Duck by Randy Cecil.
This may very well be my favorite picture book (though it might be tied with The Gardener by Sarah Stewart). I have such a strong sentimental attachment to this title, that I fear a short little write-up can't possibly do it justice. Moms, this is the perfect book for you to read to your little ones on Mother's Day (as I will surely be doing). The companion book to my April botm, Gator, Duck is the story of a carousel animal (Gator's dear friend) who dreams of flying even though she cannot possibly hope to do so with her heavy wooden wings.
One day, a fuzzy yellow duckling wanders into the amusement park and Duck adopts him. They do everything together and Duck teaches Duckling how to do all of the typical duck-like activities--with one big exception: Despite her efforts, Duck cannot teach Duckling to fly. The day comes when Duck must take her little one to meet a flock of "real" ducks. That is also the day she must watch as Duckling finally flies...away...
The intense joys and sorrows of parenthood are so carefully and beautifully rendered in this book. It is the sentiment that we must eventually let our children go when the time is right for them that particularly gets to me. Every single time I read this, I envision dropping Silas off at college for the first time. I just can't help it.
Watching Duckling fly away isn't the end of Duck's story, nor of the relation between this mother and her son. If we've given our children the love and closeness they need as they grow, they won't forget that. Duckling doesn't.
I won't give away the ending. It will be much better if you read it for yourselves.
Happy Mother's Day, mamas :)