Duck On A Bike

by David Shannon, Illustrated By David Shannon

The Blue Sky Press
April 2002

Ages 4 – 8 . Grades PreK – 3

Library of Congress: 2001035992

Lexile measure: AD440L

DRA: 16

Guided Reading: J



One day down on the farm, Duck got a wild idea. "I bet I could ride a bike," he thought. He waddled over to where the boy parked his bike, climbed on and began to ride. At first he rode slowly and he wobbled a lot, but it was fun! Duck rode past Cow and waved to her. "Hello, Cow!" said Duck. "Moo," said Cow. But what she thought was, "A duck on a bike? That's the silliest thing I've ever seen!"
And so Duck rides past sheep, horse, and all the other barnyard animals. Suddenly, a group of kids ride by on their bikes and run into the farmhouse, leaving the bikes outside. Now ALL the animals can ride bikes, just like Duck!
David Shannon

David Shannon is the internationally acclaimed creator of more than 30 picture books, including No, David!, a Caldecott Honor Book and his second New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and four more David picture books. Shannon's bestsellers include A Bad Case of Stripes, Duck on a Bike, and Too Many Toys. His most recent book was the New York Times bestseller Grow Up, David!. He lives in Southern California with his family and Roy, their West Highland White Terrier.


  • Shannon serves up a sunny blend of humor and action in this delightful tale of a Duck who spies a red bicycle one day and gets a wild idea." Sure enough, in no time flat, he's tooling around the farmyard. A succession of his barnyard friends greet him politely enough, but their private responses range from scornful ("That's the silliest thing I've ever seen” from Cow) to boastful ("You're still not as fast as me,”' from Horse) to wistful ("I wish I could ride a bike just like Duck,” from Mouse). Then a herd of kids rides down the road in a blur of dust; they park their bikes and head indoors. A wordless spread records the sublime moment when the animals all gather with identical wide-eyed looks and sly smiles: Readers can almost see what they're thinking, and sure enough, the next spread shows them all zipping around on bikes, with Duck in the lead. Shannon makes the most of awkward appendages on wheels and handlebars, and deftly balances clean compositions with just the right amount of detail. Varying perspectives--including the chicken's-eye- view of Duck's bike wheel looming large- provide plenty of good-natured dash. Add to all this the abundant opportunity for youngsters to chime in with barnyard responses ("M-o-o-o"; "Cluck! Cluck!"), and the result is one swell read-aloud, packed with free- wheeling fun.
    --Publishers Weekly, Dec. 17th 2001

    Grab your funny bone--Shannon (The Shark God, 2001, etc.) rides again! Rather his Duck does, when one day on the farm, he gets a wild idea that he can ride a bike. After the first wobbles, Duck sails past Cow, Sheep, Dog, Cat, Horse, Chicken, Goat, Pig, and Mouse. The oversized animals' reactions range from "How silly" to "Show off" to "Wish I could ride!" Then a bunch of kids come riding down the farm road and park their bikes beside the house and go inside. The next double spread shows the animals staring ahead with gleeful expressions, like a light bulb lighting up--and readers will know immediately what comes next. The scene of all the animals gaily pedaling bikes is hilarious. And when they put them back no one knows that 11 farm animals had ever been on a bike. Brightly colored illustrations display a front now, big-screen point of view with bits of images running off the edges of the spread. The in-your-face perspective of the action punctuates the comedy and the page design is ingenious. Even the end page humorously poses the next challenge for Duck--a tractor. The body language of Duck on the bike looks nothing but plausible. A "quackerjack" of a terrific escapade.
    --Kirkus Reviews, Jan. 15, 2002 starred review

    One day, Duck gets an idea: "I bet I could ride a bike." And as thought is father to action, he is soon teetering aournd the farm on a bycicle. He rides past the animals, each with its own thgouths about bike riding: the cow thinks it's silly; the sheep is sure Duck will hurt himself; Dog considers it a neat trick; the cat can't be bothered. On a more personal not, the horse is sure he's faster than the bike, and the goat would like to eat it. Then some kids park their bikes near the house, and the animals suddenly become a lot more interested in bike riding: they jump on and take a spin around the yard. The double-page spread of the cow, pig, horse, et. al. pedaling away (some looking particularly fetching in helmets) is worth the price of the book. In fact, this whole bright book is tons of fun. The oversize format nicely accommodates Shannon's sly art, which fills up the pages. Each animal has a distinctive expression that can be easily seen by kids in the back row at story hour--the perfect place to share this exuberant piece.
    --Booklist, Feb. 15th 2002, starred review

    "One day down on the farm, Duck got a wild idea,” which prompts him to pick up a bike that's been left in the barnyard and start to ride. Along the way, he encounters various animals, each of whom responds wi



Jacketed Hardcover / Smyth

ISBN: 9780439050234

40pp. | 8-½ x 11