Sometimes life just hands you a whole pile of good luck – like being born for example!
There’s a duck in this story who knows a ‘magnificent stroke of good luck’ when he sees it – and he has it in spades.
First of all, he’s a duck (who even has webbed feet – ‘pretty neat’)!
Then, he finds a wife who is also a duck (she makes his ‘mallard tail curl’ because she’s a girl).
And then, can you believe it, inside each egg his duck wife lays is … a duck!
But the very best piece of luck is that he’s ‘a duck and a … DAD!’
The copious amounts of optimism displayed by this little mallard duck remind me of so many new fathers I’ve known. It’s delightful.
This is a story told in rhyme which makes it fun to read aloud – and easy to follow when read quite quickly as the overwhelming enthusiasm coming the duck seems to require.
There’s a charming cheerfulness to the pictures too – a slightly vintage look matches the colouring of the duck beautifully and lends a homey feeling.
Dads, or men with a baby on the way, are often left out of the baby-present-buying spree that accompanies a birth, but this book is inclusive and makes a lovely gift. Full of the joy of new fatherhood, it’s completely relatable and the enthusiasm and fun in the story make it great for reading aloud, even to babies.
Aside from the fun that parents will have with this book, there’s a whole lot of joy (and learning) for children too:
The sheer excitement that the little duck feels for everyday achievements is captivating – and a lovely model of the way children respond to their own achievements. Anything that validates that sort of enthusiasm and encourages joy in everyday achievements is a wonderful gift.
The whirlwind tour through the life of the duck is reassuring and helps with big-picture perspective.
There’s a bunch of built in small facts about mallards – it could be fun to research mallard ducks and then read the story again looking for clues.
The delights of family life are on display – there’ll be plenty to recognise in the duck family’s life from a child’s own life.
A whole lot of love goes along with the bursting enthusiasm for life – hopefully it’s contagious.
This is a great book to pair with Someday as a present for new parents. (Someday is especially appropriate for parents of girls.) It’s also nice to read with other ‘duck’ books like Make Way for Ducklings, The Duck in the Gun and Farmer Duck for a slightly more esoteric addition.