Since birth, something inside Quackery has compelled him to compare himself with the rest of his peers… Did he look the same as his spunky sister Fluff? Did he lag behind like his brother Hiram? Did he speak as funny as the geese or the roosters? With his brother and best friend Zackery by his side (and his little sister Fluff tagging behind), Quackery travels through life discovering answers to his questions and uncovering the good and the bad pieces that help put together the meaning of life.
As adolescence approaches, Quackery and Zackery are given a bit more freedom from their parents and start befriending some of the other farmyard fowl. Two fowl their age, Clinton and Godfrey mention that they’re going to start sneaking off and swimming in the big pond across the road instead of the usual pond on the farm because the wind blows the waves really high and it’s fun and exciting. This is really tempting for Zackery, but Quackery isn’t quite sure. Their parents had warned them of the dangers of traveling to that pond– the busy traffic-filled road they’d have to cross, plus the wide open spaces with nowhere to hide from hawks who prey on young ducks. Zackery’s curiosity gets the better of him and yields into temptation while Quackery refuses repeatedly and gets made fun of. Eventually, Quackery’s curiosity piques and he finds himself having to make some important decisions: Follow in his parents’ footsteps resulting in further distancing himself from Zack? Or becoming his own being and cutting loose and having fun.
This isn’t the first important decision he has to make. Quackery is growing and there will be the matter of finding a spouse, nest building, and raising children in his future.
How did Charlotte enjoy it?
“Ducktails” is actually my book from when I was in 2nd grade that I’ve held on to all these years! The author Janette Oke has a whole slew of these “Animal Friends” books and “Ducktails” is my favorite of the whole lot of them with the runner-up being “The Prodigal Cat”. I’ve read these two books numerous times even into my adulthood before I had children.
Charlotte (6 years old) seemed to appreciate the same aspects of “Ducktails” that I do. The story is told from Quackery’s point of view, and his inner-dialogue is quite mature for his young age and witty (bordering sarcastic at times), while still remaining cute and naive.
Just a heads-up, there’s a certain instance in this book that I’ve always gotten choked-up over and it happened with Charlotte, as well. Despite that instance, she said she really enjoyed the book and said she didn’t mind feeling sad during some stories because it would be boring if every chapter in every book made you feel just one emotion.
I’d recommend “Ducktails” to children ages 6-11.
If you’re looking to find “Ducktails”, check Amazon. I think you can mostly only find it used these days. Just a heads-up that Janette Oke’s animal books were also released in abridged “easy to read” formats which are shorter and, in my opinion, leave out the charm and the meat of the plot. You will want to be sure to get the unabridged versions. Just make sure for “Ducktails”, the ISBN is 0-934998-20-5 and around 130 pages and you’ll be good!
If interested in “The Prodigal Cat”, you can check for it on Amazon here. Again, get the unabridged version (which has a couple different covers. The cover I have is of a cat peering into a bowl of goldfish). The ISBN number for this is: 0-934998-19-1 and around 160 pages.