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Wages Creek Reviews

Dear Mr. Hickey:

I'm very pleased to announce that the July 2014 issue of our online book review magazine "Children's Bookwatch" features a review of "Wages Creek".

The review has been provided to the Helen C. White Library's "Cooperative Children's Book Center" (University of Wisconsin, Madison) where it will be made available to school and community librarians throughout Wisconsin's public school systems and community libraries. This review has also been provided to the Cengage Learning, Gale interactive CD-ROM series "Book Review Index" which is published four times yearly for academic, corporate, and public library systems.

Here is the review:

Children's Bookwatch: July 2014
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

The Multimedia Shelf

Wages Creek
Jeffrey Hickey, author
Karen Kiser, artist/illustrator
Big-N-Boo Productions
PO Box 922, Inverness, CA 94937
9780991257508, $9.49, www.amazon.com

"Wages Creek" is the story of a unique camping trip experienced by the author with his wife and two sons. Written by an award winning writer, "Wages Creek" is a duck-centered story about camping with a cold in a unique fresh and salt water camp setting. Camping with his family, Jeff has caught a killer cold with accompanying grumpiness and is left in solitude for recovery while his wife and sons explore elsewhere for the day. What follows is a mysterious adventure involving three ducks named Esmerelda, Shlomo and Gilbert, who are destined to become related by marriage. The issue presented is universal: lack of acceptance of the newcomer son-in-law Shlomo by father Gilbert, who seems determined to obstruct his daughter Esmerelda's happiness. Enter the horseshoe contest, with duck vs human, outcome to determine the fate of young (duck) lovers. Such is the challenge flung down by the cold-afflicted Jeffrey, when he is insulted by Gilbert, a self proclaimed horseshoe champion. The outcome is hilarious and preposterous, but happy. Soft, dark-toned, fuzzy-edged paintings of the duck lovers adorn the pages of "Wages Creek" along with black and white woodcut stamp portraits. Authentic duck voices quack convincingly on the accompanying CD narrated by the author. "Wages Creek" is a very funny story, artistically and convincingly told, with aspects of the Tall Tale suggested. Kids of all ages will love it along with their parents.

You have complete permission to utilize the review in any manner you deem useful for marketing and promotion.

Additionally, this review will be archived on our Midwest Book Review website for the next five years at http://www.midwestbookreview.com/

Please send an email notification to my attention at mwbookrevw@aol.com for your future titles as they are published and become available to the reading public.

I look forward to your next new title.

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI, 53575


23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title Wages Creek
Author: Jeffrey Hickey
Judge Number: 2
Entry Category: Children's Picture books
Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking. Our system only recognizes numerals during this portion of logging evaluations. As a result, a “0” is used in place of “N/A” when the particular portion of the evaluation simply does not apply to the particular entry, based on the entry genre. For example, a book of poetry or a how to manual, would not necessarily have a “Plot and Story Appeal and may therefore receive a “0”.
*If you wish to reference this review on your website, we ask that you cite it as such: “Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.” You may cite portions of your review, if you wish, but please make sure that the passage you select is appropriate, and reflective of the review as a whole.
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design:  4
Plot and Story Appeal: 4
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary*:
Wages Creek by Jeffrey Hickey, illustrated by Karen Kiser
Wages Creek by Jeffrey Hickey is a funny, interesting read. Although pitched as a children's book, adults will enjoy it as well. Mr. Hickey shares what sounds like a more or less real experience with anyone delving into the pages of this little book. As Mr. Hickey seems to have given the book a test drive to first through fourth graders, it would appear that early elementary kids are the target audience.
The narrator and his family are off on a camping trip despite the fact that the narrator is sick with a nasty cold. Mr. Hickey makes every effort to let us know just how nasty that cold really was. His descriptions are so vivid there is not doubt that he actually experienced this. As his wife and kids leave him in the tent to recuperate, he encounters a trio of ducks with whom he has a lively exchange.
This little book makes no real pretense at being something other than pure fun and entertainment for the young reader. There are no big lessons hidden in the text. The narration is straightforward and picturesque. Mr. Hickey paints word pictures for all his readers to enjoy.
The illustrations are bright and lively to complement the text. The scattered line drawings add to the charm of this book.


