Karline’s Duck is the only book I’ve brought with me from my childhood. This is not to suggest I had other books. In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the only book I owned. And…I didn’t really own it, I stole it from the Winnipeg Public Library, St James Branch, Boys and Girls Department. However, as I was not yet seven when my family moved from Winnipeg to Edmonton in 1970, I think it’s fair to suggest my parents stole it. I don’t know which one, probably my mother. She could be shifty. Or maybe I just tucked it away somewhere and it got packed along with my Barrel of Monkeys and my dear yellow blankey. When you’re moving a family of seven across western Canada in the five-seater Buick, contraband is the least of your worries. The fact remains that Karline’s Duck, so loved, so tattered, was not my book then, but it is my book now. It’s a matter of squatter’s rights. Karline’s Duck has squatted (so to speak) on my shelves for almost 40 years. I haven’t the heart to send her home now.

Read More