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Reviews Say Readers Say Sssh! Duck

CREATING SSSSH! DUCK

About the Idea
Putting Duck in the company of a baby seemed too delicious an opportunity to miss; I could immediately sense how frustrated he would feel at no longer being the centre of attention. Of course this is what a lot of older siblings feel when a baby comes along, so I thought this theme would have some resonance older brothers and sisters. Having found this theme, the central joke revolved around Duck having to be quiet so as not to wake the baby (hence the title). Of course I knew that Duck would wake the baby in the end (even though he would try not to) and that he would wake the baby in a spectacular way - hence the pop up climax! Here’s a thunmbnail sketch where it all began.

Sssh! Thumbail

One thing I enjoyed in the writing of this book is how the baby is no pushover. Even though he can’t speak, can’t say ‘Oi Duck, leave my toys alone!’ he makes his point very succinctly - see how he whacks Duck over the head with the horn and splurts out his mouthful of milk over him. Duck has met his match there! (By the way, whose baby is it? People assume it is Goat’s but I always thought he was babysitting for his sister...)

About the Pictures
Like Duck’s Key, Sssh! Duck, Don’t Wake the Baby is for a younger age range and this is reflected in the artwork. The pictures are bigger, bolder and less complicated. The background is simply a colour (and shade colour) with ‘props’ like toys, the feeding bottle or the cot, appearing where relevant.

As Duck appears at a bigger size than in most of the other Duck books I have drawn him with a thicker marker line rather than the fountain pen which I usually use. This makes him bolder and clearer. What is fascinating with pens is how each has their own individual character - created by their particular nibs and the fluidity with which they release the ink. Sometimes the line is thick, sometimes thin and occasionally it breaks up which I particularly like. (Look at the lines describing the circular end of the musical horn below to illustrate what I mean).

Sssh! Duck - I like toys

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