Five Stars
`But what about the ducks?'
By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Hickey has that ability to inform and entertain simultaneously, and as he continues to prove to his readers, he has the ability to create unforgettable characters. This reader knows him through his works for adults - the sensitive `Morehead', The Coach's Son', and `Scary, Man'. But this new book (though originally written in 1997) - but this new version of WAGES CREEK accompanied by an audio book that has Jeff Hickey reading the story in a dramatic fashion and accompanied by his own musical compositions and sound effects.

The story is the Hickey family on a camping trip where everything is going great until Dad catches a cold: the mother and children confines him to a tent and leaves. That's when the real fun begins. Wages Creek is a campground on the Northern California coast where a fresh, bubbling stream met the vast Pacific Ocean. The sandy beach was large, the grasses were tall and soft, and Dad encounters three ducks who can speak and the interaction between the incredulous ducks and Dad includes sharing the family problems of the ducks - Papa Gilbert, his daughter Esmerelda, and her boyfriend Shlomo - and eventually a challenging (and very fascinating!) game of horseshoes with interesting consequences. The ducks and Dad interact in both a serious and hilarious way. When Dad's family returns the real truth about what had happened in their absence is a great surprise.

This interacting story is especially enchanting when hearing the audio version. Complete entertainment! The book is graced with illustrations by Karen Kiser which serve to make the entire encounter a joy! Grady Harp, April 14


Five Stars
By Daniel Myers on October 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Wages Creek is a little out of the ordinary. It's not just a book, but also a cassette; and unlike others, it is a combination of the author reading (he has a GREAT voice!) and music that he apparently composed. It's fun and silly and you will giggle. Littler children can listen to the cassette; older ones can read the book; and even adults might just find some sly humor here that will go right past the kids. It's a real kick and not something you find every day. No Disney marketing, just a cute, clever story well done, almost a throwback to a different--and perhaps better--time. Highly recommended.


 Five Stars
Aram 05-01-14
Overall Five Stars
Performance  Five Stars
Story  Five Stars
Would you listen to Wages Creek again? Why?

I would totally listen to it again. Just seems like a story tailor-made for a sunny summer afternoon. Jeffrey is an incredible storyteller and genuinely transports out of reality and into the middle of the story. It's a great book for people of all ages.

Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Hickey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Awhile back Jeff. did a children's series called "Bats and Bones." It was a group of spooky children's stories that my friends and I grew up on. I've grown up with Jeff's stories. The Coach's Son is still to this day one of my favorite books.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Totally. It's only a little over an hour. Great book to sit and check out for an hour with.

Any additional comments?

Jeffrey is an amazing person and a very talented storyteller. Well worth your time to check out some of his other novels as well.


By Brittany on June 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition

I had the pleasure of reading a delightful children's book, Wages Creek as an advanced reader copy.

From the moment my son and I first pulled Wages Creek out of its packaging, he was enthralled with the cover art. I loved the concept of the read-along CD that came with. The CD included a complete reading as well as exciting sound effects to emphasize sections of the story.

Wages Creek is a 30 page children's book written by Jeffrey Hickey and illustrated by Karen Kiser. It is about a man that goes camping with his family and ends up catching a cold. His family goes off to explore nature while letting dad rest. He awakens to realize just how special Wages Creek and the ducks that reside there are.

This book was fun to read with my son, it is probably geared more towards ages 6 or 7 and up and with my toddler being 3 and a half, we just broke it up into 3 sessions to finish the book. The storyline is very creative and teaches children to appreciate family and the small things around them. The whole audio CD was so fun to read along with. We would follow along in the book and my son was delighted by the sound effects. I don't think I have ever had a children's book that was quite so fun to follow along with.

This book definitely needs to be paired with the Audio disc in order to get the full effect. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Brilliantly done all around. I highly recommend this book, especially for campers and animal lovers, especially of the waterfowl variety.


