Fix-It Duck by Jez Alborough

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Fix-It Duck by Jez Alborough

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Magda Healey
Reviewed by Magda Healey
Summary: A well drawn, well written, well pitched comical book for toddlers which will be read again and again. Funny and expressive pictures, rhythmical text and even some relevance to toddler psychology - recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 16 Date: March 2007
Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Publishers
ISBN: 978-1933605302

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Jez Alborough has quite a reputation in the world of baby books. I have to say I am less enthusiastic than some, which has probably to do with the fact that his earlier hits like Hug take the concept of a picture book to an extreme. I loved Some Dogs Do though and the Duck series must be a good one if Fix-It-Duck is a typical example.

Duck's roof is leaking (or so he thinks as something is dripping into his tea) so he decides to fix it. What ensues is a total mayhem in which Duck's friends' property suffers badly at his hands and in which we finally find out what was REALLY dripping. Duck is a classic blundering buffoon, very sure of himself and causing a slapstick disaster after a slapstick disaster.

Illustrations are rich, bright and incredibly dynamic, the graphic part of the book bursts with action and the faces of the characters are brilliantly expressive and irresistibly comical as it has been in other Jez Alborough's books.

Adults will laugh at the DIY catastrophes of Duck With Two Left Wings; while children will love the simple humour but might be also able to empathise with Duck: how often they enthusiastically try to help, only to make things worse or find out nothing was wrong in the first place?

Also, Duck's character himself is pitched perfectly: he's, frankly, more stupid than a typical 2 year old and feeling cleverer than a character in a book can be a Good Thing for a little person who normally is at a receiving end of everybody else's wisdom.

The text is short and simple, with great rhythm and reasonable rhyme, and the layout enhances the rhythm and makes reading aloud enjoyable and easy.

Fix-It-Duck is a great toddler book, with a target age about 2 years old but probably still suitable for a sneaky peak by 4 year olds, and my almost-6 enjoyed reading it to see if it's any good for the Baby when he's bigger. Much better than boringly correct Bob the Builder and definitely recommended (and yes, we'll keep it for Baby when he's bigger).

Thanks to HarperCollins for sending us this. Alborough seems to have an obsession with ducks, but sometimes he does tell us about chicks.

Comical and verbally inventive books about animal characters we loved include Lynley Dodd's Hairy Maclary, Jackie French's Pete the Sheep, Judith Kerr's Mog the Forgetful Cat and Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion.

We've also reviewed Some Dogs Do, Captain Duck and Ssssh! Duck Don't Wake the Baby by Duck's creator, Jez Alborough.

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Buy Fix-It Duck by Jez Alborough at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Fix-It Duck by Jez Alborough at


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Grooveecar said:

Not heard of this one but I'm sure the nursery children would love it.