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The Duck and the Darklings

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Peterboy wants to find something special for his grandfather, but he finds a fallen duck in need of care. This is an extraordinary and totally enchanting story of friendship, hope and joy from two very talented, award- winning picture-book makers.
ebook, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Allen & Unwin Australia (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  91 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Anne Hamilton
It's the sort of book that does my head in. My reading self is never truly comfortable unless it knows who the words are addressed to: my inner child, my inner teen, my inner rebel, my inner whoever...

So I felt unsettled by picture book for children (except the themes seemed a bit odd) about a dystopian (except the prose didn't really have that feel), post-apocalyptic (except the illustrations were a little too cute) hole in the ground (except there was no hobbit, or was there?) where a boy and
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This outstanding new picture book is another wonderfully creative partnership between Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King. It is an unusually poignant dystopian tale of hope & longing for a bright and beautiful world, long "disremembered" by all, except Peterboy's beloved Grandpapa.

PeterBoy & his Grandpapa live in an underworld, called the DARK , "a sorry spoiled place.” Peterboy longs to help his beloved Grandpapa recapture some glimpses of the "wonderfulness" that he has lost . One day on
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
A wonderful post-apocalyptic picture book! This is probably suited for upper primary as a lot of the language will need to be discussed. There is a lot of text and the darkness of the illustrations mean that they need some time to explore. Despite the theme, this is a great, positive story. I really empathised with the boy and his grandpappa and how they felt about the duck - the illustrations helped convey this message. Just lovely.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Duck and the Darklings is a very special picture book, most notably for its creativity. I have read lots of post-apocalyptic young adult books, but never have I come across a post-apocalyptic picture book before now.

Peterboy lives with his Grandpapa. They live underground, away from the ruined world where they only venture to scavenge for lost things. When Peterboy finds an injured duck, he takes her back to his grandfather. Together they mend the duck and she in turn brings happiness and li
Oct 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
From a read out loud this point of view, this book was awful. I would NEVER choose to read this to a class for enjoyment ever again! So one "I did not like this book" stars for the readability.

The story could definitely have other uses though. It has TONNES of alliteration in it. I mean so much that it is hard to read (as a read aloud). So use it to make a study on this topic, sure!

It also has a kooky and original storyline about hope and the apocalypse which would at least make for an interesti
Oh oh oh. All the warm and joyous love!
Geni Kuckhahn
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If I could give 6 stars, I absolutely would. Reading The Duck and the Darklings is a dramatic venture. There is a yearning, like the moment before cool water enters thirsty lips. Something magnificent is about to unfold.

Yes. I do know I’m talking about a picture book. But this is not the usual kind of picture book.

The sad thing is, this book is not highly circulated. This is a book that sits outside the ‘normal’ rounds of picture books for reasons I cannot fathom. It is a shame. Glenda Millard d
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Miss 3 and I like to explore different books at the library and try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for both of us to have the variety and to look at a mix of new & favourite authors.

The Duck and the Darklings
by Glenda Millard

Oops, meant to write this for the hardcover version. Well, I enjoyed the book. It's like a picture book / graphic novel short sweet story version of sci-fi / dystopian future. Fun for adults who are familiar with the genre! Miss 3, on the other hand,
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved the innocence and playfulness of this book. There are so many made up words, but their meaning is clear; i like that the rules of grammar are still respected (it annoys me so much when authors use half sentences, and bad grammar). Post apocalyptic books are fun to explore as an adult but this book doesn't address it, it's just the elephant in the room for the adults to admire and the kids to not-notice... ...more
Shane Harcombe
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the language off this book and the happy pictures despite the post apocalyptic setting. All sorts of questions are posed by the ending...did they not realise the state the Earth is now in? Do they choose to live in the Dark anyway? I enjoyed the book, but am not sure of who the target market is. My almost 10 yo thought
Nancy White
Well this one was unexpectedly beautiful. Set in a post-apocalyptic world and plays with language in fun and surprising ways. Highly recommend.
Thu Nguyen
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a very special and unique book. Probably because of the fact that it's set in a post-apocalyptic world yet the drawings are childish and cute, or of the fact that the Darklings' world is sad and dim but the longing to see happiness shining in your loved ones' eyes is never lost.
Maybe it's special because it touched one mom's heart and sent her to tears in the middle of reading aloud time.

