Clumsy Duck was very clumsy.
She had just fallen over … again!
Not a day went by without her
Stumbling, tripping or falling.
It was very frustrating!
Clumsy Duck is … well … clumsy. She falls down constantly. Despite the reassurances of her friend Chick, it’s starting to get her down. She’s not sure she will ever be anything but clumsy. When she gets muddy, Chick encourages Duck to clean off in the pond. On the way, Chick realises that Duck has very big feet. The pair speculate there must be something that Duck is good at. But it isn’t running and it isn’t perching. But when Duck trips again, and falls into the pond, they discover just what it is that Duck does well. Illustrations appear to be a mix of sponge paint and digital and are full of extras, including insects and a range of leaves and flowers in simple shapes – even Duck’s feathers seem to be stencilled or printed on.
Clumsy Duck is a take on the ‘Ugly Duckling’ tale but adapted for the very young. Young children will empathise with Duck as she trips her way through the pages and they’ll cheer for her as she finds her place. There is much to be celebrated too in the friendship with Chick, who despite being less comfortable on the water, joins her friend as Duck explores her extended world. Images are uncluttered and often set in white space for maximum impact, and the styles of illustration used could easily be adapted for use in art activities. Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers.
Clumsy Duck, Britta Teckentrup Koala Books 2013 ISBN: 9781742760353
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller
Available from good bookstores or online.