"I Love You Just Enough" by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen is the fifth picture book in the the "Hazel Ridge Farm Story"series published by Sleeping Bear Press. Based on true adventures and experiences, these stories will delight children because they are filled with animals and farm life.
The publishers summary:
While pulling weeds and planting seeds with her dad on Hazel Ridge Farm's prairie, Heather discovers a wood duckling alone in the grass. Worried for the duckling's safety, Heather asks her dad if she can care for him. "You have to keep him safe and warm and fed. You have to teach him how to be a duck--to swim, to hunt for bugs, and how to fly." Aptly named Mr. Peet for his chirping sound, the ducking accompanies Heather as she feeds the chickens, rabbits, and horses. They spend the summer swimming together in the pond, and Mr. Peet eventually masters how to fly. Heather becomes concerned when she hasn't seen Mr. Peet in 10 days. Her dad reassures her that the wood duck may have found his own place in nature. Heather is proud of her work and she knows Mr. Peet will be ok, because she loved him just enough.
The illustrations are bright and colorful and fill the page. Readers get to witness the duckling, Mr. Peet, grow from an ungainly baby to an adolescent duck. Watching the duck follow Heather around the farm is exciting.
While it is sad when Mr. Peet decides it's time to go off on his own, Heather's attitude, "I loved him just enough," is a wonderful topic to discuss.
Classroom teachers, how much is "just enough" when loving a duck? A dog? A baby? A teenager? This story is not only charming and touching on a literal level, it also opens up a world of conversation for children of all ages.
Why 5 stars? This picture book tells a story that will stay with the readers. It's not just a beautifully illustrated story; it provides a basis for encouraging discussion of important topics.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Sleeping Bear Press, for review purposes.
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