Cover image for The nutquacker
Title:
The nutquacker
Author:
Auch, Mary Jane.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Summary:
Clara the duck is so impatient to discover the farm animals' secret of Christmas that she puts herself in danger and almost misses the party.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
AD 550 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 42618.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.5 2 Quiz: 17562 Guided reading level: M.
ISBN:
9780823415243
Format :
Book

Available:*

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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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Summary

Summary

A duck is so impatient to discover the farm animals' secret of Christmas that she almost misses the celebration.


Author Notes

As a child, Mary Jane Auch loved books and read constantly. Her interest in drawing began as a child and continued through high school. She went on to become an art major at Skidmore College. After graduation, Auch went for New York City, but after a year of designing prints for men's pajamas, she decided she wanted to do something more meaningful with her life. She enrolled in the Occupational Therapy program at Columbia University, and worked for some years in a children's hospital near Hartford, Connecticut.

Eventually, Auch began illustrating for Pennywhistle Press, a national children's newspaper, which led to an interest in illustrating children's books. In the summer of 1984, Auch took a week-long children's writing conference on Cape Cod. Auch finally knew that she wanted to a writer when an instructor told her that sometimes artists find they can paint better pictures with words.

She began sending manuscripts to publishers, writing four novels before she sold the first one. She then sold a second book to another publisher the same week. She continued writing books for older kids, abandoning her dream of illustrating for a while. After writing nine books, she wrote and illustrated The Easter Egg Farm, and has done both ever since.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. The other animals on the farm are keeping a secret from Clara, the duck. When Clara finally discovers there's something called "Christmas" on its way, she goes off to find it. When even Sheep won't join her in a "wild and woolly search," Clara is forced to search alone. Along the way, she outwits a tractor, a deer, and a fox. Eventually, she realizes she's been walking in circles and winds up back in the barn, just in time to find that "Christmas is being with the ones who love you." Children will like the slightly dim-witted Clara's antics and the humorous illustrations; adults will be entertained by the allusions and puns. The book presents Christmas as a strictly secular holiday, a time for getting and giving gifts, an attitude that may not appeal to those who view the holiday differently. --Marta Segal


Publisher's Weekly Review

Auch's (Bantam of the Opera) latest fowl farce unfortunately lays an egg. A cover illustration of a duck in front of a Christmas tree, donning a tiara and dancing dress and holding a nutcracker, suggests a laughter-filled lampoon of Tchaikovsky's holiday ballet. But the story, about Clara the duck's search for Christmas, meanders and then disappoints in a contrived ending. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Miffed by the barnyard animals' secretive behavior and evasive answers, Clara, an inquisitive young duck, sets off on her own to find out what Christmas is all about. She rudely tells the others that they are crazy to stand around waiting and they call her a "nutquacker." On her quest, she is undaunted when she comes upon a fox: "If I could outwit a giant monster with huge eyes [a tractor] and a large animal with sharp horns [a deer], a small creature with soft fur won't stop me from finding Christmas." Of course, the fox outfoxes Clara, and after a scary chase home, she bursts in on a holiday party. The festively dressed animals dance the night away, discussing how Christmas means treats, and dancing, and getting presents, as well as giving and being with those you love. Although not as funny or clever as Auch's Bantam of the Opera (Holiday, 1997), Nutquacker makes a fine read-aloud for a small group. The charming illustrations both enhance and further the text; Clara sports a pouf of feathery hair that appears somewhat odd until graced with a gem-covered tiara, part of her dancing costume.-L.F. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.