story with a timely message about what truly matters in life, for friendship and love are the only things that can really make someone “full.”
Praise for Waddles:
“The charming, expressive paintings that capture the friends’ cozy relationship are the real draw in this friendship story.” –Kirkus Reviews
“McPhail’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations elevate the familiar story of mismatched, devoted friends, coaxing expertly drawn emotion from his endearing characters. A tender, year-round reminder of the sustaining power of friendship.” –Booklist
McPhail's characteristically gentle earth-toned ink and watercolor pictures steer this quaint story about "a very round raccoon," who waddles like a duck, and his best friend, who is a duck. Images of Waddles and Emily in their pond-side environs convey their mutual affection. When Emily lays a nestful of eggs, Waddles brings her food and later protects the eggs while Emily takes a swimming break. After the eggs hatch with Waddles guarding the nest, the ducklings waddle behind him to the pond to join their mother. Swimming, snacking, and cuddling with the ducklings, "Waddles had never been so happy." But when autumn arrives, Emily explains that she and her ducklings are flying south for the winter (given that Emily and Waddles aren't newly acquainted friends, it's not entirely clear why this news comes as a surprise). Still, readers will share in his palpable joy when, as expected, the family returns in spring. Despite some amusing trash-diving for food and a (too tame) encounter with a marauding fox, the story's mild portrayal of friendship isn't rewarding enough to offset the overt sweetness. Ages 4 8.