Thursday, February 27, 2020

Review - Ella the Swinging Duck

Ella the Swinging Duck
by Suzan Overmeer
illustrated by Myriam Berenschot
Date: 2020
Publisher: Clavis Publishing
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Ella is different from her brothers and sisters.
Less neat. And less sweet.
And she sings her own songs, all day long!
The other animals need time
to get used to it …

An inspiring picture book about music, friendship, and the courage to be yourself. For swinging music makers ages 4 and up.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm not sure about this one. It has some cute elements, but I don't love the story.

Ella is born to Mildred and Maury who, for some reason, name all of their ducklings after classical musicians or composers. Well, all except for Ella, who turns out to be rather loud. She just wants to sing, but nobody in her family likes it. So she goes in search of others who "get" her. But she doesn't have much luck... until she meets someone who's willing to sing with her. Then she goes home, her siblings suddenly like her singing, and everyone lives happily ever after.

I think what's bothering me about this one is that Ella doesn't actually solve her problem. Her problem is solved for her through chance and the author kind of forcing a happy ending. If she hadn't met Dizzy (named after Dizzy Gillespie, I'm guessing), how would the story have ended? Ella still would've been ostracized by the other animals and her family. So... I guess I'm struggling to see how the resolution is inspiring or instructive.

What I do like about this book are the names of the characters. I also like the little ladybug that's somewhere on every spread. The pictures are passably cute. I just wish they'd gone along with a stronger story, perhaps one in which Ella actually affects the outcome.

Thank you to NetGalley and Clavis Publishing for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.17 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment