Thursday, June 27, 2013
Ben & Duck by Sara Acton
The illustrations throughout Ben & Duck are simply marvellous - gorgeous watercolours with an almost unfinished feel in muted colours that give the characters true warmth and life. It amazes me that such minimal illustrations can still give the characters such expressive faces - Sara Acton is truly talented. Because the illustrations are so muted in colour, they will be especially appreciated by older children and the adult reader - but the images are instantly recognisable for a 15-month old as well.
Ben & Duck was one of Maximilian's first favourite books. "Duck" was one of his first words, so he immediately loved to point to the pictures of duck throughout the story while saying "duck, duck, duck". When Duck comes to Ben's house, there is a picture of the front door with "tap, tap" written on it, and Maximilian also loves to knock on the page of the book while saying "tap, tap". It is really wonderful to see him engage with the story and language in this way, and our favourite picture books are the ones with opportunity for him to become part of the story - not surprising I guess when my favourite books are often ones that I can engage in some way with the story.
This would be a great addition to any storytime session with a duck or friendship theme and there are lots of duck themed crafts freely available. You could also use it as a "food" theme and discuss whether ducks would really eat spaghetti and bread and butter pudding - it would make a great story alongside The Very Hungry Caterpillar!
Recommended for readers aged 1-5.