To begin with, you have probably discovered that something that really livens up literature read aloud is accents. I read in various British accents so often to this little baby at first that when I finally read in my own voice, I got loud protests. Pretty rich coming from someone who could not even speak words, but I digress.
Mr. Duck Means Business, in our opinions, is greatly enhanced by using the thickest redneck accent you can muster. Now, there’s a difference between southern accents, of course. There are southern drawls, mountain twangs, etc. This one is a full on, Larry the Cable Guy, I Dream of Hosting a Fishing Show, redneck accent. Given the funny and slightly irritated word play climaxing with sentimentality, it really flourishes here. The voice got giggles, but it’s a matter of choice.
This read is not as sing-songy as I Like Pumpkins, but there is some rhyme, alliteration, parallelism, and slight repetition to give Mr. Duck Means Business flow, as well as very few words to a page for those impatient readers. Plus, the painting-like depictions of Mr. Duck are large and beautiful with loads of expressions for a duck and are created by Jeff Mack.
Plot Overview: Mr. Duck is an introvert who likes his schedule almost as much as he likes his solitude, but what really bothers him is needless noise. Here comes the conflict; Mr. Duck’s sweet pond becomes the popular hangout for a bunch of other creatures, basically ruining his life. They are oblivious. One of the best parts is: “Mr. Duck Sputtered. He muttered. He tail-a-fluttered. But Pig did not get the message.”
He has to really mean business to get his feelings across, and he does. However, like so often after company, his old life seems quieter and eventually lonely. Rather than a true change into an extrovert, Mr. Duck finds a compromise, packing a lot of lessons into a few pages about personality differences without making either one a superior choice. It also shows how different personalities can have difficulty communicating subtly. For extroverts, it shows how you can unknowingly disturb others; for introverts, it shows that even if you enjoy time alone, friendship is important.
But mostly, it’s hilarious.
Mr. Duck is one of my favorites. Evy wouldn’t put it down. Literally. As you can see in the picture, she would not put it down.
Find it here, hardcovers as low as $14.99: https://www.amazon.com/Means-Business-Paula-Wiseman-Books/dp/1416985220/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473371533&sr=1-1&keywords=mr+duck+means+business
And, as always, feel free to leave a book suggestion and we will review!
-Evy And Me.