Just Ducks! - Story Snug
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Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies / Salvatore Rubbino

Our trips to visit the ducks in the park have been enriched by the knowledge that we have gained from reading this wonderful picture book. Just today we watched a female duck taking care of her ducklings and now we know exactly why she was so keen to make sure that they stayed in the water!

The Story: A little girl wakes up in the morning and hears ducks quacking outside on the river. She describes a duck’s day in parallel with her own and explains how and why the colours of a male and female duck differ, where and how ducks lay their eggs, what they like to eat and when and where they sleep.

This beautifully illustrated, non fiction picture book is told from the viewpoint of a school child but short paragraphs of extra text also give more detailed information about ducks and their habits. A young child can learn by just reading the little girl’s account and an older child can supplement the information given in the story with the very short (but simply explained) paragraphs of extra text which also give explanations for words that may be unfamiliar. My daughter has learnt lots of new vocabulary (e.g. dabbling, upending, preen) and a wealth of information about Mallard ducks is given in an entertaining way (I also learned some new facts!). I love Salvatore Rubbino’s muted brown and green watercolour illustrations, the colours are perfect for the theme.

This would be a fantastic book to use in the classroom. It informs in an entertaining way and is a good book to use to introduce the concept of non fiction. It also has a simple index which is easy for children to use to introduce / reinforce the concepts of alphabetical order and indexing. A child could also write their own story about a bird or animal of their choice based on the layout of this book.

I used Just Ducks! to stimulate a discussion about ducks with a group of three, four and five year olds and they made ducks using their handprints. Their four fingers were used as the tail feathers and the thumb was kept separate and used as a head, we cut an extra triangle to make the beak. We made duckponds out of silver foil, added weeds and waterlillies and the ducks were ready to swim!


Just Ducks! is one of Walker Books Nature collection, a wonderful array of picture books which introduce children to a wide range of wildlife and animals. After reading this one we will definitely look out for more from the collection.

Age Range: 4 +

Author: Nicola Davies / Illustrator: Salvatore Rubbino

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14 responses to “Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies / Salvatore Rubbino”

  1. Adventure Togs avatar

    This sounds like a lovely story and the perfect way to learn about some of our much loved wildlife.

    1. Catherine avatar

      It is and I learnt more about ducks too!

  2. Nicola avatar

    What a lovely sounding story and even lovlier ducks! #letkidsbekids

    1. Catherine avatar

      We also learnt lots about ducks through reading this story.

  3. Karen Bell avatar

    Sounds like a good book and interesting for children. I love those handprint ducks too.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

    1. Catherine avatar

      The handprint ducks are a great craft, you don’t need a huge list of art supplies 🙂

  4. Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk) avatar

    We are always in a look out for something to read as my son is learning how to! I wrote down the book and hopefully we have this in the library as it sure sounds like a good read =) #letkidsbekids

    1. Catherine avatar

      Nicola Davies’ books are great for children to learn more about science and the natural world.

  5. Barbara Mojica avatar

    This sounds like a wonderful book. My two children enjoyed their many excursions to the duck pond with their babysitter. I would have loved to have this book as a followup.

    1. Catherine avatar

      There’s some really interesting information in Just Ducks. I learnt something too!

  6. Heather avatar

    I am always on the lookout for a good nature book that a small child will not find boring. Thanks Catherine. I will make a note of this one.

    1. Catherine avatar

      There’s such a wide range in Walker’s Nature Collection that I don’t know which one to choose next!

  7. Susan Stephenson avatar

    I love books like this that offer multiple opportunities for young readers. This one sounds just lovely.

    (Each morning, I walk beside our river and I’m amused by the ducks. They seem to do a lot of dabbling though not so much upending as the cormorants and pelicans!)

    1. Catherine avatar

      It is a lovely book – lots of learning for children and parents!