Cover image for Swim swim sink
Swim swim sink
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm

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R.H. Stafford Library (Woodbury)1On Order
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Three tiny ducks. One straight line. New happy flock. All feeling fine.
Until, that is, the last ducking sinks when she should swim. Let's try that again . . . and again and again. All this sinking is ruining the rhyme!
Little ones will love following the antics of these adorable ducklings, and parents will enjoy the way the book goes off the rails halfway through. Everyone will laugh at the tiny ducky's string of failures and cheer when it comes up with the best solution of all.

Author Notes

Jenn Harney is the author-illustrator of Underwear! . She has also illustrated the Hazy Bloom chapter book series by Jennifer Hamburg, as well as the forthcoming picture books How to Become a Knight (in Ten Easy Lessons) by Todd Tarpley and Never Trumpet with a Crumpet by Amy Gibson. Jenn lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, her daughter, a corgi named Steve, and the ghost of the oldest living goldfish in North America. Follow her on Twitter @jennharknee.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1--Three tiny eggs crack open to the rhythmic "Quack" of three little ducks. "Three tiny ducks in one straight line. New, happy flock. All feeling fine." But all is not fine when the ducklings follow their Mama into the water; the last little one sinks (not swims) once…twice…again and again. "All of this sinking is ruining the rhyme." Not to worry--the determined little one begins a series of experiments to test for duckling flotation through a variety of possibilities: a running start, water wings, enlisting the help of other pond creatures, "state-of-the-art scuba gear," stilts, and even a rip-roaring, out-of-control Jet Ski. Digital cartoon art reveals the terrified onlookers, while enlarged font and onomatopoeia put readers in the middle of the action through each failed attempt--until Duckling #3 can find a solution with a clever bit of thinking (and still save the rhyme). VERDICT Children will come up with their own suggestions and solutions for a happy duckling ending in this suggested general purchase for all libraries.--Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

Publisher's Weekly Review

What begins as a simple rhyming picture book by Harney (Underwear!) morphs into a humorous metafictional tale about a resolute duckling's dilemma. After "one happy duck sits down to rest./ Three tiny eggs. One twiggy nest," three eggs hatch, producing a trio of wee ducks (an onlooker, a pink worm, grins at their appearance). Two of the fledglings immediately take to swimming, but as the title implies, the last duckling experiences some difficulty. As soon as the third begins to sink, an omniscient narrator intrudes ("Huh... I didn't know ducks could sink. This is a problem. Ducks need to swim. AND all of this sinking is ruining the rhyme"), adding a meta layer to the narrative. With the gentle companionship of the worm, the duckling approaches her predicament from various angles (a running start, orange water wings, and lengthy stilts among them) before constructing a creative solution that allows the duck to float comfortably. Expressive digital illustrations, bright orange feet, and dramatic typography against a mellow aqua background mark this charming celebration of perseverance and problem-solving skills. Ages 3--5. Agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (Jan.)

Kirkus Review

Three ducklings hatch and try to follow their mother, with a watchful worm observing."Three tiny ducks jump right in. / SPLISH! SPLISH! SPLASH!! / Swim. Swim // Sink." At that point the author/illustrator calls a do-over, understanding that the rhythm and logical story arc are off. The ducks try again, the third duck is again unsuccessful, and the worm comments with a quizzical look on its face: "Huh...I didn't know ducks could sink. This is a problem. Ducks need to swim." The narrator laments: "AND all of this sinking is ruining the rhyme." Following this, the sinking duck uses an array of humorous strategies to achieve its goal, winsomely depicted in the bold, firmly outlined illustrations, with their lovely aqueous blue water and white, yellow, and orange ducks. Some of the solutions are ingenious: "Stilts to stay high and dry?" "State-of-the-art scuba gear?" "A Jet Ski" motors the duck along in one of the more exciting pictures, full of froth shaking up fish in the wake left behind by the machine. But none of these ploys works until the worm and the duck create a pirate sailing ship out of the duckling's cracked eggshell. Maybe this will work for the youngest pirate fansbut as the narrator feared, it makes for a pretty flat arc.A duck turns into a pirate, but not much adventure happens. (Picture book. 3-5) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

A happy duck watches as her three eggs hatch. Soon the ducklings are following their mother down to the water for their first swim. She dives off a ledge, followed by the first two ducklings ( SPLISH! SPLISH! ), who swim, and the third one ( SPLASH ), who sinks. Wait. What? Let's try that again, says the narrator. So the intrepid little duckling tries again and sinks again twice. The duckling tries water wings (too big), scuba gear (too scary), a Jet Ski (way too scary), and other ingenious schemes before finding the perfect, pirate-themed solution. In the artwork, expressive black-and-white lines, along with shades of blue-green, yellow, and orange, create the characters and suggest the settings. Positioning words creatively within the illustrations and using rhyme when things are moving along smoothly, Harney's satisfying text reads aloud beautifully. Both the words and the digital illustrations create a jaunty tone while setting up viewers' expectations, only to surprise them yet again. Fun to share, this picture book will amuse kids and leave everyone smiling.--Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2019 Booklist