Cover Image: Lucky Duck

Lucky Duck

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Member Reviews

A ducks quest brings new friends and a discovery of self.

Frank was hatched into a family of ducks but feels as though he doesn’t belong. As Frank grows, he begins to look different from a duck. Frank meets three other ducks, who tell him about an amulet quest to save the duck pond from a fox. Frank embarks on his journey where he faces danger and makes friends along the way.

Chris Kurtz’s, Lucky Duck, is a charming story of a duck accepting himself for who he is. I enjoyed joining Frank on his quest. This is a fun read and one I highly recommend.

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"Lucky Duck" has a beautiful cover and a promising concept as being a middle grade retelling of "The Ugly Duckling." The illustrations inside and short length seem to imply it's on the lower end of middle grade but the main character of Frank is so immature that it felt like he belonged in a book for beginning chapter learners. The examples of ostracizing him involve hitting him repeatedly on the head and other ducklings calling him a freak, which seems pretty intense for bullying, are glossed over because he continues to think of them as his friends. This reaction of insisting on his being a duck seems less like a compulsive need to fit in and more a symptom of serious denial and gullibility, which I feel older readers may not sympathize with as much.

The writing leans on having characters express themselves didactically, and never really manages to feel natural. In fact, there is a scene where Frank is saving a raccoon and starts to call him Flinch before the character even has a chance to give him his name. At first, I thought this was a matter of Frank naming another of his friends like with the turtle, TR, but it seems as if the editing missed the natural flow of introductions so instead of Frank naming the raccoon and the racoon accepting the name, or the racoon telling him his name is Flinch we just have Frank magically knowing his name as he rescues him from a fire.

The story holds some good messages about different types of friends coming together, but it's not an uncommon moral, and there are much better books that offer the same kind of journey.

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What happens when you are raised as a duck and believe you are a duck, but are constantly picked on and made fun of by the other ducks and creatures you meet? What happens when you make it your mission to save your family from the foxes and other predators who constantly attack? How do you help others while they try to help you, even if they are your natural enemy?

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Enter the heartwarming world of “Lucky Duck” where Frank, the odd one out in a family of ducks, discovers courage and his unique identity. In this charming middle-grade animal adventure, Frank's notably different with giant feet and an early hatching, but that doesn't stop him from striving to be the best duckling he can be. When danger looms in the form of a fox threatening the pond community, it's Frank who bravely ventures into the forest on a quest to save his home. The story beautifully explores themes of belonging, identity, and the strength found in unity. The narrative gently imparts valuable lessons without being didactic, making it a delightful read for the whole family. Plus, the cover is an absolute attention-grabber!

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Charming tale for middle-grade readers about a family of ducks. Similar to the ugly duckling, poor Frank is noticeably different than his brother Darryl and sister Darlene. But that doesn't stop Frank from taking initiative when a fox threatens his family.

Gentle teaching experiences appear throughout without being didactic. I did not read the author's previous work, The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, but Chris Kurtz has a talent for showing that everyone is different in their own way, and not all families are cookie-cutter.

This is a book the entire family can enjoy.

Thank you to Harper Collins Publishers and Net Galley for an ARC of this book.

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This cover caught my attention, I knew it was going to be an amazing tale of animals without humans and that's one of my favorite types of children's fiction since I fell in love with the classical author Thornton Burgess and his animal tales.
This is no different, Chris Kurtz explores many emotions and situations that can be related to middle graders and younger readers such as trying to belong, trying to understand identity and inner strengths, bullying, feeling inadequate, and having the urge to prove oneself and make the family proud. In this coming of age of courage and learning each step by step leads to the true meaning of home, family, and friendship.
Naive and young Frank is set up to go on a quest to save the pound and family from a fox but finds so much more among diversity. Union of different qualities and species will have the strength together to work for the protection of all. It was wonderful.
Has amazing illustrations.
Thank you Netgalley and publisher for this eARC.

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A heartwarming adventure about Frank, the duck, on a quest to find an amulet for protection to help his family because there might be a fox out there. Frank takes off and on the way, he meets a turtle, TR, and a possum. Frank and TR hear stoats in the night and they are able to escape them. Lightning starts a fire and Frank saves a raccoon. As they become friends, Flinch tells Frank I don’t think you’re a duck. When they find the fox, Frank’s animal friends come to help him out. Are they able to get rid of the fox? If Frank isn’t a duck, what is he?

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