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Duck on a Bike Hardcover – April 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When Duck gets the zany idea to ride a bike one day, each animal on the farm has a reaction. "M-o-o-o," says Cow. But what she's really thinking is, "A duck on a bike? That's the silliest thing I've ever seen!" Pig and Pig say "Oink," thinking all the while, "Duck is such a show-off!" But it's not until a crew of kids shows up and leaves their bikes lying about that the true feelings of all the animals come to light, and for one brief, glorious moment, the farm is a mad, mad world of two-wheeling road hogs (and chickens and horses and goats). David Shannon, the creator of Caldecott Honor Book, No, David!, fills the pages of this barnyard romp with sun-soaked color, charming animals, and unusual perspectives. We see Cat, for example, looming belly-first in the foreground, with Duck merrily pedaling away in the distance. The story itself is nothing to write home about--No, David! is far snappier and more original--but younger kids may well enjoy the repetitive crescendo and the goofy finale. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

Shannon serves up a sunny blend of humor and action in this delightful tale of a Duck who spies a red bicycle one day and gets "a wild idea." Sure enough, in no time flat, he's tooling around the farmyard. A succession of his barnyard friends greet him politely enough, but their private responses range from scornful ("That's the silliest thing I've ever seen," from Cow) to boastful ("You're still not as fast as me," from Horse) to wistful ("I wish I could ride a bike just like Duck," from Mouse). Then a herd of kids rides down the road in a blur of dust; they park their bikes and head indoors. A wordless spread records the sublime moment when the animals all gather with identical wide-eyed looks and sly smiles. Readers can almost see what they're thinking, and sure enough, the next spread shows them all zipping around on bikes, with Duck in the lead. Shannon makes the most of awkward appendages on wheels and handlebars, and deftly balances clean compositions with just the right amount of detail. Varying perspectives including the chicken's-eye-view of Duck's bike wheel looming large provide plenty of good-natured dash. Add to all this the abundant opportunity for youngsters to chime in with barnyard responses ("M-o-o-o"; "Cluck! Cluck!"), and the result is one swell read-aloud, packed with freewheeling fun. Ages 3-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 240L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Sky Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439050235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439050234
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DAVID SHANNON is the illustrator of many successful picture books, including How I Became a Pirate. His numerous awards include a Caldecott Honor for No, David! He lives in Burbank, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a children's librarian, I am always searching for the next perfect book to read for preschool storytime. I have read this book to several groups now and always have had an enraptured audience--both children and adults love it. Duck decides to ride a bike for the fun of it and greets the animal on the farm as he passes by. It might sound trite, but in this book, it is all magical.
The full bleed illustrations are bright and colorful while the story is humorous and engaging. Don't miss the last page either. All the kids love it. This has become my favorite picture book this year and I will be disappointed if it doesn't receive a Caldecott nod. Add this one to your child's library or give it to a favorite child as a gift. Then sit down and read it together. Neither of you will be disappointed! A great companion book also out this year is "Do Like a Duck Does" by Judy Hindley.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on April 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"One day down on the farm, Duck got a wild idea. "I bet I could ride a bike!" he thought. He waddled over to where the boy parked his bike, climbed on, and began to ride..." So begins David Shannon's creative and silly picture book, Duck On A Bike. In no time Duck's mastered the art of pedaling, and is zooming around the barnyard waving and calling to his friends. The cow thinks it's silly, and the sheep is sure Duck will hurt himself. The dog thinks it's neat, and the pigs think Duck is a big show-off. Mr Goat isn't so interested in riding, but would like to eat the bike, the horse just wants to remind Duck that he's still faster, and the cat is so self-involved, he doesn't even look up as Duck rides by. And that's when it happens...a whole gang of kids come riding onto the farm, park their bikes, and go inside. And in just a matter of seconds, Duck discovers he isn't the only animal riding around and around the barnyard..... Mr Shannon's engaging text begs to be read aloud, and is full of animal sounds and clever asides. But it's his bold, bright, and busy illustrations that really make this book sparkle. Each two page spread is filled with endearing oversized animals, marvelous facial expressions, and hilarious details. Perfect for kids 3-7, Duck On A Bike is a joyous, manic romp that little animal lovers and bike enthusiasts shouldn't miss.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Not since Doreen Cronin created her own enterprising foul in "Click Clack Moo" has a duck so single handedly taken farm matters directly into his own hands. In this particularly charming tale, a curious duck eyes a shiny red bicycle on the farm. Judging himself a worthy rider, Duck hops onto the bike and visits all the other animals on the farm. Each animal responds with their own particular sound (moos, meows, woofs, etc.) but think what they will about Duck's exploits. When a large bike riding group of youngsters arrive on the farm and head inside the house, their own bicycles become too much of a lure for the barnyard fellows and soon the yard is full of wheeling critters.
Using a selection of beautiful paints, novel characters, and interesting angles, author/illustrator David Shannon (of "No, David" fame) has created a truly delightful tale. His attention to detail is remarkable. Kids that remember that when Duck passed the goat his thought was, "I'd like to eat that bike!" will be rewarded if they notice that once on such a contraption, the goat makes a point of chewing on the available basket. And honestly, who else could draw a horse sneering any better than Shannon? The curl of the lip is an expression I've often expected on certain finicky animals. Safety conscious parents will note that the pack of kids arriving on the farm, aside from being nicely multicultural and of different genders, are almost all wearing safety helmets. So well done there. And as a personal note, I always give extra points to those illustrators that understand the beauty of the silent gag. The two page spread of the animals eying the new bicycles eagerly will make parents laugh in appreciation and make gleeful those kids that can figure out what is about to occur.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sharon on February 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My daughter teaches 4th grade and is very particular about what books I can buy for my grandaughter aged 3. This book was one they borrowed from the local library and my grandaughter insisted on three readings each night for two weeks! They really like the CD as she can listen as she goes to sleep. My daughter really like the author's reading of the story on the CD, he does a fantastic job. I highly recommend this for pre-school and primary readers although my grandson aged 9 likes to read it also.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Mauk on April 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Duck on a Bike is a whimsical tale about a duck who seizes the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary. After spying a parked red cruiser, he decides to take a ride. As he passes the rest of his barnyard friends, they all express their opinions in their native tongues (moo, meow, squeak, m-a-a-a, etc...) Just like people, they all think something different. Some are scared, one is boastful, some appear jealous, and one could care less. Yet, when a gaggle of kids flies by and parks their bikes in front of a house, all of the animals are struck with the idea that what duck is doing isn't so bad after all.
It is great to see the barnyard animals grasping at handlebars with hoofs and wings. The pigs ride a tandem bike, rooster a tricycle, and goat gets her wish as she munches innocently on the bike's basket. After all, kids will be kids.
Shannon uses interesting perspective and great staging to bring the illustrations in this book to life. The bicycles are rendered beautifully, and the style of illustration is very different than the one he uses in the David books. It is worth it to buy this book for the artwork alone.
Don't pass the last page of this book without paying attention, or else you'll miss the next big adventure duck is planning!
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