BooksForKidsBlog

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Power to the Poultry: Duck for President (2008) by Doreen Cronin

Just when we thought we might get a respite from bumper stickers, yard signs, and knocks at the door from bright-eyed be-buttoned canvassers! But no! Duck is back, in a refurbished, election-year edition, to make another run at the Oval Office in Doreen Cronin's classic, Duck for President.

Duck has had it with slaving away at his chores (lawn mowing and coffee grinding) on the farm. UP go the signs!

FARMER BROWN MUST GO!
VOTE DUCK FOR A KINDER, GENTLER FARM!

After a recount the vote is certified: DUCK 21, FARMER BROWN 6--and Duck is officially in charge.

But it doesn't take long for Duck to realize that running a farm is hard work, so he decides to find an easier elected office, and up go the signs again.

DUCK FOR GOVERNOR!

Then DUCK finds out that all governors do is listen to complaints. Up the signs go.
DUCK FOR PRESIDENT, 2008.

After all, what electorate can resist a slogan like "A FRESH BILL FOR CAPITOL HILL."

After a tough campaign, Duck moves into the White House, where things really get hairy for our feathered friend. This is the worst job in the world (and very hard work), and after deep thought in the Oval Office, Duck picks up the want ads and finds the perfect job for an ex-President:

DUCK NEEDED. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.
MUST BE ABLE TO MOW THE LAWN AND GRIND COFFEE BEANS.


Duck turns the country over to the Vice-President, returns to the farm, and, between taking a turn at grass cutting and coffee grinding, begins to work very hard on his memoirs.

Backing up Cronin's clever text, Betsy Lewin has a (inaugural) ball with the illustrations here, showing Duck in all the familiar past President poses--Richard Nixon, FDR, and, in that famous rear view of the President wearily leaning over his desk in the Oval Office, JFK. She even makes a sly visual reference to their earlier Caldecott Honor book on the final page, where we see Duck writing his memoir on his PC, while the old black manual typewriter from their hit book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type lies discarded in the trash can beside him. It's a light-hearted look at how everyone's favorite poultry politician Peter Principles his way right to the top and back to his historic retirement at the ranch, and it's the perfect election-year read-aloud for the picture book crowd.

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3 Comments:

  • Guess you could say things turned out just ducky

    By Blogger KG2V, at 11:58 PM  

  • So the message of Duck is that the jobs of president and governor are too hard and no fun, so don't bother trying to achieve enough to deserve them?

    Thank you, no.

    I will teach my children that high level executive jobs demanding responsibility and personal integrity are worth doing, and worth doing well, because they benefit large numbers of people when done correctly by strong people. My children will not grow up to be silly ducks.

    By Anonymous Mikee, at 1:01 PM  

  • Dear Mikee,

    The message of Duck for President is that if you seek only ease and power, don't run for public office. You don't have the right stuff for the job and will look like a birdbrain as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:42 PM  

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