Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Friday, February 9, 2018

Rest Well, Furry And Feathered Friends

As soon as the plan is made and parents are consulted, the excitement builds.  Even if they are your next door neighbor, the thrill is still there.  Thoughts of shared chatter, laughter and activities fill you up with joy.  Is there anything more fun than getting to spend the night with your best buddy?

Two friends who never tire of encouraging one to be more like the other are returning for another delightful adventure.  They met in Hey Duck! (Random House, January 22, 2013) and returned in a companion title, Just a Duck? (Random House, January 27, 2015).  Sleepover Duck! (Random House, January 2, 2018) written and illustrated by Carin Bramsen is sure to have you smiling from beginning to end.

Hey, Cat!  My mom said it's all right
to sleep inside the barn tonight.

As the sun sets Cat and Duck are happily celebrating their slumber party night.  Duck, as usual, is ready to commemorate the event with a singular series of steps,

the slumber party dance!

A special game is next on the agenda.  Cat is immediately declared the winner.

Duck needs a little assistance in falling asleep properly.  Cat willingly provides hints.  Just before Duck descends into dreamland a new noise, a soft sound, shakes Duck awake.

It's something different for the duo to do.  They search among the other slumbering barn mothers and their children, a cow, a mare, a ewe and a sow.  Determined to locate the source, Duck climbs to the loft.

From this height answers and new surprises are provided.  The slumber party guest numbers grow.  Soon it's time to snuggle close.  Here's wishing the furry and feathered friends have sweet dreams.

A gentle rhythmic cadence beckons to readers through rhyming words at the end of sentences and phrases.  Carin Bramsen uses the conversations of Cat and Duck and the other animals resting in the barn to assist in making us a part of the slumber party.  The compelling exuberance of Duck and companionable support of Cat are the perfect ingredients for an evening to remember.  Here is a passage.

Well, lie down first.  Try breathing deep.
It's not so hard to fall asleep.

Then I'll lie here, if you don't mind.
Oh, thanks.  That's better.  You're too kind. . . .

When you look at the friends on the dust jacket, Cat curled on a bed of straw and Duck positioned for action, probably laughing, you can't resist opening the book case cover.  The evening sky of rich blues and purple extends across the spine for a full, double-page illustration.  Stars twinkle around a crescent moon on the back to the left.  Other mounds of straw frame a small wooden structure.  The surprise guest sits there silently.  (I am working with an F & G.)

The opening and closing endpapers, unique to these books, are pale yellow, downy like the feathers on a baby duck.  Duck, in the same position as on the front of the dust jacket, is poised on straw beneath the text on the title page.  He is close to us, looking right into our eyes.

Each picture, in full color, spans two pages, single pages or several on a single page framed in white.  There are a series of images without words, as in the previous two titles, which depict the distinct personality of the characters.  They create an irresistible connection between them and us.  Careful readers will see the source of the sound following Duck and Cat.  This is the best kind of humor.

One of my many favorite illustrations is on two pages.  Across the top is the red siding of the inside of the barn.  A portion of a bucket and rope are visible on the left.  A wooden floor spans to a bed of straw along the bottom.  Cat is stretched out to from the left to the edge of the page on the right.  One eye is open, the other is closed.  Duck is relaxing on Cat's head until the noise causes Duck to flip and land on Cat's back.  We can see the noise maker but Cat and Duck cannot.

For a bedtime or quiet time treat Sleepover Duck! written and illustrated by Carin Bramsen is absolutely charming.  Guys and gals will be happy these lovable characters have returned in a third title.  Pure magic is heightened in threes. You'll want copies on your professional and personal bookshelves. 

To learn more about Carin Bramsen and her other work, please follow the link attached to her name to access her website.  At the publisher's website you can view interior illustrations.  You'll be able to see those opening and closing endpapers which you'll long to touch, expecting them to be soft and fuzzy.


  1. Thanks so much, Margie, for your thoughtful reading and appreciative review! You’ve added a big smile to my weekend. :)

    1. You are welcome, Carin. Your books add smiles to many faces . . . repeatedly. We love Duck and Cat.

  2. SO happy there's more DUCK! I love these sweet books.

    1. I'm so happy too, Beth. You want to hug these characters and their creator. :)