Pip and Zip by Elana K. Arnold, illustrated by Doug Salati

Published by Roaring Brook Press

Summary:  Bored by the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders, a family of four goes for a walk around the lake.  They’re surprised to find an egg floating in the water, and even more surprised when they find a second one half-buried in the mud.  They take them to their neighbor, Ted, who seems to be some sort of wildlife rehabilitator.  He explains that ducks sometimes don’t know what to do with their first eggs, and he lends them an incubator to see if they will hatch.  After a long month of waiting, both eggs hatch, and the family names the ducklings Pip and Zip for the sounds the eggs make when they open.  Ted helps them raise Pip and Zip until they learn to fly, then accompanies them to the lake to release them back into the wild.  On the last page, the family and their neighbors are out and about again, unmasked, sharing stories about their adventures.  Includes an author’s note about her family’s experiences on which she based this book and information about what to do if you find a duck egg, including several websites.  48 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  A fun family story that shows that joy and adventure can be found even during a dark time and includes a good environmental message.  I had never heard of Doug Salati before this year, but he seems to be launching a promising career.

Cons:  The real pandemic lasted a lot longer than this fictional one seemed to.

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