Lucky Ducklings (Hardcover)

By Eva Moore, Nancy Carpenter (Illustrator)

Orchard Books, 9780439448611, 32pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2013

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover, Korean (5/27/2013)

List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An engaging and charming true rescue story illustrated by a Christopher Award winner!

Early one morning, Mama Duck takes her babies for a walk. They follow safely behind her as they leave their pond, waddle through the park, and stop in the little sunlit town's parking lot for yummy breakfast.
But one by one, Mama's little ducklings get separated when they disappear into the slats of the town's storm drain. How three firemen and a pickup truck rush to their rescue makes for a vivid and exciting drama that children will return to over and over again.
Award-winning artist Nancy Carpenter and veteran author Eva Moore have created a delightful new classic with an inspiring environmental message.

About the Author

Eva Moore has been writing and editing children's books for more than forty years. She is the beloved author of many popular books, and lives in Montauk, New York.

Nancy Carpenter is the celebrated illustrator of more than thirty books for children. Her unique multimedia approach to illustration has garnered numerous honors, including two Christopher Awards and the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. Ms. Carpenter lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.

Praise For Lucky Ducklings

"Carpenter’s warm, retro spreads salute McCloskey in what might turn out to be this generation’s duckling rescue story. Seeing public officials put civic machinery to work to save baby animals is every bit as charming today as it was 70 years ago. “Help!” cries a woman who sees five pint-size ducklings follow their mother across a storm drain and disappear through the grate one by one. “Call the fire department!” Carpenter (Heroes of the Surf) supplies a ducklings’-eye view of their wait in the darkness as curious faces stare down at them. The firefighters can’t budge the drain cover, but a truck driver named Perry drags it off so they can free “Pippin, Bippin, Tippin, Dippin... and last of all, Little Joe,” who await their mother in a handy bucket of water. The rescue depicted actually took place on Long Island in 2000; Moore enlivens the account with engaging narrative devices, repeating the duckling’s rhyming names and punctuating the story with “Oh, dear! That could have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t.” It’s worthy of its predecessor, and a welcome sequel of sorts." - Publishers Weekly starred review

This stunning book depicts an incident that took place in Montauk, Long Island (NY). Mama Duckling swims to shore one day, followed by her five offspring: Pippin, Bippin, Tippin, Dippin, and Little Joe. (Guess who’s the one who lags behind to watch a butterfly or check out a big red berry.) The homey village seems like a fine place for a walk–but for diminutive ducklings, there are unforeseen hazards. Luckily, there are also watchful, resourceful villagers to rescue the little creatures when they all fall through a storm drain in the street. The language is melodic: “The Duck family lived in a pretty pond in a green, green park, in a sunlit little town at the end of a long, long island.” It’s dramatic: “Mama Duck came running after him. ‘Whack! Whack! Whack!’ she cried. ‘Bring my babies back!’” It’s comically suspenseful: “Oh, dear! That could have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t, because….” Carpenter, a gifted and powerfully versatile illustrator, fills the book with beauty, humor, and a delicious variety of perspectives. Her style here has a sweet old-fashioned spirit–a touch of Robert McCloskey, but more visually arresting. Writer and artist have conspired to give children a sure-to-be classic that they’re sure to love.– School Library Journal starred review, Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

Mama Duck and her little ducklings are headed off for a walk when an accident happens: as the ducklings follow their mother onto a paved street, one by one they fall through the openings in a storm drain grate. A witness calls the fire department, and Fireman Paul heads down into the drain and rescues each duckling. Fireman Joe is about to carry the babies off in a bucket, but Mama Duck makes such a fuss that Fireman Dennis stops traffic in order to allow Mama Duck to lead her ducklings across the road herself, and a happy ending finds Mama and babies safely back in their own pond in the park. Based on a real event that happened in Montauk, New York in 2000, Moore’s story is simply but dramatically told, and repetition of a few key phrases (“That could have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t, because . . .”) will help young listeners focus on the pivotal plot points. The satisfying storyline of a mother and babies separated and reunited is one to which many young children will easily relate, and the ducks themselves have enormous visual appeal. Carpenter’s illustrations, rendered in charcoal and digital media with a warm, earth-toned palette, are large and impressive in their artistry; the masterful compositions feature creative perspectives, peering up through the grate with the ducklings or looking down on their doomed trip across the grate. This makes a natural partner for Tafuri’s Have You Seen My Duckling? as well as a fine lead-in to the lengthier text of McCloskey’s classic Make Way for Ducklings.  JH - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review