Clumsy Duck by Britta Teckentrup
Boxer Books - Ages 3-6
Clumsy Duck is the story of a duck who is awkward on land, no matter what she does.
Fortunately, Duck has a very upbeat friend called Chick. They take a walk and Chick ignores the fact that Duck falls twice on the way up the hill, instead admiring the view. He chuckles when Clumsy Duck falls into the mud and notices Duck's big, muddy foot prints. No wonder Clumsy Duck trips all the time! Her feet are huge.
Clumsy Duck wonders aloud why her feet are so big. Chick doesn't know but suggests they try to figure it out. This is my favorite page spread, when Duck and Chick are trying to figure out whether running might be the purpose of those big feet:
I love this author/artist's illustrations but the bold flowers in that particular illustration are especially pretty. I'd love to have a dress with that flower print on it. Weird tangent, I know.
The conclusion is predictable for adults; eventually, Clumsy Duck and Chick discover that the duck's big, webbed feet are best suited for swimming. "She moved across the water like a ballerina." Clumsy Duck ends with the words, "And from that day on, Duck didn't mind one little bit that she was a clumsy duck on land because she was such a wonderful swimmer in the water."
I absolutely love Clumsy Duck! It's about friendship, thinking positive, finding what you're good at and overlooking the things you're not so hot at doing. I love positive message in a children's book and the combination of upbeat storytelling with beautiful, bold illustrations (some of which remind me a bit of Eric Carle) make Clumsy Duck a winner. Highly recommended.
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