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CLEVER DUCK by Dick King-Smith


by Dick King-Smith & illustrated by Nick Bruel

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59643-327-4
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Damaris the duck lives up to her eponymous epithet in this barnyard adventure, which features, in addition to this resourceful fowl, her canine friend and the farm’s supercilious swine. These haughty hogs hope to belittle Damaris by asking her the definition of “ignoramus,” but the intelligent bird cannot be stumped. “If you don’t know what an ignoramus is, then you must be one,” is her swift reply. Showcasing her erudition, however, brings her no comfort; this duck seeks revenge on the pompous pigs. Damaris and dog Rory lure the pigs out of their pen, and their outdoor escapade wreaks havoc. The hungry hogs overindulge in sugary beets, leaving the results of their messy stomachaches behind, and scheming Mr. Crook captures the pigs. Damaris, feeling responsible for the group’s misfortune, risks her life and wings to return the hogs to their rightful home. Bruel’s black-and-white drawings highlight the animals’ mischievous antics, though it is the hilarious and pretentious boar leader, “Firingclose General Lord Nicholas of Winningshot,” who epitomizes the fun in this farm frenzy. (Fantasy. 7-10)