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=== A Modern Classic ===
I've just been reacquainted with an old friend from the late 1990s. The sight of the cheery white duck at the wheel of an open topped, bright red truck on the cover was enough to persuade me to buy this book in a charity shop. Duck In The Truck was, I believe, the first in Jez Alborough's 'duck' series. Over the years since I've read it to many preschool aged children and we have enjoyed sharing it together. I would rate it as one of the modern classics. So what contributes to its enduring popularity?
Duck In The Truck falls into the category of children's picture book, so it's to be expected that its illustrations play an important part. Alborough's artistic style in general leans towards cartoon, and none more so than the 'duck' books. This style, combined with use of bright, clear colours, results in a dynamism that complements the storyline very well. There are some amusing little details that may not be noticed by the young child, but appeal to the adult or older reader, such as the vegetables in the back of the truck which explain why the duck is holding a leek on one page.
Anyone who knows small children will probably have encountered their sense of humour, too - ever had a four year old tell you a joke?! It's a simple enough story line executed with delicious humour: Duck is driving in his truck, hits a rock in the road, gets thrown off course and ends up stuck in the muck. His friends, Frog & Sheep, try to help, with no success. They call on Goat, who is conveniently nearby in his motorboat, of course. The solution is clearly to tie a rope to the front of the truck, the other end to be fastened to the boat, and Goat will be able to pull the truck out - simple! Except, of course, it's not! Lots of mud, lots of mess - just what small children love! It's even amusing for adults, too. You can't help but smile.
Another point in its favour is that reads aloud well, at least when read by someone with a degree of skill in reading. I say that because I think you need to read it in an animated way, or the excitement of the text will be wasted. It's rhythmical, so it would be easy to overemphasise this, which could make it a bit boring, in my opinion. I don't think the children would mind much, though.
I find it a story that's quite fast-paced and full of activity. It's unusual for children to lose interest or become bored, in my experience, which is loosely with children from 2 to 4+ years. Older children might enjoy reading it themselves, helped by the rhyming couplets which give the text that element of predictability that encourages children to 'have a go'. An early example is:
'This is the duck driving home in a truck.
This is the track which is taking him back.'
If you miss out the last word of each line, children enjoy filling it in.
So I guess I'm recommending this book for ages approximately 2-7 years. Now issues around gender differences and literacy have been much discussed over past years, with boys sometimes seeming to be harder to engage with reading and writing than girls. In my experience, boys find books like this hard to resist. Perhaps this is because of the truck, or the slapstick humour, or the dynamism of the story as a whole - but it works! Another advantage is that, should children like this one, there are several other books in the series: Fix-It-Duck, Captain Duck and so on.
===About Jez Alborough ===
Jez Alborough is a British born author and illustrator with over 40 children's books to his credit. His first book was Bare Bear, and he was runner up for the Mother Goose Award of 1985 with this. He cites the Rupert Bear annuals and the 'Lion and Albert' monologue, performed by Stanley Holloway, written by one Marriott Edgar, as strong influences on his style as they demonstrated to him the effectiveness of the rhyming couplet.
Alborough talks about his enjoyment of rhyme in an article published in The Telegraph:
'Rhyming is good, rhyming laced with comedy is even better. (I applied this important principle in my Duck in the Truck series.)'
' Writing in rhyme forces you to choose words carefully and economically.'
[Alborough, The Telegraph online, 01/03/2013]
I think it's no coincidence that skilled rhymers are currently among the most popular authors of books for small children - Julia Donaldson and Lynley Dodd are two others who come to mind.
Alborough's website is worth a look, for details of other books and resources for children, both printable and online. I think there's also some kind of membership club.
===Recommendation and Rating ===
Absolutely recommended and 5 star rating.
=== Book Details ===
Published by Harper Collins in 1999
My copy is a Bookstart version, therefore no price is given
Harper Collins website: www.harpercollinschildrensbooks.co.uk
Current paperback price on Amazon UK is £5.24, reduced from £6.99 and eligible for free UK delivery. Also available in Kindle format for £3.99; you can 'Click to look inside' on the website.
Thank you for reading this review. It may appear on other sites.
