Review of Don’t Worry, Wuddles

Don’t Worry, Wuddles Don’t Worry, Wuddles
by Lita Judge; illus. by the author
Preschool    Atheneum    40 pp.
9/23    9781665916769    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781665916776    $10.99

Should Wuddles the sheep worry? Well, yes. A little yellow duckling who insists that the big, woolly sheep needn’t be concerned is literally fleecing its barnmate—with the best intentions, however. Winter is coming, and the duckling needs a bit of wool for a scarf: “Mind if I take this, Wuddles? You have plenty of wool.” Indeed Wuddles does have plenty; the sheep’s placid face peeks out from a cloud of white. Next the duckling notices that the rooster needs a hat, the rabbit some earmuffs, the goat a pair of leg warmers, and so on. Readers will quickly catch on and enjoy guessing what the duckling decides to make for each successive animal. The text consists entirely of the busybody duckling’s reassuring monologue as it sets out to ensure that the denizens of the barn are suitably equipped for winter. Wisp by wisp, the fleece is pulled from Wuddles’s coat and fashioned into fluffy accessories—and the sheep’s expression becomes more and more worried. Inevitably, the final pages display the result of the duckling’s handiwork: wool-clad animals and a near-naked sheep. Never fear, Wuddles: a group hug will keep everyone warm. Though this barnyard outing lacks the sublime physical comedy of Judge’s nearly wordless romps (such as Red Sled ), her mastery of the expressive animal face is on full display. No worries here.

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Vicky Smith

Vicky Smith is the children’s editor at Kirkus Reviews. She has served on a bunch of award committees and on the ALSC Board but she speaks for none of them, nor does she speak for this magazine, though it’s nice enough to print her opinions.

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