Me First!

Overview

In the duck family, there are four siblings, one of whom always wants to be first—up until the moment when the impatient duck gets a shocking surprise! The underlying idea, of course, is that we don't always stand to win everything by being first. Indeed, the illustrator dedicates the book to all the children who take their time and go slowly. Nevertheless, this is no message book and it makes its point by getting up to its own dark comedy and mischief in the most pleasing way.

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Overview

In the duck family, there are four siblings, one of whom always wants to be first—up until the moment when the impatient duck gets a shocking surprise! The underlying idea, of course, is that we don't always stand to win everything by being first. Indeed, the illustrator dedicates the book to all the children who take their time and go slowly. Nevertheless, this is no message book and it makes its point by getting up to its own dark comedy and mischief in the most pleasing way.

Born in Brazil, Kris Di Giacomo is a popular children's book illustrator who has lived in France for a long time. She has illustrated twenty picture books, a few of which she has written as well.

Michaël Escoffier was born in France in 1970. Raised by a family of triceratops, he discovered his passion for writing and telling stories at a young age. He lives in Lyon, France, with his wife and two children.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A pushy young duck receives a sobering comeuppance in this humorous cautionary tale from France." - Kirkus Reviews

"Di Giacomo’s spare, textured cartoons are deceptively childlike; their sophistication emerges in telling details..." - Kirkus Reviews

"A sly reminder that being first is not always best." - Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
One of mother duck's four ducklings is always insisting, "Me first!" On their walk outside, when they go fishing, he will knock everyone over to be first. He is first in the bath, leaving a "toot" behind for his siblings to comment, "peyew" and "yuck." Running ahead when it is "time for lunch!" he is shocked to hear that the menu is "duck!" So he backs off, muttering, "meow meow." Sometimes it is not so smart to be first. There is an elegance to the white body shapes Giacomo creates for this moral tale. The ducks' emotions are also successfully conveyed. A few curved lines and a couple of black dots are all that are needed to portray these appealing characters set in very simple, textured backgrounds, and to show the transformation from a pushy bully to a slick coward in this example of the economy of fine design. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
09/01/2013
K-Gr 3—Mama Duck suggests to her four ducklings that they go outside and enjoy the day. One duckling quacks, "Me first! Me first!" and bounds out the door. "Who wants to go fishing?" she asks. That same duckling knocks Mama Duck down rushing to get her gear, all the while squawking, "Me first! Me first!" This duckling is seriously annoying. Every time Mama suggests something, the same pushy bird has to be first and doesn't care how she gets there. Her siblings have had enough of her bossy behavior but before they can let her know, Mama announces that it is time for lunch. Guess who runs to the table first? But little ducking finds two diners there discussing what they are about to eat-duck! The look on the pushy duckling is priceless as she realizes that being first isn't all it's cracked up to be. She slips away unnoticed murmuring, "Meow meow." A lesson learned! Di Giacomo's textured art is childlike and appealing and a perfect complement to the simple text. This delightful book will allow children to predict what will happen next and surprise them at the end. Try pairing it with Brief Thief (Enchanted Lion, 2013) by the same team for more giggles and fun.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A pushy young duck receives a sobering comeuppance in this humorous cautionary tale from France. When the duck parent (clad in a red turtleneck sweater) suggests the family plays outside on a beautiful sunny day, one little duck shoves past the others, shouting the titular cry: "Me first! Me first!" It's the same when the parent duck suggests fishing, and at "bath time," the overeager fowl grabs the only inflatable water toy and thoughtlessly splashes the family. When an off-page speech bubble indicates that it's "Time for lunch!" (in an ornate, scriptlike type that is very different from parent duck's printing), it's "Me first! Me first!" again--until the duckling arrives at the table just in time to learn that the menu consists of "Duck!" Tail tucked as far between the legs as a duck tail can be, the suddenly reformed offender slinks off in vocal camouflage: "Meow Meow." Even children who do not recognize themselves in the little duck's behavior may well have seen it played out on a local duck pond; this exaggerated look at typical duck--and human--family dynamics will ring true. Di Giacomo's spare, textured cartoons are deceptively childlike; their sophistication emerges in telling details: The parent duck's eyebrows betray increasing exasperation at the behavior of the wayward duckling; the little ducks are "fishing" for carnival-style rubber duckies. A sly reminder that being first is not always best. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592701360
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Pages: 24
  • Sales rank: 1,492,715
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Michaël Escoffier: Michael Escoffier was born in France in 1970. Raised by a family of triceratops, he discovered his passion for writing and telling stories at a young age. He lives in Lyon with his wife and two children.

Kris Di Giacomo: Born in Brazil of American parents, Kris Di Giacomo is a popular children's book illustrator who has lived in France for a long time. After living in the US for a while she moved to France, where teaching English to young children and discovering French picture books were the triggers that led her

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