Thursday 23 February 2017

The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering (Walker Books)

Goodness me, this one's going to take you on a real rollercoaster ride of emotional highs and lows...!
"The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling" by Timothy Basil Ering starts off in calm seas aboard the little boat ably helmed by Captain Alfred. He's an easy-going happy soul who loves to sing a dainty ditty and play a merry tune on his violin as he steers his boat laden with ducks for his farm. There's also a surprise for his wife, a gorgeous duckling still inside his egg, waiting to spring out and embrace the world and all its wonders.

A fearful storm puts Alfred's boat in a spin, and just as we're getting comfy with the story it throws us into a maelstrom as Captain Alfred is seemingly lost at sea, the poor duckling hatches unexpectedly, and has only a strange wooden object to cling to. Captain Alfred's sweetly soulful fiddle.

The little duckling clings on as if the fiddle was his own mother, as the fiddle bobs gently towards the shore the duckling realises that it makes the sweetest sounds, and begins to make music with it.

His sounds are overheard by another lost soul, a dog who snarls and wonders who has taken his master's most prized possession, for it is Captain Alfred's dog, also lost in the storm and sent out by the captain's wife to search for him.

Can the two lost animals find their way home?

We really don't want to spoil the ending for you, suffice to say it is a happy one so don't feel too downcast at the initial part of the story and the loss of our dear captain. This is a truly wonderful book though, really original with some glorious painted illustrations to whip up the atmosphere of the storm, and depict the sweet music young Alfred Fiddleduckling makes.

Gorgeous!! Highly recommended if you're still on a bit of a post-valentine lovey dovey rush.

Charlotte's best bit: The captain's dog who looks like a huge slavering beast at first, but soon becomes firm friends with Alfred.

Daddy's favourite bit: Phew! Quite a sweet and emotional book, highs and lows all the way through as we described but something that feels hugely original and brilliant. I really hope a lot of folk discover this one for themselves, as it's rather special indeed.

"The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling" by Timothy Basil Ering is out now, published by Walker Books (kindly sent for review).