Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: The Duck Says

Publish May 19, 2015

Clever wordplay abounds in The Duck Says by British Columbian author, Troy Wilson. As the loquacious gander roams the farmyard, he says much more than just “Quack.” Effusive and emotive, the duck says “Arrr!” when he pretends to be a pirate, or when he is chased by a swarm of angry bees. While leaping over a gaggle of geese, the duck says “Duck!” to give a heads-up warning to keep heads down, and he yells “Goose!” when he tags an unsuspecting player. The funny one-liners and double entendres continue throughout the madcap romp. When the bees finally close in on the hind quarters of the accident-prone duck, he suitably says, “The …End.” Mike Boldt’s cartoon illustrations have a cinematic appeal and propel the comedic action forward. The scenes are full of slapstick staples, such as when the duck unwittingly steps on a rake, and when he is thrown off a galloping horse. Sight gags are also added to the background details, like the dawdling geriatric drakes wearing pince nez glasses and carrying white-tipped canes. The spare, repetitive sentence structure and bouncy rhymes invite lots of audience participation, as do onomatopoeic words like “Screeech!”, “Phew!”, and “Burp!”. This storytime crowd pleaser will have children saying “Read it again.”

The Duck Says

Troy Wilson
Illustration EN: Mike Boldt
Scholastic Canada
ISBN 13: 978-1-4431-2869-8

Linda Ludke
Linda Ludke

Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library.  Her reviews have appeared in Quill and QuireSchool Library Journal and CM:  Canadian Review of Materials.  When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.

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