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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Louie Duck and Gus Goose waddled toward their sleeping area as the day ended. Louie was happy that they had fun. When the two birds reached Louie's nest, they saw Daddy Duck standing beside a new circle of twigs, leaves, and feathers. Louie was curious to know why Daddy Duck and Momma Duck made a new nest. They showed Louie the large egg nestled in downy feathers. Gus was worried if Louie and he would still be best friends when the egg hatched and Louie reassured him saying no hatchling would take his place as Louie's best friend. Grandma Goose came to them while they were playing one day and told Louie the egg was hatching. Louie and Gus were excited when the egg hatched. Louie had a little brother and they named him Quacker. Louie could not go anywhere without Quacker following him. Quacker had a lot of questions to ask Louie and Gus, and Louie complained to Daddy Duck about it. Daddy Duck told Louie he would take Quacker with him every afternoon so that Gus and Louie could have time for themselves. Would Quacker make new friends and stop asking so many questions?
The Hatchling (A Louie the Duck Story) by Vivian Zabel is a beautiful story of sibling bonding and it is adorable to see how Louie finally accepts Quacker and feels proud of him. Jeanne Conway's bright and colorful illustrations breathe life into the scenes and characters, making these palpable to young readers. The characters of Gus, Louie, and Quacker are adorable, real, and relatable and readers will be able to connect with them and their feelings. A lot of children will be able to relate to the story and the emotions and feelings of Louie and Gus. The book is good for use in classrooms and homes for storytelling and read-aloud sessions as it teaches children how to deal with their siblings.