©Verbena November 2013
As a busy mum of 2 daughters, 5 years old and 23 months, I am always on the look out for a bargain. Both my daughters are mad bookworms - if we had to BUY all the books in our house to keep them amused we would be bankrupt! Thank goodness then for the free Book Start scheme run by the government!
As part of the Book Start scheme every child is entitled to three free book packs - one at about nine months, one at about 18 months and one at about 3 years old. My eldest daughter received her 18 month pack some years ago and the books in it have been passed down to her sister - Duck in the Truck is one of them!
The story revolves around a duck driving home in his truck who strikes a rock and becomes stuck in the muck! The story then develops with various other animals stopping to help Duck get his truck free - a sheep in a jeep, a frog and a goat in a motorboat. Eventually the animals free the truck and the Duck drives off home, leaving all the other animals stuck in the muck!
The story is written in a lovely sing-song rhyming way - really easy to read and never gets old even when you have read it as much as we have!
The illustrations are bold and bright and humorous - my youngest never tires of pointing out the muck and naming all the animals as the book is read.
This book gets requested at bedtime a lot, and this is mainly due, I think, to the lovely rhyming, singing quality of the story, as well as the really cheerful illustrations and the humorous ending and end picture.
If you are lucky enough to get this in your Book Start pack, I am sure your little one is in for a treat!
If you have children you will know that how much you love a book is just as important as how much they enjoy it, as you are the one who has to read it over and over! I absolutely love Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough, even though some of the lines can twist the tongue a little at the end of a long day! The rhyming and rhythmic style are perfect for very young children, as the sounds of the words are soothing at bedtime even if your baby does not yet understand the story. The illustrations are bright and cheerful, and clearly drawn, which is also ideal for very young ones. The book will grow with them though, as there are also little details in the drawings, such as the box of vegetables in the back of the Duck's truck, so as your children get older you can engage them in finding the little extras and naming the various objects.
The story itself is delightful and covers the themes of teamwork, gratitude and problem solving whilst giving lots of opportunities for giggles at the predicaments of the characters. The characters are all animals, which allows for lots of animal noises and different voices, always popular with children. It takes only a couple of minutes to read, but the font is large and clear so will be easy for older children to read to you or to themselves. A classic that is sure to be well-loved and well-thumbed.
My husband bought this on a whim in our local Asda one evening for a Pound! Needless to say I was quite shocked when he came home declaring he'd bought a new book for a pound. For that sort of money I didn't really expect much but I will admit I was very wrong.
I had never heard of Jez Alborough before this book but I now own an awful lot of his books. He has a writing style similar to, but still different to that of Dr seuss (whose books I also own.) The way the story rhymes is fantastic because it has been thought for years that repetative rhythm and rhyme aids speech and language and learning to read. Perhaps this is why my little boy who is almost three is at his first stage of reading already? I read alot of rhyming books to both of my children and they both have excellent speech and would sit all day listening to stories. that's some feat for a 1 and 2 year old!!
Duck in a Truck is a simple story that follows a duck in his truck, driving home, when he hits a rock and ends up in the muck. Various characters come along and try to help duck free himself from the "muck." I quite like the concept of helping out someone who is in distress/ in need of help. I thnk it is useful to teach young children to help each other out if they are "stuck." Although I don't know if this is what Jez Alborough was trying to do it is a moral I try to teach my children. Eventually the new friends manage to free the truck and Duck goes back on his way.
The book is beautifully illustarted, in fact the illustrations take up pretty much the whole page, and my little boy loves the pictures. He is always commenting on what the characters are doing and what is happening. He even used to ask what the frog was doing.
My little boy was less than a year old when my husband bought this book and to begin with he would sit through about half of it, but by 1 year he would sit there the whole time and just listen. He used to ask for it over, and over again. Before he turned two he knew the story so well he would say the story aloud whilst leafing through the pages and to this day he still loves this book.
Every child should have this book!!
Most of the books I review are older classic books. This book is not old enough to be properly called a classic, but it is just a matter of time. Jez Alborough has been called the modern day Dr Seuss. I do not quite agree with that title, simply because they are not attempting to do the same thing. Dr Seuss was creating ealry readers for children learning to read. Jez Alborough is just creating wonderful stories, but they do have an excellent sense of rythym and ryhme, which is probabley what draws the comparisons. As far as artwork is concerned, while I very much like Dr Seuss, Alborough's work is far superior. Of course he has better printing techniques to work with too.
