“A Sweater for Duncan” is a children’s picture book written by Margaret G. Malone and illustrated by Lorraine Dey.
The book is now available on the publisher’s website at Raven Tree Press . You can order A Sweater for Duncan online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com also. Or get a signed book from the illustrator or author.
Little Duncan penguin is proud of his fuzzy coat. He sticks out his chest as he waddles among the other penguins. He
likes to admire himself in a mirror–like piece of ice. He knows he is the handsomest one in the frozen south. Trouble
jumps in when a piece of fuzz flies off. He presses it into his tummy, but it doesn’t stay. It begins to fall off in clumps and
float on the wind like butterflies. He spends every day chasing after the flying fuzz. A small spot grows into a medium spot,
then a big spot. A sweater will hide the bare spots, he decides.
His mother agrees to knit him a sweater, but will that solve the problem? The sweater is too tight, then too short. It’s just
too small. What’s he to do? Finally, his mother asks him to follow her. He notices he can keep up with her. “I must be
getting taller,” he says. “You are growing up,” his mother tells him. She leads him to a familiar spot, the mirror–like piece of
ice where he used to admire himself. At first, he keeps his eyes shut tight. When he finally opens his eyes, a happy
surprise awaits. Now he sports feathers that look like a white shirt and a black coat. He’s all grown up. “What should I do
with the sweater?” his mother asks. “Whatever you want,” he tells her. “I won’t need it now that I’m a fine–looking, grown–
This book was truly a collaboration between the author and illustrator. The author originally referred to Duncan as having
a coat of brown fuzz. This is true of the King penguin, the second largest of the species. The largest is the emperor
penguin and has a coat of gray fuzz. After checking with an expert at the Bronx Zoo, she found the Emperor penguin is
probably the best known. With that in mind, we changed “brown” to “gray” in the manuscript. The illustrator then chimed in
saying that Emperor penguins are found only in Antarctica. So we needed to change the original text from…the
handsomest coat in the frozen North…to South. Of course, the other animals shown in the book then became South Pole
animals, rather than North Pole.
As for the artwork found in Duncan, each page is first developed in a hand–drawn pencil sketch that is then scanned into
a digital file for color work on the computer. Lorraine Dey prefers to work–up the final color illustration as a digital file.
Working in Adobe Photoshop, she paints in the color details using a stylus pen on a Wacom tablet. The technique and
brush stroke is very similar to the way she paints while working traditionally in acrylic paint.
This book is available in English–only and bilingual English/Spanish full–text translation editions. The full–text bilingual
edition presents the story in English and then again in Spanish on the same page. A keyword vocabulary page is included
in the back of the book to boost language learning.