Format: Paperback

This is a very imaginative tale, while it involves the common plot tactic of animals that have human emotions and communication skills; the way it is done makes the story interesting and unique. Wages Creek is an actual campsite in California where a stream flows into the Pacific. From the description, it is a very restful and refreshing place. One could camp on the edge of the stream close to the ocean and be serenaded by the sound of the flowing water and the surf.
The author and his family are camping at Wages Creek and he comes down with a very bad cold. Not wanting the trip to be wasted, his wife takes the children and leaves him at the campsite to rest and recover. There are no other humans at the campsite and when Hickey is having oatmeal and tea three ducks appear. He is astonished when they begin talking to him, Esmerelda and Shlomo are engaged and Esmerelda's father Gilbert is the third member of the trio. Gilbert is totally opposed to the union between Esmerelda and Shlomo and it comes down to a game of horseshoes between Hickey and Gilbert with the fate of the marriage at stake.
Once the encounter Hickey has with the ducks is over and his family returns there are indications that the incident was the dream of a feverish man yet there are other events that indicate that it was real. Those two mutually exclusive plot tracks leave the reader thinking at the end, wondering what the truth is. Books that entertain and get the reader thinking, especially those targeted at the late elementary school child as this one is, are valuable teaching tools.
I raised ducks earlier in my life and they can be very sociable creatures and if you spend enough time with them so that you can differentiate their quacks, it is easy to reach the point where you can believe that they can speak. A love story involving ducks and humans seems at first glance to be silly, but Hickey makes this one work.


Five Stars
Format: Kindle Edition

I've been given a lot of "read for review " books recently that have been less than stellar. I was actually contemplating giving up the whole thing since I only seem to succeed in injuring feelings with my honesty. But I saw "Wages Creek " in my inbox and the synopsis mentioned ducks; well, my resolve crumbled. I had to read it.

Anyone with pets (I love ducks and have 13 of them) will know the feeling where you start to attribute human-ness to them. You talk to them and they talk back. Yes, they do! Well in this story that is what happens. Sort of.

Jeff and his family are on a camping trip. He comes down with a cold and being a whiner (we know ALL about 'man colds'!) the family leave him to his misery in the tent while they go off for the day. Then.... the ducks appear.

And they talk.
And they understand him.
And they play horseshoes.
And it seems that Jeff, the unwitting bystander is also going to play a part in determining the future happiness of a lovestruck couple...

"Wages Creek "is an audio book and while it can be enjoyed just on its own it is a TON of fun to listen to with all the voices, music and sound effects as you read along. And its pretty hilarious in places! My husband was supposed to be writing emails when I was playing the CD and my daughter and I caught him laughing along. So adults enjoy this book too which is a plus in everyone's book :)

5 Stars easy!


Our daughter, Lydia Mae, was delighted to read and review a book about ducks. She is an avid animal lover, and we also enjoy camping as a family, so this book easily appealed to her liking. We received a complimentary paperback copy as also an audio CD in exchange for review. She was tickled pink with the narration, the excitement was a buildup and we were laughing so hard! We read this book together in three separate chunks in her early morning bird free time before school. Wages Creek was most definitely a bit of a challenge for her, as she is 8 years old, and in second grade, she does have reading setback issues, such as slow reader, difficulty with reading in general, speech and language problems...she needs our extra help and attention, which this book helped her attain, along with her very first audio CD...Well, OUR very first audio CD. This truly made a difference in her interest with the book. I believe since it was rather long and daunting, for her, when she scoped out the many words, if an audio CD was not kindly provided, she probably would not have enjoyed as much as she did! She followed the words with her finger, sometimes it was hard for her to keep up, but it was a great successful challenge for her. We really loved Wages Creek by Jeffrey Hickey. I would recommend because the narration made all the difference. This was a great book, as it included lots of fun imagination, and even thought provoking questions along the way from Lydia Mae. Ducks really do talk, we agree! Quack Quack! This book is hilarious with every turn of the page, and children and adults alike will be sure to devour together as a family. Excellent way to spend one on one time through a good book, and Lydia Mae and I highly recommend for laughter, fantasy, and pure enjoyment through the pages!


Five Stars out of Five


By gayle pace on June 9, 2014Format: Paperback MY VIEW

First I'd like to say that listening to the audio by Dercum Audio is a must. It makes the reading so much more enjoyable. The author's characters have that certain something that makes you not forget them. They stick in your mind.

The author is probably more known through his adult books, THE COACH'S SON, SCARY, MAN and MOREHEAD.

This book was written first in 1997, the new book has an audio book in which Mr. Hickey is reading the story with lots of action, his own musical and sound effects. Wonderful combination. You can't go without the audio.

