'My Brother The Duck' Shows The Science Of Love And Acceptance

May 18, 2020

If you're home with kids, you've probably been reading a lot of books together. A new book from a Madison-based children's author could be a good next read for everyone in your flock.

Pat Zietlow Miller wrote the New York Times bestseller Be Kind, The Quickest Kid in Clarksville, Sophie’s Squash and more. Her latest book, My Brother The Duck, is inspired by a kid’s ability to hear part of a story, fill in the gaps on their own — and believe something that isn't even remotely true.

Miller’s book follows a young scientist named Stella Wells who has a hypothesis to solve: is her baby brother a duck? Stella takes things very seriously, even if she may be a little misguided. The book is silly and talks about things new siblings are working through. But it's also for young scientists and even adults who just want to laugh along. 

New big sister Stella Wells is gathering evidence to prove that her new baby brother is a duck, but she can't just wing it.
Credit Illustration by Daniel Wiseman / Chronicle Books

"I think good picture books always have at the heart of them some sort of universal human emotion. So, whether you're 4 or you're 94, you can be, 'Oh, I've felt that way.' Even though this is a more humorous story than some of the other things I've written, I think it has that universal core of family and love and acceptance, and loving people for who they are — even if they happen to be ducks," she says.

And in the time of COVID-19, Miller says that reading books together is more important than ever.

"I’m hoping that this book and other books can just be a moment where families take a break, sit down together, share a funny story and reconnect without it being homework or a chore. Just something fun to remind everybody why they like each other," she says.