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This is a beautifully illustrated book featuring a duck called Daisy. It is written and illustrated by Jane Simmons.
Publisher - Orchard Books a division Hachette Children's books
Age Range - 2 - 6 years
Price - RRP 5.99 but it can be purchased on line much cheaper.
This is a 32 page paperback book. The cover has a polished plastically feel showing a cute yellow duck with big orange feet.
The characters in this book are Daisy, Pip, Mamma Hen and Millet.
Millet is a little chick who wants to be a duckling and likes playing with the ducks and tries to do everything they do. She quacks, eats duck mash and plays splash in the mud, peek a boo, hoppity hop and finally wobbly twig.
Unfortunately wobbly twig involves standing on a twig in water and jumping off. Millet gets n to the twig but falls in. Daisy then learns that Millet can't swim, so when Millet falls in the water she rushes to save the little chick from drowning. Daisy then suggests that they play chicken games the following day.
The text is large and makes good use of repeating words and phrases to help children become familiar with the letters used. It is an ideal book for those children of reading age but it is also a good book to explain the dangers of water to very young children. It also shows that just because everyone is different and they have different abilities doesn't mean that they can't play together.
My grandchildren enjoy listening to this story and understand the dangers of going near water.
My children have always loved stories about ducks. I don't know what it is, but whatever their mood they are willing to listen to, and look at, a story if it concerns a duck. My two year old's current obsession is the Daisy the Duck series of books.
About Daisy the Duck
The series is based on Daisy, "the little duck with big feet". She is a cute yellow duck, fun and lovable to little children of both sexes. Daisy has a variety of playmates, different animals that we come across in the books, but her constant sidekick seems to be her little brother Pip. Pip is introduced in one of the books in this series when he was born. Then there's Mamma Duck, who is present in all the books we've read so far.
As the books say, Daisy is a star! She has been:
Smarties Book Prize: Silver Award Winner
Kate Greenway Medal Highly Commended
Mother Goose Award shortlisted
Best British Book Award shortlisted
So she is quite an illustrious little duck!
Now, on to the story.
Daisy and Pip are playing with chicks. Millet is one of the chicks, who wants to be a duck. She quacks, and enjoys duck food and playing duck games. She joins in with Daisy and Pip as they play all of the ducks' favourite games.
When Daisy and Pip plays Wobbly Twig, which is where they stand on a twig in the pond and splash into the water when they wobble, Millet is afraid. Daisy is surprised when she learns that Millet can't swim. Millet falls into the pond and Daisy rescues her.
Millet is returned to the comfort of Mamma Hen and the chicks, and Daisy promises that they'll play chicken games the next day.
The book itself
This is a 26.5 cm x 24 cm book with reasonably thick, matt-finish pages. The cover has a slight plastic coating so is not easily torn by enthusiastic little hands.
The illustrations are large and colourful. Many of them are close-up, so plenty of detail and lots to talk about with your child. These are watercolour pictures, with the brushmarks visible - my favourite type of children's illustration! Amusingly enough, the ducks and chicks even have the appropriate facial expressions for each part of the story.
There is just enough text on each page to keep the child's attention while still telling the story. The text is repetitive in some places, like where Pip and Millet keep affirming whatever Daisy says. Just the way little children like it!
The story ends with them all going to sleep and the words "And they all fell fast asleep". Just right for the last book before bedtime.
About the author
Jane Simmons, creator of Daisy the Duck, is the author as well as illustrator of these books. She studied illustration at Cambridge and won several awards during her course itself.
She and her husband now live on an ex-fishing boat named Prosperity with their menagerie of pets - Gertie and Bertie the lovebirds, Doris the cat and two dogs called Daisy and Pip!
This is a heart-warming story that my daughter loves being read to, over and over and over. She likes it when I read the little "action phrases" like wobble, wobble and splash etc. and does the actions. At only 2 years, she can can even recognise the word 'help' as it is written in large letters on a double page and amazed me by identifying it in another book!
There is also meaning to this book as it teaches that everybody is different and has things that they can do and things they don't enjoy doing, as well as things they need help with. And that we can all still play together and be friends in spite of not being able to do the same things. Great message to be taught from a young age.
It also gives a good context to talk about taking turns. At the end of the story as Daisy promises that they'll play chicken games the next day I take the opportunity to tell my daughter that that way everyone is happy and everyone learns new games too.
Other books in the series are:
Come on Daisy!
Daisy and the Beastie
Daisy and the Egg
Daisy and the Moon
Daisy to the Rescue
Shout, Daisy, Shout!