A Duckling Called Button – Helen Peters, illustrated by Ellie Snowdon

  A Duckling Called Button (Jasmine Green Rescues) – Helen Peters, illustrated by Ellie Snowdon.  Walker Books, 2020. 9781536210255

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:   Realistic/Animal Fiction

What did you like about the book?  It’s a school vacation week, and Jasmine has an assignment to create a project from something she finds in nature.  While out on a walk with her friend Tom and her pet pig Truffle, Jasmine has an unpleasant encounter with her classmate Bella and her dog trespassing in the Green family sheep pasture.  When Bella’s dog kills a duck, the furious Jasmine is even more upset to find that the duck had a nest filled with eggs, some of which have already been trampled by the dog.

She and Tom bring home four eggs in their coat pockets, and with help from her veterinarian Mom, they learn that only two of them are viable.  They put the eggs in an incubator, and anxiously await the arrival of ducklings…but after incubation, only one duckling hatches and survives.  Jasmine names him Button.  Button imprints on Jasmine, and she keeps him in her room until he is strong enough to live with the other animals in the barn.

Button is a sturdy little duckling.  He survives a visit to Jasmine’s school for show-and-tell (and another episode with the unpleasant Bella) and successfully adjusts to life in the barn by befriending a newborn lamb.  But when fire breaks out in the barn, threatening many of the farm animals within, Button proves to be an actual hero by sounding (or quacking) an alarm at the first sign of danger.

This 2nd book in the series is as endearing as the first.  Readers will enjoy getting to know Jasmine’s family better (and laugh at the antics of younger brother Manu and his best friend Ben) and cheering for Jasmine and Tom, and Button, as the rescued becomes the rescuer.  An interview with Jasmine about animal rescue is included, as well as a preview chapter of the next book in the series.

Anything you didn’t like about it? no

To whom would you recommend this book?  Young readers of series like Animal Ark or Puppy Place who are looking for something similar but a little more challenging should take a look; fans of Dick King-Smith and James Herriot will also enjoy the series.

Who should buy this book?  Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? no

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Leigh King, Lincoln St. Elementary School, Northborough, Mass.

Date of review: 5/28/2020

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