Grades K-3. Davies, a zoologist, seamlessly combines elements of fiction and nonfiction in this amiable picture book, in which a young girl tells about the mallard ducks living nearby. Each morning, she awakens to their increasingly loud quacking. As she crosses the bridge to school, she sees them swimming, dabbling for tidbits on water’s surface, and upending to reach food underwater. On her way home in winter, she stops to feed them pieces of bread. In addition to explaining what the ducks do at night, she touches on mating rituals, nesting, and how, in the spring, baby ducklings are hatched and led to the nearby river. The easygoing, colloquial tone of the text makes the information surprisingly easy to absorb. In addition to the main, large-print narrative, many pages include a line or two of information in small print, which could be read or ignored, depending on the age and interest of the child. Although the comment on preening could use a little more explanation, the others are clear and often vivid. Rubbino’s watercolor paintings have a wonderful freshness and spontaneity about them, capturing the look and body language of ducks while including details of physiology mentioned in the story. Beautiful, informative, and fine for reading aloud.