Duck, apple, egg by Glenda Millard

cover image

Illus. by Martina Heiduczek. ABC Books 2020. ISBN: 9780733340185. 24pp.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Widely respected Australian writer Glenda Millard well known for her middle school novels, especially the wonderful Kingdom of Silk series, has worked with illustrator Martina Heiduczek to create a picture book that celebrates a child's imaginative life in his sprawling backyard. It is a lovely sunny day and the scene is set for some playing with words.
'Duck on the green, sun in the sky, egg in the nest, apple on the tree and me', is repeated through the picture book but with slight variations, making the reader watch carefully to see where the duck, apple and egg are placed as they turn the pages. The changes ensure that children will take note of the way words can be used to create a different scene.
Martina Heiduczek works with layers of scanned material, coloured pencils, water colours and gouache and here she creates a very European scene with its vistas of green grass and trees, stone walls, box style house and apple trees, the meadow with its patches of naturalised flowers. The endpapers display the different things found in the book: a duck, flowers and butterflies, a lot of eggs, and apples for readers to count. Young children will enjoy discovering the different places where the duck, the egg, the apple and the child turn up, satisfied at the end when he eats his apple pie under the tree. But who made the pie? Eager eyes will find images of an old fashioned Mum in the background. Themes: Farms, Apples, Word play, Childhood.
Fran Knight