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The Little Wood Duck [Hardcover]

Brian Wildsmith
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Library Binding --  
Hardcover, 21 Sep 1972 --  
Paperback £4.99  

Book Description

21 Sep 1972
First published in 1972, this classic Wildsmith picture book is now reissued with a new cover.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reissue edition (21 Sep 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192796860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192796868
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 0.8 x 29 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,289,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian Wildsmith was raised in the mining village of Penistone, near Sheffield. He won a scholarship to the Slade School of Fine Art, where he studied for three years, then spent his National Service teaching music at the Royal Military School of Music. After his time in the Army, he became an art master, but soon gave up teaching to pursue his life-long ambition of becoming a painter.

He believes that children like good illustrations and well-designed books and are much better able to understand "difficult" art than some adults acknowledge. He says: "Picture books give an opportunity for a marriage between painting and illustrating, and the challenge of designing each page is very stimulating. I believe that beautiful picture books of the right kind are vitally important in subconsciously forming a child's visual appreciation, which will bear fruit later in life."

Brian's work is both provocative and stimulating and he now enjoys a world-wide reputation as one of the greatest living children's illustrators. He is particularly popular in the USA, Europe and Japan. In Leningrad he was responsible for all the sets and some of the costumes for the film The Blue Bird, based on Maurice Maeterlinck's famous play, and in 1996, as a celebration of Brian's special relationship with Japan, Oxford University Press published Katie and the Dream-Eater written by Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of the Japanese Imperial Family. Brian has published over 70 books with OUP over his career.

Brian's hobbies include music, cricket (he has played League cricket for Yorkshire and won cricket colours for University College, London), and tennis. He is married with four children and now lives in the South of France.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Once upon a time, in an old tree, beside a lake, a mother Wood Duck built her nest. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 5 Oct 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
good story that highlights disability in a subtle way
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A RESCUED OLDIE 2 April 2009
By D. Blankenship - Published on Amazon.com
The picture book, well done with a well told story; simple in form and content, is becoming rather hard to come by. We seem to live in a world of special effects (I of course blame Television and computer games, for lack of a better explanation and seeing as how I despise both, but hey, I am old and becoming more set in my ways and tastes), and the true picture book where the author and artist have actually tried to tell a good story through their two art forms are becoming scares. We are quite in luck that a handful of publishing companies, Star Bright Books, in this case, are reprinting many of the old favorite quality works. This is one of them.

This is the story of a little Wood Duck, hatched by his mom in an old tree beside a lake. Now for those of you that know Wood Ducks (one of our more spectacular species), know these delightful little ducks are absolutely expert swimmers even at a very young age. But ever so often something goes wrong. In this case one of the ducklings happens to be born with one webbed foot smaller and shorter than the other. The results are that he can only swim in circles. While our little duck's brothers and sisters follow along behind their mother, as ducks will, he, the youngest, is doomed to swim in complete circles. This is not a desirable trait for a young Wood Duck!

Many of the other animals living in the forest, along with his family members, gather to make fun of him and tease him, "silly little duck" they cry. This of course hurts our little guy greatly. It makes him sadder and sadder. One day a wise old Owl flies down to see what all the fuss is about. After sizing up the situation the wise old owl tells the little duck that there is nothing wrong with swimming in circles and to just take no notice of those other silly animals. The owl then scolds the entire crew that is gathered.

About this time a hungry fox shows up and spies the ducklings and decides they would make a very fine meal! All the little ducks, including mom try to hide and all tremble in fear. Not our little circling duck though, good grief no, he just does his thing, around and around and around. Needless to say, the fox soon becomes dizzy, then sick and then sort of passes out. The little duck has saved his family, never to be teased again as the fox of course; once he regains his equilibrium and feet, has had enough and never ever comes back again.

This is a sweet little story, well told in a delightful way, but that is only part of the charm of this book. The author has used a stylized technique, with dark but startling colors; a complete swirl which is quite eye catching. Each time you view one of his illustrations, you note more and more. Birds, insects, bears, small critters, large critters, ducks, leaves, plants; all sorts of life abound in each plate. While the artist has taken great liberty with his colors of all these living creatures, there is no doubt in the readers mind what they are and they are pure candy for the eye; healthy candy, I might add. One plate along I counted 40 different birds and animals...took another look and came up with 46. My eyes are getting old and there is no doubt I missed a few. Makes you wonder what younger eyes can come up with!

This is a great read along book, is wonderful for either a group read or a one on one. As with most of the children's books I review, this one has been "kid tested" by me, and they all absolutely love it. I get many requests for second and even third readings. I like this one as there is plenty of material offered that I can make up new stories about the pictures each time I read the book. It also teaches us all a good lesson as to accepting others as how they are and that just because they are different, does not automatically make the tease bait. This is a lesson all children should learn, and I might add quite a number of adults too.

Add this one to your child's library or at the very least, search it out at the library. I can almost promise you that both you and your child will be thrilled and delighted.

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The North Wind and the Sun
My Little Book of Wood Ducks (My Little Book Series)
Saint Francis
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Nostalgia 16 July 2013
By Jeanine Lucas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read this book to my daughter when she was 2 years old. She is now expecting my first grandchild in September, and I was so delighted to find the book on Amazon! She'll receive it next month at her baby shower and I know she'll love it.
Thanks, Amazon, for having long ago treasures still available for us! :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book 16 Jan 2013
By RCZ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lovely story, beautiful illustrations, great book to read to young children--Brian Wildsmith always does a great job of providing parents with the tools that help them get a message across in an entertaining and thoughtful manner.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL BOOK AND STORY 18 Aug 2010
By Melissa L. Haas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
3.0 out of 5 stars beautiful pictures, but...... 13 Aug 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
..... this book is a little to mean in some scenes. mostly the other animals, who were being so mean to the poor little duck. another mean thing is how they treated the fox. what i REALLY hate is when the 'mother' duck is even being mean. but i like the rest of the story. It's an OK book.
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