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Thursday, April 12, 2018

I'm A Duck, wirtten by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. Candlewick Press, Penguin Random House. 2018.

"Now I'm a duck
who's scared to go
in the pond or lake,
and so
I cannot swim, and
that is bad.
A landlocked duck
is very sad.
My brothers,
swimming in a line ... "

Have you ever been afraid to try something? I'll bet you have, and I know for certain that you know children who feel the same way. Duck is no different. Just because you have webbed feet, a big bill, and a family who loves swimming, doesn't mean you are a duck who feels confident in giving it a go.

Duck has reason to be afraid of water. Before even hatching, the tiny egg rolled out of the nest and into the nearby pond. But for an observant mother who was an accomplished swimmer (as readers might expect), that egg may never have had the chance to hatch. What a shame that would have been!

Once hatched, the little duckling discovers an aversion to water; thus, Duck cannot swim despite encouragement from siblings, friend Big Frog and sage advice from Owl. Owl does provide impetus to give swimming a try, since Duck is specially equipped for life in the water. Practice will make the  new skill perfect.

Choosing a puddle for a test run, Duck prepares for the big moment:

"I puddle-swim all day and night.
It's nice to swim by pale moonlight!
My mother brings me out a snack.
She dries my feathers, rubs my back."

And now, it's time for courageous action! Scared as can be, Duck summons up all the daring and determination needed to live life on terms of its own, as a backstroker. Bravo!

I will let Will Hillenbrand describe visual literacy for you:

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