Written and illustrated by Charlie Alder
Publisher: Running Press
Recommended Age: 3-6 years
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Review Source: Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Daredevil Duck likes to think he’s the bravest duck in the world–even though he’s afraid of things that are too dark, too wet, too fluttery, and too high. He has a superhero helmet, X-ray glasses, cape, and tricycle to help him feel braver and stronger, but he gets teased by other ducks for being a scaredy duck. One day when he was floating along the water, a mole popped out to say hello, and Daredevil Duck got so scared he ran away–and ended up right back where he started. The mole asked him to rescue his balloon from a tree, and after some encouragement from the mole, Daredevil Duck climbed the tall tree, rescuing the balloon, and floated through the air, conquering his fear of heights. After he landed and the mole praised him as being the world’s bravest duck, Daredevil believed him–and tried to be brave in many ways: roller-staking, rolling down hills, turning off the light before getting into bed. And he reminded the ducks who teased him that he really was brave. Yet he’s not always brave; sometimes he’s still afraid of things.
One of the first things I noticed was the creative and fun use of lift-a-flap panels of various sizes hiding and then revealing Daredevil Duck when you turn or open the panel. They’ll be fun for little hands. The illustrations are bright and colorful, with Daredevil Duck standing out in primary colors of yellow (his beak and feet), red (his helmet) and blue (his cape and glasses). Many illustrations have a large amount of white space in the background, which makes the characters stand out even more, while other pages have colorful backgrounds. Some of the illustration style–signs pointing to objects in a spread or a sign “taped” to a page, reminded me of Melanie Watt’s Scaredy Squirrel, as well as the scared/brave character concept. Readers who love Scaredy Squirrel may also love Daredevil Duck. There’s a comic-like quality to the illustrations that will please many young readers.
The text appears both in the usual print on the page, as well as through signs, mini comic panels, and dialogue bubbles, engaging both visual and auditory interest. It teaches the reader about being brave–both that we don’t have to be brave all the time, and that sometimes if we take a chance we can face our fears and come out stronger. I like that the text isn’t preachy; it just tells a story with meaning. At times the text felt too long to me, but the story was entertaining.
Daredevil Duck encourages readers to find their own little ways to be brave–trying new activities, meeting new people–and reminds them that they can be brave and yet still scared sometimes, too. Fans of Melanie Watt’s Scaredy Squirrel and anyone who’s ever been scared but wants to feel brave will likely enjoy Daredevil Duck.
If you’d like to win a copy of this book, leave a comment below. In one week I’ll use the random number generator to pick a winner.
You can see other reviews of Daredevil Duck at these blogs:
5/4 Wife Hat, Mom Hat
5/5 Geo Librarian
5/6 In The Pages
5/7 Stacking Books
5/9 Bea’s Book Nook
5/11 Coffee for the Brain
5/12 The Picture Book Review
5/13 Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms
5/14 Mom Read It
5/15 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books
5/16 Cheryl Rainfield
5/17 Unleashing Readers