"Ducks overboard!" shouts the captain, as a giant wave washes a box of 10 little rubber ducks off his cargo ship and into the sea. The ducks are swept away in various directions. One drifts west, where a friendly dolphin jumps over it. A whale sings to another. But as the sun sets, the 10th little rubber duck is left all alone, bobbing helplessly on the big wide sea. Small readers and listeners will empathize with the little duck's plight—and will rejoice at the heartwarming surprise ending.
In this poignant and funny story, illustrated with strikingly designed collages, Eric Carle takes readers on an exciting voyage of discovery. Following the little ducks as they float to all parts of the globe, young explorers can see for themselves the meanings of directional words and learn simple math concepts, such as counting and the use of cardinal and ordinal numbers. Each creature the ducks meet is seen in its own habitat and behaves in a true-to-life manner, offering a very simple first view of biology and geography.
"A wonderful read-aloud for storytimes or one-on-one sharing. It's a definite 10," commented School Library Journal in a starred review. "Beautifully composed illustrations," said Booklist. "As sublimely simple and endearing as the playthings it portrays," agreed Publishers Weekly.