Dilly Duck Plays All Day


Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 06/20/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Holly DiBella-McCarthy, M.Ed., Sixth Year degree in Educational Administration

Holly DiBella-McCarthy is an educator, certified in special education, with over 35 years teaching pre-k through college. Her journey began in preschool teaching children with special education needs. Continuing as an elementary school teacher inspired Holly to make learning fun while teaching pre-reading skills to students who benefited from repetition and a boost of confidence. As Director of Special Education, Holly made a difference for kids by supporting their teachers, therapists, and parents. Teaching university students completed her Pre-K through college teaching career. Holly has authored many educational journal articles, non-fiction books, and a children's picture book.

Holly's passions are education and advocacy as she continues to support parents and teachers through Raising Kindergarten Ready Kids resources. Her blog articles explore topics related to school readiness. Holly hopes to continue to make a difference for young children by sharing best practices to prepare for preschool, kindergarten, and future school success.

DILLY DUCK PLAYS ALL DAY is a rhyming picture book written to expand pre-reading skills, math skills, and emotional vocabulary for children ages 2-6. Parents and teachers will use this book as a school readiness tool as well as an anchor for extension activities.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Written by Holly DiBella-McCarthy and illustrated by Pradyut Chatterjee, the children's counting book Dilly Duck Plays All Day takes readers on a day in the life of a pond duck named Dilly. Dilly finds herself on the edge of a lake alone and bored, and decides to find “her friends, her flock, her crew!” The lake is big so finding each friend takes some time but one is added to the crew with the turning of each page. DiBella-McCarthy writes in a classic rhyme scheme where the prose dances on the pages like the swish, swish, swish of a friend's tail. From one to ten, the ducks come together by a different approach and before the next one comes along, the group plays or eats or glides in tandem. Chatterjee uses a digital pencil art method to illustrate the activities of the crew with vibrant colors.

Dilly doesn't have to sit feeling bored for very long before her first friend joins her so the counting lesson Holly DiBella-McCarthy weaves into the book hits the water swimming. At the end of the book, there's an interactive section with two distinct question and answer parts. In a sad but important lesson within the story, one of Dilly's friends falls victim to lake debris which traps them under a littered net. This is made into a conversation topic at the book's conclusion and asks, “Why isn't play time with friends happy all the time?” I am always mentally tabulating conversation prompts for my kids so the pleasant surprise of having the work done for me, and done so well, was amazing. Pradyut Chatterjee's illustrations are bright and simple, enhancing the story in an even stride that adds to the writing without drowning it out. The turquoise hue of the water is divine. Counting, social studies, environmental nods, and a fun reading experience are all a parent looks for, and Dilly does deliver.

Jamie Michele

Dilly Duck Plays All Day written by Holly DiBella-McCarthy and illustrated by Pradyut Chatterjee is a children's picture book that revolves around a duck named Dilly and the friends she gathers together for a day full of play. The book begins with Dilly alone at the lake in Wonder Wake and she knows that to have fun she will need to call her friends over. One by one, Dilly's friends make their way to the lake. Each is different in how they look, how they come to Dilly and her growing flock of friends, and what the group does to mark that friend's arrival. One is asleep, while another shows up while they are fishing. The content of the book counts in ducks and plays from one to ten in a lyrical sing-song rhythm.

Dilly Duck Plays All Day is a delightful little book that is easy to read, fun to follow, and elicited more than a few laughs - and one gasp - from my youngest little reader. The illustrations are wonderful and spread in full color across the page, then single the next duck out in its own little peep-hole style bubble on the next. There is whimsy when it is called for and a slightly more somber palette when it is not, and the pairing of the written word and artistry is blended beautifully. The storytelling is equally engaging, which is not always the case in a children's picture book where the illustrations tend to be the stars. Holly DiBella-McCarthy is a talented kid-lit author with prose that sings off the page. We are happy to add this book to our bedtime rotation, and I am certain others will feel the same.

Jennie More

Dilly Duck Plays All Day by Holly DiBella-McCarthy is an educational children’s book for ages two to six, showing a young duck, Dilly, who is bored and looking for her friends so they can play. Dilly starts searching for her friends, forming her crew one by one. In each scene, a new friend is added, counting the additional friends until Dilly’s crew comprises ten ducks, including herself. While playing in the water, they eventually seek dry ground when it starts to rain. The book consists of beautiful rhymes and new vocabulary that will stimulate children while they stay engaged, counting the ducks on each page. At the end, there are some questions and a fact sheet about ducks to aid caregivers in sparking a meaningful conversation with children. Dilly Duck Plays All Day is beautifully illustrated and guaranteed to hold the attention of young ones.

Dilly Duck Plays All Day by Holly DiBella-McCarthy is a bright and happy book that illustrates the joy of connecting and playing with your friends. Colorful, delightful, and stimulating words come to mind when I read this book. Children will enjoy the story, and parents or caregivers can have meaningful and educational discussions with little ones. Holly DiBella-McCarthy draws on essential topics for children at this age, including friendship and play time, learning the basics of math and language, while stimulating their young minds with bright and beautiful illustrations. Children will have fun exploring the book while learning. I enjoyed reading Dilly Duck Plays All Day; it is lighthearted, fun, and educational, everything I would look for in a storybook for my child.