Tuesday, November 10, 2009

REVIEW: Duck on a Bike

Shannon, D.  (2002).  Duck on a Bike.  New York:  Blue Sky Press.


Duck has a wild idea.  He wants to ride a bike.  And that's exactly what he does.  As Duck travels around, the other animals on the farm have many different reactions to the sight of a duck riding a bike.

So, I like this book.  It's cute.  It's funny.  But, here's my thing.  Duck is magically able to ride the bike.  No training wheels.  Sure, he starts out slow, but almost every new bike rider falls.  I know it's not the focus, but I wanted Duck to have to struggle a little to learn how to ride.  I think that'd make the book a little more relatable to readers.

Shannon's illustrations are fun and colorful.  I am--as I have also been with some of his other books--impressed with his ability to draw humorous faces.

This would be a fun read aloud to use with young readers, since there are a lot of ways to encourage students to interact as the teacher reads.


Duck on a Bike shows many of the common animals on a farm.

In reaction to Duck riding by, the farm animals often said one thing to him (in typical animal language), but thought very different things.  A teacher could turn this into a call and answer in terms of the sounds the animals actually voiced, and they could get a quick glance at the illustrations to see the general reactions the animals are having to Duck on the bike. And of course, yet another option could be to discuss the concept of "holding one's tongue."

Duck on a Bike could help encourage students to get on a bike for the first time.

Quotes of Note:

"One day down on the farm, Duck got a wild idea.  "I bet I could ride a bike!" he thought."

"A duck on a bike?  That's the silliest thing I've ever seen!"

"You're still not as fast as me, Duck!"

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