First published by Oxford University Press in 2009.
Originally published as “The Duck that had no Luck” by The Bodley Head Children’s Books 1996.
Jonathan Long and Korky Paul
“The Duck with no Luck” is one of a series of humorous books by Jonathan Long involving over-the-top animal antics, which will have three to six-year-olds and their parents grinning from ear to ear.
Long’s other two equally exuberant rhyming books, written in similar madcap style, are: “The Dog Who Could Dig” and “A Cat Called Scratch.” Both are firm favourites in our house.
At 680 words, “The Duck with No Luck” has enchanted my children with its simple tale of a hapless duck who misses the journey south with his fellow ducks, only to attempt a solo journey.
But Dizzy, the reader soon discovers, has a bird-brained sense of direction and ends up in all sorts of weird and wonderful scrapes.
He gets lost in the city, a jungle and a desert where he falls down a drainpipe, is sent spinning into a crocodile-infested swamp and hurtling into space to escape a ravenous vulture.
Finally, Dizzy ends up at the North Pole where he parties with a gang of polar bears who welcome him with open arms.
So they sledged on the slopes and skidded on skis,
Built snow-bears and snow-ducks, and swam in the seas…
…Played snowballs with seagulls who made lots of squawks,
Then roasted fresh fish on the ends of long forks.
When Dizzy finally leaves, he has had so much fun with the polar bears and seagulls he decides he will always fly NORTH at the first sign of winter.
The story is magnificently rhymed and is illustrated with the energy, enthusiasm and hilarious anarchy that only Korky Paul can deliver in spades.
It’s a farcical romp around the world, with riotous pictures and pacy text.
A lucky find indeed.