Poignant, funny, with a deeper meaning

White Ravens award 2022

Duck’s Backyard

A very funny and philosophical illustrated chapter book by a bestselling author/illustrator pair about courage, true friendship and our most secret wishes, in which a lame duck takes a blind hen on a goose chase as they search for adventure and answers to some big questions.

A duck spends her days limping around her backyard with the help of a crutch until one day a blind hen stumbles in, lost, and persuades the duck to embark on an adventurous journey. The duck will guide the hen; the hen will steady the duck’s wobbly leg. They leave together for a place where their most secret wishes will come true. The pair come upon astonishing obstacles along the way—a wild forest, a cavernous gorge and many differences of opinion. The hen starts to wish she’d taken a guide dog rather than a duck! When the two finally arrive at their destination after all the hardships, they realize that their own backyard plus a little imagination offers as much adventure as a whole world.

From the author/illustrator pair of Meet at the Ark at Eight

“Delightful and deep.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

Written by Ulrich Hub, illustrated by Jörg Mühle and translated by Helena Kirkby.

Read the first chapter | Author Q&A | Look inside video | Author video

Ebook available wherever you buy your ebooks

  • Book Details

    Country of Origin Germany
    Reader Age 6-8 year, 8-12 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. White Ravens Award 2022

      The story of this mismatched couple is full of allusions, poignant, funny, with a deeper meaning, and – last but not least – visualised in Jörg Mühle’s trademark style with bold and dynamic lines!

  • Reviews

    1. National Library, Services to Schools

      Perseverance, friendship, and imagination at the core, this would make a great read-aloud.

    2. Omnilibros

      The book’s philosophical tone and sophisticated vocabulary make the book ideal for a range of readers.

    3. Read NZ Te Pou Muramura

      A gentle story for emergent readers who are looking for a step up into easier chapter books.

    4. Just Imagine

      This endearing tale of friendship would be a welcome addition to any classroom and a great read-aloud. On the one level, it can be enjoyed purely for its narrative and humour but there is also plenty of mileage in considering the philosophical debates that Duck and the chicken engage in.

    5. Readings Bookshops

      This bickering odd couple is absolutely hilarious, as they travel on their journey together, ready to give up at any moment. Funny and philosophical, this is a great chapter book.

    6. School Reading List

      Empowering, heartwarming and inspiring, this story will help children to set goals and believe.

    7. Bob’s Books Blog

      If you do not like this story then you are sick of life.

    8. Lancashire Evening Post

      This clever, captivating book speaks volumes to youngsters who like to play their own part at story time!

    9. Red Reading Hub

      A small piece of thought-provoking brilliance.

    10. Kids Book Buzz – Lydia aged 8

      The story is easy to understand and is a fun one to read with a good beginning, middle, and end that I didn’t see coming.

    11. What Book Next

      What a funny, wonderful, sweet and exciting book. Chicken and Duck are just like real kids, looking for adventures and finding out about each other on the way.

    12. Youth Services Book Review, starred review

      This story possesses a unique charm.

    13. Foreword Reviews

      Lyrical and rhythmic, this fast and urgent story is bold about examining the rocky parts of relationships, too.

    14. Kirkus Reviews

      This deceptively simple book’s philosophical tone and sophisticated vocabulary make it ideal for older, practiced, and thoughtful readers or listeners (it makes for a solid read-aloud, too).

Available worldwide from your local bookstore or online.

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