Artist Mandarin Duck by Limpid Kenneth is the story of a duck that can draw. One day, when it is soon to be eaten by an eagle, the duck announces its secret. It can draw! In exchange for not eating the duck, the eagle wants to be drawn. Though, the duck tries and can't get it right. After several attempts, the eagle starts getting other creatures for the duck to draw and the practice helps the duck improve.
It's a very interesting story. I enjoyed the moral of it. I think all of the pictures are very beautiful. During the sketching phases of the duck's work, I think the illustrations really capture the duck's artistic attempts well. They're sure to give a child a good visualisation of some of the steps of drawing a picture and improving it. I also enjoyed that the duck's drawings helped bring many animals of the forest together and made the eagle somewhat nicer to them.
At first, I admittedly didn't realise what the eagle was trying to do when he brought all of the animals; I just sort of thought that it was trying to gauge whether the duck was better at drawing other animals. Though, I thought it sweet that it was essentially practice for the duck and he was then able to present the eagle with a completed drawing. Some of the word usage doesn't seem proper, for example when the eagle will grab an animal, it will say: “Do my model.” Another example is when a deer approaches the duck to see what he's drawing; the narration mentions the duck being "ashamed". I think the term "embarrassed" might be more appropriate as he oughtn't be ashamed by his work.
Overall, it's a lovely book which children might find very useful!