I think it's a wonderful book to give to a teenager who is going through a tough time.

Oh. Forgot to m
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This picture book is as close to perfect that I have seen. Profound and poetic, yet with an accessible and uplifting story about hope, and the dawn that can follow the dark. It's a made-up world with enchantingly thoughtful made-up words, and wonderful alliteration throughout. And that is just the text! The illustrations work beautifully to make the dark world not too dark . They are ingeniously child-friendly, making some of the more complicated thoughts in the text easily understood, and ...more
Mary Refalo
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Duck and the Darklings is a completely engaging representation of complex ideas and metaphors. It is easy to be distracted by the immediate darkness in which this story begins, however, Millard and King offer beautiful contrasts with light that offer the reader growth, openess and hope. The Duck and the Darklings examines a range of contemporary and traditional themes, including culture, environmental degradation and the natural rhythms of life. In addition, the characters are rich and full, ...more
Romi (likes books)
Thank you to Allen and Unwin for this review copy!

While I wasn't able to get through it on my first try, for a number of reasons not all (or most) relating to the book itself, when I sat down and read it I was amazed. Amazed and swept up and delighted, absolutely delighted. I don't believe I've read it to my niece yet, but this book is just truly a thought-provoking, sweet masterpiece, and I love it.
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
In a post-apocalyptic world, Peterboy and his Grandpapa eke out an existence in an underground cavern. Whenever Grandpapa remembers the past beauty of his world, he lights up and seems happy. Peterboy is too young to remember this former world but goes out in search of something that will bring a permanent shine to his Grandpapa's eyes. All he can find is a lame duck.
This picture book is a visual delight and an enjoyable read.
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"So Grandpapa turned the rusty latchkey of his magnificent remembery and set free a symphony of stories."

This is just too beautiful. I adored this book.

It also managed to hold the attention of a grumpy & fidgety 3yo, while at the same time interest the 6yo who thinks picture books are "for babies".
Karen Dransfield
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
While hunting for books about eggs I found this story instead. It's about an earth disaster and all the people live underground in the dark, people with memories and a lost duck. The art work is lovely, dark and gloomy apart from the small section that is illuminated by the little candles in the story. Interesting themes to talk about with kids. ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Love the written text. Love the images by themselves. Together, don't work. Stephen Michael King's images distract more than complement. Too busy. I find I ignored the images and get lost in the beautifully, unique prose. ...more
Wendy Bridges
This is a stunning book from these wonderful collaborators. GM's beautiful, lyrically inventive text tells us there is still hope for the world, even in the darkest days. SMK's illustrations prove it. ...more
Zanni Louise
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I have ever read such a quirky, interesting picture book. I was lucky enough to hear the illustrator and author talking about the development of this book. It only made me love this special story more. ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stunning illustrations and a powerful message.
"The Duck and the Darklings is a triumphant story, for children and adults, about the coming of hope in dark days, the warmth of friendship and the splendor of a new dawn." (From the cover)
May 09, 2014 rated it liked it
It takes a few readthroughs to get the meaning of this story. Story about hope. Contains quite a bit of language to explore.
Brodie McGovern
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
An unusual book of magical qualities and lyrical imaginings.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it
A picture book for middle primary children to read, share and think about. Set in a post apocalyptic world but with hope and recovery.
Kimberly Tucker
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Just a truly beautiful and evocative book!
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books. Such wonderful writing.
Jocelyn Hee
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
A rather unusual story both in language and plot.
Sonja Faust
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Sweet little picture book. Nice concept. Good for putting others before yourself.
Loved it. An interesting dystopic picture book. We are using this for some of our struggling readers in the year 7 dystopic novel unit. It has a reasonable amount of text and covers simular themes to other teenage dystopic novels so it is a good choice.
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Glenda Millard was born in the Goldfields region of Central Victoria and has lived in the area all her life. The communities she has lived in and the surrounding landscapes have provided a rich source of inspiration and settings for many of her stories.

It was not until Glenda's four children became teenagers that she began to write in her spare time. She is now a full-time writer.

Apart from writin

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