Starting Life: Duck
Illustrated by Simon Mendez
Ages 5 to 8
Northword, 2004, 1-55971-878-1
Raising ducklings is not an easy job for duck parents. In fact the whole process is hard work from the moment the eggs are laid. There are always lots of predators about that would love to have a duck egg for a snack or that could snatch a duckling from its mother’s side in a minute. The eggs need to be kept warm and they also need to be turned over at regular intervals. Once the babies hatch the female duck teaches them what to feed on and she also keeps a sharp eye open for hungry foxes, pike, hawks and other predators.
The author of this beautifully presented book takes us through a year of an adult duck’s life – from spring to spring. We follow as the hen and the drake lay and hatch the eggs. We watch the ducklings learn and grow and see how much they change in just a few short months time. In addition to telling us the story of the ducks the author and illustrator provide us with a portrait of the duck’s habitat. We meet some of the other creatures that share the river with the ducks and we see how well adapted the duck is to its semi-aquatic life style. Superbly executed and highly detailed illustrations fill the pages and plenty of annotations give young readers an abundance of additional information.
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