Picture Book Snob
The importance of being kind to yourself
The Terrible Duckodile by Darren Blunden and Adam Brown
The Terrible Duckodile is an interesting exploration of the importance of being true to yourself and not letting the actions of others change you. After being ridiculed by cruel geese for peacefully picking flowers, Duck vows to change. He creates a deadly disguise to terrify anyone who dares to mock him. Duck makes a crocodile suit and with fresh confidence, parades around his neighbourhood wearing it. His fearsome costume also affects Duck’s behaviour, and he ends up alienating those close to him and feeling more alone than ever. Luckily, Duck’s friends don’t abandon him and instead help him to appreciate how wonderful he is.
With a lively, rhyming text and colourful, animated illustrations, this gently teaches children about the impact of bullying in an entertaining and memorable way. We learn that we should do what we want as long as it doesn’t harm others, and why we should never feel ashamed of who we are. By creating the concept of a duckodile, the narrative takes a clever and unusual approach. The story also introduces a host of endearing characters; in addition the charming Duck, we meet all his adorable pals. Readers will empathise with Duck on every step of his journey and enjoy witnessing his true transformation to a place of self-belief. The Terrible Duckodile demonstrates why we should always be kind, not just to others but also to ourselves.
About the author: Darren Blunden started his literary life during a bedtime chat with his two little girls. Animals were mixed up, crazy rhymes were created and much giggling ensued. When the laughter had settled and calm had been restored, the Duckodile stood tall. So began both of their stories.
About the illustrator: Adam Brown has been drawing since he was a boy, building a world of imagination one illustration at a time; using his surroundings and memories as his main inspiration. Adam's first step into children's book illustration was inspired by his son and realised through new friends - Darren and the Duckodile.
A huge thanks to author Darren Blunden for sending us a gift of this book in exchange for an honest review – all opinions expressed are my own.
The Terrible Duckodile was published in October 2020 by Olympia– see this book on the publisher’s website