Kathy Caple Author and Illustrator

Picturebook/Easy Readers
During a visit to the zoo, Pop and Sam grow tired but while they are napping not only does the zoo close for the day but the animals come out to play -- with Pop's cell phone.
Duck and Rat's bookstore is busy as Christmas approaches and everyone buys gifts and celebrates.
Easy Readers
Duck and Rat work hard helping their customers at Duck & Company Bookstore.
Blanche and Otis are sheep who enjoy each other's friendship from autumn through spring.
Picture Books
Having the biggest nose school is no joke, especially when everyone wants to measure it.
Worm tries to earn money in order to buy a paint set that will help him enter an art contest.
On the wintry day when her drama club has a mishap on the way to see a play in the city, Hillary is glad she has bundled up her warmest snow gear.
Hillary lets her true self shine in an audition.
After spending her money on a purse, Katie is now faced with the problem of getting some money to put into it.
Arnold and his sister Rose give two bullying classmates a taste of their own medicine when Arnold decides he doesn't have to be a wimp anymore.
When Hank and Zoey's sister Dory kick them out of their wading pool on a hot summer day, two boys find a way to get even.
Brand New Readers
Whether writing, measuring, tap-dancing, or canoeing, favorite character Termite finds new ways to get into trouble!
Four little stories about Termite and his pal Ostrich.
There's a lot more to this Worm than meets the eye, in these four tiny episodes.
This is no ordinary Worm! His limitations never stop him.

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Duck & Company Christmas

Reviews and Recommendations

Kirkus Reviews – September 2011
Duck and Rat celebrate Christmas at their bookstore with an assortment of animal friends in this early reader that will also win over younger children as a read-aloud.

In seven short chapters, Duck and Rat decorate the store with cut-paper snowflakes, open a gift-wrapping station and watch as their gingerbread house is nibbled down to nothing. As a major snowstorm moves in on Christmas Eve, all the animal friends take shelter at the bookstore, spending Christmas Eve together with a potluck dinner and a slumber party that finds the animals spread out on the floor, tables and shelves. In the morning, there are Christmas stockings for all and a frosty coating on the display window, with a new gingerbread house and a message from Santa. The droll humor and quietly amusing holiday preparations have the flavor of the Frog and Toad stories, with the same comforting sense of a kind and reassuring world. Understated illustrations in gouache and ink are filled with tiny, humorous details and clever costumes for the animal characters, such as tiny jackets and pointed caps for a flock of particularly captivating chicks.

As sweet and clever as a gingerbread house (with a frosting of humor) and as satisfying as a cup of hot chocolate. (Picture book /​early reader. 4-8)

School Library Journal – October 2011
Gr 1-3–Seven short chapters are chock-full of entertaining holiday antics at the Duck & Company Bookstore. Clever Duck offers free cocoa to customers willing to cut out paper snowflakes and quickly gets the store decorated. On Christmas Eve, a snowstorm traps the customers inside, but there are plenty of treats, so they make a party of the situation. What a great place to be trapped–no shortage of books to read! Santa even pays a visit in the middle of the night. Lively, colorful gouache and ink illustrations share the pages with an inviting text on a white background. Plenty of action and expressive, engaging characters make this selection charming and laugh-out-loud funny. –Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library

Midwest Review of Books, December 2011
"All is cozy at the Duck & Company Bookstore as holiday preparations are made... . In this charming illustrated Christmas story, the animals discover once again that the essence of Christmas is something found inside, in tender togetherness with others. Recommended for children age 4 and up."

Scripps Howard News Service December 7, 2011
"--Author/​illustrator Kathy Caple offers a holiday treat to readers just ready for chapter books in "Duck & Company Christmas" (Holiday House, $15.95, ages 5-8). In seven action-filled chapters, Caple tells what happens when Duck, Rat, Badger and others are snowed in at their bookstore. Caple's entertaining story is matched by her bright-colored illustrations, which bring further humor and emotion to the tale. Fans of Arnold Lobel's "Frog and Toad" books will love meeting this new set of friends."

Horn Book Guide April 2012
The Duck & Company bookstore is preparing for Christmas. In seven brief chapters, quirky characters stop by, each adding to the comical mishaps. When a snowstorm strands everyone in the store overnight, the gang turns the event into the makings of a memorable Christmas. Festive ink and gouache illustrations add to the merriment. CHS

Creating this Book

Duck & Company Christmas, published by Holiday House, reflects my fondness for bookstores and libraries and the spirit of community that occurs when readers are brought together to celebrate stories. The story takes place during the Christmas holiday season when Duck and Rat wish for snow, but end up with a lot more than they bargained for.

As a child, I frequently heard stories of my mother's childhood celebrations of Christmas on a Wisconsin farm where there was always plenty of snow and a fresh cut Christmas tree from the woods, along with a horse-drawn sleigh and sleigh bells. This was quite a contrast with the rainy climate of Western Washington state where I grew up. We never had snow on December 24 or 25th, and usually shopped for Christmas trees at a tree lot in the rain. Later we discovered a tree farm nestled in the surrounding hills, which was a little more in the spirit of my Mother's family tradition. Anytime we did have snow it was an extremely special event. Now that I live in the Northeast I've had plenty of experience with snow but still feel a thrill when snowflakes begin to fall.

Creating final art for this book spanned a 13 month period, including part of two winters, one spring, one summer and one fall. I painted all of the backgrounds first, then the characters, saving the details of the snowflakes and decorations for last. By December 2010 I had plenty of real snow around me for inspiration. In fact, completing and sending in the final artwork for this book was complicated by record snow falls and ice storms. On a critical night while attempting to go out to a local copy shop to make needed scans to send to my publisher, I was forced to turn back as the sidewalks were too treacherous for walking even while wearing ice grips over my boots.

I was truly snowed in with Duck & Company Christmas.

DUCK & COMPANY CHRISTMAS, Holiday House, 2011
ISBN 9780823422395