Written and Illustrated by David Shannon
The Blue Sky Press, 2002
One day down on the farm, Duck got a wild idea. “I bet I could ride a bike!” he thought.
The plot in a nutshell: Duck rides a bike past all the barnyard animals, who have differing opinions on his escapades
Duck gets the idea to ride a bike, climbs on and starts pedaling. As he rides around the farmyard, he says hello to all the other animals and they respond back with their particular animal sound, but the narrative tells us what they are actually thinking. Some think he is silly and others envy him. Some are impressed and others worry about his safety. A bunch of kids ride up on bikes, in so much of a hurry that they don’t see Duck. They go into the farmhouse and leave their bikes outside. The farm animals eye the bikes for a moment and then they all grab bikes and ride around the farm.
This is a book for kids who love silly ideas, since there are few ideas sillier than farm animals riding around on bikes. But it’s also a book for dreamers, since Duck doesn’t let the silliness of the situation or the opinions of others stop him from doing what he enjoys. Author/illustrator David Shannon tells the story through brightly colored full page illustrations that show us each animal’s reaction. The cat, for example, looks uninterested and the chicken looks panicked. I like that each animal’s reaction seems to fit the personality type commonly associated with that animal. Duck and his friends show up again in Mr. Shannon’s follow-up book, Duck and the Book.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that those around you may all have different opinions on what you’re doing, but the most important opinion is your own.