I sometimes read reviews that describe a book as "unputtdownable". It's not so much that you can't put Duck for a Day down, as that you lose track of time and reality because you are totally swept up into this delightful story. I enjoyed it so much, and predict that children will too.
Duck for a Day was written by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Leila Rudge and published by Walker Books Australia (2010). I would classify it as a junior novel - it is a chapter book, but it has more white space and larger font than most chapter books for older kids. It is also enlivened by Rudge's charming sketches which offer support to readers who need it, and humour to those who don't. Walker Books target it at "primary school age", and I think that's about right. I would suspect more junior than senior primary kids will grab it.
As you may have guessed, with that lightning-fast wit that Book Chook readers are renowned for, the novel is about a duck. But what a duck! His name is Max, and he arrives at Abby's school with new teacher Mrs Melvino. The kids are enthralled with this new class pet, and hope they can take turns to bring him to their homes. But it turns out that Max has demands about the sort of homes he will go to.
To a girl like Abby who aches for a pet of her own, the prospect of Max coming to her place for a duck sleepover is enough to fill her every waking thought. Noah next door wants Max too, and so do the other kids. Will Abby meet Mrs Melvino's stringent conditions about duck comfort? Will everything go SWIMMINGLY?
This book was just pure fun. I loved the delightfully quirky Mrs Melvino, and Abby and Noah are so real and believable. But with my love of all things feathered, of course Max stole my heart. Who wouldn't love a strawberry-eating duck with the skills of Houdini? Max is also a duck who knows how to build bridges between people. But I want you to read this book, so no more details! As for me, I am off to read more about Meg McKinlay and her books!