Thursday, November 29, 2012

Donald Discovers True Love

Donald the Duck has grown up and decides it's time to get married in Donald Discovers True Love by Tim Ostermeyer. But his little pond is a lonely spot -- there are no other ducks. How is he supposed to find his true love if he's the only duck around?

Donald sets off to explore the country, all the while searching high and low for his true love. First he enjoys Texas, then makes his way through a dozen states total, finding interesting things in each one -- from kudzu in Arkansas to Arches National Park in Utah. But he never finds his true love! Finally, Donald returns to his little pond and finds the most beautiful duck, Daffadil, waiting for him.

What I Like: The photography is amazing. Some of pictures actually seem artificially real; they're that breathtaking.

What I Dislike: The story, for me, is a bit loose. I can see no reason why Donald takes off for a tour of the south and western United States -- he just goes. Why search for another duck in the desert of Arizona or in the bayou of Louisiana? Honestly, the whole idea of a duck searching for true love is absurd to me.

While I find the photography beautiful, the organization of the book is haphazard at best. If it had been me, I would have shown a map of where Donald was and traced his path. Saying "Oh, Donald's in Utah" does nothing to help a child learn where Utah is. Another reason I say the organization is haphazard is that Donald jumps around states like he has a transporter from Star Trek. In one section, he is in Arizona, then jumps to Colorado, and next to Arkansas. A few pages later, he hops from Tennessee to Utah. This method does little to help a child who is studying geography to learn exactly where places are; it could reinforce inaccurate thoughts.

Certain states -- like Arizona -- are focused on heavily, and have several pages dedicated to photographs of Donald in various locations. Other states -- Colorado stands out to me -- are hardly mentioned, and only have a page or two. I would have preferred to see a more equilateral approach, maybe 4 - 6 pages dedicated to each state.

While God and scripture is mentioned in the book, it seems like an afterthought. Some of the scripture quoted doesn't feel like it goes with anything in the book. One example is Malachi 3:10 which references bringing the whole tithe into the storehouse.

Overall Rating: Good, based entirely on the photographs, not on the story. If the photography wasn't so good, I would have rated this book Ho-hum. However, a savvy parent with a bit of information about the locations pictured could use this book as a travelogue of sorts with their children. And, it would make a great coffee-table book.

Age Appeal: 5 - 8

Publisher Info: Fun Adventure Wildlife Books, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-9794228-1; Hardback, 48 pages., $18.95

Buy it at for $18.95.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: