Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Duck for a Day” as Want to Read:
Duck for a Day
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Duck for a Day

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  27 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
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Duck for a Day, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Duck for a Day

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 154)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clare Cannon
Cute story about the ominous duty of looking after the class pet for the night. I found it a little bland.
Sarah W
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
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
Gaby Meares
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
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
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
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://
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.
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.
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!
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.
Cute story for kids transitioning into chapter books. A duck would be an excellent class pet.
A fun & satisfying intermediate fiction book for kids.
A lot to love in a small package.
Aiyah marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2015
Maddison Sullivan
Maddison Sullivan marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Meg McKinlay is a poet as well as a children's writer. She lives in Australia and divides her time between writing and teaching at the University of Western Australia.
More about Meg McKinlay...
No Bears Below A Single Stone Ten Tiny Things Definitely No Ducks

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »