Friday, December 16, 2011

Read to Me Picture Book Challenge: Christmas Ducks

Last week I read some Christmas related duck books to my kindergartners and they really enjoyed them.  So here they are.

Have You Been Naughty or Nice?
written and illustrated by Ethan Long
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009.
ISBN: 978-0-316-01722-0
Grades PreK-1
Reviewed from personal copy.

BLURBIn Have You Been Naughty or Nice? the duck excitedly awaits a visit from Santa Claus until he eats all of Santa's snacks and realizes he just put himself on the naughty list. But never fear, because the duck has a clever plan to get himself back on the nice list. This fourth book in Ethan Long's duck series features a cloth Santa cap on the cover and a fold-out letter to Santa, and is filled to the brim with holiday hilarity that will keep kids entertained for hours.

This book is quite short and makes for a quick read (which is a good thing when you've got squirmy kindergartners).  The children quite enjoyed this one.  The illustrations are cartoonish and deceptively simple.  There are some clever touches such as the duck foot shaped stocking hanging over the fire place and the photo of the duck and poodle on the fireplace (this is humorous if you've read Stop Kissing Me by Ethan Long).  One thing I found fascinating was how the kids responded to the duck's eating of the cookies.  Every class I read this to pointed out that he could make some more.  I explained that he didn't really have time to do that but it was a good idea.  I really enjoyed reading this one aloud because of the emotion that duck expresses when he realizes what he has done.  This one makes it easy to be expressive while reading it. Recommended for those who want a fun read, but also want a simple moral as well.  Duck realizes that sometimes all that is required is an apology, something that many students need to be reminded of.

Santa Duck
written and illustrated by David Milgrim
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2008.
ISBN: 978-0-399-25541-0
Grades K-2
Reviewed from personal copy.

BLURBNicholas Duck loves Christmas, and he is happy to try on the new Santa hat that's mysteriously delivered to his house. But when his friends see him and immediately launch into their Christmas lists, he doesn't know what to do . . . until he runs into Santa himself.

I find this book funny for several reasons. First, the things that the animals ask for, i.e. the chicken asks for a helicopter, a hot air balloon, and a hang glider, and a blimp.  Second, the duck's confusion about why the animals are sharing their Christmas lists with him.  Third, the ending, which I won't mention here so as not to spoil it, just know it is quite amusing.  The children I've shared this with quite enjoyed it.  The illustrations are very appealing and suit the story quite well.  The duck is surprisingly expressive for a duck.  There is a nice message here about giving being better than getting..almost.

Santa Duck and His Merry Helpers
written and illustrated by David Milgrim
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-399-25473-4
Grades K-2
Reviewed from personal copy.

BLURBIt's Christmastime, so Nicholas Duck puts on his Santa's helper suit and proudly starts gathering wish lists for Santa. But this year, Nicholas's little brothers and sister want to help. Nicholas is not too keen on the idea, and when the overeager ducks try to outdo each other by promising outlandish gifts-the Hoover Dam for the beaver, a castle for the frog- Nicholas gets fed up. And as he tries to explain to his siblings what Christmas is all about, it turns out the kids have a thing or two to teach Nicholas about working together. 

This is a cute sequel to Santa Duck.  The interactions between the duck siblings are quite amusing.  The quarrel is reminiscent of a lot of sibling relationships.  What I think is especially funny are the efforts to top one another in promising gifts far beyond what was requested.  The children I shared this with seemed to enjoy it.  There is a nice reminder that there is far more to Christmas than just receiving gifts.  Sharing with family can be the best gift of all.

Seasons Readings Challenge is hosted by Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf.

Read to Me Picture Book Challenge:
Watering Level Goal: 17 of 36 completed

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