Let me begin by saying that Janette Oke is one of my all-time favorite authors. Everything she writes is full of heart, genuine, and worth reading many times over. The same is true for Ducktails, one of the books in her Classic Children’s Story series for children ages eight and older. A tale of family and friendship, of rebellion and real consequences, this book is thoroughly entertaining even as it broadens a child’s mind to consider the cost of foolishly rejecting the wisdom of his parents. The story is narrated by the main character, a duckling named Quackery, who must make the choice of either listening to and heeding the words of his parents or risk his life by rejecting them as his brother and friend urge him to do. I can still remember how I felt the first time I read this book many years ago. I was so worried for Quackery, sharing in his concern over his wayward brother.
Don’t misunderstand me; while parts of this story are rather sobering, there are a great deal of lighthearted descriptions of the newly hatched ducklings that will brighten the reader’s countenance. There are even a few silly moments within the pages, and throughout the book you’ll find beautifully drawn black and white illustrations by the very talented Brenda Mann.
Though told through the perspective of a young duck, this book still rings true to one of Janette Oke’s greatest strengths: her knowledge and understanding of real life, and her ability to convey that understanding to her readers through an enjoyable story. Ducktails (and the other books in this series) would be a valuable addition to your family’s home library.