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The Duck and the Kangaroo
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The Duck and the Kangaroo

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Meet Duck.

Duck has a yen for travel and adventure. Duck also has some very wet, cold feet and a gift for loyalty and compromise.

Meet Kangaroo.

Kangaroo has been around the world and back, and is looking for a little bit of luck.

Or a duck.

When Duck and Kangaroo meet, it’s a match made in . . . heaven.

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Greenwillow Books
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Average rating 3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  78 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Mary Ann
Jane Wattenberg has created a feast for the eyes in her new picture book of Edward Lear's nonsense song The Duck and The Kangaroo. Wattenberg uses eye-popping photo-collage techniques to create a vibrant book, where the images truly match Lear's creative folly.

A duck looks out his window and longs for friendship and adventure. So he says to the passing Kangaroo, "My life is a bore in this nasty pond, / And I long to go out in the world beyond! / I wish I could hop like you! / said th
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Had performed this as a kid in my school.

The word roomatiz would confuse me then, but now I realise, it must've been rheumatism. (Just a guess)

Wait a minute though, while I pull up my socks, don my cloak, and hop about on my Kangaroo's tail, with a cigar in between my lips.
Bridget R. Wilson
Duck is tired of his life in the pond. He admires Kangaroo's ability to hop. Duck wants Kangaroo to give him a ride. After much discussion and the putting on of socks, the two hop around the world not once but thrice.

What I thought: I'd never read this poem by Lear. I am an admirer of nonsense poems. I only object to the line about the cigar. But my objection could be overruled by the fact it's a duck not a person. Wattenberg's illustrations, which I understand to be collages of bits
This book was really odd, and I honestly don't care for it. The story of a duck wanting to ride on a kangaroos back was just not interesting to me. The illustrations however were very unique. I think children would like looking at the pictures.

I wouldn't use this in the classroom unless I wanted to talk about how kangaroos hop and ducks fly and swim. I would possibly use this book strictly for the collage illustrations if I was teaching an art lesson.
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
If I hadn't known the historical significance of this book before reading it, I would have hated it. Some children may like the illustrations, but I think they are slightly garish--like animation gone bad. I applaud the efforts of the illustrator to introduce children to literature and artwork of the past, but I am just not in love with this.
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Genre: Poetry
Publication Date: 2009

This is a book that consists of one poem. It is about a duck wished he could hop like the Kangaroo, therefore he asks the kangaroo to let him ride on his back. Although the poem is quite cute, I do not like the pictures. In fact, I find them a little creepy.
Dec 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010, picture-books
Fun story about a duck and kangaroo who travel the world together. The best part though, is the illustrations. They are so close to being photographic, it is quite incredible, yet still retain a sense of playfulness and utter joy.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is ideal for 2nd-4th grade to help students differentiate between a duck and a kangaroo. Would be used in the engage portion. Have students find the differences and similarities between the two animals.
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Illustrations are adorable!
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book
Lower rating because I did not care for the illustrations.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Typical Lear although not something I had heard before
Jul 31, 2010 marked it as picture-books
A little strange...
Mar 25, 2011 rated it liked it
A bit of nonsense with some delightfully silly photo collage illustrations, I especially like the worsted socks knitted to fit the duck's feet.
Apr 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Would have loved it except for the line with the cigar, but I think you could leave it out in a storytime. Bright, collage illustrations makes it pop.
Nov 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
The reference to smoking a cigar is what I didn't like. Had to change that sentence when's read it to my 3 year old!
Apr 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The poem, of course, is great, but the illustrations are so visually appealing that they make the poem even better!
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jv
The duck convinces kangaroo to take them on a road trip--three times around the world. Beautiful illustrations done in the style of multiple famous artists. Absolutely gorgeous.
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Odd pictures, kind of, but they fit the story. I'd never heard this poem by Lear before. It was a fun find at the library.
Nov 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Mediocre rhyming. And do we really need to mention cigar smoking in a children's book?
Sam Bloom
Love the collage illustrations except for one jarring detail; Duck and Kangaroo have large, creepy-looking eyes. Kind of ruins it for me.
Sneh Pradhan
rated it did not like it
Aug 13, 2013
rated it liked it
Jan 26, 2010
Jane Wattenberg
Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
rated it it was ok
Aug 23, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2013
rated it did not like it
Jul 13, 2011
Amanda_DJ n' Zac
rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2013
rated it really liked it
Mar 30, 2013
rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2016
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Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator and writer known for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form which he popularized.

For more information, please see