Duck Says Don't!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Temporarily put in charge of a pond that’s home to a happy and diverse aquatic community, Duck goes overboard, instigating a series of unpopular rules that he posts on imperious signs that make it impossible—legally and literally—to have any fun. (“Then where can I fish?” asks the chagrined Kingfisher. “Somewhere else!” retorts Duck.) It isn’t until the other pond residents vote with their feet that Duck understands the importance of consent of the governed. (Incidentally, 2011’s Mr. Duck Means Business features nearly the same plot.) Ritchie’s (Me and My Mom!) brisk, enthusiastic text is a great read-aloud, handily setting up George’s colorful, comically choreographed, and populous spreads of pond life (even the little dragonflies are expressive). One note: the ending may strike some adults as almost heretical in this age of highly professionalized children. Rather than absorbing his experience as a way to become a better leader next time, Duck throws in the towel, telling the pond’s returning owner, “Being in charge is much too hard!” That kind of attitude won’t get you into a competitive college, Duck. Ages 3–7. (June)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1–Duck is on a power trip. Left in charge of the pond while Goose is away, he has decided that everything is against the rules. "No Fishing!" he tells Kingfisher, "No Jumping!" for the frogs, and "No Racing!" for the dragonflies. The dictatorial bird manages to alienate all of the pond creatures, who seek entertainment in a nearby meadow. Feeling left out, Duck decides to change his ways, inviting all of the animals back to the pond for fun in the sun. When Goose returns, she is so impressed that she offers to put Duck in charge every time she goes away. Luckily, Duck has learned a lesson, telling Goose that "Being in charge is much too hard!" The large, vibrant illustrations will keep children interested. This is a great addition for most libraries; pair it with Alexis O'Neill's The Recess Queen (Scholastic, 2002) for a storytime about being bossy.—Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA
Kirkus Reviews
Goose leaves Duck in charge when she leaves her pond, with unhappy results. Power goes immediately to Duck's head. First, he stops the dragonflies from racing, although they point out that flying is what they do. The next day, a big sign appears: "NO RACING! by order of Duck (in charge of pond)." Soon he forbids the kingfishers from fishing and the frogs from diving, and more signs appear forbidding, well, everything. Then Duck realizes all his friends have gone off to more congenial surroundings. Shedding a tear, he takes down all the old signs and welcomes everyone back to do what they do. The ring-necked hero decides being in charge is "much too hard" and is hardly ever bossy again. The illustrations are Popsicle-colored and gently exaggerated, and each creature is utterly anthropomorphized: Goose leaves sporting a fetching lavender scarf and a bead-handled purse; one frog has reading glasses, and another feeds her baby from a bottle; the dragonflies come in pastel colors and silly grins. Despite the forced whimsy of the illustrations, the book positively reeks of a Lesson to be Learned, so it is just about as much fun as Duck. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561487455
  • Publisher: Good Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2012
  • Pages: 26
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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