10 Little Rubber Ducks

Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
HarperCollins, 2005

You know all about my TRACKING TRASH, and yesterday you heard about Eve Bunting’s DUCKY. Today I will tell you about the third “tub toy spill” book on the market … Eric Carle’s 10 LITTLE RUBBER DUCKS. I am proud of the fact that the great Mr. Carle and I were inspired by the same story, and that we both chose to tell the story to children. Of course, our approaches are very different.

10 LITTLE RUBBER DUCKS is written for a young audience, 4 to 8 year-olds. It depicts a simplified version of the tub toy story, following the ducks from manufacture, to cargo ship, to ocean spill. Once they are set adrift, Mr. Carle uses the ducks to teach readers about ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc) and direction (north, south, up, down, etc). In each spread, the ducks encounter a new animal depicted in Carle’s well-known collage style. As if all these devices were not enough to keep readers entranced, the book ends with a “Quack!” … produced when the reader presses one of the ducks on the final page.

Like all Eric Carle’s books, the art is superb. It is vibrant and fun and uniquely Eric Carle. I hope TRACKING TRASH will be vibrant and fun, too … and uniquely Loree Burns. There is room for both versions on the shelf, I think.


ps. Remember the kids I visited last week to talk about my work as a writer? Well, they sent me the most adorable Thank You cards. What a hoot! Here are a few of my favorites:

“Dear Mrs. Burns, I learned that you make lots of mistakes. Thank you for visiting. From, Erica.”

“Dear Mrs. Burns, You are a good book writer. It was nice to meet you! Thank you for the notebook. From, Zack”

“Dear Mrs. Burns, Thank you for coming in and for the notebook. I will find those ducks for you. From, Neil P.S. I’ve written eight books.”

“Dear Mrs. Burns, Thanks for coming in. I had fun listening to you talk about your job. I hope I become a writer like you when I’m older. I also appreciate that you followed my idea to give us those notebooks. When your book comes out I’m going to buy a copy. Love, Ben” (This one is my son! And the notebooks WERE his idea.)

How can you not LOVE first graders?