The story starts out with a camping trip in 1964 which is really a good trip for the Hickey family. Then the Dad comes down with a cold: The the fun began, he is told to stay in the tent and the kids and mom went out for some fun.

On Northern California's coast, Wages Creek is a campground with a clear, stream that ran into the Pacific Ocean. There were tall grass that were so soft and a large sandy beach. I couldn't believe that the descriptions of the surroundings and the people. So vivid.

Then we come to an encounter with three ducks who speak. They and Dad talk about the problems of the duck family. I found that the interaction between the ducks and Dad both humorous and serious at the same time.

The real truth about the ducks was a big Surprise when the family comes back.

I found the book to be well written with wonderful descriptions that were so real you thought you were right there camping with Dad, Mom and the kids. I don't believe anyone should read the book without the audio. I also think the book would not be the same with out the wonderful cover and the colorful artwork. It's a duo that you don't want to split up.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, not just children but adults too. Everybody has a bit of a child in them. This book is a keeper that need to be read and re-read and listened to at the same time. I just don't know what else to say but it's a wonderful read and audio.


5.0 out of 5 stars

This Silly Goose Gave Up True Story About The Ducks!
, May 21, 2014
This review is from: Wages Creek (Kindle Edition)
We had picked the Camp Grounds at Wages Creek, just north of Westport on the Northern California Coast and having the best vacation trip, but then I got sick... It wasn't fair, at least in my opinion... And the family knew to just leave me alone...

The author declares this book one for all ages...and I must agree. After all, at one time or another we all take a vacation which makes a long time impression on all of us, or even just one of us... For Jeffrey Hickey, when he got sick, he had a dream, or maybe he was hallucinating from a fever...or, maybe, just maybe, he actually saw what he saw...So I've asked him to tell us what happened that day.

"Qwaaau waaaaa oh yeah--aackaa wakaa wow!"

I so appreciate the opportunity to tell my story. Any time I think of it, it seems like it just happened yesterday. I sometimes begin to wonder since I did try to find pictures of ducks with circles around their necks and have been unsuccessful... But then again, they might have had ribbons or bits of scarves tied around their necks--don't you think? I do know that they were in the midst of some ritual when I first saw them...or maybe just a mating dance...

Now I admit I was surprised that they didn't run away, but they didn't and they stared at me for awhile, then started again...

And would you believe we even began a conversation?! It seemed that these two were indeed a couple, but Esmeralda's father was opposed to their relationship...

Well, I admit I am somewhat opinionated so I started pointing out to her father that there was nothing wrong with their being involved...

And of course, we were soon in an argument...

I really don't know how it happened but that old coot, I mean duck, made a derogatory comment about my horseshoe playing...

Well, that was a mistake, because I'm the best.

But, of course, that's what he said too. Well, you know what two stubborn enemies are going to do, even if one is a man and one a duck...

"Tell you what!...Let's play horseshoes!"

The horseshoe sites were already being used, so we had to wait...after all, we didn't think it would be a good idea to have others around when a duck was playing me...

Well, Sir, That works out fine because I think we must stop here. We always want to leave readers hanging, right?! But we are so interested in what happened to the ducks...who won the horseshoe competition...And how the story ended!

So, I do want to highlight that this book is also in audio form and although the book is wonderful as a standalone, the author has done voice characterization, added sound effects...and really makes it an all-around delightful sensation! The book itself is beautifully painted by Karen Kiser. In fact the cover would make an attractive framed picture for some lucky child's bedroom...

I think the thing I liked most about the story was that the author took a routine vacation and made it into a family memory, not only for his own family but for all of us...and he made fun of himself so that we were able to laugh and make fun of what happened there! You and your children will be missing a lot of fun if you miss this one! High Recommended! Do come over to my blog to see more!

PaperBook Provided for Review

Thank you so much for having me visit here at Book Readers Heaven. BTW, we went back to Wages Creed a year or two afterward, so thought I'd bring you some photos taken on that trip!


