Truck Full of Ducks by Ross Burach, illustrated by Ross Burach. 2018. Published by Scholastic Press.
Brief summary: The story begins right away on the end pages with ducks sitting, eating, and reading in an office when Bernie receives a phone call for a truck full of ducks. Everyone piles into a truck and is on their way when one of the ducks eats the directions. Bernie drives around town asking people if they called for a truck full of ducks. We hilariously learn about other trucks that are called and finally get to the right address as it starts to get dark.
Comments: Ross Burach’s humor in his books have my students laughing and joking even when I’m finished reading. His light and fast-moving duck story is no different. The story is told using dialogue. “Did you call for a truck full of ducks?” The two-page spreads are full of silliness with the cartoon illustrations, signs, and speech bubbles. I can’t wait to share this book next week with my kindergarteners and then share the book trailer below which is narrated by Ross Burach.
The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen. 2017. Mixed media. Published by Candlewick Press.
Brief summary: One morning, a mouse is eaten by wolf and moans about his unexpected end as it sits in the beast’s belly. “Be quiet!” The mouse is surprised to find a duck in bed. They have breakfast together in which the rodent learns all about the duck’s life inside the belly of the wolf. The mouse asks if he can stay too where there is no worry. The duck agrees. They dance about causing the wolf’s tummy to hurt. The duck suggests he knows how to cure his ache and lists a few supplies he would like the wolf to swallow. A hunter comes along and tries to shoot the wolf. Realizing their safe home is under attack, the goose and mouse come up with a plan scaring the hunter away. In return of saving his life, the wolf grants them a favor.
Comments: Has a fable feel. My favorite line is “I may have been swallowed,” says the duck, “but I have no intention of being eaten.” It made me think of what it would be like to live inside the belly of a beast that I was always being frightened by in my every day life.
The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering; illustrated by Timothy Bail Ering. 2017. Acrylic paint on paper with ink, charcoal, and graphite. Candlewick Press.
Brief summary: Captain Alfred was returning home on his small boat full of ducks, his dog, and an unhatched duck’s egg. He fondly keeps the delicate egg in the case of his fiddle naming the unborn Alfred Fiddleduckling. A huge storm suddenly appears capsizing the boat and its passengers. The storm dissipates. The water is calm, but now a thick fog floats above the water revealing a duckling hatching and imprinting to the first thing it sees..the farmer’s fiddle floating in the water nearby. The newly hatched duckling lovingly embraces the instrument and floats to the shore taking his beloved violin with him. He enjoys the music the fiddle makes. The lost farm dog hears the distant music and runs towards it expecting to see his master, but instead, makes a new friend and shares being lost together. Captain Alfred’s wife hears the fiddle being played and runs through the fog to find a newly hatched duckling and the family’s dancing dog. Alfred Fiddleduckling is so happy he plays the fiddle again which is heard by the captain and ducks floating on the debris of the boat nearby.
Comments: Sweet story. We are left wondering how the reunion will be when the captain and ducks find the shore through the thick fog and discover a dancing dog, a new hatchling, and his wife. The illustrations capture the mood of the storm and fog.
Duck on a Tractor by David Shannon; illustrated by David Shannon. 2016.
Brief summary: Duck’s curiosity gets him into another adventure as he climbs on top of a red tractor. He invites all the farm animals to climb aboard as they head into downtown past the diner where some of the customers look out wondering if they are seeing things. Farmer O’Dell notices that the tractor looks like his own and decides to go after it along with the other diner customers. The tractor turns the corner and runs out of gas causing all of the creatures to quickly run away realizing they may get in trouble with the farmer. When the crowd turns the corner, they see an empty red tractor sitting in the middle of the street. After believing they all must be seeing things, they go back to the diner to continue eating.
Comments: Done in the same whimsical style as Duck on a Bike(2002). Hilarious and exaggerated facial expressions and body language will have students giggling throughout the book.