Early Readers – Ducks in Muck

Ducks are happily playing in muck when trucks come by and cage them. But all is not lost: the trucks get stuck in the muck, and more ducks unlock the doors on the cages. All ends well for the ducks.

This is an Early Step Into Reading book. The reading level is extremely simple. There are rarely more than six words on a page, and quite often there are only one or two words on each page. Other than the words “more, in, good-bye, what” every word ends in “uck” Almost all of the sentences are incomplete, obviously done consciously to make the text simpler. The text is black, and superimposed over the colored background.

The illustrations are very bright, done in a broad style. Because the text is so very simple, the illustrations carry much of the plot forward. For instance, the statement “Ducks in trucks” does not carry much information; it is the picture of a man putting unhappy-looking ducks into cages in the trucks that tells the real story. While the body language of the ducks is not very clear (a wide open beak appears to signify both anger and delight), the body language of the humans in the story is very expressive.

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