Two ducks watch over their five eggs, four of which hatch at the same time. Mother Duck tells Father Duck that the fifth one will hatch "in its own time." Eventually, the shell cracks and tiny Ruby enters the world. She tackles all tasks at her own pace, including eating and swimming. However, when it comes time for the siblings to stretch their wings, Ruby soars the farthest and highest. One day, she flies away, and her mother reassures her father that their child will return, once again, in her own time. When she does come home, Ruby is accompanied by her own mate and ducklings. This charming book celebrates an individual's determination and sense of self. The pacing of the rhythmic text is ideal for family storytimes that include youngsters of varying ages. Harry's soft, pastel paintings are gentle and appealing. They are slightly textured, suggesting the look of feathers, nests, and river reeds. Ruby flaps her wings to her own drummer and astute readers will recognize her parents' strength as they provide the necessary time and space for her to accomplish her goals.--Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI
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