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FARMER DUCK by Martin Waddell

FARMER DUCK

By Martin Waddell (Author) , Helen Oxenbury (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 1992
ISBN: 1564029646
Publisher: Candlewick

A faithful duck labors while the indolent farmer lazes in bed, eating candy and occasionally inquiring, "How goes the work?"--to which the duck replies, "Quack!" When the duck grows "sleepy and weepy and tired," the other animals hatch a plan, succinctly expressed: "Moo!" "Baa!" "Cluck!" They enter the house, climb the stairs, tip the sleeping farmer out of his bed and chase him away forever. Come morning, the duck arrives to slave alone as usual but finds the other animals eager to pitch in. The sanctimonious moral of "The Little Red Hen" gets a salutary restructuring here, with the focus on the duck's uncomplaining toil and the other animals' generosity. Waddell's narration is a marvel of simplicity and compact grace; Oxenbury's soft pencil and watercolor illustrations have the comic impact of masterly cartoons, while her sweeping color and light are gloriously evocative of the English farm scene. Like Waddell's Can't You Sleep Little Bear? (p. 58): a book with all the marks of a nursery classic. (Picture book. 2-7)