Clumsy Duck keeps falling over her big webbed feet! She feels that she is too clumsy to do anything well.
"Not so." says her friend, Little Chick. "Those big feet must be good for something." The two friends set off to find out just what those big webbed feet are good for and discover Clumsy Duck is an amazing swimmer!
When I read this to my two year old daughter at bedtime, I really enjoyed the messages that it was giving. There are messages of friendship, support and accepting differences in yourself and others.
Clumsy Duck keeps tripping up on land and the story takes Chick and Clumsy duck through a range of activities to find out what Clumsy Duck is good at. Chick walks right beside Clumsy Duck through the whole journey and is constantly trying to help find what Clumsy Duck is good at.
This story would be good to help children reflect on the fact that they are good at some things and perhaps not so good at other things. The book and discussion to go with it could help children to come to terms with who they are and accept that they may not be good at everything. Measuring themselves against what others can do doesn't work and that they have to find what they are good at themselves.
The book has cute illustrations. They are simple and very colourful. There is also good use of white space throughout the book. The book is reasonably big and would word well for sharing with a group of children. The illustrations are bold and the text is big and clear. As a teacher, I could see that I could use this book in a classroom and I am sure a lot of discussion could follow. I would also see that children could create their own books with this one as inspiration. They could pick their own bird or animal and create a similar adventure for the main character to find out what they are good at.
Both my two year old and my four year old love this book. My two year old was particularly interested in the duck and kept pointing to the duck and grabbing the book so she could turn the page to see more ducks! My four year old was interested in why the duck kept falling over and hurting herself. Was also discussed why she was clumsy on land but fine in water. This led onto a talk about how webbed feet work. We are going to see how we can recreate the idea of webbing on my four year old's hands so that he can feel the difference when moving his hand through water and his "webbed" hand through water.
This is a lovely book that I look forward to sharing with many children.
First of all when I received this book I was shocked at how large it was! Its really big which I love as its nice to read aloud to both children and they can see the pictures clearly. At first the colours stand out to me, the art work is unusual as it appears to be stamped/screen printed on and my 5 year old said the leaves looked like they have been made from potato stamps - which I think could be cool to 'recreate' the book into their own art interpretations at some stage.
My two year old son also really enjoyed this book because the pictures a quiet basic with a lot of white space and the main image of the duck is clear so he could see what the idea was on the page.
The story line is fantastic and teaches children that everyone is good at something, but no one is good at everything. I think this is really important for children to understand from a young age as my 5 year old often asks why 'someone' is faster at running that him, or better at something else than him. This book puts it into simple terms that he understood well.
I would of liked to have seen the writing in a more creative manner, but i'm sure there is a reason as to why the author chose just one font type and to print it in black. It does allow more focus on the pictures which can be a nice change from books that have words going in all directions, I guess it depends on what you are after in a book.
Overall this seems to be a firm bedtime favorite in this house, especially with Mr 2 who wants it read every night! I would definitely buy this book as its a nice addition to any bookcase!
Clumsy Duck is a very cute book, cute by nature not size as it is actually bigger than most of the picture book we own. This makes it great for reading to a group but a bit of a pain to store on the bookshelf. That is the only negative I have found in with this book. When I first read it to my preschoolers I had to explain what clumsiness was. I think my daughter had an instant empathy for the duck as I'm sure many other readers will too.
The basic storyline is that Duck struggles to keep up with her friend Chick and is constantly stumbling. Chick is a very supportive friend (I had thought there might have been some teasing but was pleased there wasn't). When Duck lands in the water Chick discovers that Duck is very a very graceful swimmer and the webbed feet that stopped her from holding onto branches were a great help in the water.
Reading this to the four year olds lead into an interesting discussion about webbed feet. It lead us to Google images of bird feet and identifying which could swim and which could climb. Thanks to Clumsy Duck for the impromptu science lesson. There are a couple of lovely messages in this story for both adults and children. Firstly be supportive of people when they are struggling and are not as good as you at things. Also we all have our strengths and sometimes we just need to discover it.
The illustrations are delightfully bold. This works well with a toddler's book. They look like they have been screen-printed or stencilled. They were also done in such a way that the children could tell how Duck was feeling. The front cover has Duck taking up the majority of the page and it grabbed the kids' attention. I have yet to meet a toddler that didn't love ducks. It is safe to say the kids loved this book.
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