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Duckworth, the Difficult Child

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Duckworth’s parents think he is a difficult child, so when a snake slides right up and swallows him whole, his parents don’t believe him! What’s poor Duckworth to do?

Duckworth is a difficult child.
At least that’s what his parents think.

So when Duckworth tries to explain that a gigantic snake slithered out of his closet, his parents insist it’s all in his head—he is far
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  112 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Duckworth's parents think their son is just being difficult again when he announces to them that he has been eaten by a snake. Duckworth realizes he is going to have to take matters into his own hands, and ignore their pronouncements about his character. So he does. And he is off to find his own book...on difficult parents.

Beautiful and novel artwork and a deeply thoughtful story.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one. It reminded me so very much of Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library stories—especially Pierre, which was my favorite—and the illustrations are gorgeous and full of tiny details that reward re-reading. Is it going to be loved by kids? Probably not, or at least not many of them. Do I want a copy of my very own for my very own library? YES! YES! YES!
Andrea Reed
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For children of all ages who must survive difficult parents

DUCKWORTH, THE DIFFICULT CHILD, by Michael Sussman, a picture book illustrated by Júlia Sardà, is full of the humor we expect from this writer, also author of the picture book OTTO GROWS DOWN, regarded in the children's literature community as a classic, as well as the recently published adult sui generis INCOGNOLIO. Duckworth, an unappreciated child, must use his own ingenuity to deal with being swallowed by a snake, since his
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Delightful story of a young boy by the name of Duckworth. Duckworth is building a toothpick castle in his room, when out of the closet comes a giant snake. Duckworth goes to his parents for help but they feel that he is a "difficult child" and ignore him. What follows is an adventure Involving Duckworth and the snake ( a cobra). The illustrations are perfect for the story. The clothing reminds you of Edwardian England, minimal color. The lines are clean and clear-cut.

I received this as a review
Megan Geissler
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
I'm now reading kids' books for fun because, well, time. I'm going for books with witty/crass titles and themes and good illustrations. This book scores on the latter and for making fun of difficult, detached parents. The illustrations are super clever and have fun details. I would love to see a Duckworth series.
Aug 14, 2019 marked it as picture-books
What a strange, and utterly delightful, book! I wanted to shake the parents the whole time and take Duckworth home with me.
Edward Sullivan
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A difficult child with clueless parents in this droll, macabre tale reminiscent of Gorey and Snicket.
C.L. Murphy
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sussman's dry humor and Sardà's rich illustrations make this one deliciously dark tale. Fans of Klassen's I WANT MY HAT BACK will be equally charmed by the story's unexpected turn of events.
Syntha Green
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Delightfully dark
Darkly absurd and hilarious! If you enjoy Edward Gorey, you’ll love this.
Tonja Drecker
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Children are in for a treat as they learn that they might not be the only ones with difficult parents...and their parents might not be so difficult after all.

Duckworth is a difficult child. Or so, his parents believe. They even have a book to tell them how to deal with difficult children like Duckworth. All's well until strange noises come from Duckworth's wardrobe and a gigantic, huge snake slithers out. His parents attribute his claims of having a snake in his room to his over active
Amy Michelle
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Reminiscent of Sendak's "Pierre" if written by Lemony Snicket.
Beth Anderson
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The text and art are a perfect match, and the characterization for this wonderfully unique child with oblivious parents is full of humor and heart. The story sets up a great contrast between parents and child. Duckworth might argue that truth really is stranger than fiction and that his parents’ lack of imagination is the real problem. Let's face it - don't we all think we've had difficult parents at one time or another? I love the end and hope you'll find an opportunity to discover it yourself.
Aug 02, 2019 added it
Shelves: picturebooks
A worthy successor to Edward Gorey's TREEHORN, one of my favorite, subversive classics.
Jessica Furtado
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
If Lemony Snicket and Edward Gorey teamed up for a picture book, it would feel like “Duckworth, The Difficult Child”. Dry humor with creepy illustrations and droll characters all make for a fun read - though adults will likely be more amused than the intended children’s audience.
Kristina Jean Lareau
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebook
This is a fun and silly book that is similar in theme to Maude: The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton and would make a good pairing for a storytime.
Lynne Marie
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this and thought it EXTREMELY CLEVER. But overall, I thought the artwork a bit droll, and that it would appeal to an older crowd, specifically those adults who had parents that did not understand them when they were children, rather than current children themselves. Think about it... But I guess that makes it important, as we need books too!
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Maybe they wouldn’t have such an ornery child if they hadn’t named him DUCKWORTH.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
3 stars
Amanda Harrison
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebook
I thought this quite funny, but neither class I read it to was quite satisfied with the ending.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
It just felt unfinished to me.
Sep 20, 2019 added it
Shelves: 2019
This is a fun and funny read. And I always love Sarda's illustrations.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, picture-books
Parents can be so difficult sometimes.
Oct 11, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2019-new
Emily Polson
This is so ridiculous and I love it.
Cheryl Baker
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is brilliant in every way, from the clever original story to the gorgeous illustrations. I loved it!
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
These illustrations are amazing.
bet mercer
rated it liked it
Nov 01, 2019
Max Muto
rated it it was amazing
Nov 10, 2019
rated it really liked it
Nov 20, 2019
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Abandoned by a cackle of laughing hyenas, Michael Sussman endured the drudgery and hardships of a Moldavian orphanage until fleeing with a traveling circus at the age of twelve. A promising career as a trapeze artist was cut short by a concussion that rendered him lame and mute. Sussman wandered the world, getting by on such odd jobs as pet-food tester, cheese sculptor, human scarecrow, and ...more