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Just Ducks! (Read and Wonder)

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  432 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
A young girl shares her observations about the mallards near her house in an engaging, informative story sure to make a splash with duck lovers.

Quack quack, Quack-quaack-quack.
It's the first sound I hear every morning.

The young girl in this story may live in the city, but outside her window there's a river full of mallard ducks! She hears them as soon as she wakes up, and
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Candlewick (first published March 1st 2012)
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Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyThe Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian AndersenClick, Clack, Moo by Doreen CroninThe Story About Ping by Marjorie FlackDuck On A Bike by David Shannon
Best Picture Books about Ducks
12th out of 63 books — 25 voters
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyOwl Moon by Jane YolenOwl Babies by Martin WaddellAre You My Mother? by P.D. EastmanThe Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen
Picture Books About Birds
27th out of 125 books — 14 voters

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Community Reviews

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I quite liked this book and the way it weaves in facts about ducks within a loose storyline (there's no actual plot to the story, just a girl MC narrating...I'm totally fine with that, but I found that some people don't like that).

My only quibble is that it is actually not good for the ducks (or people, ultimately) to feed them bread. It's devoid of the nutrition ducks need but yet keeps them alive so that nature can't take its course. For reasons on why feeding ducks in urban area is not a good
Zulaikha Farah
Jun 05, 2016 Zulaikha Farah rated it liked it
Just Ducks is a perfect way to introduce non-fiction books to young readers. The story element centres on a young girl who lives in a city and her fascination with the ducks who live in the local river. The book is narrated by the young girl and is peppered with facts about ducks.

The main themes of this book are the environment and living creatures. The facts in the book allow children to learn more about the environment around them and its habitats. The facts are not too overwhelming and allow
NZBook Girl
Nicola Davies is a name I look out for now, and have never been let down by a book yet. She is a very clever writer of non-fiction for children, often, as here, in the non-fiction picture book form, quite a new format for conveying information to children, and quite tricky for librarians to catalogue, I often wish for two copies, one to go in the picture books and one in the appropriate non-fiction section.
The story follows the narrator through her day as she talks about what the ducks are doin
Paul  Hankins
A young girl hears ducks quacking in the morning. Through her perspective, readers learn more about the ducks.

This could be a neat non-fiction picture book, but in this case, the story kind of suffers for the want of including non-fiction asides on each page. This is solved--somehow--with an index in the back of the book which might serve as a nice introduction to referencing an index.

The illustrations are very nice which would make this a gentle read-aloud for bedtime.
Lauran Ferguson
Sep 21, 2013 Lauran Ferguson rated it really liked it
I liked how this book was a children's story, but it also provided an opportunity for them to learn something about creatures that they will see a lot of the time. The little definitions at the bottom of each page will really help children to understand what they are reading. There is also an index at the back of the book where they can look up each work if they need to. The illustrator chose to paint in watercolor which I think was completely perfect. Great book!
This is such a lovely book about a young girl who wakes up to “Quack-Quuuack” outside her bedroom window, watching them on the way to school, across a bridge, and back again. As Davies tells the story, small pieces of information about ducks are also shared on each page. The illustrations of soft watercolor are brief scenes of the text. The ducks in the book are mallards, but Nicola Davies explains in an afterword that there are many other ducks in the world to learn about, too. She also has inc ...more
Nov 07, 2014 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Margaret by: ALA Award Book
Before my jump into looking at ALA Award Books, I had not heard of Just Ducks! or Nicola Davies or even illustrator Salvatore Rubbino. I looked in our library and they didn't have it, so I requested it for review because of the award status. I am delighted with it! This is absolutely going to become part of my curricula recommendations.

Reading, Make Way for Ducklings add on Just Ducks!! Going to spend time reading and lapbooking The Story About Ping, grab Just Ducks! and learn more about these
Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino is a young girl's encounters with the ducks that live on the river near her house, with informational facts included.

Rubbino's playful illustrations were done in mixed media. Spiders, snails, ants, cats and dogs are shown, in addition to the ducks who display a variety of movements. My favorite images are cover, eating at river, still eating, ducks & drakes, chasing, greenhouse and sleeping.

