It's Useful to Have a Duck
In which Ariel gets you all hyped to read a book about a boy and his duck and then reveals that it is in fact out of print. Though it may be harder to get your hands on, you won't regret it! This post contains affiliate links. To those who use them a hearty thanks! You have helped to keep Busy Nest News going.
It's Useful to Have a Duck by Isol
Perhaps I shouldn’t highlight this favorite of ours. It is out of print which is a huge bummer. I know. But I just can’t help myself! That is how much Bean and I love this board book. It may be harder to get your hands on this hidden gem, but if you can - whether you purchase a used copy or borrow it through your library - you won’t regret it!
It’s Useful to Have a Duck comes beautifully packaged in a blue and yellow slipcase. Already you can tell that this book is different. When you slide it out of its case, the book accordions out into a series of panels. Each simple line drawing is accompanied by straightforward descriptions of the boy’s interactions with his rubber ducky. “I use him for a hat. He can be a whistle of a straw.” With each illustration the readers is convinced of how useful a duck can be!
But this book is more than a quaint curiosity! On the opposite side you see the same simple line drawings but imposed on a blue background. What’s this? A second book entitled It's Useful to Have a Boy. It’s the same exchange but told from the perspective of the rubber duck. “I use his head to see the view and he gives me kisses.” Turns out it’s useful to have a boy too!
While it is fun for little uncoordinated hands to fiddle with this novel design, It’s Useful to Have a Duck truly shines as a tool for teaching littles to see things from another person’s perspective. To challenge developmentally appropriate narcissism in a playful way.
The only downside to this book – besides the fact that it is out of print – is the design. Yes, it is clever. Yes, it perfectly embodies the premise of the book. It is literally two sides to the same story. For what it is, the design is incredibly hardy. But it won’t be able to take as much unsupervised play as other board books. So keep this gem in reserve for story time.
It's Useful to Have a Duck by Isol is a book Bean and I can both agree on. It is a favorite for all time!
Run out and snag a copy of this gentle mind-bender!
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Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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