Abby is desperate for a pet. Her parents insist on living in a tiny and calm house. Most pets are definitely not tidy-dogs chew to many things, cats claw too many things. Even goldfish are turned down because of how they stare when they swim (or so Abby’s mother says). The only way Abby ever gets a pet is when it’s temporary like last year when the class rabbit spent the night. The rabbit didn’t like Abby’s trampoline at all, but it was still better than no pet at all.
Mrs. Melvino, Abby’s new teacher, has a class pet too. It’s one Abby would love to take home. Max looks like a lot more fun than something that needs things to be nice and quiet. He roams around during class, sometimes tugging on a shoelace or sitting on the kids’ feet. He looks like the perfect temporary pet even if he doesn’t come when he is called. Max isn’t a hamster, a rabbit or a guinea pig. He’s not a dog or a cat either. Max is a duck.
When Abby’s classmate asks if students can take Max home, Mrs. Melvino explains there won’t be a class rotation. For Max to go home with a student that student has to meet the duck’s demands. He can’t go anywhere cats live or where there are ferrets. The yard must be secure and there has to be an aquatic environment for Max.
Abby and her classmates start planning. They offer plan after to plan to their teacher only to have them turned down. Swimming pools are definitely out. A bathtub won’t work for overnight. Abby changes her plan again and again, trying to earn a chance to take Max home while her neighbor Noah is also fighting to get Max to his home.
This is a funny early chapter book with great comic relief provided by Max, the duck with the brown speckled feathers and smooth orange beak. Abby and Noah’s antagonism as they compete to earn Max feels very real and I liked how they had to come to work together in this book. The sketches throughout the book are lighthearted. Duck for a Day would be an entertaining addition to any children’s collection.
This book was originally published in Australia and will be released in the U.S. on Febraury 28, 2012. I read a copy of this book through NetGalley.