The Duck and the Darklings

Glenda Millard, Stephen Michael King

The Duck and the Darklings
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The Duck and the Darklings

Glenda Millard, Stephen Michael King

WINNER: 2016 WA Premier’s Book Awards, Children’s Books SHORT-LISTED: 2015 CBCA Picture Book of the Year SHORT-LISTED: 2015 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature Grandpapa’s eyes shine when he remembers the beauty of the world, long-ago. Peterboy wants to find something wonderful to bring the light to Grandpapa’s eyes and keep it there. What he finds is a duck, wounded and broken, and Grandpapa mends her from top to tail; quack, waddle and wing! The Duck and the Darklings is a triumphant story, for children and adults, about the coming of hope in dark days, the warmth of friendship and the splendour of a new dawn. Selected by the International Youth Library as a White Raven 2015 book.


Glenda Millard’s stories have a poetic sensibility and show a tender, sincere respect for people and animals alike.

In a dark, troubled place, Peterboy wants to bring light and good memories to his grandpapa, but their world is a harsh one. One day the boy finds an ailing duck and though his grandpapa warns him not to get too fond of her, soon the simple creature brings them joy, making the dark more bearable. Grandpapa tells the duck stories of a time when life was bright and beautiful, hoping she will be happy to stay with them, but the wind whispers her name and her wings yearn to fly. Peterboy and Grandpapa realise that they must set the duck free, but feel gratitude for the hope and courage she brought, which helped them to see their world in a more positive light.

Stephen Michael King’s whimsical illustrations lovingly bring this story to life. For ages 3 and up.

Alexa Dretzke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Hawthorn.

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