Quack and Daisy: Aileen Stewart
Friends can be defined as someone who understands your feelings, might have he same interests you do and respects you for who you are. Children learn early on that people of different races, colors and religions might hold prejudices against them and there would not be candidates for being their friend. What would happen if children of different racial backgrounds, different religions and countries played together in schoolyard and actually got along? Wouldn’t that be wonderful! Author Aileen Stewart brings this to light in her beautifully illustrated story titled: Quack and Daisy. Can an adorable kitten become best friends with precious duck? Only one way to tell. Let’s meet Quack and Daisy as they each venture out of the perimeter of the McDoodle Farm and just might teach adults, young adults and small children the true meaning of friendship. Quack decided to leave her pond and Daisy left her barn and venture in different directions. Quack saw some wild flowers and Daisy noticed some butterflies. But, what happens when they notice each other? Check out their expressions and listen to their conversation as each one asks: Who are you? Daisy answers and then Quack does too revealing where they lived and why they are in the meadow where they both wound up. Facing each other Quack explained what her mother told her about cats and Daisy politely dispelled the theory. So, when they were both satisfied that they came to explore what was beyond the pond believe it or not they decided to play together.
Families can change things for the good or even the bad. When each one asks the other if they want to meet their family members what happens will remind readers how narrow minded some people or in this case animals can be. Daisy was introduced to Puddles who claimed that she probably could now swim. Poor Daisy tried so hard and wait until you see what happens when she enters the water! Realizing that she can’t swim she went back home to her barn. This might discourage other children or even Quack and Daisy from being friends but the next day they met up in the meadow and this time Quack was introduced to Daisy’s family and the same thing happened. Quack is a duck and cannot chase mice and Daisy’s brother Tom confirmed this. Quack took the challenge and attempted to catch a mouse. Check out the mouse that hides within the illustrations of each page. See how many times you see this mouse and would you try to catch it?
Now they had a real dilemma. Can they stay friends? Will they decide because they are different and one cannot swim and the other cannot catch mice that their newfound friendship is over? In order to find out what happens just like all good mysteries you have to read it for yourself. Can children of different backgrounds and interests become friends? What lessons can they learn from Daisy and Quack? Let’s hope author Aileen Stewart brings them back for more adventures in the future. Just think what would happen if a third friend joined the group. Great for parents, discussion groups, librarians, young adults, small children and even adults can learn just what it takes to be a real friend. The illustrations are great and young children can understand the story just by looking at the pictures. Quack and Daisy: Friends forever?
Fran Lewis: MJ magazine/ Just reviews