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Duck for a Day
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Duck for a Day

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  99 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
What would you do to take care of the class duck for a day?

Duck for a Day is a contemporary story set in a primary school class, where the teacher, Mrs Melvino, brings in a new class pet. A duck called Max. All of the students, including the main character, Abby, want to take Max home for the night, however they must abide by Max’s strict demands before Mrs Melvino allows
Paperback, 96 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Walker Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 174)
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Jul 10, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
A terrific story for younger readers ready to move on to chapter books with a bit of character development. Abby comes from the sort of family where everything has to be clean and calm and quiet. She would love to have a pet but she's not allowed to.
Her teacher Mrs Melvino is a bit eccentric and arty, and the class pet she brings to school is a duck called Max. He won't go home with anyone until his long list of demands is met, and before long Abby is engaged in fierce rivalry with scruffy litt
Jun 12, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing
I just loved Duck for a Day. It beautifully captures the way longings and victories, which can seem small and fleeting, can be of the greatest importance in a child's life. As as adult reader, it brought back lots of my own memories of these sorts of experiences too. It deals kindly with adult finickiness and folly, and sensitively with children's friendships and desires. Leila Rudge's illustrations are also funny and beautiful, with textures and details that you need to go through a few times t ...more
Jun 06, 2015 Sienna rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clare Cannon
Jan 31, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it liked it
Shelves: 04-8yrs
Cute story about the ominous duty of looking after the class pet for the night. I found it a little bland.
Sarah W
Feb 24, 2012 Sarah W rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, school, pets, 2012, netgalley
Abby is desperate for a pet. Her parents insist on living in a tiny and calm house. Most pets are definitely not tidy-dogs chew to many things, cats claw too many things. Even goldfish are turned down because of how they stare when they swim (or so Abby's mother says). The only way Abby ever gets a pet is when it's temporary like last year when the class rabbit spent the night. The rabbit didn't like Abby's trampoline at all, but it was still better than no pet at all.

Mrs. Melvino, Abby's new te
Jul 26, 2012 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This early chapter book begins when Mrs. Melvino reveals the class pet--a duck named Max--to her class. Abby, the narrator, is most curious. She's not allowed to have a pet of her own--not even a fish--but her parents have said yes to bringing home the class pet now and then. But Mrs. Melvino is not going to let Max go home with just any student, to any home. No, this duck needs a certain environment to be comfortable. And Abby is determined to do anything and everything to make sure that she ge ...more
Lovely story about a little girl's desire to take home her class pet. The writing has a British feel that I found quite enjoyable. Perfect for grades 2-3.
Gaby Meares
Dec 09, 2014 Gaby Meares rated it it was amazing
Delightful story about a class competing to see who can take home the class duck. Perfect for year 7s who are struggling a bit with reading.
Catherine Nichols
Jul 17, 2012 Catherine Nichols rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chapter-book
Read my full review at The Cath in the Hat.

Waddle as fast as you can to your library or bookstore and pick up a copy of Duck for a Day, an engaging early chapter book. McKinlay, an Australian writer, covers well-trod ground--a girl wants to bring home the class pet--but she does so with great finesse and with a delightful twist--the class pet is a duck. The book is expertly plotted and the characters well-drawn and endearing. When obstacles are put in her path, Abby, the protagonist, doesn't whi
Dec 03, 2012 Claire rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
This is such a cute story. My GF got this for me ages ago and bad GF that I am, have only gotten round to reading it now.

It's a shame I did put it off for so long. It is a lovely story about ducks... but it is also a story about acceptance. Just because they think Noah is weird (although I thought that Noah was more normal than Abby, if I'm being honest) they leave him out. I thought it was really rude how they looked down on Noah and his family just cause they have a messy yard and are a bit un
Aug 07, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
A cute story and Evie really seemed to enjoy it.
Mar 29, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: chapter-book
This book is fun from beginning to end. It is 90 pages with 15 short chapters - though they aren't listed as chapters. The new teacher has a class duck and the duck has demands. Abby's parents have all sorts of reasons not to have pets but Abby is determined to have Duck for a day. Weird Noah who lives next door wants duck also. Who can meet the demands and what will happen between Abby and Noah?

I support Independent books stores use this link to find one near you or to order this book - http://
Mar 04, 2016 Brindi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ys-new-2012, juvenile
this was cute for a young reader
Katie Fitzgerald
Though I wondered at times whether Mrs. Melvino's strict rules about caring for Max were too harsh, I thought she was a colorful and interesting character. I also enjoyed the way Abby and Noah's rivalry slowly evolves into friendship, caused by their mutual interest in the duck. Max's duck behavior also adds a lot of charm and humor to this sweet school story.

Read my full review on my blog:
Abby's parents have never let her have a pet, which makes her even more determined to keep Max, her classroom's pet duck, for the night. Despite an increasing list of needs (calm secure yard, aquatic environment, strawberries) Abby is certain she can create the perfect duck home, hopefully before her annoying neighbor Noah. This is a charming, quirky easy reader with humorous black and white line illustrations and a nice (but not heavy-handed!) moral about cooperation.
Oct 07, 2012 katsok rated it really liked it
Mrs. Melvino has an interesting class pet, a duck named Max. The students all want to take care of him, but they must prove their home is the perfect spot for him to come overnight. Abby and her neighbor, Noah, both work hard to show that their houses are perfect for Max. But when Abby finally gets Max for the night, things go terribly wrong.
Sandy Brehl
This early chapter book offers a more complex relationship and conflict that is typical within a basically simple story. The characters are well developed and appealing, and the story builds to a suspenseful and satisfying conclusion.
Jul 12, 2012 Alex rated it it was amazing
Super cute book; A's first chapter book, this took us about a week. Just the right amount of pictures and an engaging story kept my almost 5 year old's interest and he remembered a lot about the story.
Nancy Jo Lambert
This is a fun and funny little easy chapter book that kids who pick it up and read it will really enjoy! The quirky teacher and the duck add to the zaniness of the book and make for a cute story!
May 28, 2013 Carissa rated it it was ok
A prim girl and a ragtag boy vie for the chance to bring home the classroom pet, a duck. But when the duck is brought home, he escapes and the two work together to bring him back.
Lynda Shoup
This book is a great selection for the post-emergent reader. The story hooked me from the beginning with it's quirky characters, offbeat class pet and genuine descriptions.
*Review to come*

Short & Sweet: Very cute book. Loved the theme of not judging a person by what you see on the outside.
Fun story with a teacher I wish I had as a kid. And a duck! Who knew a class duck could be so appealing. Loved it.
Edward Sullivan
Abby goes to great, entertaining lengths to have the opportunity to care for the class duck at home.
Horace Mann Family Reading Challenge
Beginning chapter book, about the needs of the class pet, and Abby's dream to take it home for a night. P.K.
Oct 20, 2014 Megan rated it liked it
Cute story for kids transitioning into chapter books. A duck would be an excellent class pet.
Feb 16, 2013 Natasha rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
A fun & satisfying intermediate fiction book for kids.
Nov 05, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it
A lot to love in a small package.
Feb 23, 2012 Susan rated it liked it
Nancy Schleh
Feb 06, 2012 Nancy Schleh rated it really liked it
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Meg McKinlay grew up in Bendigo, Victoria, in a book-loving, TV- and car-free household. On the long and winding path to becoming a children’s writer, she has worked a variety of jobs including swim instructor, tour guide, translator and teacher. She has a PhD in Japanese Literature and was formerly an academic at the University of Western Australia, where she taught Australian Literature, Japanes ...more
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