Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: Ducktails

Ducktails. Janette Oke. 1985. Bethany House. 144 pages. [Source: Childhood Copy]

Ducktails was the only book in this series by Janette Oke that I remembered decades later. It is narrated by a newly hatched duck, Quackery; the book follows his life for the first year. Readers meet Quackery, his mother and father, his brothers and sisters. The most memorable character, perhaps, is the obviously disobedient duck named Zachary. As a parable, I have a few tiny issues with the book. There was one scene in particular that forced things way too far: comparing the farmer who owned the farm, and "owned" all the animals on the farm, to God. Quackery, I believe, is asking why the farmer doesn't try to interact with them and tell them what to do. And his mother tells him the farmer is all about letting each animal make his or her choices. It just felt awkward. The big message of Ducktails is simple: be obedient, stay safe, or else you'll end up suffering the consequences. Zachary's fate is certain but not described for readers.

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