4 out of 4 stars
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Ack! The Nantucket Duckling by A.K. Spurway is a heartwarming story that teaches children about embracing individual differences. Ack lives on the beautiful island of Nantucket, but he is worried about marching in the annual Duckling Parade. The other ducks make fun of Ack, and he is self-conscious about his unusual beak and the odd sound it makes. Ack could have never imagined that his distinctive beak would help him be brave.
The 25-page picture book teaches children themes of individuality, unconditional love, empathy, self-consciousness, bravery, and self-acceptance. As they read about Ack's transformation, young readers will learn about accepting themselves and helping others.
The illustrations by Jacqueline East are exceptional; her attention to detail is impeccable, and the color palette she uses is lovely. Readers of all ages will appreciate the sweet illustration of Ack's mother holding and comforting him as he cries.
Spurway's diagnosis of a condition that affects her appearance and facial expressions lends authenticity and sensitivity to the story. Likewise, it's apparent why this engaging children's book is a recipient of the Mom's Choice Award. Many children learn at an early age to dislike anything about their appearance they perceive to be different from their peers and will relate to Ack. His caring mother reassures him that his trumpet-shaped beak gives him a "distinctive quack," but the little duckling tries everything he can think of to disguise his long beak. What I like most about the story is that Ack discovers that his difference is actually a strength.
The book is flawlessly edited, and I am unable to suggest any improvements or name anything I dislike about it. I am pleased to rate Ack! The Nantucket Duckling 4 out of 4 stars. The delightful story will appeal to children through the age of 10. I also recommend it to parents, teachers, and grandparents.
Ack! The Nantucket Duckling
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