At any rate this is brilliant story. The vivid illustrations and rhyming text will keep the youngest child interested, while the delightful humour will keep an older child's attention as well. The text is relatively short and fully illustrated by the artwork.
The story is very simple. Duck is driving along in his truck, until he strikes a rock and ends up stuck in the muck. One by one his friends arrive and help him push or pull, wading through muck and ending up quite a mess. At last the truck is freed, and duck drives away ------ leaving all of his mates "stuck in the muck".
Both of my sons have really enjoyed this book. This is one of the stories my youngest could enjoy from about 1 year of age. At almost two, he is starting to see the humour, and now they both enjoy laughing at all the animals covered in muck, as well as all the mucky sound effects in the story.
Duck in the Truck author, Jez Alborough, is a firm favourite in our household. We're huge fans of Fix-It Duck (as featured in this book) as well as Cuddly Dudley and Some Dogs Do which are popular books by the same author. If you want to pick up a copy of this particular title, it's available from Amazon for £3.63 in paperback.
This book is aimed at pre-schoolers, but duck fans may easily find themselves enjoying this until they're eight years old (or more!) due to the character's lovable nature, and the story's comical humour. Even adults will find Duck's capers amusing, and sadly enough - I haven't got bored of reading this story at night even after three years of doing so!
I enjoy reading all of the books from this series because of the beautiful way in which they flow. This book tells the story of Duck getting his truck stuck in the mud, and all his usual gang of friends (frog, goat, sheep) are on hand to help to bail him out. As usual, Duck is oblivious to his own faults, and that's the core punchline of a lot of the jokes which are featured.
The illustrations in this book are really lovely, and the characters are all very warm, friendly and fun-looking animals. The background scenery is only ever as detailed as it needs to be, and that makes this a really easy book to enjoy looking through, even for toddlers.
If you're a fan of any of the other Duck or Jez Alborough books, then this is one you'll also like. If you've never heard of them before, but you're looking for a laid-back, easy-to-read bedtime story book - then you'll also like this. The author's talent for rhyme is up there with the likes of Julia Donaldson, it's no wonder the grandson is such a fan.
Jez Alborough is a famous and popular children's author. Duck in The Truck is one of a series of books about a selfish and thoughtless duck.
The illustrations in Duck in The Truck are in cartoon form, they are bright and clear. The illustrations represent the scene, that the text on each page talks about and there isn't much to distract your child from the story but this means that there is only the story to talk about and it doesn't give your child a huge amount of leeway in terms of discussions. The illustrations cover the whole page and are typical of the one on the front cover as shown in the picture above.
The text is simple and rhymes:
This is a duck driving home in the truck,
This is the track that is taking him back.
It is very fluent and the rhythm of the words is very pleasant to read and listen to. Most of the words are phonetic and the ones that aren't phonetic are high frequency ones (the words that an infant or junior reader would expect to encounter regularly in books). This means that it is a good book for children who are learning to read, and can already read short sentences, to read with supervision from a parent. It is also a nice book to sit and read to your children.
The story is very basic as well. The duck drives home, we can guess from a shopping trip as he has a lot of vegetables in the back of the truck, and, after hitting a rock, the truck becomes stuck in the muck. A few different animals step up to help the Duck push and pull his truck out of the muck. I won't spoil the ending other than to say that the duck proves how selfish and thoughtless he is yet again.
My children enjoy this book and ask for it at least a couple of times a week. My three year old knows all the words and can join in, at two he could fill in the end word of every sentence which is a good trick for developing children's speech and language. It's a book from a range which always seems available in schools and nurseries. At about £5.00 for the book it has proved to be very good value. I would recommend this book as a good book.
Duck in the Truck is a children's book written and illustrated by Jez Aldborough and part of a series of books about the duck. We received this book as part of the "My Bookstart Treasure Chest" which is gifted to 3-4 year old children at early years settings. Bookstart is a national programme that encourages all parents and carers to enjoy books with children from an early age. The book is also available to buy - roughly around £4 from Amazon.
