Come Along, Daisy! Paperback – 1 Mar 2003
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Daisy is a young duckling, still wearing her yellow feathers and trailing after her mama. While out in the swamp one day, Mama tells Daisy to heed her and to not fall behind. Daisy, however, is too distracted to listen closely to her mother. There are fish to observe and dragonflies to chase. There are lily pads to jump on (with a "bouncy, bouncy, bouncy. Bong, bong!") and frogs to observe at close proximity. Unfortunately, soon Daisy's frog hops away leaving the small helpless duckling very much alone. Things under the lily pad scare her. Things flying up in the sky scare her. And a very loud noise definitely scares her. That is, until she find out that it's just Mama Duck with her customary, "Come along, Daisy". Needless to say, Daisy learns her lesson.
This is just one of the latest in a long line of books that inform children not to get separated from their parents in public spaces. Of course, it doesn't engage in much of the way of practical advice. Mama Duck doesn't tell Daisy that if she gets lost she should stand in one place and not move. But I suppose Mama Duck is in charge of the situation the entire time in this story. In any case, this is a just a good story that tells kids to listen to their guardians when out n' about. Author Jane Simmons also doubles as an illustrator for this story, and it is here that she really stands out and shines. Simmons has a grasp of perpective and tone that just fits her story like a warm comforting glove. Painted entirely in thick beautiful paints, the book shows the slight tints of the early morning sun, the fetid marshes when Daisy is abandoned, and the eerie green cattails of an unknown swamp. Characters are rendered beautifully as well. When Daisy is happy she leaps about with toddler-like abandon. When scared, her eyes stare blankly out behind an enormous worried beak. And when she sees her mother, at long last, her entire body arches towards her, going as fast as she possibly can.
Children can handle tales of abandonment if everything turns out well in the end. "Come Along, Daisy" has the added delight of there never being a particularly dire threat to the little duckling in the first place. Even that dark image of a hawk flying above shows Mama Duck swimming placidly nearby. There is great comfort in reading about Daisy's adventures. This book is a perfect little lesson about the bond between a child and its guardian, specifically that between mother and child. A wonderful beautiful book.
This series of books are the favourite with my 9 month old daughter and me ! We have been enjoying these books for about four months now. I even recite them to my little girl when we are out walking to squeals of delight.
I have borrowed a lot of books from the library, so you could say I have done a lot of "road testing". I find the Daisy series to be in a different league to everything else. The illustrations in the Daisy series are delightful and the words are like poetry.
If your child does not demonstrate any separation anxiety, this book will be probably be great for him or her at any age. However, you may want to wait until your child is old enough to be comfortable with the content before you read this book (unlike us). As Jane Simmons' illustrations of this little duck are not to be missed, check out her other books if you have concerns about this one.