                                       5 stars out of 5

A Story That Will Make Children Giggle!, May 18, 2014

This review is from: Wages Creek (Paperback)

"Wages Creek" is an interesting story of a family trip that was taken to a campground in Northern California during the spring of ‘94. Jeffrey Hickey (the author) tells the story. He catches a cold during the trip and closes his eyes. He starts listening to noises from the creek. Is what he experiences soon after that a dream? He meets three ducks that turn his day around. Shlomo and Esmerelda are two of the ducks; they want to get married. The third duck, Gilbert, is Esmerelda’s father. He is not so approving of their relationship though because Shlomo is different to him. Jeffrey tries to help Shlomo and Esmerelda by encouraging Gilbert to approve of their potential marriage, but he learns that it is going to take more than that.

"Wages Creek" is meant to be read with the music that was created specifically for this story, although it is great for reading without the music, also. The duck sounds that Jeffrey makes will cause a lot of children to giggle! There is also beautiful artwork included in the book from Karen Kiser, Jeffrey’s wife.

In my opinion, Jeffrey Hickey did a great job with the music and all the different voices from the storytelling on the CD that I was sent to use while reviewing this book. His voice was very calming and I could feel some of the words as he spoke them often; he also did a great job of expressing emotion with the different characters. The audio CD had two versions included on it. They were the storytelling version with Jeffrey Hickey with music included, and the version with only the music. Both versions were great but I recommend listening to the storytelling version first because there are pauses in the storytelling and the music moves along with the story.

I found when listening to the storytelling version of the audio CD (while reading along in the book) that the audio differed from the printed version occasionally, which shouldn’t matter if people reading the book are not using the audio. I took it into consideration that I might have received kind of an advanced reader’s copy, since I learned from the author that there is another printed version that differed from the copy I was sent.

The artwork would be great to show to children in the book as the audio storytelling version is used, as well as when the story is read from an in person storyteller. There are color and black and white drawings to explain the story as it unfolds. The color pictures often take up a whole page, while the black and white drawings (stamp art images) are smaller and used between the words. Both types of artwork do a great job of bringing the story alive visually.

Children will enjoy following along with the audio and reading this story on their own. I think that this book also would be great to read to children aloud. It might fit in nicely to be read before or during summer break, and especially while children are at camp.


5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Childrens Book, May 14, 2014
This review is from: Wages Creek (Paperback)
About the Book:

Dercum Audio is pleased to invite you on a camping trip with the Hickey Family, where everything is going great until Dad catches a cold. That's when the real fun begins. The story takes place at Wages Creek, a magical place where the grasses are tall, the creek bubbles lullabies, and the local ducks are not like any ducks you've met before.

My Review:

It was along on a camping trip with the author and his family , that the author had caught a cold. he is a bit of a whiner, when it comes to getting sick. As a result of this family known fact, his family decides to leave for awhile to give him time to rest. While the family was away and Jeffrey, the author, remained miserable in his current situation, he soon learns that the ducks outside his tent can talk. Upon reading this, I'm thinking to myself, he is delusional because he has a cold. Soon you will discover that he was burning up with fever, so of course this is what caused the whole, "ducks talking" dream, or did it?

This book was a very sweet, adventurous children's book full of page turning action. The author takes us along on his little adventure with the ducks that day. And let me just say it was an adventure not to be missed that the whole family would enjoy and the audio isn't have bad either.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the author.


Five Stars out of Five

A Fun Read!

By Shirley Priscilla Johnson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE
 on June 2, 2014
Format: Paperback

In this light enjoyable read we go on vacation with the Hickey family to Wages Creek where they will camp out. Unfortunately Dad doesn't feel well, so Mom and the children leave him alone to rest, but does he? I don't think so. Dad encounters three talking ducks who seem to have a problem while Mom and the children are away.
Dad isn't sure if he is dreaming, after all Ducks don't talk, or do they? Can Dad help them with this very serious problem?
This is a very entertaining book with a very good story line. the interaction between Dad and the Ducks is humorous, and frustrating for Dad, which makes it funnier for the reader. The illustrations were good in helping to bring the story to life, and the ending was very good. A CD with the story read by our author, with music is also available.
I believe this is a very enjoyable read that both young and old will enjoy.


Allergy Kid Mom's Book Reviews

Five Stars

My take:
Can I start out by saying awesome story! It makes me remember all the times that my parents took us camping when we were younger. We had a lot of fun, but not sure if it was as fun as what happens in this story. I read the book first and then listened to it (you can download it from iTunes or Audible.com) with my daughter while she held the book in her hand. Wages Creek, by Jeffrey Hickey is a breath of fresh air. Listening to the story being read by him really gets you into the book. He is very over the top while reading the story. But I think this is awesome. It totally had my daughter laughing, grabbed her attention and kept her attention throughout the whole story. 

