Thursday, November 3, 2011

Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough

Text and illustrations copyright  ©  Jez Alborough 1999

Duck in the Truck is the first book in a wonderful series  about an overconfident, mishap-prone Duck and his long-suffering friends Frog, Sheep and Goat.  The story opens: “This is the Duck driving home in a truck. This is the track which is taking him back. This is the rock struck by the truck and this is the muck where the truck becomes stuck.”   
Frog and Sheep,  one by one, stumble upon Duck’s predicament and volunteer to help push the truck out of the muck, but to no avail;  the truck remains firmly mired in the mud. 
Finally Goat, who was asleep on his motorboat,  hears  a distress yell from Duck and comes up with a plan to tow the truck out. One end of a rope will be tied to the truck, the other end to his boat.
The plan is successful and the truck becomes unstuck; however, everyone is flabbergasted when ungrateful Duck drives off leaving the three good Samaritans in the mud.  This is not behavior that you want your kids to emulate but a hilarious way to discuss appropriate behavior and gratitude with your kids.
Duck, Frog, Sheep and Goat appear  in the next four equally wonderful installments in the series:  Captain Duck, Hit the Ball Duck, Fix-It Duck and Super Duck. The illustrations are done in vibrant colors that make you feel energized simply looking at them. The red of Duck’s truck and the green of Sheep’s jeep pop off the page. The rhyme and repetition is great fun as a parent to read aloud and that same rhyme and repetition also make it a great beginning reader. The books do double duty in our household.

Due to the age range of my children, 6, 4, and 2,  I have to schedule two different story times;  understandably, I usually cannot read my 6 year old  the same books that I read my 2 year old. My 4 year old, however,  is pretty content with either group.  On the days when two separate story times are impossible, I can rely on the books in the Duck series because they appeal to all three. As our three year old very loved and worn copies attest, We LOVE the Duck!

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