On the surface it’s a cute story about a duckling who doesn’t want to get wet–until he tries swimming and finds out that he likes it.
The kindergartners enjoyed helping me complete the rhyming couplets, and both they and nine-year-old Tina lit up when they saw the photos.
But I think that for those of us who write books for children, it’s much more than a cute, beautifully illustrated story. Author Susan Lurie says, “I fell in love with this little duck the moment I saw him in Murray Head’s photograph. He looked determined and defiant, and I recognized that look. . . . And that is where the story starts.”
From the photographer: “Take the time to know the subjects, focus only on them, be patient, and don’t intrude.”
The ducks are not forced to do anything uncomfortable or unusual; I see little sign of stress or human interference in the photos. Rather, the story is superimposed on pictures of ducks doing their thing in their natural habitat. This gives us not only an interesting writing challenge, but a lesson on using nature for our own creations without causing discomfort.
I plan to build May’s alphabet book around the pictures, but had not thought of using nature photos this way.
Do you see elements of nature you could use to produce a picture book?