soup of the day: sitting duck by jackie urbanovic!


Calling all quackers!

Clickety click, clickety clack, Max the soup-cooking duck is back back back!

This week, Sitting Duck (HarperCollins, 2010), the fourth book in Jackie Urbanovic’s wildy popular New York Times bestselling picture book series, officially hits the shelves!

Everyone here at alphabet soup couldn’t be happier, cause we’re all quazy about Max, Brody, Dakota, Bebe and the whole raucous menagerie living at Irene’s. Seems like just yesterday we first heard Max knocking on Irene’s door (Duck at the Door, 2007), seeking shelter one winter’s day after the rest of his flock migrated South. Once he learned to use the remote control, discovered his flair for cooking, and made himself happily, quackily at home, he endeared himself not only to Irene and her resident dogs, cats, birds and rabbits, but to readers all over the world.


Since then, Max and the gang have kept us in stitches by concocting a masterpiece soup recipe (Duck Soup, 2008), and bravely taking in a desperate alligator (Duck and Cover, 2009). Yikes! What madness and mayhem could possibly top those escapades?

Try babysitting a puppy — Brody the St. Bernard’s rambunctious, can’t-help-but-get-into-trouble niece, Anabel, to be exact. Confident as ever, Max assumes the job will be easy: “How much trouble could a puppy get into, anyway?”


Not until Anabel arrives, shouting “Let’s Play!”, does Max discover:

she is quite a bit larger than he is,
playing ball indoors can destroy a few things, and
taking Anabel outdoors, which seems like a good idea at the time, can have almost disastrous consequences.


But it’s all such good fun, and Urbanovic’s lively narrative, supported by her riotous, exuberant, flying-off-the-page illos, captivate the reader from beginning to end. The high-voltage energy is punctuated by a raft of great sound words: WHOOMP! CLICK! SMACK! YIPEEEEE!!, a sure-fire formula for an exciting, suspenseful, giggle-inducing read aloud.


I love the physical comedy, the emotive facial expressions, the hilarious asides, the use of perspective for emphasis and dramatic effect, the fact that Max and Anabel play “chef,” and above all, the strong emphasis on family and acceptance that characterizes all of the Max books. At Irene’s, all are welcome and cared for, and you just know that with that many different creatures living together, there’s bound to be a surprising new adventure around every corner.

So, are you ready to help me congratulate Jackie on another fabulous book? I’m sure Max wouldn’t mind your paddling around the soup in celebration. For those of you of the canine persuasion (like Brody and Anabel), feel free to lap directly from the dish, then bark your good wishes!

Today’s Special: Babysitter’s Broth (seasoned with patience, stamina and a little bounce).

For dessert, you have your choice of doggie cupcakes,

or puppy pops:

Max insisted on equal time, so he contributed these duck feet cookies (beware of their potential to have you quacking all over the world wide web):

Alrighty then, don’t be sitting too long — waddle over to your nearest indie or fave online bookseller, and scoop up your very own copy of Sitting Duck. If you go to a brick and mortar store, you definitely must quack at the cashier (politely, of course), before handing over your bills ☺!

Welcome to the world, Sitting Duck, and thanks for writing another fantastic book, Jackie! Can’t wait to see what you and Max are cooking up next!



♥ Visit her official website. There’s a special page devoted to the Max picture book series here.

♥ Peek inside Sitting Duck at the publisher’s website.


SITTING DUCK by Jackie Urbanovic
published by HarperCollins, 2010
Picture book for ages 4-8, 40 pp.
Source of book: Review copy provided by publisher
On shelves now!!

*Spreads posted by permission, copyright © 2010 Jackie Urbanovic, published by HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

**Doggie cupcakes by Cupcake Passion (Kate Jewell), Puppy Pops by Bakerella, and Duck Feet cookies by Bit-O-Me.

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

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