Urbanovic, J. (2009). Duck and Cover. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Peoples of the Earths, I present to you my first review of a book published in 2009. Yay! Just as I had suspected, it is the future!
Duck and Cover is a part of a larger series featuring Max the duck, who, among other anthropomorphized animals, was adopted by a human adult named Irene. This story features a new animal seeking shelter with Max and Irene. An alligator named Harold has escaped from the zoo after being accused of eating a pet dog and is desperate for help.
As the zoo inspector visits Irene in search of the missing alligator, Max and the other animals must balance finding the perfect place to hide Harold the alligator while overcoming their fear of him.
The illustrations show more of the animals’ dialogue than what is presented in the main text. Some of their comments are typical of young children’s questions or comments, others are cute and still others are subtle jokes. (My personal favorite is the dog that asks “under-wear??” while searching for a place to hide Harold)
Activities to do with the book:
This book is best used with preschoolers or kindergartners. It can help with discussions of adoption, fostering children, having a new baby join a family or accepting a new student into a class.
If a teacher or babysitter does not want to use this book as a part of a larger discussion, the narrative can be used for fun to encourage a game of hide-and-seek. Students could also create their own illustrations of disguises or hiding spots for Harold.
Also, if props are available, the students could pretend to be Harold and disguise themselves with objects around the classroom or house.
“Max was afraid too, but he remembered what it was like to be in trouble and alone. Now it was his turn to help someone else.”
“My mouth is big and my appetite is bigger, but I’m not dangerous.”
“I love you all so much, I could eat you up.”