Ruzzier’s trademark artistic style accompanies this tale of defending who you are.
A diapered rodent is remarkably perturbed by Custard the Squirrel. Right off the bat, the rodent asks if Custard is, in fact, a duck. Custard may initially look like a duck to readers, but the refrain—“ ‘No,’ said Custard the Squirrel”—leaves little room for doubt. Still, the rodent just won’t let it go. From numerous angles, the rodent attempts to get Custard to give in and act like a duck. “Won’t you go swim in the lake?” asks the rodent. “Will you please quack?” Custard tirelessly responds in the negative. It is with great grace that Custard remains unflappable in the face of the rodent’s insistence. Finally, by the story’s end, Custard erupts into a chorus of no‘s as joyous as they are adamant. With its steady repetition, this is practically a how-to manual on patiently combating relentless ignorance. Yet it is as much about believing someone when they tell you who they are as it is a guide for dealing with the rodents of the real world. Soft artwork rendered in pen and ink and watercolor deftly highlight the features and body language of both of the main characters. A gently told primer on accepting people for who they are.