by Author/Illustrator Julia Woolf
The Duck and Penguin stories are about best friends Betty and Maud and their favourite toys Duck and Penguin.
The girls love each other but Duck and Penguin don’t really get on.
‘Duck and Penguin Are NOT Friends’ is based on my experience when my daughter first started at primary school. While waiting at the school gates to pick her up at the end of the day, I started to get to know the other parents and as the weeks went on I struck up some good friendships, and of course, play-dates would be arranged for the children.
But the awkward moment arrived while having a nice chat and a cuppa with another mum, and then hearing the kids arguing and not getting on at all. So while I’d be having a lovely time, my daughter wasn’t exactly having fun.
This didn’t just happen to me, there were a few parents that found themselves in this situation, where the adults got on and the children didn’t.
It wasn’t always bad news for my daughter as she had plenty of play-dates where she had a grand time.
So, Betty and Maud are like the mum’s and Duck and Penguin are the children.
But in the book Duck and Penguin do find common ground and do manage to have a giggle together.
It’s about friendship and how one day you’re not that keen on someone and they get on your nerves and the next day you might really enjoy each other’s company. Friendships aren’t always an instant thing and it takes time to get to know one another.
‘Duck and Penguin Do NOT Like Sleepovers’ was great fun to put the characters in a new scenario and setting and see how they would react to a new situation.
Betty and Maud are having a sleepover in a tent in the garden.
The girls are beyond excited but Duck and Penguin aren’t too sure.
One reason is because they have to spend the whole night together in a teeny weeny tiny tent.
Of course, as a child the idea of sleeping in a tent in the garden is very exciting, but in reality, sleeping in a house in your own bed can be more appealing after lying in a tent hearing the amplified noises of the night or the discomfort of sleeping on the ground.
Betty and Maud desert Duck and Penguin because they need to go to the toilet. Having been left in the tent together, Duck and Penguin decide to venture out into the unknown to try and find their own way back to the house, but they get lost and scared by the strange noises of various creatures. Finding themselves in a scary situation they realize they need and are glad of each other’s company.
Again Duck and Penguin find common ground where they can be friends.
The endpapers in both books are like a before and after of each story, which always ends with a good giggle between the toys.
Hopefully there will be more adventures with Duck and Penguin to share as I have plenty of fun ideas for these two cheeky characters.
Resources relating to Duck and Penguin can be found as part of the Andersen Press Summer Staycation Activity Pack, which you can access here – including a competition to win all of the books featured too.
Any opinions expressed may not truly reflect those of the FCBG.