Believing herself to be a normal duck despite her penchant for swimming with a teacup balanced on her head and her preference for staying north in the winter when all the other ducks have flown south, Theodora resolves to set a good example for her unlikely friend, Chad, whom Theodora believes has eccentric habits. By the author of Boy Proof. - (Baker & Taylor)
Despite the fact that she swims with a teacup balanced on her head and stays north when all of the ducks fly south for the winter, Theodora believes herself to be a normal duck and makes a friend in Chad, who may be as eccentric as she is. - (Baker & Taylor)
Theodora is a perfectly normal duck. She may swim with a teacup balanced on her head and stay north when the rest of the ducks fly south for the winter, but there's nothing so odd about that.
Chad, on the other hand, is one strange bird. Theodora quite likes him, but she can't overlook his odd habits. It's a good thing Chad has a normal friend like Theodora to set a good example for him.
But who exactly is the odd duck here? Theodora may not like the answer.
Sara Varon (Robot Dreams) teams up with Cecil Castellucci (Grandma's Gloves) for a gorgeous, funny, and heartwarming examination of the perils and pleasures of friendship.
- (McMillan Palgrave)
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013
Chad is an odd duck, whereas Theodora is a normal duck; she just likes to do some things a little differently. But when the other ducks laugh at the "odd duck," is it really Chad they're making fun of? The creators' separate works have long championed the individual, so it is no surprise that Varon's gentle art and Castellucci's nuanced writing combine in a sweet, quiet tale that celebrates the joys of being unique. Both have done graphic novels in the past; here, though, they use more of a hybrid style, alternating a more traditional picture-book layout with pages divided into panels and featuring speech bubbles. Fans of Varon's work will love her trademark anthropomorphic characters, bright colors, and detailed but never cluttered pictures, which invite lingering over each page. Teen writer Castellucci's name on the cover may convince some older readers to give this one a shot, but it is aimed squarely at elementary readers, who, hopefully, will soak up the message to embrace their own odd-duckness. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews
In an appealingly hybrid design--part graphic novel, part picture book--cartoon illustrations in spring colors follow two duck neighbors on their path to discovering they have more in common--like an aversion to migrating--than first they thought. A lively friendship story that shows it's more fun to be different than "normal," and most fun of all to be different with a buddy.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Theodora puts on her slippers one webbed foot at a time, "just like all the other ducks," but she does have a few quirks, such as swimming with a teacup and saucer on her head and dipping her Duck Food in mango salsa. In her opinion, however, her quirks are nothing compared to Chad's, the duck of a different feather who moves in next door and disrupts her happy routine life with his loudly constructed yard art and splashy swimming technique. In an appealingly hybrid design -- part graphic novel, part picture book -- playful cartoon illustrations in spring colors follow the charmingly drumstick-shaped neighbors on their path to discovering that they have more in common -- a love of stargazing, an aversion to migrating -- than they first thought. Yet when a bystander taunts, "Look at that odd duck!" as the pair walks past, which odd duck does she mean? Each assumes the other is the one who sticks out like a sore thumb. (Yes, these ducks have thumbs.) A lively friendship story that shows it's more fun to be different than "normal," and most fun of all to be different with a buddy. christine m. heppermann
School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 2–4—Theodora, a duck with a yen for lavender hats, stargazing, and staying north for the winter, prefers her solitary life slightly outside the duck community. She is dismayed by the grubby, flamboyant appearance of Chad when he moves in next door and populates his yard with art installations. But worst of all, he also chooses to remain at home throughout the snowy season. A story about first impressions, tolerance, and friendship, the narrative takes some time to fully click, but when it does there are many sweet touches to be found in the relationship between these odd ducks. Mostly eschewing panels and only occasionally using word balloons, this charming picture book cum early chapter book cum graphic novel has soft, clear pastel tones, strong lines, and lots of whimsical detail. Warm and with solid insight into the nature of quirk, this title will amuse most readers, and it may be a welcome balm for those who feel a bit different.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH
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