Ducks away!

Mem Fox, 1946-

Book - 2018

One by one five little ducklings tumble off the bridge into the river below--and mother duck follows them.

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Children's Room jE/Fox Due May 31, 2022
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Picture books
New York : Scholastic Press 2018.
US edition
Item Description
"Ducks Away! was originally published in Australia by Scholastic Australia Pty Limited in 2016"--Copyright page.
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Main Author
Mem Fox, 1946- (author)
Other Authors
Judy Horacek (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

This irresistible counting book opens with a mother duck walking across a bridge, closely followed by a little duck. "Actually, it was two little ducks. / No, it was three little ducks. / Wait! It was four little ducks. / What? It was five little ducks." But wait . . . the wind sweeps the last duck into the river below. Splash! The duckling is soon floating, looking up at his family. Mother Duck dithers. Should she stay on the bridge or go below? One by one, the ducklings fall into the river, followed at last by their mother. Pleasing in simplicity, clarity, and a strong sense of design, Horacek's ink-and-watercolor illustrations enhance the story's humor while providing opportunities for children to practice counting up the ducklings as they make their entrances, counting down as they topple into the water, and maybe even making the connection that the set of ducklings atop the bridge decreases while the number in the river increases. Fox uses repetition, rhyme, and verbal patterns effectively, making this buoyant picture book a rewarding read-aloud choice. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The team behind Where Is the Green Sheep? and other titles uses its creative alchemy to turn a simple counting story into a funny page-turner. A yellow mother duck is crossing a bridge with her five ducklings; the nicely distilled setting consists of an arc of gray stones with a mottled purple-blue stripe of water underneath. As soon as the family reaches the apex of the bridge, the ducklings start dropping down into the water one by one—some by choice, some by accident. They take to their new situation like, well, ducks to water, but Mother Duck is in a tizzy until her brood coaxes her off the bridge ("Go with the flow! Five, four, three... two, one, GO!") and into the water with them. The slightly scattered text ("Actually it was two little ducks. No, it was three little ducks. Wait! It was four little ducks") will draw in readers from the first page, and they'll admire how the toylike ducklings, despite their intense dot eyes and oversize orange bills and feet, exude a cool-as-a-cucumber attitude. Ages 3–5. (Jan.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-K–A duck's walk across a bridge with her ducklings is interrupted by a gust of wind that brings about a chain reaction. The ducklings follow mom one by one until, just as the fifth one joins the group, a strong wind blows the little one into the river. "Oh no!' quacked Mother Duck. What should I do? Where should I go, with four on the bridge and one below?'" As each duckling peers over the edge, it, too, falls into the water while Mother Duck repeats her lament, substituting different numbers as the amount of offspring on the bridge and below change. Finally, she dives into the water with her ducklings' encouragement. All the number words, used as each duckling joins the walk and when Mother Duck speaks, are printed in orange, making them highly visible on white ground. The cartoon illustrations depict the ducks with simple shapes outlined in black and are filled with humor. VERDICT With visual and written cues that facilitate counting and simple addition and subtraction practice, and repetitive rhyming text that invites participation, this offering is an outstanding choice for group sharing.—Marianne Saccardi, Children's Literature Consultant, Cambridge, MA Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Crossing a bridge with her five little ducklings in tow, a mother duck is dismayed when a strong gust of wind knocks the babies one by one into the river below, causing the frantically quacking and counting mother duck to choose between protecting the children who remain on the bridge or helping the ones who are swimming below. By the creators of Where Is the Green Sheep?

Review by Publisher Summary 2

One by one five little ducklings tumble off the bridge into the river below--and mother duck follows them.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A delightful counting tale about a family of ducks from internationally bestselling picture book author Mem Fox and illustrator Judy Horacek. Count along with Mother Duck as her ducklings try to waddle across the bridge. When a sudden gust of wind sweeps one of Mother Duck's ducklings into the river, she doesn't know what to do. With four ducklings on the bridge and one below, Mother Duck is torn as to which way to go. Suddenly, a second duck falls and Mother Duck grows more panicked. Should she stay on the bridge or fly down to her ducklings in the river? As she paces and frantically quacks, the remaining ducklings playfully plop one by one into the river until all of the siblings are happily floating along. Now that all five ducklings are safely in the water, Mother Duck flies down to join in the fun, relieved to have all her ducklings together again. Mem introduces young readers to the basic math principles of addition and subtraction.