Bound To Stay Bound

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Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2016 In the three short chapters of this beginning reader, friends Big Duck, Little Duck, and Porcupine enjoy a picnic (despite some rain), celebrate Porcupine’s birthday, and go camping (sort of). Little Duck, the smallest and seemingly youngest character, is an optimistic problem solver and saves the day on all three occasions. He demonstrates that rain puddles can be fun for splashing, helps forgetful Big Duck remember Porcupine’s birthday, and overrides Big Duck’s control-freak tendencies (she wants to take way too much gear on the camping trip) to cut right to the gooey heart of the camping experience: the marshmallow roasting, which they proceed to do right in their own backyard. While the first chapter ends rather flatly and covers familiar easy-reader ground, the two subsequent stories are amusing and engaging enough to make up for it. Novice readers will find success here thanks to the age-appropriate vocabulary (mostly simple sight words and decodable words), the clarity of the bold, black font printed in large, white dialogue bubbles, and the visual cues provided by the illustrations. Yoon’s crisp, clean art has a coloring-book-like simplicity that will appeal to youngsters, with thick, black outlines highlighting the sunny colors of the figures and backgrounds and slight shading replicating the ever-so-smudgy stroke of a crayon. Simple touches personalize each character: purple Porcupine sports a polka-dotted bow tie, Big Duck wears a daisy in her white feathers, and adorable yellow Little Duck wears a snappy, royal blue ball cap. Kids (and the adults who work with them) can never have too many attractive, well-written beginning readers, and this trio of cuties is a welcome addition to the genre. JH - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 08/01/2016 PreS-Gr 1—This wonderfully engaging easy reader, starring the titular trio, is divided into three short chapters. The two duck siblings and their purple porcupine pal go on an all-weather picnic, celebrate Porcupine's birthday in style (well, eventually), and gather all of the things they need for a campout. The stories are told almost exclusively in dialogue, with the large-font, bold black type set in white speech bubbles. The simply drawn digital cartoon characters exude personality and charm and provide plenty of sight clues with the subtle change of expression. The backgrounds and accoutrements are so minimal as to appear as props on a stage, and the black framing of each spread feels like a proscenium. VERDICT This collection of small dramas is just right for fledgling readers and perfect for read-alouds and reader's theater productions. More Duck, Duck, Porcupine, please.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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