Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book #312: Ducks Don’t Wear Socks by John Nedwidek, Illustrated by Lee White

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Emily was a very serious girl. So she is not at all amused when she sees Duck wearing socks and riding a unicycle! She informs him that, “Ducks don’t wear socks.” Duck replies, “Cold feet!” and cycles off. The next day Duck is pleased to show Emily that he’s not wearing socks, but Emily points out, quite seriously, that he’s wearing a tie. Each day Emily encounters Duck wearing a different item of clothing, a cowboy hat, boots, even underwear, until she just can’t keep a straight face anymore! The next day Duck isn’t wearing anything unusual, but Emily is. She’s dressed like a duck!

This humorous story reminds readers that it’s ok to be silly. The text is divided into short, fast-paced exchanges between Emily and Duck and this moves the story along at a quick pace. The difference between the two main characters is further emphasized by the pictures, which show a stately Emily and frenetic whirlwind that is Duck. White’s illustrations are stylized and add another layer of humor to the story. Detailed characters and foreground elements pop out against a blurred background of buildings.

Use this book for a storytime about getting dressed. Try pairing it with Ella Sarah Gets Dressed, Blue Hat, Green Hat, Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? or Red is Best.

Pair this book with other stories that feature ducks, such as Guji Guji or The Perfect Nest. Follow up with rhymes like, I am a Little Duck, Five Little Ducks or Six Little Ducks. Get kids up and moving by leading a duck parade around the room while you sing.

Finish by crafting some ducks of your own. Try some paper plate ducks. You might try making socks for the ducks instead of feet. Bring in a box of colorful socks that have lost their mates and make sock puppets. Make the activity easier by having precut eyes, mouths, noses, and bits of hair. Or you can draw directly on the socks with washable marker and then you don’t have to wait for the glue to dry. You can even make a duck bill by cutting an oval out of thick paper, folding it in half, and gluing it into the mouth of the puppet.

A shout out to Jesse for picking this book off the shelf and leaving it in my box at work. What a great surprise! Thank you!


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