Synopses & Reviews
Theodora is a perfectly normal duck. She may swim with a teacup balanced on her head and stay north when the rest of the ducks fly south for the winter, but there's nothing so odd about that. Chad, on the other hand, is one strange bird. Theodora quite likes him, but she can't overlook his odd habits. It's a good thing Chad has a normal friend like Theodora to set a good example for him. But who exactly is the odd duck here? Theodora may not like the answer. Sara Varon (Robot Dreams) teams up with Cecil Castellucci (Grandma's Gloves) for a gorgeous, funny, and heartwarming examination of the perils and pleasures of friendship. A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013
"Castellucci's comics-style chapter book explores a misfit friendship with lots of help from Varon's bubbly, lighthearted artwork. 'Feathers not well-oiled!' shouts a caption balloon, reflecting Theodora Duck's alarm about her hipstery new neighbor, Chad, as she stands over him, 'welcome' cake in hand. Chad also makes strange sculptures, has multicolored feathers, and scratches himself with a fork. But after an invitation ('Would you like to look through my telescope?') and a revelation ('She had never looked so closely at a star'), Theodora discovers that Chad makes a good companion. Varon (Robot Dreams) has fun contrasting Theodora's prissy femininity with Chad's slovenliness. When a chance remark from a bystander leads to a rift (which of them is the 'odd duck'?), Castellucci (The Year of the Beasts) handles Theodora's remorse and the friends' reconciliation with humor and insight. It's more of a rom-com than a story about juvenile friendship, but silly details like Theodora's swimming posture exercises ('Teacup did not fall once! A new personal best!'), the ducks' ridiculously stringy arms and legs, and the careful avoidance of mush will click with the book's audience. Ages 6 up. Author's agent: Kirby Kim, William Morris Endeavor." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Varons gentle art and Castelluccis nuanced writing combine in a sweet, quiet tale that celebrates the joys of being unique." -- Booklist
* "This clever celebration of individuality delights." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A lively friendship story that shows its more fun to be different than “normal,” and most fun of all to be different with a buddy." -- The Horn Book
* "Warm and with solid insight into the nature of quirk, this title will amuse most readers, and it may be a welcome balm for those who feel a bit different." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"Middle-graders on the verge of dog-eat-dog adolescence may find the idea of oddball pals sticking together a bolstering and affirmative one; the quirky tale may also serve as a nice prompt for a class discussion of friendship or idiosyncratic behavior." -- BCCB
What can you do with . . .
a dried-up watering hole,
and a thunderstorm?
Just ask Mac and Will! When these unlikely friends fun plans go awry, they show how a day of unexpected ups and downs can still be a perfect dayall it takes is a little imagination.
The stars of Bad Apple, A Tale of Friendship are back, making new friends by looking on the bright side.
About the Author
Cecil Castellucci's books include Boy Proof (Candlewick, 2005), The Plain Janes (Minx/DC Comics, 2007), and The Year of the Beasts (Roaring Brook, 2012). She collaborated with artist Sara Varon on Odd Duck, a graphic novel for young readers. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books and a two time Macdowell Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.
Originally from the Chicago area, Sara Varon now resides in Brooklyn, New York. When not drawing, she likes to visit the flowers in her yard and pet the neighborhood dogs. Like Theodora, she might be considered an odd duck. Her books include Robot Dreams, Bake Sale, Chicken and Cat, and Chicken and Cat Clean Up. Odd Duck is her most recent graphic novel.
Reading Group Guide
Theodora isnt like the other ducks. Is this good or bad? Or neither?
One of Theodoras favorite things to do is to take out old books like A History of Good Ducks, Duck Mysteries, Duck Space Stories, and Duck Romances from the library. What are some of your favorite books to take out from the library?
In the beginning we learn that “Theodora Duck liked to be alone”. Are you like Theodora? Are there times when you want to be alone, and other times when you want to be around people?
What do you think of Theodoras nighttime routine? Is it interesting or strange? Do you have a nighttime routine?
Why is Theodora certain she and Chad would never be friends? Is it okay to be friends with someone that is different from you?
Why do you think Theodora decides not to join the other ducks to fly south each year? What is stopping her?
Are you more like Theodora, or more like Chad?
Why do Theodora and Chad fight if they are best friends? Is it okay to fight with a best friend?
What are some things you consider “odd”? Why are Theodora and Chad considered “Odd Ducks”?
What does Theodora learn about friendship by being friends with Chad?