Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Quack!: A Fowl Love Story is an inspirational graphic novel written by Paul Burton. It's the story of Elena, an eight-year-old girl, whose life is lived under a fog of doubt and fear. Everywhere she goes, she carries along that stifling fog. One day, she meets a duck who makes her smile, and suddenly the fog begins to lift. They become the best of friends, and splash and play in the water together. Elena becomes happy for a while, but then her old doubts and fears begin to resurface, and Elena finds herself trapped in the fog again. When she looks for her friend the duck, he's nowhere to be found.
I've been smiling ever since I sat down and read Quack!, Paul Burton's inspirational graphic novel. I loved the pen and ink artwork and designs that adorn each page. There are fabulous curves and scrolling, and the equations Elena uses to try to understand life are very appealing to the techie side of me. While I'm not usually overfond of rhyming stories, Burton's rhymes are playful, flowing and never forced -- and they work brilliantly with the illustrations. I had at first thought that Quack! was a children's book, especially given Elena's age, and I wouldn't hesitate to share it with a child, but it's much more than that. Its gentle, unassuming appeal is meant, I think, for people of all ages, even those who carry about their own fog, or, perhaps, especially for them. Quack!: A Fowl Love Story is marvelous, and it's highly recommended.
Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Quack! A Fowl Love Story by Paul Burton is one of the most unforgettable and inspiring books I have read in a long time! It is short and simple: children and adults alike will be able to read it, enjoy it, and get something out of it. This is a tale of a very young girl named Elena who is a thinker, and tends to be somewhat over-analytical. One day, she meets a duck with unique looks and personality and soon they become inseparable and the best of friends. However soon after this, Elena’s over-analytical side takes over and she finds herself questioning if they really are true friends and what makes one a true friend. What happens afterwards as she unravels the mystery of life and love is what this book is all about.
Paul Burton has written an outstanding short story in the form of rhymes. Quack! is an allegory of the meaning of life and how life is meant to be lived. It is meant to make each one of us reflect upon what it means to live and love, and to know and understand the only way to truly live. Paul Burton has written Quack! in a simple, poetic way that makes it a joy to read. It reminds me of one of those ancient philosophical books that gives one food for thought, except that Quack! is a much simpler and shorter version of a philosophical book. This is a must-read for everyone and this is one book that I may be reading over and over again.
"Your book Quack!, has greatly helped my own very intelligent 8 year old little girl make sense of her very confusing emotions. She really identifies with Elena and reading Quack! has helped her to gain control over her confusing emotions. I just wanted to say thank you."
~ Adam F
I encourage you to narrate (simultaneously show illustrations), preferably to many of all ages. The titillating, witty, profound, endearing, poignant and beautiful prose tickles your tongue, throat, heart and soul. This book, exquisitely and brilliantly illustrated by no doubt one of the best illustrators I have ever seen, clearly depicts or deepens understanding of Elena's and Duck's journey. There are numerous anecdotes and realizations scattered strategically throughout the book that I, at any age, could empathize from both dark and lovely moments in life. The author used unique ways to use logic to understand "foggy" feelings and further demonstrated how to let go of haunting pasts or pain, accept and live in the present and look forward to a future filled with companionship, happiness and love. As an avid reader and author, this book is coveted. Though they're distinguishable, I hoist Paul Burton to the echelon and esteem of my life-long favorite, Shel Silverstein.
The first words that come to mind are lyrical, humorous and endearing. The beautiful and highly talented illustrations give added dimension and clarity to the poetry of his words. I found that much of Elena's story has appeared many times in my life when stress, overwhelming, and foggy isolation filled my days until I was able to lift the fog and reduce my fears to open my heart enough to love and feel loved. No matter what age you read this (whether it is read aloud- which is highly recommended) and the next times you get to enjoy it again, you will have new "aha!" moments. This should be in everyone's home and proudly displayed.
Since I was young, I've always had to tame my feathers (unruly gobs of hair). For decades my nickname has been duck, my wife even has the quack ringtone when I phone her. I felt this was important to mention because I found an instant connection to Elena and Duck. This book is timeless- each time I read it, I will surmise another realization about life, love, letting go of fear and trusting that I can be loved. I have both a highly logical mind that miscommunicates with my strong feelings at times- a lesson I further understand from this book. A delightful read and exquisitely brilliant illustrations.
Smartly written, a great read. The illustrations are fantastic. A collector's item in the making!
Paul is one of the most creative people I know, and I was excited to share his first book with my kids. The illustrations are classic Burton with so much detail to discover. My 7 year old daughter even commented about how much she liked all the swirling! The story had a lot of good build and anticipation, and the payoff is well worth it. I felt the vocabulary and length were a bit much for my kids' attention span but certainly gives us good reason to read over and over. Great work Paul!