Overview

FEATHERS FLY

when one smart duck decides to teach the farmyard know-it-alls a lesson. Damaris is a duck. Not the ordinary, silly, jumping-inpuddles kind of duck—she’s a very clever duck. So when the farmyard pigs start picking on the other animals, Damaris and her sheepdog best friend hatch a plot to get back at them. Her plan works so well that she soon feels sorry for the sows, especially when they are captured by the sinister Mr. Crook. Now it’s up to Damaris to rescue them. ...

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Clever Duck

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Overview

FEATHERS FLY

when one smart duck decides to teach the farmyard know-it-alls a lesson. Damaris is a duck. Not the ordinary, silly, jumping-inpuddles kind of duck—she’s a very clever duck. So when the farmyard pigs start picking on the other animals, Damaris and her sheepdog best friend hatch a plot to get back at them. Her plan works so well that she soon feels sorry for the sows, especially when they are captured by the sinister Mr. Crook. Now it’s up to Damaris to rescue them. Filled with snooty sows, dotty ducks, and more than a little farmyard excitement, CLEVER DUCK is a charming adventure from the “master of animal stories.”* *The Guardian, London


Clever Duck is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
The barnyard pigs are insufferably conceited, convinced (with considerable evidence on their side) that the cows, chickens, sheep and ducks on their farm are all ignoramuses. So they are quite taken aback when one particular duck, Damaris, replies to their mocking inquiry about whether she knows what an ignoramus is, by retorting, "If you don't know what an ignoramus is, then you must be one." Damaris, the pigs have found out, is no ordinary duck. She is a clever duck. So clever that she and her teacher/comrade, sheepdog Rory, hatch a plot to get rid of the braggart pigs forever. And so clever that when they begin to pity the pigs for their well-deserved but painful predicament, she hatches a plot to get them back again. Nobody does barnyard stories better than the renowned Dick King-Smith, and this tale of conflict, cunning and compassion shows why the barnyard story is an enduring and beloved staple of children's fiction. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

The pigs on the farm think that all of the other animals are "ignoramuses"-until they meet the clever duck Damaris, educated by her sheepdog friend. When the pigs escape due to the machinations of the duck and dog and are trapped by Mr. Crook, who is about to sell them to market, the duck rescues them and gains the respect of the pigs as well as the farmer and his wife. The expressive black-and-white cartoons, which appear on almost every page, add some humor. Names such as Mrs. O'Bese and Mrs. Stout are good for a chuckle as well, but some of the vocabulary, such as "squelching" and "pontificating," might be beyond the easy-chapter-book audience. Fans of the author might want to pick this up, but it's far from King-Smith's best work.-Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA

Kirkus Reviews
Damaris the duck lives up to her eponymous epithet in this barnyard adventure, which features, in addition to this resourceful fowl, her canine friend and the farm's supercilious swine. These haughty hogs hope to belittle Damaris by asking her the definition of "ignoramus," but the intelligent bird cannot be stumped. "If you don't know what an ignoramus is, then you must be one," is her swift reply. Showcasing her erudition, however, brings her no comfort; this duck seeks revenge on the pompous pigs. Damaris and dog Rory lure the pigs out of their pen, and their outdoor escapade wreaks havoc. The hungry hogs overindulge in sugary beets, leaving the results of their messy stomachaches behind, and scheming Mr. Crook captures the pigs. Damaris, feeling responsible for the group's misfortune, risks her life and wings to return the hogs to their rightful home. Bruel's black-and-white drawings highlight the animals' mischievous antics, though it is the hilarious and pretentious boar leader, "Firingclose General Lord Nicholas of Winningshot," who epitomizes the fun in this farm frenzy. (Fantasy. 7-10)
From the Publisher
"Bruel’s black-and-white drawings highlight the animals’ mischievous antics, though it is the hilarious and pretentious boar leader, “Firingclose General Lord Nicholas of Winningshot,” who epitomizes the fun in this farm frenzy."

Kirkus Reviews

 

"Expressive black-and-white cartoons."

School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429925136
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 879,984
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Dick King-Smith (1922-2011) was the author of dozens of popular books for children, including Babe: The Gallant Pig and The Water Horse, both of which were adapted into major motion pictures. Born in Gloucestershire, England, King-Smith served in World War II, farmed for twenty years and, later, taught elementary school. The inspiration for many of his best-selling animal stories came from his farm and his animals.
 
Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of New York Times bestseller Boing, Bad Kitty, Bad Kitty Gets a Bath and Bad Kitty Meets the Baby, among others. Nick is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, and during his down time, he collects PEZ dispensers and grows tomatoes in the backyard. He lives in Tarrytown, NY with his wife Carina and their lovely cat Esmerelda.

