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Farmer Duck
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Farmer Duck

4.8 7
by Martin Waddell, Helen Oxenbury (Illustrator)

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Farmer Duck is no ordinary duck--and this is no ordinary picture book. A glorious and utterly satisfying modern fable illustrated with that special blend of humor and pathos unique to bestselling artist Helen Oxenbury. Full color.


Farmer Duck is no ordinary duck--and this is no ordinary picture book. A glorious and utterly satisfying modern fable illustrated with that special blend of humor and pathos unique to bestselling artist Helen Oxenbury. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Candlewick teams with British sister company Walker Books for this adaptation of Waddell's popular picture book. A reading of the full text kicks off a program jam-packed with extras. Oddie gives the lazy farmer an appropriately grating voice as he continually hollers, "How goes the work?" to the ever-laboring Duck. Gibson's original music makes a pleasant accompaniment, though in the places where Oddie uses a softer tone, it nearly overpowers him. Oddie and Aldred then lead listeners in a series of games and activities including identifying animal sounds, imagining being an animal and acting out passages of the story-many of them suitable for preschool classroom or playgroup use. Near the end of the proceedings, a cast of children perform the story as a mini play and listeners have the opportunity to tell the story themselves, karaoke-like, during a track that has music only. The youngest listeners may puzzle over a stray Britishism ("cockerel" instead of rooster) and may initially have some difficulty with the British accents, but overall, the upbeat, creative energy here is likely to win over a large audience. Ages 3-7. (May) FYI: Candlewick Audio is simultaneously releasing four additional CD adaptations of picture books, including Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? by Waddell and This Is the Bear by Michael Rosen. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A poor duck is overworked by a lazy farmer-until the duck's farm friends mete out their own brand of barnyard justice. "Young readers will flap for joy right along with the endearing web-footed hero," said PW in a starred review. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature
On a farm, which may be just a few miles away from anywhere, there is a duck who has a truly dreadful life. This poor animal has to work all day, taking care of the entire farm by itself while the farmer lies in bed all day. All day long the farmer yells out "How goes the work?" and all day long the duck answers "Quack!" It is hard to imagine an animal more taken advantage of than this duck. Luckily, the other animals living on the farm decide that enough is enough and take matters into their own hands, or rather into their own hooves and claws. Their love of the duck drives them to do what they can to help. For a little light entertainment the author has added the voices of the animals throughout this charming board book, which should provide plenty of noisy amusement when reading the book out loud during story time. Helen Oxenbury manages with some of her artist's magic to give the poor duck just the right droop in its shoulders so we know just how tired it is. We know just how fed up it is, and just how delighted it is in the end when it realizes that its life of drudgery is over. Oxenbury gives each of the animals a character without making it either cute or human-like. The animals are still very animal-like, and at the same time, they have thoughts and opinions of their own. With a "Moo!" a "Baa!" and a "Cluck!" this is a book that will be read over and over again. 2003, Candlewick Press,
— Marya Jansen-Gruber
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- Waddell's waddler is a real winner. In all kinds of weather, this downtrodden duck hauls in the sheep, tends the hens, and does the housework as well. ```How goes the work?''' the farmer repeatedly asks. ```Quack,''' the duck constantly replies--until all the barnyard animals convene to help the exhausted servant exact revenge and oust the lazy lout. Hilarious art masterfully captures the expressions of the put-upon duck, the supportive cast, and the slovenly ergophobic who reads the newspaper and chomps on bonbons in bed. All the while, the use of subtle shading and light reflect the passing of time on the farm and the serenity of the English countryside. Bled double-page spreads burst with life and vitality in a tale that has undertones of Animal Farm and The Bremen Town Musicians . With its lilting, large-print text and satisying resolution, it's as perfect for beginning readers as it is for story hours. --Trev Jones, School Library Journal

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 6.72(h) x 0.64(d)
360L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Martin Waddell is the author of more than one hundred books for young readers. He lives in England.

Helen Oxenbury is a two-time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and a celebrated illustrator of many well-loved books. Helen Oxenbury lives in London.

Customer Reviews

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Farmer Duck 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good story, about the virtues of laziness and selfishness. My daughter truly enjoys. Comes with cd, very well performed, makes the story come to life. Read at a very slow pace, so she can keep up with the story and enjoy the beautiful illustrations. We read several times a week since purchase.
ILoveToReadLH More than 1 year ago
A simple yet cute story about a duck who does all the work while the farmer stays in bed, and how his friends, the other barn animals, decide to do something about it.
2cat007 More than 1 year ago
This is a cute story with a great ending,I recommend it for anybody that likes or loves children story books.
KMCmommy More than 1 year ago
I used to read this story to the toddlers at the daycare I worked and they loved it. So, I knew I needed to get the book for my now 2-year-old daughter. This story is a lot of fun as children can participate in the repeating dialogue. "How goes the work?" "Quack!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 6 year old enjoys reading this book.
Gupple More than 1 year ago
Excellent read aloud.. tongue in cheek humor similar to more recent works of Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin(Giggle, Giggle Quack, etc). Lessons of sloth vs cooperation are amusingly told, and illustrations capture wit of story. Five to seven years olds delighted by Farmer Duck. I never tire of reading it.
DanPhilLuk More than 1 year ago
It kind of fit in with other books my son and I like to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The recommendation says 3-6, but my 2 year-old loves this book. The pictures tell the story, and the repetition of the words is appealing to children. It is a great read-aloud.