This large, soft-backed book has an attractive and brightly coloured picture on the front cover which immediately grabs the attention of children. A jolly duck is driving his bright red open topped truck down a country lane. There is a silver duck mascot on the front of the truck and the registration is DUCK1. If you look closely, you can also see a cheeky, wide eyed green frog peeping out from the hedge.
The story is told in simple rhyme that on the whole flows quite nicely. "This is the Duck driving home in a truck. This is the track which is taking him back." Sometimes the rhythm becomes a little unnatural - "This is the slurp - and squelch - and suck - as the sheep steps slowly through the muck" - but it always cleverly makes the reader pause allowing all the illustrations to be observed thoroughly. For me, I find myself exaggerating a northern accent as I read. There's a lot of Duck, truck, stuck and muck!
The story is of a duck happily driving home when he hits a rock which makes the duck's truck alarmingly leap into some muck, and get stuck. By the look of the severity of the incident, the duck was clearly driving too fast and without due care and attention, but we'll skirt over that moral point with our young readers because there really wouldn't be much of a story if he had happily arrived safely home without any adventure!
The frog sees the accident and offers to give a push, but without success. A rather disagreeable sheep, driving home in his jeep, comes along next and is rather unwillingly dragged in to the pushing, again without success. A sleepy goat in his motorboat is the next to get involved (and the last - I think Jez Aldborough had run out of animals that rhymed with vehicles by this stage, although I suppose we could have had a "man in a van"). The goat decides that as well as the pushing, he would attach a rope to the truck and pull with his motorboat. The wheels finally grip but as the truck starts to move quickly back onto the track, the rope snaps. But since the duck is now free he continues driving home in his truck, leaving the poor frog, sheep and goat stuck in the mud.
Equally as good as the rhyming text are the illustrations. Bright and bold colours and very clear pictures. There is a tremendous amount of detail which can be so useful for a child learning new vocabulary. For instance the duck is carrying vegetables in the back of his truck and these go flying as the truck crashes. Leeks, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and even a marrow.The expressions on the faces of the animals are also wonderful. You can just imagine the frog must be saying something like "Hey - don't just stand there - you can help push as well", to the sheep. Then the sheep, who obviously is a little above all this, desperately trying not to get his white fleece dirty in the mud, and the frog with his dirty feet, almost doubled up laughing at the sight of the sheep.
This is a very entertaining little book. It works well as a bedtime book but also is a good one for children just starting to read. My only disappointment is the ending to the book. Although it's cheeky, I guess it would have been a lot more PC if the duck had actually stopped to pick up his new friends rather than abandon them in the mud after they have come to his aid. It would be a better lesson to children - having read this story they are not really likely to help anyone out! But this is just my opinion. I haven't read the other books in the series but from looking at the pictures on the covers, the other animals are once again involved - so they obviously didn't hold a grudge against the selfish duck!
DUCK in the TRUCK is a lovely children's story book hugely enjoyed by daughter we often share this book together at bedtimes.
It takes about 3-4 minutes to read at a slow pace with your child with the adult reading.
I have the book in paper back the cover is bright and colourful and it's glossy.
******* The Story *******
Duck sets of on a journey in his red truck, along his journey he gets stuck in the muck. Duck can't move the truck on his own so the story is about the different animals that see him stuck and then each try to help. As the story goes on the number or animals, helping to push the truck, gets bigger and in the end it takes the duck, a frog, a sheep and a goat all to push to get Ducks truck unstuck!. Duck's truck is out of the muck off he drives leaving all the animals stuck!
This is a really fun book as the sentences rhyme so children who can't yet ready are still able to join in with story. The author Jez Alborough has kept the story interesting throughout, by quickly introducing new characters. Jez uses some great descriptive words "This is the slurp and squelch and suck as the sheep steps slowly through the muck".
The pictures throughout the book are detailed, bright and funny and my daughter loves talking about whats happening in each picture.
The words in this book are mostly short basic and east to read, so there are many words young children (KS1 ability) could read with you.
The story itself is 29 pages long, with between 7 and 20 words (approx) to each page.
