Is This Thing On? #4 Bennett the Runaway Duck!

Well, after a longer than expected gestation, Bennett the Runaway Duck has hatched!

We love this little guy. He’s full of energy, innocence and impulsiveness. He plows full speed ahead with his ideas, believing nothing bad could possibly happen. In other words, he’s destined to learn the hard way.

In this book, Bennett’s older sisters have teased him about his wild feathers one too many times. He decides to teach them a lesson. He runs away from the farm, reasoning that his sisters will regret teasing him and promise never to do it again.

On paper, it’s a great plan. Except it isn’t. Bennett finds out what can happen when you wander away from the safety and protection of loved ones!

Adults know that a child who wanders off (say, at a playground or shopping mall, etc.) is defenseless, and very bad outcomes do happen. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. We didn’t want story time to end in nightmares for your child, of course, so we chose animal allegory to deliver the message. This gentler approach is much less scary than a creepy man with a white van, you know?

No one, especially kids, wants to be lectured to. This book entertains first, with the message surfacing as unobtrusively as possible. This gave us room to have some fun with the rhyming text and illustrations.

This is a book your child or grandchild will ask to come back to. Val’s illustrations bring the story to beautiful light. She draws every page by hand, approaching them like a painting, flowing them together seamlessly. The content, colours and composition come to dazzling life, with details on every page for children to discover with each reading.

The book is a read-aloud experience for parents and children; a book to be shared. The rhyming text is age appropriate, avoiding words that might confuse the young ones.

Book 2 in the Bennett series, Bennett the Superhero Duck, is in the works now. Val & I think it will be ready to go by mid-2022 if not before. In the meantime, we hope you have a delightful experience with Bennett the Runaway Duck. Feel free to leave a comment about that! As always, our thanks.

Valerie Elmhirst & Larry Lalonde

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