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Sitting Ducks
     

Sitting Ducks

5.0 3
by Michael Bedard
 

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Day after day, brand new ducks roll off a giant assembly line operated by alligators at the Colossal Duck Factory. They are loaded into trucks and taken to Ducktown, where they are fattened up in preparation for their final destination—into the stomachs of alligators. Everything proceeds smoothly, until the day one of the alligators decides to take a wayward

Overview

Day after day, brand new ducks roll off a giant assembly line operated by alligators at the Colossal Duck Factory. They are loaded into trucks and taken to Ducktown, where they are fattened up in preparation for their final destination—into the stomachs of alligators. Everything proceeds smoothly, until the day one of the alligators decides to take a wayward duck home. Over time, the alligator grows fond of his future dinner. Can a duck and an alligator really be friends in an alligator-eat-duck world? Find out in this charming and humorous friendship story.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Funny and poignant.”
Children’s Literature

“This appealing book with its cast of near-irresistible ducks and only mildly menacing alligators is sure to please young readers. Bedard’s sprightly illustrations make the work seem like an animated cartoon between picture book covers.”
Parents Choice

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bedard pits the iconic, yellow-billed white ducks featured in his posters against a carnivorous world in this alligator-y allegory. At first, the waterfowl don't seem to have a prayer. They hatch on a conveyor belt in a vast alligator-run factory, then their predators ship them off to Ducktown, where friendly placards encourage them to "Eat a Lot" and "Fatten Up." (Bedard doesn't specify how the victims vanish from their seeming utopia, but alligator restaurants proudly serve duck soup.) Things change after a soft-hearted alligator adopts a duck and lets his pet in on a secret that could save Ducktown: physically fit birds can fly to freedom. Bedard, who styles his unlikely pair as soul mates, practices the same understatement seen in Tim Egan's Friday Night at Hodges' Cafe. His story can be read as a comment on Big Brother, vegetarianism or star-crossed lovers; his dry wit is such that the duck wanders into a "Decoy Cafe" modeled after Hopper's Nighthawks. Regardless, the narrative is primarily a vehicle for the crisp, mechanical artwork. Bedard uses clean, clear colors, hard edges and pebbled surfaces to construct his smooth-feathered, identical ducks and pudgy, Gumby-green gators. The strongest personality belongs to the anonymous alligator hero, who quells his hankering for his friend the duck by "dreaming about chicken." All ages. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Cheryl Peterson
Day after day, worker alligators watch as the newly hatched ducks roll by on the assembly line at the Colossal Duck Factory. But one day, an unhatched egg slips by and falls off the assembly line. The little duck emerges from his shell and wanders lost through the factory until he meets a worker who takes him home to fatten him up for a delicious meal. As their friendship grows, the alligator becomes more concerned about keeping his new friend safe than cooking him for dinner. Funny and poignant, the story showcases the artwork of the author who is best known for his poster Sitting Ducks.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Bedard's picture book features the same whimsical ducks that appear in his posters. Here, he presents a world inhabited only by white, yellow-billed ducks and wide-eyed alligators. Birds are incubated and hatched in the Colossal Duck Factory, and their eventual destination is the alligators' stomachs. One day, an egg unexpectedly falls off the conveyor belt, and the rudely hatched full-sized duck is spirited out of the factory by a hungry worker. Of course, the reptile has only stuffed poultry on his mind, but the merry antics of the little fellow turn his heart toward friendship. Eventually, the fowl learns that all of the others of his kind spend their days in Ducktown where they "eat and eat until they grow so fat they can't fly away." He mobilizes the flock with the truth (in the form of a menu from The Decoy Cafe) and everyone flies south to safety. (The birds use their wings while the alligator boards a plane.) Unfortunately, skillfully rendered, comically appealing artwork just isn't enough to carry an artificially contrived story line that contains occasional lapses of logic. The characters are charming but unconvincing. Perhaps there's hidden meaning here that adult fans of Bedard will recognize, but it's also very likely that the picture-book audience won't be interested.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools
Kirkus Reviews
Bedard's satirical picture book debut features his poster duck, who, with his many cloned brethren, figure here as the product of the Colossal Duck Factory. It's a prosperous concern operated under the stern gaze of a gang of alligators; one egg rolls loose off the vast conveyor belt system and lands at the foot of an alligator worker. Rather than being snapped up, literally, the little duck is gently carried home in the alligator's lunchbox. There, friendship blooms and the ugly truth is revealed: Colossal Duck Factory cranks out the fowl for paté and kabob. The duck concocts a plan (get fit and fly south) to liberate his kind, and they are all free before winter, including the renegade alligator. It is good to see a duck tinkering with destiny, and it is grand to see him turn a potentially depressing ending into a happy one, even if his friend—-dreaming of chicken, perhaps apropos of a sequel—-makes the other ducks a shade nervous. (Picture book. 6-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698118973
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
446,239
Product dimensions:
9.48(w) x 7.86(h) x 0.12(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“Funny and poignant.”
Children’s Literature

“This appealing book with its cast of near-irresistible ducks and only mildly menacing alligators is sure to please young readers. Bedard’s sprightly illustrations make the work seem like an animated cartoon between picture book covers.”
Parents Choice

Meet the Author

Michael Bedard has received world-wide acclaim for his humerous and allegorical paintings featuring his now famous duck characters. His most well-known poster, Sitting Ducks, ranks among the top-selling and most widely recognized images in the history of this medium. Born in Windsor, Canada, Michael now resides with his family in Topanga, a small rural community outside of Los Angeles.
Michael Bedard has received world-wide acclaim for his humerous and allegorical paintings featuring his now famous duck characters. His most well-known poster, Sitting Ducks, ranks among the top-selling and most widely recognized images in the history of this medium. Born in Windsor, Canada, Michael now resides with his family in Topanga, a small rural community outside of Los Angeles.

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Sitting Ducks 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a *really* neat book! - a bit off-beat and at the same time touching and sweet. The illustrations are beautiful. Truly enjoyable!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well I have to give this book 5 stars because the author is my uncle.