Davies' text has two main text sizes:
Dec 08, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Davies, Nicola - Just Ducks! illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino - Candlewick Press, 2012 (30 pages)
**A little girl is awakened by the sound of ducks outside, so she and her mother head to the park to feed and watch them. The girl tells what she knows about ducks in the large print of the book. In smaller print, there are more facts about ducks to read. The book is easily accessible to young children. Depending on the audience, it may be necessary to leave out some or all of the extra small print.
May 08, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
In gentle, conversational language a young girl describes the sounds and habits of the mallard ducks that awaken her each morning. In a constantly-changing world, at least she can be sure that the ducks will be there the next day, giving her some constancy. The pages are filled with the ducks' "quack-quuuack, quack-quaack-quack" (p. 6), and the girl's observations about their "secret patch of blue" (p. 15), the different colorings of males and females, how they find food and what they do at nigh ...more
Vera Godley
Jun 30, 2012 Vera Godley rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young children up to 8 years
Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino

This is a delightful picture book featuring Mallard ducks as they quack their way through the day with a little girl who awakens to their quacks. This isn't really about the little girl - she is simply the witness of everything Just ducks!

The reader will learn why some ducks have louder quacks and how to tell a boy duck from a girl duck. This is a "nature storybook" in that it tells a story but it has also informative bits about du
Nicole Davies, an author of children’s books, has won many awards such as Green earth book award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor. Most of her books, being non-fiction, spark children’s curiosity and fill them with the urgency to learn more. Her favorite things to write about are animals, their habitats, how they survive and adapt to their environments.
In the book Just Ducks, Nicola Davies gives a view into the daily activities of a duck, Mallard ducks in particular. What is most
Oct 13, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Lovely exploration of fun facts about ducks! Very much like Davies' Surprising Sharks, this also reminds me of the Nic Bishop books but with illustrations instead of photos. Davies takes us through a day in the life of ducks on a suburban or city river as seen by a little girl who clearly loves them. Beside the girl's narration there are little snippets of information and facts about ducks printed in a smaller, slightly different, but complementary font. Rubbino's illustrations are officially mi ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Alice rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-25-stars
4.25 Stars Another great example of Narrative non-fiction!!
The other day I went by a duck pond. The pretty green ones and the blond ones were all together. My friend (an elementary school teacher) said they were both Mallard, the pretty one is the boy and the plain on is the girl. I had heard that somewhere but it didn't compute. SO, this book reminded me, reenforced and taught me some new things! Thanks for fun learning!!
Sara Schwarzwalder
I really enjoyed the illustrations of this book. The pictures were bright and bold and made the pages come alive with their two page spreads. This would not be a book that I would read aloud to a class because the book had a general story line but then it also had small texts facts about ducks that would be much easier to read and follow along in small groups or self read. The story line itself was a little boring as it went through the day to day activities of ducks such as, swimming, eating, q ...more
Jul 22, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it
An ALA Notable Children's Book for Younger Readers (2013), Camellia Award: Alabama Children's Choice Book Award Nominee for 2-3 (2014)

This educational book does a great job of describing in simple terms the habits and actions of mallard ducks through the eyes of a young girl. Lots of informational tidbits, would be great to read one-on-one with a kid so they can explore the factoids on each page--I would probably skip those in a story time. Index in the back as well as a little more general info
Mar 25, 2013 Emma rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, animals
Each morning a young girl wakes up to the sound of quack-quack-quacking ducks down by the river. As the day progresses, she describes her other interactions and observations of the ducks. She gives keen details about certain duck rituals and characteristics. Definitions of some of the more advanced terms are incorporated on the pages on which they are read, set off in a smaller, more compact font. An index at the end references these words. Readers eventually learn that the narrator’s observatio ...more
Christine Turner
Dec 18, 2013 Christine Turner rated it it was amazing
A young girl shares her observations about the mallards near her house in an engaging, informative story sure to make a splash with duck lovers. Quack quack, Quack-quaack-quack. It's the first sound I hear every morning. The young girl in this story may live in the city, but outside her window there's a river full of mallard ducks! She hears them as soon as she wakes up, and on the way to school she sees them upside down bobbing for food. Interspersed with fun facts, her enthusiastic commentary ...more
Laura G
Jan 31, 2016 Laura G rated it really liked it
The author sure knows a lot about ducks! And as she points out, all of the details that she shares have to do with only one of the more than 120 different kinds of ducks that exist! The focus of this book is mallard ducks, and as the book describes a girl's interactions with mallards throughout her day, facts about mallards and their behavior are also shared separately on each page.
Traci Bold
Jun 07, 2016 Traci Bold rated it really liked it
Ducks are fascinating birds. Author Nicola Davies and illustrator Salvatore Rubbino have shown us the way of life for Mallard ducks in this cute picture book.

