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The Rubber-Legged Ducky    by John G. Keller & Henry Cole order for
Rubber-Legged Ducky
by John G. Keller
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

This is a fresh story on a familiar theme: realizing that what makes you different is an advantage rather than an adversity.

In this preschool-geared picture book, Mama Duck, after eating a rubber band, hatches a brood of ducklings; one of them, named Five, has a rubber leg. Mama instantly recognizes that he is special and tells him so. Mama warns her children of the dangers of hawks and foxes. The ducklings, on their own, discover those dangers as well as other bullies.

Eventually Five realizes that his rubber leg can help him reach berries, play music, and lasso a bullying piglet. He boings along through life, enjoying his special talent. His true mettle, however, is tested when the thing they fear most, a fox, appears at the barnyard. Five musters all of his courage and, using his rubber leg, tricks the fox into leaving all of the animals alone, earning the respect of the barnyard.

I like that Five is different but, because of his mother's encouragement, never lacks confidence or feels that his leg makes him inferior to anyone else. The zany illustrations are a perfect fit with this sweet book.

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