This is and enjoyable read that's not too long, the text is a good size and the pictures are great.
This book is from www.harpercollinschildrensbooks.co.uk.
Its currently being sold by price minister @ £4.85 with free p&p, bargain!
Duck in the Truck is a children's book written and illustrated by Jez Alborough. It is part of a series of books featuring the Duck written by the author and is a good book to read to kids or for those starting to read.
The story tells of Duck having a drive in his truck and getting stuck in the mud. He is helped by a frog in a bush, a sheep in a jeep and a goat in a boat who try to help him get out. In the end they succeed but hilariously get stuck themselves in the mud. The duck drives off merrily as his friends are stranded and covered in the mud thrown up by the wheel spin.
The story is cleverly written, and although I didn't find it flowed as well as other rhyming stories for kids, the combination of the words and illustrations is very good for interaction with the children. It is not one of my son's favourite books, but in terms of helping him to learn to read, the words are relatively simple and short, leaving it quite easy to show sounds and letters. The story itself is not the most exciting, and I felt maybe a little more could have been done with it to make it more interesting to the child. Perhaps there aren't enough words on each page. It certainly seemed as if I was halting the reading a little at bedtime because of the page turning. There are 29 pages in total.
Alborough's illustrations are colourful. Some kids' books are too bland for the kids to be excited about them, whereas the colours here are vibrant enough to attract from the bookshelf. The book is available from amazon.co.uk for £4.54, as are the other books in the Duck series from Alborough.
Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough is a lovely rhyming book which is perfect for reading to young children or for confident new readers to try themselves. The story begins with Duck heading home in his red truck (number plate Duck 1) when he hits a rock and his truck goes into the muck and becomes stuck (you'll have the idea of the rhymes by now!) A frog appears and tries to help Duck get his truck out of the muck, but it's still stuck fast. Along comes a sheep driving a jeep (beep beep) and he lends a hand - or should that be hoof? but that truck won't budge. On the river is a sleepy goat on his motor boat, and he pitches in to help as well. Does Duck manage to get his truck out of the muck, or does it stay stuck? Are the sheep in the jeep and the goat on a boat more of a hindrance than a help? Read this book for yourself to discover the answer! I hadn't heard of this book until a couple of weeks ago when there was a book fair at my son's primary school. We went to have a look and my son, who's nearly 5, picked this one up straightaway, saying "Duck in the Truck! Brilliant!" His teacher had read it in class recently, and it obviously impressed him. The illustrations are bright and cheerful too, which can make all the difference in children's books. This is definitely one to read and enjoy again and again.
Duck in the truck is a children’s story by Jez Alborough. It’s absolutely brilliant. Jez is quite unique because all the books I have read by him are written in rhyme. The story is simplicity itself. It concerns a duck in a truck on the way to market, which gets stuck in the muck. Along comes a sheep in a ……you’ve guessed it….jeep, to help the duck in the truck which has become stuck in the muck. They are unable to free the truck and so they enlist the help of a frog on a log to get the stuck truck out of the muck. When that doesn’t help, they notice a goat asleep on a…….wait for it……boat who has a….all together ……rope. The goat in the boat uses the rope to try to help the duck and the sheep and the frog get the stuck truck out of the muck. Are you keeping up with this at the back !!!! The goat with the rope in the boat pulls the truck belonging to the duck out of the muck and the duck back in the truck sets back off on the track to market. All doesn’t go quite right, leaving the sheep, frog and goat stuck in the muck !! The story is simple but very clever. The use of rhyme encourages children to remember the story and to learn about words, which rhyme. I just point at the pictures and my 4-year recounts the lines. Its also a quick story to read when you want to get your child to sleep yet it never gets boring like 1 too many Thomas the Tank Engine stories. I picked my copy up at Waterstones on one of those 3 for 2 deals. Other interesting books by Jez include Eddie who went into a wood with his teddy (called Freddy) for a picnic with his Mum where he meets a great big bear. Buts that’s another opinion. If you would like to write a comment – you will get more brownie points for writing in verse !! Libertybell has no more to tell. I want to munch so I’m off to town for lunch.
Duck in a truck, sheep in a jeep, goat in a boat - illustrated animal adventures.