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Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell

Farmer Duck

by Martin Waddell

Other authors: Helen Oxenbury (Illustrator)

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7051913,430 (3.97)1



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This is the story of a hard working duck who does all the farm chores while the lazy farmer lays in bed reading the newspaper and eating chocolates. The only contribution the farmer gives is to call out periodically, “How goes the work?” To which the duck responds “Quack!” Finally the exhausted duck gains the sympathy of the other animals who drive out the farmer. From that point on all the animals pitch in to help on the farm.

I found the realistic illustrations of animals an odd juxtaposition to their behavior. Animals bring in the hay, gather the eggs, do the ironing and the dishes, saw the word and plant the garden. The duck even brings breakfast in bed, including a sundae with a cherry and little umbrella, to the farmer. As with all Helen Oxenbury’s illustrations, the soft watercolors are realistic and detailed, down to the armpit hair on the big bellied farmer. Although they are quite humorous at times, they give the story a sensation of sweetness.

The story seems to be a variation on The Little Read Hen. The reader feels pity for the overworked duck and disgusted with the lazy farmer. When the other farm animals decide to support the deck, the reader is happy to see the pajama clad farmer driven down the lane, through the fields, over the hill, and never to return.

The double spread last page reads, “Then mooing and baaing and clucking and quacking, they all set to work on their farm.” I would’ve liked something more. Perhaps a suggestion of what the duck no longer had to do: dishes, ironing, and breakfast in bed for example. Does she still gather the hens eggs? Is the cow milked? How have the chores changed? Now that the duck has so much help, does she have time to relax or play?

Recommended. ( )
  Bonnie_Ferrante | Jun 27, 2014 |
The appeal for this book is how ordinary farm animals essential take over a farm. This is appealing because normally farm animals are part of the farm, rather than being the farmers. The book follows a duck that is forced to do all the farm work and eventually the rest of the animals run the lazy farmer off the farm. It’s a book that entertains the idea that what goes around, comes around. ( )
  Keller_M | Mar 17, 2014 |
When a lazy farmer makes one duck do all the chores to keep up the farm the other animals have pity, devise a plan, and run the lazy farmer off the farm where the animals can work together under the ducks lead. This story is great because the illustrations reflect the situation and text and an important lesson is told in a fun manner that allows kids to catch on to a repetitive key phrase and then engage in telling the story. This would be suitable for kids ages three to five.
  KylieNelson | Feb 19, 2013 |
This is a good story. It would be useful to read before the children are going to work in groups on some assignment. It would be a reminder how frustrating it can be to be the person doing all the work. The images are very cute; you can see the facial expression on the duck grows more and more tired as the book goes on.
  pamela12286 | Jan 25, 2012 |
This was a great picture book that used repeatition and animal sounds so children can read along and match the animal sounds to the different animals. It also shows the importance of self-reward, friendship, compassion, hard work and community effort.
  kellyc2 | Aug 23, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Waddell, Martinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oxenbury, HelenIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 074453660X, Paperback)

"Farmer Duck" is an amusing fable. Martin Waddell's awards include the Smarties Book Prize for "Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?", and "Farmer Duck", the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award for "The Park in the Dark" and the Best Books for Babies Award for "Rosies Babies". His other books include "The Big Big Sea", "Owl Babies", "Let's Go Home Little Bear", "John Joe and the Hen" and the "Little Dracula" books. Helen Oxenbury won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1979, and her books include "Animal Allsorts" and "Curious Creatures". She has three times been Highly Commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal, and three times won the Smarties Book Prize, for "Farmer Duck, "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" and "So Much".

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:36 -0400)

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When a kind and hardworking duck nearly collapses from overwork, while taking care of a farm because the owner is too lazy to do so, the rest of the animals get together and chase the farmer out of town.

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Average: (3.97)
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Candlewick Press

Six editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 1564025969, 0763621676, 076362425X, 1564029646, 076363512X, 0763651125

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