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Just Ducks! (Read and Wonder)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  336 ratings  ·  107 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...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Candlewick (first published March 1st 2012)
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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...more
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
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!
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...more
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:...more
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....more
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 5 of 5 stars
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...more
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...more
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
Rachel Barnard
Davies, Nicola. Just Ducks! Candlewick,2012.


ALA Notable Children's Book for Younger Readers (2013)
Camellia Award: Alabama Children's Choice Book

This informative children's book drew my attention by the colorful illustrations. When I opened the book I was surprised at the vast detail inside. This book can be used to teach students about ducks through a child's eyes. I love the watercolor illustrations throughout the book.
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
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
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
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I discover the amazing Nicola Davies for the first time this year when I read her Cybils nominee Dolphin Baby. Davies wows me with her writing. Dolphin Baby is wonderful.

Then what do I learn? Not one Nicola Davies title is up for the Cybils nonfiction picture book award but two! How can they do this to me? Pitting Wonderful against Equally Wonderful.

And Just Ducks is wonderful. Davies brings you into the world of ducks with a "Quack-quuuack, quack-quaack, quack" that begins the book. And you ar...more
Award winning zoologist Nicola Davies has written a wonderful picture book about ducks...but it's not just a story. Small paragraphs of text dot the story with facts about ducks or explanations of duck behavior. There is a small index at the back to direct readers to information they might want to know about ducks. The illustrations are simple but lovely and the story line of a girl visiting ducks down on the river will intrigue children. This would be a great book for a classroom unit on animal...more
Interesting facts are built into the story. Additional facts are included in smaller type on each page. The index and afterword are nice additions.
Both liked this one a lot - gorgeous illustrations and simple and entertaining (non-fic) text. Joe's asked for more from the same series.
This picture book with mixed media illustrations is a sweet story about a little girl observing the ducks in her town. The British author and illustrator gives the words and pictures a classic feel, but the book is also full of bits of information about ducks in smaller text next to the pictures. There is some great vocabulary, such as preening and dabbling, as well as a lot of quacking. Fans of ducks will enjoy this book, but others may not appreciate the lack of action. There is additional inf...more
Life cycle of mallard ducks in picture book format. Picture captions in smaller font provide plenty of factual information.
Great kids' book with narration and scientific facts woven beautifully together.
Sandy Brehl
This British import crosses the ocean well. The lyrical prose relates the relationship of the river ducks to a girl and her family, incorporating descriptions, behaviors, seasons, feeding, etc. In addition smaller informational text occurs on each page to elaborate in simple ways about the principle text and illustrations. A note at the back is helpful, explaining that mallards are found on five continents, but are only one of 120 varieties of ducks, all of which have some basic traits in common...more
Ariel Cummins
Lots of facts about ducks are offered up in this story, told by a little girl as she goes through her day. She can hear the ducks outside her window even before she can see them, and she lets us know how ducks act and why they do many of the things they do! I especially enjoyed the facts interspersed with the story for additional learning.

The illustrations are gentle and charming, with clear brush strokes that fit the nature theme well.

I think this book would be very popular for elementary scho...more
Kathy Ellen Davis
Who doesn't love ducks?
This is a sweet story about a girl who sees and interacts with ducks throughout the day.
There's lots of great little tidbits alongside the illustrations in the story, like a sidebar, but tucked into the pictures!

The amount of info in the book isn't overwhelming; in fact, it seems like it's just enough to get children interested to want to know more!

I love the illustrations as well. They're lively, bold, and look as if they're made with big long strokes.
A fun picture book...more
One of this year's nominees for the Washington State Children's Choice PIcture Book Awards.

Narrative tale of ducks being quacky and cute and a part of everyday life when your house borders a river. Facts interspersed, which is rad, but I thought the index at the end was a bit "oh, all the teachers want nonfiction backmatter, so let's make sure we put this in here."

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order JUST DUCKS on IndieBound: http://www.indieboun...more
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"I was very small when I saw my first dolphin," says zoologist Nicola Davies, recalling a seminal visit with her father to a dolphin show at the zoo. Enchanted at the sight of what she called the "big fish" jumping so high and swimming so fast, she determined right then that she would meet the amazing creatures again "in the wild, where they belonged." And indeed she did--as part of a pair of scie...more
More about Nicola Davies...
Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder Dolphin Baby! Bat Loves the Night: Read and Wonder Surprising Sharks (Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors (Awards))

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