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Expect something unexpected when a duckling lost at sea adopts a musical friend in a whimsical, heart-lifting story from Timothy Basil Ering.
Captain Alfred is sailing home with new ducks for his farm when his little boat is caught in an unexpected and mighty storm. Everything aboard the ship is flung to the far reaches of the sea, including the very special and beautiful duck egg he had nestled safely inside his fiddle case. But perhaps all is not lost: the little duckling stumbles out of his shell and discovers Captain Alfred’s fiddle, floating not too far away in the waves. And when the duckling embraces the instrument with all his heart, what happens next is pure magic. Through an enchanting read-aloud text and beautiful artwork, award-winning author-illustrator Timothy Basil Ering shares a thrilling and fantastical story of a farmer, a gentle old lady, a dancing dog, and one brave, tiny duckling that will warm the heart.
About the Author
Timothy Basil Ering is the illustrator of the Newbery Medal winner The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo as well as Finn Throws a Fit! by David Elliott and Snook Alone by Marilyn Nelson. He is also the acclaimed author-illustrator of The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone, Necks Out for Adventure!, and The Almost Fearless Hamilton Squidlegger. Timothy Basil Ering lives in Kingston, Massachusetts.
Layered with energetic paint strokes, delicate ink drawings, and warm touches of charcoal and graphite, the compositions are full of high drama, nuanced emotion, and humor. Exuding a zest for living and loving, this nautical narrative is an ode to joy.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Ering has created an endearing picture book sure to enthrall young readers. Scratchy acrylic paint combines with ink, charcoal, and graphite to form atmospheric scenes—notably the roiling sea and ghostly fog—that capture the story’s drama and warmth. Youngsters will be smitten with Ering’s diminutive hero and cheer him on to the final page.
—Booklist (starred review)
Bold strokes and swaths of bright color telegraph cheer, and Alfred is an intrepid fellow, full of joy and curiosity. The violin is a lovely sidekick—no practicing, no lessons, just generously shared music—and the stream of happy coincidences makes this a joyful yarn.
Ering’s gorgeous paintings highlight the magic contained in an instrument beautifully played and the wonder of a safe return home. A book full of emotion that addresses the needs of all human hearts. A first purchase.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
The illustrations are very dramatic; one foggy page is completely devoid of all but clouds. This is a long picture book, but overall a nice addition to a picture book collection.
—School Library Connection
Ering's illustrations are painterly and the story is told in sweeping brushstrokes that convey the essence of music.