Written and Illustrated by Liz Wong
Alfred A. Knopf BYR 3/22/2016
32 pages Ages 3—6
“Quackers is a duck. Sure, he may have paws and whiskers. And his quacks might sound more like…well, meows, but he lives among ducks, everyone he knows is a duck, and he’s happy. Then Quackers meets another duck who looks like him (and talks like him, too!)—but he calls himself a cat. So silly!
“Quackers loves being among his new friends the cats, but he also misses his duck friends, and so he finds a way to combine the best of both worlds. Part cat, part duck, all Quackers!” [publisher]
Quackers lives at the duck pond with all the other ducks. He likes it there, except for the food and getting wet. Sometimes, Quackers doesn’t feel like he fits in. Then he meets Mittens. Mittens looks like him, but laughs when Quackers calls him a duck. Mittens invites Quackers to the barn, where all the cats live. There, Quackers likes the food and enjoys the water-free games. At the barn Quackers fits in. But he misses the duck pond and his duck family.
Quackers comes to terms with who he is—a cat—and where he likes to be—at both the barn and the duck pond, so he spends time at both. He becomes an all-inclusive cat, happy to have friends of all types, or in this case, cats and ducks. Quackers can teach kids about inclusiveness and fitting in. You don’t have to be the same to be friends or get along. Quackers is comfortable “standing out” with the ducks and “fitting in” with the cats. He can be both a duck and a cat. Quackers is happy with both groups and with himself.
Quackers is a terrific story for kindergarten and first grade, where kids might come into contact with differences for the first time. Anyone feeling they do not fit in, might gain insight from Quackers. Adopted kids or foster kids may have split allegiances. Quackers can show them it is okay to belong to two groups—or two families.
The writing is quirky, short and to the point. There are no wasted words in Quackers’ story. There is also a lot of repetition, perfect for young children. Wong’s uses watercolors, colored pencils, and Photoshop to create Quackers, an orange tabby cat living in a duck pond surrounded with green reeds. Not far off is the barn, where Mittens and the other cats live. One of the best spreads has Quackers returning to his duck friends, who all accept him back with a group hug. Wong’s gently expressed message leaves room for children to reach the book’s meaning on their own.
Quackers is Liz Wong’s debut children’s book.
QUACKERS. Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by Liz Wong. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Alfred A. Knopf BYR, New York, NY.
Find Quakers on Goodreads HERE.
. . Alfred A. Knopf BYR is an imprint of Penguin Random House.
QUACKERS. Illustrations © 2016 by Liz Wong. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf BYR.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Quakers by Liz Wong, and received from Alfred A. Knopf BYR, (an imprint of Penguin Random House), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”