Sunday, January 15, 2012
Mrs. Duck's Lovely Day
Mrs. Duck's Lovely Day, written and illustrated by Vivienne Blake, is a Rand McNally Junior Elf Book I owned as a child. I have no idea what happened to my original copy, but I stumbled upon another in a used book store at some point in my adult life and snapped it up. I had forgotten all about it until last weekend when I was packing away several boxes of children's books to make room for my growing collection of women's fiction and romance novels - just in time for my first review for the Books That Made Me Love Reading Challenge.
"Yes, it was a very warm summer at Valley Cottage," the story begins. Everyone is pleased about the blue skies and sunshine - everyone, that is, except Mrs. Duck. The hot sun eventually reduces her small pond to a puddle of mud, and Mrs. Duck doesn't know what to do about it. She reaches her breaking point when Mrs. Hen invites her to go for a dust bath, snapping at her friend and huffing home. So that evening she decides to go to the seashore, knowing there will be plenty of water there; she packs her bags and hops on the first train.
She is thrilled when she first arrives; she sends Mrs. Hen a box of salt water taffy by way of apology and writes postcards to her other friends. But her days at the beach prove to be very disappointing; the waves are too much for her and she misses everybody back home. To her delight, she wakes up the next morning to the sound of raindrops on her roof; she hustles back home and finds her pond filled to the brim and topped with a rainbow.
This book brought back many happy memories. I love the cheerful retro artwork and the book's gentle messages about the the value of friendship and the virtues of home, even when the situation is less than ideal. Thanks, Emlyn Chand, for giving me a reason to revisit this little gem!