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*Five Little Ducks (Raffi Songs to Read)* by Raffi, illustrated by Jose Aruego & Ariane Dewey

Also by Raffi:

Baby Beluga

Shake My Sillies Out

Five Little Ducks (Raffi Songs to Read)
by Raffi, illustrated by Jose Aruego & Ariane Dewey
Baby-preschool 32 pages Crown March 1992 Paperback    
Five little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack."
But only four little ducks came back.
There among the water lilies, big red Mother Duck looks nonplussed as only four of her brightly hued ducklings swim smiling back to her. The next day, when the duck family goes out to play on a sandy beach, only three ducklings come back when she calls. In the marsh, on the rocks, in the rain - every time the ducks go out, one fewer comes back.

All alone, the despondent Mother Duck wanders through the seasons in search of her offspring - under falling leaves, surrounded by snow. One spring day, she goes out into a meadow filled with yellow flowers, quacking as she goes, when all five of her little ducks, now grown and with ducklings of their own, run to greet her.

This may be the most easily read - without necessarily singing - of the "Raffi Songs to Read" books for adults unfamiliar with the tune, although the musical notation is included at the end of a book. There's also a faux photo of the reunited Mother Duck and her extended family, putting a little extra sweet in a simple but otherwise bittersweet little story of an emptying nest. Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey's uncomplicated pen and watercolor illustrations help keep things from getting too maudlin, as well.

A bonus for environmentally concerned parents: a note on the back cover says that "This Raffi Song to Read is printed on recycled paper produced without many of the chemicals that are polluting our lakes and rivers." Mother Duck and her family will swim easier!

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  Sharon Schulz-Elsing/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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