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Day 141 – Peep Leap

Cute baby ducks? Check. Mortal peril? Check. A young one’s triumph in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds? Check! Yes, today’s book – “Peep Leap” by Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello – has it all! All kidding aside, “Peep Leap” is a darling book about a baby wood duck overcoming his fears to take his first leap from the nest. With rhyming text and lovely watercolor illustrations, it’s fun to read aloud and keeps little listeners engaged throughout.

peepTen little eggs have hatched in mama wood duck’s hollow in the tree by the pond. One by one the newborn ducks take their first leap into the pond below…but one little duck hesitates. He is (rationally, in my opinion) afraid to jump. Eventually, however, seeing his siblings swimming and having fun in the pond, and listening to his mother’s encouraging words (“You are braver than you know!”) he takes the leap himself. At last, “all ten ducklings dip and glide, up and down, ’round and ’round, in their new pond home.”

We originally chose to read this book because the author, Ms. Verdick, was scheduled to participate in an upcoming Read-Aloud Revival author event. As usual, I loved how open the author was in sharing her experiences and processes on the web cast. One of the things Ms. Verdick mentioned in the event was that “Peep Leap” is her favorite book right now because it brings together four things she really loves: books, kids, animals, and nature. Coincidentally, those are four of my favorite things, too! Another very interesting thing I learned was that wood ducks don’t quack. Adult ducks basically screech and baby ducks… you guessed it: peep! Thus the name “Peep Leap.” Oh, and don’t forget to read the authors note in the back of the book, it provides some good information about wood ducks and their leap.