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I'm A Duck!
written and illustrated by Teri Sloat
Putnam, 2006


Dallas Morning News: “…by some magnificent stroke of good luck, I’m a duck!” And this feisty little duck really means it! He loves his wings and flying, his webbed feet and the way he can quack. As this duck grows, he things nothing in his life could be better until the day another duck lands in the water next to him- a beautiful girl! “There’s a strut in my waddle now. I’ve got a wife! I tell you this girl has changed my whole life.”
Told in rhyme, this charming and heart-felt story will have young readers feeling warm all over.

Kirkus: “Duck?/Yup, you’re a duck!/ I’m a duck. Yup, by some magnificent stroke of good luck, I’m a duck!” An exuberant duckling is amazed at all the wonderful aspects of duck-ness. He can quack. He has webbed feet that leave little tracks. He has wings that can flap. He can fly! Then he meets another duck, and she’s a girl. More good luck! They have ten eggs. And from those ten eggs come ten more ducks! Imagine the luck. The only thing he likes more than being a duck is being a dad. Sloat has created an energetic celebration of self that just happens to be peopled by ducks. The rhymng texts flows alongside the glowing pastel illustrations. The expressive duck family is portrayed with an excellent mix of naturalism and anthropomorphism. Who knew a duck’s bill could smile so? Storytimers will wish they to were ducks.

Booklist: Compressing a lot of growing up into a few pages, Sloat offers young “ducklings” a healthy dose of self-esteem as well as a way to connect with their fathers. With unconcealed delight, a hatchling discovers his healthy identity…..Then, fast-forwarding, he meets a female and later witnesses the arrival of the next generation. Finally as he paddles with 10 fuzzy new arrivals, the proud papa proclaims, “Of all the magnificent luck that I’ve had, nothing beats being a duck and a … Dad!” Illustrated with cozy wetland scenes and vignettes in rick greens and yellows, this has a child-friendly look but seems addressed as much to parents—particularly dads—as to kids.

About the Book

This book was a gift from a proud, happy mallard that was parading back and forth in front of several of us at the bus stop in Rohnert Park. I was waiting for a ride to the airport for a conference and wishing I had just sold a story. The duck was so happy with himself that he seemed to say, “Just lighten up and enjoy all the good things in your life!” I felt like he was talking to me. He also was saying, “ Be happy with yourself like I am and people will be happy with you.” Besides, as we stood there watching him, there was a hen with her ducklings in the pond at the golf course near by. I’m sure they were his family.

When I write I love to find out all the facts about the things I’m writing about. I studied mallard ducks, how long it took them to learn how to fly, how many eggs in a nest, and how a mallard flirts with a hen. If you want to know how amazing ducks can be, check out the QUACK FACTS under fun and games!

Teacher Activities

Have students create a flyway in the room with all the different ducks that there are. Find out how far they can fly without stopping.

Have students create their own books of feeling good…I’m A Kid!

Mallards from areas that turn cold in the winter migrate south. Set up a bulletin board with silhouettes of ducks flying and cartoon balloons. Make up conversations and dialogues that the ducks might be having while they are up in the area. Remember it’s a long trip for some of them.

Make nests for other migrating birds fill them with eggs with facts about the birds written on them.

Do counting and math activities based on QUACK FACTS (click for visual):


Ducks get their flight feathers at 2 months.

Male ducks are drakes and they have curled tail feathers.

Mallards are dabbling ducks.

Mallards migrate in pairs.

Mallard eggs are white to dull green.

Females lay 8-15 eggs in a nest.

Ducklings have a sharp tip on their beak to help them break their shells.

Baby ducklings are not fed by their parents. After 48 hours they are led
to water to find mosquitoes and larvae.

Males trample the grass, but females gather moss and feather the nest
with their own feathers to keep their eggs warm.

Mallards live 7-8 years.

Mallards are semi-nocturnal. They sleep most of the day, and start eating
in the evening.

Mallards will nest anywhere...under tree roots, bursh heaps, in the middle
of a briar patch, on floating logs, in trampled grass.

Mallards eat frogs, small fish, bugs, wheat, barley, underwater plants,
peas, flowers, snails....yuk!

Mallards must watch out for owl, hawks, eagles, big fish, mink, otter,
skunks, possums, snakes and crows like to steal their eggs!

© Teri Sloat 2006