Five little ducks went off to school,
over the splishy-splashy pool,
and the one little duck with a schoolbag on her back,
she led the others with a QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!
It's back to school with a QUACK, QUACK, QUACK! An adorable new picture book and sing-along CD for the back to school season. Five little ducks need to get to class - but oops, what have they each forgotten?
Children can sing along with Jay Laga'aia as they follow the text, or do their own karaoke version with the backing track.
I read this book and listened to the CD before taking it round for the girls to see. I thought it would be most suitable for Miss Three, but the twins were just as interested so we ended up with all three plus their mother sitting down together to read it. I think the timing was right too. It was a very hot day and they had the paddling pool under the tree beside us, so every now and then one of them would jump in the pool to cool off - which of course was in keeping with the subject of the story!
Stories that you can sing along to are always popular anyway with preschoolers (and their older sisters!), and they are all very much into their music, so this was another point in favour of the book. A portable CD player came in very handy so we could listen to it together. Even Mr One (who stayed in the pool almost all the time) sang along in his own way. He can't sing yet, and has only a couple of words, but that did not dampen down his enthusiasm. If his sisters were going to make music, he was not going to be the one left out.
Even before we put the music on, the girls were fascinated by the cover. It is so important that books for little kids have colourful, catchy graphics so they command attention. This cover features the five little ducks setting out for school, completely organised with their sunnies, trendy caps, and headphones. The splishy-splashy pool features on the very first page so we had a momentary break when Miss Three had to go and jump in beside her brother, pretending to be a duck too. The sound of the chorus brought her back quickly, however, as she wanted to join in with all the quacks.
Once the five little ducks and the setting are firmly established, the action begins. The theme of this story is being forgetful, something the twins can relate to - they are always having to be reminded about something or other. This made the story very close to home as they commented on the different things that had been forgotten. Each duck forgot something different, and everyone was held up while the missing item was collected. Lunches, caps, drink bottles. boots, books - all essential items for a day at school! Luckily the five little ducks made it in time, racing to get to their classroom by nine!
Apart from the cute little ducks, there were other critters that the girls discovered - the pet turtle who walked along to school with them, the frogs, and the birds. Stevie Mahardhika's artwork is utterly charming, with that lovely humorous touch as the turtle stands on its head in the water or waits on the school doorstep watching the little ducks run in. Of course, traditionally turtles are slower than ducks, but when the ducks forget things and have to go back for them, the clever turtle arrives first.
I can see the girls having a lot of fun with this book. I would like to see a slightly stronger storage facility for the CD, maybe a heavy card backing for its pouch so it does not get snapped in half, but apart from that the book format is fine. Miss Three is old enough now to treat her books with care. As for Mr One, he is more interested in singing and dancing to the music and playing in the water!
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