Cover image for One duck stuck
One duck stuck
Root, Phyllis.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 25 x 28 cm
In this counting book, increasingly larger groups of animals try to help a duck that is stuck in the sleepy, slimy marsh.
Reading Level:
210 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.4 0.5 59438.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.5 1 Quiz: 08656.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Exuberant rhythms and vibrant illustrations in a one-of-a-kind counting book!

One duck is stuck in the muck. Can two fish, tails going swish, help? What about three moose, munching on spruce? Will four crickets, chirping in the thickets, be able to pull the unlucky duck out of the muck? With bright, spirited illustrations by Jane Chapman, this counting tale by Phyllis Root is a feast of sounds and numbers that will have young listeners scrambling to join the slippy, sloppy fun.

Author Notes

Phllis Root is the author of over forty books, almost all of them picture books, both fiction and non-fiction. Her middle grade novel, Lilly and the Pirates, is currently under contract. Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble won the Minnesota Book Award, and Big Momma Makes the World won the Boston Globe Horn Book Award. Root was awarded a 2006 McKnight Fellowship for her book, Lucia and the Light. She has taught at the Loft, in the Complete and Practical Scholar program at the University of Minnesota, and in Vermont College's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-6. "One duck gets stuck in the muck, down by the deep green marsh," and "two fish, tails going swish," try unsuccessfully to help. So do three moose, four crickets, and so on, until all the animals team up to successfully liberate the duck. Perfect for reading aloud, this counting book not only contains bright bold illustrations but also has lots of "clomp, clomp" and "splish, splish," as well as other sound effects that children will love to replicate. In addition, little ones will quickly recognize the refrain on each double spread and chime in. This book is great fun and sure to become an instant favorite among the toddler crowd. (Reviewed April 1, 1998)0763603341Helen Rosenberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Just as the title of this satisfying counting book says, there's one duck stuck (in the muck, as it turns out). Different groups of marshland creatures, from two fish to 10 dragonflies, appear with an offer of help. Each arrival is described with verbal relish: "Nine snakes/ leaving little wakes/ slither to the duck./ Slink, slink." However, no matter what the number or the species, the result is the same: the duck stays stuck. Root's (Mrs. Potter's Pig) wordplay finds an effective visual counterpart in Chapman's (Dora's Eggs) full-bleed gouaches. The illustrator revels in juxtaposing strong colors, so that the hues in her palette pop with a primary-like brightness. But the book does suffer from a major leap in logic: it's never clear how the animals tried to use their distinctive talents in their failed attempts to free the duck. When they all finally gather to effect a joint rescue effort, nothing happens except a recap of the funny noises they make; on the penultimate spread, the duck simply steps out of the goo with a "Spluck!" Will children wonder why the duck didn't extract itself earlier? Probably notÄthey'll be too enchanted by Chapman's vibrant pictures and the immensely satisfying sounds and rhythms of Root's text. Ages 2-5. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1ÄThis colorful counting book tells the tale of a poor duck that has one foot "stuck in the muck." In quick succession, groups of different animals try to set the victim free-two fish, three moose, four crickets, etc. None of the creatures is successful until they all work together and the beleaguered bird is finally able to fly away. Bold, playful, gouache paintings featuring bright rich colors show the bird's plight. The duck's frustration, surprise, and ultimate delight are evident in the expressive artwork. Unfortunately, the repetitive narrative is not as effective. The sentences are long and the rhyme is sometimes forced ("Nine snakes/leaving little wakes/slither to the duck./Slink, slink"). Still, a skilled reader may be able to transform this into a rollicking read-aloud and the illustrations will carry well in a group setting. Children will be eager to repeat the chant, "Help! Help! Who can help?"ÄHeide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.