My daughter is obsessed with ducks right now. She calls herself “Baby Duck” and if I do not call her that, she corrects me. I am, of course, “Mama Duck.” So this is a perfect time for finding all the books we can find about ducks.
Below I’ve included a huge list of books. Some of them have my explanation as to why we love them, but others are more self-explanatory or simply good books with less for me to say about them. I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience.
- Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (1941) is the number one classic about ducks, as the policeman Michael helps Mrs. Mallard get her 8 ducklings across a busy street. It’s lovingly illustrated with pencil sketches, and I very much enjoy the realistic birds and setting.
- The Story of Ping by Marjorie Flack (illustrated by Kurt Wiese, 1933) is about a small duck who leaves his boat on the Yangtzee River to find something good to eat. When he’s left behind, he has an adventure on the river.
- The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck by Beatrix Potter (1908) is a tale about a simple duck who seeks out a place to hatch her eggs, and happens upon a clever fox. There is violence in this story, so it may not be for all children, but Ms. Potter’s contribution to duck picture books is certainly is a classic!
- Angus and the Ducks by Marjorie Flack (1930) is about a terrier dog who goes on an adventure and meets some ducks!
- I Wish I Had Duck Feet by Theo LeSteig (1965). A child gives his reasons for having animal body parts to have fun.
- Little White Duck by Bernard Zaritzky (illustrated by Joan Paley, 2005). A picture book of the 1950s song.
- The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen (illustrated by Jerry Pickney, 1999). Pickney’s gorgeous illustration give due credit to Hans Christian Andersen’s words in this more-wordy picture book for older kids.
These ones are much newer than the classics already mentioned, but I think they will withstand the years and remain solid recommendations when one is looking for duck picture books.
- Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tafuri (1985). This Caldecott Honor book features a mother looking for her lost duckling.
- Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (2009) is a book with a simple illustration: but is it a picture of a duck or a rabbit? Little readers will love this book!
- Duck on a Bike by David Shannon (2002). The other farm animals laugh at Duck when he tries riding the boy’s bike, but they all jump at the chance to ride a bike too.
- Ducky by Eve Bunting (illustrated by David Wisniewski, 1997) is based on a true story, when a crate full of bathtub toys overturns from a shipping freight and rubber ducks float for months, eventually landing in Alaska.
- Ten Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle (2005) is based on the same bathtub toys incident, this one tracking 10 different ducks’ adventures.
- One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root and Jane Chapman (1993). This counting book for young kids has lots of swishy sounds to enjoy, as well as 10 different animals that come to the rescue of the duck stuck in the muck.
- Five Little Ducks by Raffi (illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey, 1989). A picture book of the favorite song.
Lots of picture book for little ones come with sequels, more sequels, and yet more! Ducks are simply beloved, as these picture books show.
- Duck and Goose stories by Tad Hills, including Duck and Goose; Duck and Goose Go to the Beach; and Goose Needs a Hug
- Doreen Cronin’s Barnyard: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; and Duck for President (to name a few)
- Duck in a Truck by Jez Alborough and others with Duck, including Duck to the Rescue; Hit the Ball Duck; and Captain Duck. These rhyming books usually feature Duck causing problems for his friends Goat, Sheep, and Frog.
- Duck at the Door by Jackie Urbanovich and others, including: Duck Soup and Duck and Cover.
- Little Quack by Lauren Thompson, a board book series with bedtime, colors, and counting books.
For the Younger Crowd
Ducks seems to be a beloved topic of picture books for little kids. Here are just a few that I found!
- Dawdle Duckling by Toni Buzzeo (2003). Dawdle does not want to keep up with his mother duck and siblings!
- Goodnight, My Duckling by Nancy Tafuri (2005) is about a mother getting her eight little ones into bed, but one duckling lingers behind and needs help.
- Mr. Duck Means Business by Tammi Sauer (2011) tells the story of a very cranky duck who does not want his pond disturbed!
- Nine Ducks Nine by Sarah Hayes (1990). Nine ducks slip away as they trick a fox away from eating them. It counts down from nine to one.
- Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell (1996) is about a duck who is forced by the lazy farmer to run the farm, until the other animals help him.
- Do Like a Duck Does by Judy Hindley (2007). Mother duck and babies meet an animal that looks like a fox but claims to be a duck!
- Dimitry Duck by Jane Yolen. A rhyming, fun story about a clever duck’s day for the youngest readers.
- Duck by Randy Cecil. Duck is a carousel animal who wants to fly. When he meets a little duckling, he gets a chance to help someone else fly.
- Ducks Don’t Get Wet by Augusta Golden (1965). A nonfiction book for young readers about how ducks protect themselves from the water.
For Older Kids
- These books are not for every kid, but for the older, most interested one, they are fantastic!
- Just Ducks by Nicola Davies (illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino, 2012) mixes a fictional story about a child awaking to the sounds of ducks with simple facts about ducks.
- John Philip Duck by Patricia Pollacco (2004). Based on a true story, this is about a boy who has a talented duck who dances in the hotel fountain to music. Can he convince the hotel manager to let his duck stay?
- Ducks! by Gail Gibbons (2001). A nonfiction picture book by the master of nonfiction picture books!
What books have I missed? Which is your favorite duck picture book? If I find more books or if you bring one to my attention, I’ll find a copy of it, read it, and add it to the list above with a brief annotation.
Soon, I’ll have a full picture book cross-curricular lesson and worksheet set all about ducks. I’m also making some fun freebies for you!
image credit: Logga Wiggler
Do your kids love ducks too?