Dream it. Do it.: A Review of ‘Duck on a Bike’

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

Reading Level

PreK-2, 3-5          [Scholastic – reflects the grade level at which a student reading on grade could read the book independently]

Grader K-1           [common core]

2.0                        [AR]

Review and Comments

If you are looking for an engaging and entertaining book, Duck on a Bike is a good choice.  The story is about an eager duck who decides to try his skill at riding a bike.  At first he struggles a bit, but it doesn’t take long before he is able to ride the bike all around the farm.  He passes ten farm friends along the way and greets each one with a very friendly hello.  The animals reply and then express personal observations about seeing Duck on a bike.  These remarks range from Duck being a silly duck, to a concern for his safety, and then even a bit of jealousy. Then, a surprising opportunity presents itself when the animals see eight bikes parked beside a house.  They seize the moment and ride the bikes. (Mouse has to hitch a ride with another animal of course, and the pigs happily ride a tandem bike.)  They finally understand the joy Duck experienced on his earlier ride.

This book will become a favorite story for a young audience because Duck is a very likeable character, and young readers will find the text easy enough to have fun expressively reading the voices of all the farm animals. The large, colorful illustrations in this book are wonderful. Each animal’s individual personality is portrayed perfectly.  I’m sure readers and parents will definitely want to take their time examining all the details in the pictures.

Possible Concerns

There are no concerns with this book.

Further Discussion

Introduce anthropomorphism: animals are given human characteristics and behave as if they are human.

  1. The animals talk.
  2. They show emotion and have opinions.
  3. The animals ride bikes.

Make simple stick puppets of the main characters and retell the story.

Create a flow chart showing the order of animals Duck passes. [This diagram helps put information in chronological order.  It is usually connected with lines or arrows.]

  1. Use a poster or large piece of paper.
  2. There are 10 animals, but the 2 pigs will be considered one. Draw 9 boxes with a space between each. Draw arrows between the boxes – each arrow pointing to the next box until all boxes are included.
  3. Draw a simple picture of the animals in the boxes in the order of their appearance in the story.
  4. Use the flow chart to retell the story.

Make a match game.

  1. Write the name of each animal and the comments made by each animal on individual cards. The character cards should be one color and the comments should be another color.
  2. There are several ways to play a match game using these cards
    1. Turn the cards over so the words are concealed. Pick up an animal card and a comment card and see if they match.  If they match the player keeps them and the next player has a turn.
    2. Read a comment card to the child. The child holds up the animal card or the puppet that corresponds to the comment, or read an animal name and the child reads the comment.

Practice reading with expression.

  1. Use the comment cards from the match game. Practice reading each comment in several ways by practicing pitch, pace, volume, and tone. This can be recorded and used for reviewing the story and assessment.
  2. Try a reader’s theater based on Duck on a Bike.  You can find a good one here.

Alphabetical order

  1. Divide a paper in half. In the first column, write the names of the animals in the story.  In the second column, put the animal names in alphabetical order.

Try this 6-Traits of Writing Lesson for Duck on a Bike. [I am a proponent of the 6-Traits of Writing  program.  I have seen it motivate and creatively teach children the skills of writing.]

  1. This site has a very good lesson.  http://writingfix.com/Picture_Book_Prompts/DuckBike3.htm


Catholic Resources:

[The characters in the book take or “borrow” the children’s bikes in order to enjoy a ride on a bike.] This is a good opportunity to talk about asking permission before borrowing anything, and discussing the seventh commandment.

A few of the animals’ comments are not very nice. Discuss jealousy.

  1. “Another name for jealousy is envy.  It is a sadness or discontent at the excellence, good fortune, or success of another person. It implies that one considers oneself somehow deprived by what one envies in another or even that an injustice has been  “ https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=33338