Expected publication: March 22nd 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2016)
Format read: E-Galley via Publisher
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 (& 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!
Author Liz Wong introduces us to Quackers, a ginger tabby who believes he's a duck. While there's many things he enjoys about being a duck, Quackers also feels a bit out of place at times. So when another grey tabby makes Quacker's acquaintance, his world opens up...
What's fantastic about Liz Wong's debut, is Wong's ability to tell a fairly complex tale with real-world applications, in a few brief pages. We see how Quackers appreciates his duck life, especially hanging out with his acquatic friends.
However, once he realizes that he's actually a cat, and all the benefits that come with being a cat, Wong shows Quacker's wisdom in not giving up one life in favor for the other. He learns how to balance the best of both worlds, showing love to both his duck friends and feline friends. It's a smart lesson on learning how to balance diverging interests that even older readers can struggle with, so I applaud Wong for cheerfully, charmingly, conveying it to younger readers.
The book's illustrations are also top-notch. Wong utilizes a streamlined color palatte with simple shapes, and imbues much-appreciated humor into the facial expressions and dialogue of the characters. It's the type of humor that appeals to both younger and older readers, so don't be surprised if you see readers of all ages giggling away while reading - Tom and I certainly did!
Bottom line: Quackers is a great reminder on the importance of finding both your place in the world, but also figuring out what makes you happy. Quackers manages to find a happy balance between both his duck-life and his cat-life, which is a great lesson for readers of any age to learn.
About the author:
LIZ WONG was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she spent her early childhood painting and clambering about in mango trees. She is a painter and a freelance illustrator, with a focus on illustration for children. To learn more about the author and her work, visit LizWongIllustration.com.