Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore (Weston Woods)

“Quack, quack, quack!” The distressed calls of five ducklings are heartrending to one observer in this true story. Quick thinking on her part and on the part of the gathered crowd, as well as some firefighters, results in averted danger for the duck family on their morning walk. Tavia Gilbert’s fast-paced narration is full of urgency followed by anxiety-inducing pauses. Much of the power of the story comes from the calm response of the adults, and Gilbert mirrors that when she uses her lower register with minimal intonation. As the distress of the ducklings escalates, she travels her vocal register–perhaps a little more than needed. By story’s end, listeners will be chorusing the ducklings names–Pippin, Bippin, Tippin, Dippin, and, last of all, Little Joe–with delight. AudioFile

Nancy Carpenter’s beautifully evocative illustrations are complemented by Tavia Gilbert’s accomplished reading which skillfully conveys every emotion in succession, including the delight, alarm, tension, and final relief contained in the tale. Flawlessly integrated sound effects such as quacks, splashes, sirens, and gasps will delight listeners of all ages. School Library Journal