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Read an Excerpt



Clever Duck



1
"Ignoramus"
"Ignoramuses!"said Mrs. Stout. "That's what they are. Ignoramuses, every one of them."
"Who, dear?" asked her friend Mrs. Portly.
"Why, the other animals on this farm, of course."
"Leaving aside us pigs, you mean?" said another friend, Mrs. O'Bese.
"Naturally, Mrs. O'Bese," replied Mrs. Stout. "All pigs are born with a high degree of intelligence, that goes without saying." There came grunts of agreement from the other sows--Mrs. Chubby, Mrs. Tubby, Mrs. Swagbelly, and Mrs. Roly-Poly--as they rooted in the mud of their paddock.
"I am speaking," went on Mrs. Stout, "of such creatures as the cows ..."
"Dullards!" put in Mrs. Chubby.



" ... and the sheep ..."
"Simpletons!" said Mrs. Tubby.
" ... and the chickens ..."
"Morons! said Mrs. Swagbelly. " ... and the ducks." "Idiots!" cried Mrs. Roly-Poly.

"Imbeciles! Half-wits! Dimwits! Nitwits!"
"Just so," said Mrs. Stout. "Each and every other creature on the farm is, as I said, an ignoramus. Why, there's not one of them that would even know what the word meant."
"Surely, dear," said Mrs. Portly, "they couldn't be that stupid?"
"There's one sure way to find out," said Mrs. O'Bese.
Unlike the others, Mrs. O'Bese was a pig with a sense of humor, and it struck her that here was a chance for a bit of fun.
On one side of the sows' paddock was a field in which the dairy herd was grazing, and Mrs. O'Bese made her way up to the fence, close to which one of the cows stood watching her approach.
"Good morning," said Mrs. O'Bese.
"Good moo-ning," said the cow.

"Are you," asked Mrs. O'Bese, "an ignoramus?"
"Noo," said the cow. "I'm a Holstein."
Mrs. O'Bese went to a second side of the paddock, where there was a field full of sheep, and spoke to one.
"Hey, ewe!" she said.
"Me?" said the sheep.
"Yes, you. Who did you think I was talking to?"
"Ma?" said the sheep.
Some mothers do have 'em, thought the sow.
"Ignoramus," she said.
"Baa," said the sheep.
"D'you know what it means?"
"Na, na," said the sheep.
"Well," said Mrs. O'Bese, "that cow over there is one and you are too."
"Na, na," said the sheep. "Me not two. Me one."
Mrs. O'Bese shook her head so that her ears flapped.

"Ass," she grunted.
"Na, na," said the sheep. "Me ewe."
On the third side of the paddock was an orchard with a duck pond in it. A flock of chickens was pecking around under the apple trees, and there were a number of ducks, some walking around, some swimming in the pond.
Mrs. O'Bese addressed a hen.
"Ignoramus," she said.
"What?" said the hen.
"Ignoramus. That's what you are, isn't it?"
"I don't get you, said the hen.
"It's a word," said Mrs. O'Bese, "used to describe someone who has very little knowledge.
"Knowledge?" said the hen. "What does that mean?"

Mrs. O'Bese sighed.
"How many beans make five?" she said.
The hen put her head on one side, considering.
"What's a bean?" she said.
"Oh, go lay an egg!" said Mrs. O'Bese.
"Okay," said the hen, and went.
A duck waddled past.
I'll try a different approach, thought the sow. Maybe I've been too abrupt. I'll turn on the charm.
"Top of the mornin' to ye, me fine friend!" she cried. "Would you be after sparin' me a minute of your valuable time?"
The duck stopped. It was an ordinary sort of bird, brown and white in color, and looking, Mrs. O'Bese thought, as stupid as all of its kind. It stared at her with beady eyes.
Then it said, "Quack!"

At this moment Mrs. O'Bese heard the sound of heavy bodies squelching through the mud and looked around to see that Mrs. Stout and Mrs. Portly, Mrs. Chubby, Mrs. Tubby, Mrs. Swagbelly, and Mrs. Roly-Poly were all standing behind her.
"Listen to this," she grunted softly at them, and to the duck she said, loudly and slowly asone does to foreigners, "Now then, my friend. I wonder if perhaps you'd be able to help me. There's this long word I've heard, and I'm just a silly old sow, so I don't know the meaning of it."

"Quack!" said the duck again.
"The word," said Mrs. O'Bese, "is 'ignoramus.'"
"Is that so?" said the duck.
"Yes. Can you tell me what it means?"
"I must say," said the duck, "you surprise me. I had been under the distinct impression that pigs were reasonably intelligent. If you don't know what an ignoramus is, then you must be one."

Text copyright © 1996 by Foxbusters Ltd.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Yay

    You all should start reading the bad kitty seiries by NickBruel

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2013

    Hi

    MY SISTER CATHERINE IS SO WEIRD

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Orion

    It is spelled, patient. And she doesn't do threesomes. So. Are we going to do it or not?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Shelby

    Is gone

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Emma

    Okay.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Alex

    Emma go to res one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Med catt den

    Twilightclan

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Love it

    Can't wait to read more books from Nick Bruel!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

    This is a grate book

    Grate

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 11 Customer Reviews

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