Little Quack’s Bedtime is the story of a baby duckling who is being put to bed by Mama Duck, along with his four siblings. But Little Quack finds it hard to relax and go to sleep.
This is a small paperback that was free on boxes of Cheerios as a promotion for other books in the Young Reader series by Simon and Schuster. It’s bilingual- in both English and Spanish.
Little Quack is the smallest of five ducklings named Widdle, Waddle, Piddle, Puddle, and Little Quack. (In Spanish, their names all begin with C, and probably sound great when read out loud.) Mother duck tucks them into bed at the end of the day, but they have questions. They first ask about strange lights in the sky. Mama tells them that those are fireflies, and Widdle falls asleep. Then they hear a noise, “whoo, whoo, ” and ask about that. Mama explains that it’s an owl, and Waddle goes to sleep. This goes on till Little Quack is the only one left awake. He wants to know why the night is so dark. Mama says that it is “so the stars can shine their twinkling light, ” and finally Little Quack falls asleep.
The illustrations are by Derek Anderson. Except that they are very dark (ok, it’s night, outside), they are charming, and make the book at least twice as good as it would otherwise be.
Except for the unfortunately named “Piddle, ” I think this is a really good book. It’s appropriate and educational in many ways.
Shape recognition and pre-counting:
The five little ducks all look very different. Although this is biologically silly, I’ve decided that it works for this book. It’s easy to tell which duckling is which, and their expressions are adorable. Little ones will enjoy finding “same and different, ” naming each duck, even identifying their feelings by their facial expressions
The ducklings react to things they both see and hear in the dark, and finally the dark itself... just a feeling. Understanding how to identify things by looking and listening is an underlying educational theme.
Overcoming fear of the unknown:
I think this book could help little ones who find the darkness spooky. I especially like the ending where Mama makes the dark a special time that reveals the stars.
The text is presented in both English and Spanish.
As the little ducks are tucked under a warm striped blanket, and fall asleep, Mama watches over them. The emotions created by the pictures are warm, and quiet, and loving, perfect for putting a toddler in a secure, sleepy mood.
This edition is paperback, 5x7 inches, stapled with 30 pages.
The book is meant to entice parents into buying others in the series. Some of those titles by Lauren Thompson and Derek Anderson are Little Quack, Little Quack’s Hide and Seek, and Little Quack’s New Friend.