Top critical review
on 11 June 2017
Having previously read and enjoyed Know Your Cattle, I was excited to read this one. A visit to Slimbridge Wildlife and Wetlands Trust had got me in the mood to read more about ducks, and so I eagerly sat down to read this book in a single setting.
Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. I appreciate that a book this small can’t possibly feature every duck, but there’s no real rhyme or reason to how the ducks in this book were chosen. Some are wild, others are domestic; some you’d never see in Britain, whilst other common ducks from our shores are left out.
Whilst there are a few interesting facts in the text, there are enough typos to make me suspect that it has neither been proofread nor spellchecked. I’m not a duck expert, but I spotted at least one inaccuracy – according to Slimbridge, mandarin ducks don’t actually mate for life.
Each duck featured in the book also has a photograph to go with its description, but again, these are disappointing. The photos are often of resolution, and in many cases where the sexes differ, only the male is pictured. This means we have to resort to a short text description of the female’s appearance. Given that the layout of the pages has a lot of wasted space, a bit of rearrangement would have allowed for better photos of breeding pairs, or one photo each for a male and female.