Mr Darcy set out for his morning walk.
The sun was shining and the daffodils were beginning to flower. Spring was in the air. ‘Oh dear,’ he thought, ‘it’s dancing season again.’
Mr Darcy the Dancing Duck is a follow-up title to Field and Carnavas’s Mr Darcy. The setting is the same, with Darcy, Lizzy and the other characters portrayed as animals. Darcy’s reticence and clumsiness again features. This time it’s dancing that has Mr Darcy feeling out of sorts. He’s not convinced he likes to dance, and declines when asked by Lizzy to join their dance. But is it dislike of dance or insecurity about his abilities? It seems it could be the latter. But this time, he immediately starts to do something about it. Fortunately his friends are happy to help, which helps speed up the process somewhat. So when he again encounters the dancing Lizzy he can accept her invitation.
Darcy might be the strong silent type, but fortunately he’s also now willing to accept help. He’s clearly keen on Lizzy and doesn’t want to embarrass himself in her presence. Like ‘Mr Darcy’, Mr Darcy the Dancing Duck references Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’, but loosely. Knowledge of the names of the characters is not required to access this story. Peter Carnavas’s soft watercolours compliment the gentle text. A tender tale of romance for the very young. Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers.
Mr Darcy the Dancing Duck, Alex Field ill Peter Carnavas
New Frontier Publishing 2013
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
Available from good bookstores and online.