25. “Little Quack” by Lauren Thompson

To continue the duck theme, I suggest “Little Quack” as today’s read. This modest farm bird is yet another popularity contest winner among children, and I am genuinely curious how many great picture books have been written about it so far. Was “The Ugly Ducking” the first one? Let me know, someone more educated on this matter.

Although yesterday’s Duck was basically fearless, Little Quack is more of a cautious character. Mama Duck decides that it is high time for her five children to learn how to swim. Are the ducklings excited? Not really. Their first reaction is the predictable “NO, I can’t do it.” Luckily, Mama Duck knows better. She believes in her children and thanks to her support the little ducklings jump into the water one by one, with no regrets. Even, the most panicky Little Quack.

I love the concept. The book has a lot of educational elements. Children learn how to count the ducks in the pond. They can add, subtract, compare… There is enough material for a full math lesson. Secondly, the book shows your child how important it is to challenge our fears. We have to make numerous first steps into the unknown in life. It is what growing up is about.

This summer our son is learning how to swim. I am happy  we are also reading “Little Quack”. He will serve as an example.

I said I loved the concept, and I do love Derek Anderson’s illustrations, but I have to admit that I am not so thrilled about the flow of the story. It is just too long and too boring in the middle. Five ducklings voice the same concerns about jumping into the pond and five times you get to read the same dialogues. I think some variations wouldn’t hurt and I wouldn’t have to skip any lines while reading.


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