Chock full of facts for the reader who wants to know more.

Published by Candlewick Press.

#ducks #PB
Lauren Milam
May 11, 2016 Lauren Milam rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, science
A great book mixing fiction with nonfiction, telling a cute story about a girl who loves the ducks at the pond near her home in the city while giving great vocabulary words and fun facts about ducks. Wonderful story, especially if there is a pond with ducks around you!
Mar 21, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it
A lovely narrative story about a girl living near ducks, watching how they live through a whole day, with snippets of non fiction facts thrown in for good measure. Nicely put together and gorgeous illustrations.
Walker books, Nature Storybooks series.
Mar 23, 2013 Chelsea rated it liked it
2013 ALSC Notable

Davies, Nicola, and Salvatore Rubbino. Just Ducks! Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press, 2012. Print. 32 p.

This story book features a young girl and her experience with ducks in her daily life also gives real information about ducks, such as their eating and mating habits. Flowing, watercolor illustrations in a folk type style assist the text of the story. Though there is little happenings, the book follows a day in the life of ducks in a city environment. Further factual informat
Nov 10, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing
A wonderful non-fiction picture book with lively inky illustrations. Follows a day in the life of ducks, seen through the eyes of a young girl, as she wakes up to the sound of their quacking,and passes them on the way to school and back.
Apr 20, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Zoologist and author Nicola Davies brings us another beautiful and informative children’s book full of lessons about nature. A little girl wakes to a loud racket and realizes mallard ducks are responsible for the noisy quacks. As the girl goes about her day with her mom she visits the ducks by the river, watches them eating as she crosses a bridge, and witnesses them disappear as they quietly hide for the night. While narrating her day, she weaves in fun facts about ducks, ducklings, and drakes ...more
Just Ducks! is a sweet tale about a girl and the ducks who live-and quack!-from their pond-home near her house and also an informational book on mallards, which makes it an instant candidate for re-reading: once for the story and the beautiful watercolor, mixed media illustrations, and again for the snippets of duck facts inserted throughout the book.

Though not exactly what I was excepting when I picked it out at the library, Nicola Davies' newest and detailed-in-every-way picture book won me o
What does a duck do everyday? One young girl wonders who is making all the quacking noise, then decides to learn all about ducks. The main story tells little bits of information about ducks. (Like what colors the females or males are and how they get food.) However, there are also other facts printed a bit smaller for the duck-loving-reader to learn more about ducks. (For example one smaller fact says, “Mallard ducks make their nests on the ground and lay between 8 and 13 eggs.”) So readers of v ...more
Kelsey Yates
Apr 09, 2016 Kelsey Yates rated it liked it
Told from the perspective of a little girl observing the ducks that live nearby. Lots of information on duck behavior with lovely paintings for illustrations.
Jul 16, 2015 Angela rated it it was amazing
This is picture book non-fiction at its best - lyrical read aloud plus interesting factual tidbits that complement the story. Delightful illustrations.
A little girl who lives near a river introduces readers to the ducks that make their home there. As she goes about her day, she describes what the ducks are doing and shares facts about them. The ducks in this book are all mallards, but an end note explains that there are 120 different kinds of ducks all over the world!

The water color illustrations are childlike and expressive, capturing the personality of the mallards perfectly. Text is in two sizes – large for the girl’s story/narration, and s
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