I purposely read the book first without listening to it. I wanted to see how the story read. Most of the time when you hear a story being read, it is different from when you read it yourself. I have to say, this one is different. The read was just as good as listening to it. The author's writing is very engaging. He makes you want to keep reading so that you can figure out what happens. I feel like his style of writing benefits all ages. Not only younger kids will enjoy this story, but older ones as well. I think that everyone should include this book on their child's bookshelf. I don't think there is a person who wouldn't enjoy reading/listening to this story. My daughter listened/followed along with the book twice in a row. She really enjoyed it.


Winnie's Book Reviews.

Five Stars out of Five

Summary: Quack! I read a book called Wages Creek by an amazing author, Jeffrey Hickey. Wages creek is a beautiful place, but you can’t enjoy it when you’re sick. In this book Jeffrey Hickey is a character that goes on an adventure in his mind. This adventure includes ducks, horseshoes, and an unusual event!

Opinion: I love this book! The illustrations are well drawn and the story is thought through. It’s got all the right parts. I love how the author used himself as a character. I rate this book 5 star!

Renee: So, Winnie really liked this one. I gave her the book and she had it read before she even made it home. She was also given an audio book by the author. She listened to it and shared it with her younger siblings. They all enjoyed both the actual book and the audio book.


Breeze's Review:

As a parent I am always excited to find books that my children genuinely like to read and when I find one that ALL of us enjoy reading, I get truly excited. This is one of those books. It has the writings of a great imagination, adventure and a lot of humor that both parents and their children will enjoy. The family was on a camping trip when dad got sick and stayed behind at the campsite while the family went out and you won't believe what follows! He has a great adventure with some ducks and the illustrations absolutely add to the story. I highly suggest listening to the audio book while reading this story! I hope many more families get to enjoy this book!


5.0 out of 5 stars

Hickey Shines

February 24, 2015
This review is from: Wages Creek (Paperback)
It is no secret that Jeffrey Hickey is a great storyteller. It should also come as no surprise that his talents are not limited to books geared toward adults. This very charming and often laugh-out-loud book is where Hickey shines. I say this because it comes with an audio version read by Hickey accompanied by music that he scored. To fully enjoy the experience of this book, you must listen to the audio while reading. Not to say that the book alone isn't worth the read because it is, but the audio vaults it to another level.

As Hickey's family leaves him behind in the campground with a bad cold, hilarity ensues with the arrival of three ducks. Able to understand and talk to the ducks, Hickey offends Gilbert, the patriarch of the group and an intense game of horseshoes begins. With a wager that he must win, this tale is both funny and heartwarming rolled into one.

Kudos must also be given to Hickey's wife Karen Kiser for her lovely illustrations.


Five Stars

Book Review
Reviewed by for Readers' Favorite

Jeffrey Hickey is sick, very sick. But he's not sick enough for his wife to pack up the family camping trip and head home. He is, however, sick enough to be miserable and grumpy, so his family leaves him alone to sleep in the tent. It's while he's alone at Wages Creek Campground that Jeffrey meets three ducks - three talking ducks: a father duck, a daughter duck and her fiance duck. The father doesn't like his daughter's fiance because he looks different. Jeffrey tries to point out to the father that one shouldn't discriminate because a person looks different. Jeffrey suggests a horseshoe toss to decide the young couple's fate. The father duck is much better at this game than Jeffrey, but in the end, he realizes that his daughter's happiness is more important than his prejudice. It's a happily-ever-after type of story with a new twist. Jeffrey recovers from his sickness; his wife gets sick and they decide to pack up the campground, only to discover that by leaving early they'll be missing a wedding - the daughter duck's wedding, of course.

It's unusual to have a children's story centered with an adult as the protagonist, but author Jeffrey Hickey and illustrator Karen Kiser have really brought this story together. The language is simple and the humor carries the plot along. It never hurts to allow young readers to see the comical nature of adults and to point out that adults need to learn just as much as children do. A good story with a lesson on the importance of accepting others as they are. Well done.


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