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Ducks! Library Binding – March, 1984

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 31 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co (Juv); 1st edition (March 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316708100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316708104
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,132,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Library Binding
I do a national radio show and I keep a copy of Ducks in my office thinking, that, someday, if some story drops out right before we go on the air, I can always read Ducks! to the audience. Plot: boy buys stuffed duck from a candy store. Turns out to be a real duck. That talks. The duck tells the boy to make a wish. Then tells him what to wish for. Namely, a big chariot with lots of cool looking stones and a really neat paint job. He wishes for it. The sky opens. Two big ducks bring him the chariot. The story continues through other twists and turns. At one point, the Duck takes the boy to a place where there's fleecy clouds and ducks everywhere. The boy asks where they are. "Heaven." says the duck. "Doesn't look like heaven to me," says the kid. "For one thing, everyone here looks like a duck except me." The duck looks him over. "You look like a duck to me." The parents in the story are always telling the kid "Don't ducks usually lie?" At one point, the kid says something to the duck and the duck asks, "where you ever hear that?" And the kid says he heard it from his parents and the duck says "Parents usually lie." Remember, this is a kids book. What other kids book includes THAT sentence? I mean, a real kids book, wiht pictures, a picture book. I found a copy in a used book store. No one comes to my home without eventually reading it, or having me read it to them. This book is a national treasure. But a hidden one. Find your copy. Do whatever it takes. You won't be sorry. Ira Glass, producer, "This American Life."
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Format: Library Binding
Earlier reviews focus too much on the statement that "parents usually lie." The book is really more complicated than that. It's about the challenge of deciding what kind of a person to be and where you belong in the world. It maybe speaks less to the usual picture-book audience than to kids 10 and up.

Scott, the main character, spends his extra seven cents to buy a huge, beautiful duck. I love this passage:

"When I held the duck, I knew it was alive. It was warm and feathery, and smelled like a living thing. It still didn't move, but I could feel its heart beating."

The duck says it's an angel. It's also a trickster and a bully. It bosses Scott around and every time he offers his own thoughts, it tells him he's wrong. It gives him one wish, but tells him what to wish for: a fancy chariot. Scott hauls the chariot home. His remarkably laid-back parents note that a chariot is no good without a horse, and as for the duck being an angel, well, ducks usually lie.

That night when Scott stands in the chariot, a silvery-white duck hitches itself to the chariot and pulls him up into a cloudy place with lots of ducks, including the original one. The original duck tells him that this is heaven and he is dead; that the other ducks aren't ducks, they're angels; that Scott looks like a duck even if he thinks he doesn't; and that "mothers and fathers usually lie." It offers to let Scott go home if he gives back the chariot, which he does.

Stuff like this really happens: People come along offering you the chance to be better, cooler, whatever -- as long as you put them in charge of who you are.

The duck has a point about mothers and fathers, of course. Are they telling the truth that ducks can't be angels?
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Format: Library Binding
I guess both are obvious statements.

The first is a quote from this GREAT book, from the wise (& wise-cracking) duck of the title, that deserves to be memorized by every free-thinking American child -- the second is my first reaction to finding that "DUCKS!" by Daniel Pinkwater, the first book of his I was ever exposed to, and still my favorite of his, is out of print.

Have children of your own, but only after you get your hands on a copy of "DUCKS!". Their lives will be poorer without it.
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Format: Library Binding
This book represents all that is wonderful about Daniel Pinkwater's stories! He begins us in a Jack in the Beanstalk type mode and moves us through a tale so odd, you have to smile. Even after more than ten years, I still quote the ducks in this book. I know I'll read it often to my son!
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