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Lame Duck Protest
Goldie Alexander
Illustrated by Michele Gaudion

When Hanna and her younger sister Zoe find a duckling with a broken leg in a nearby park, they are determined to nurse it back to health.

But after doing so, they realise that an even greater threat to the duckling has appeared: someone wants to develop the park into a shopping centre!

The duck becomes the rallying point for the girls and their neighbours, who stage a Lame Duck Protest. But will they succeed? Will the duckling’s parkland home be preserved?

The book deals with issues of conservation and wildlife preservation in a touching way, and is accompanied by beautiful sketches and watercolour illustrations.

ISBN 9781921479137

AUD $26
NZD $28
USD $18
GBP £12
EUR €14

Junior Picture Book

PB 32pp


Ducks with attitude are favourites with many children.

And this is a catchy title for an updated eco-Ugly Duckling tale.

Realistic touches of humour personalise the duck with a sore leg who attaches herself to the narrator and becomes the mascot of the protest group to save the park.

A lame duck protest seems like a hopeless cause, but this picture book has Michele Gaudion’s colourfully appealing duck cover and an eco-story about appropriate wildlife care

Readers identify with ‘Antonia is waddle limping behind us.’

Excellent for provoking discussion about wildlife-urban issues, Lame Duck Protest also provides opportunities for child readers to dress up as favourite characters , like koala, possum, echidna etc in the Lame Duck Protest March. The illustrations also convey the sense of community generated around an issue of respecting wild life while accommodating to urban change.

Author Goldie Alexander was inspired to write this picture book by seeing a Lame Duck protest sign in her lakeside neighbourhood.

The endpapers have full colour bios, photos and even author and illustrator websites. That’s a bonus because readers like to follow up on authors they like, especially if there are extra notes or activities available.

The internal design offers a mixture of full colour pages and black and white with colorful floral borders. At times, the borders are too ‘busy’ and the words may be difficult for a beginning reader to isolate from the background. But the overall impression is colourful.

Children will easily identify with the characters in Lame Duck Protest and portrayal of the eco-issues will create discussion. Recommended.

– Hazel Edwards, PIO

Goldie Alexander has written over sixty books for readers of all ages. Michele Gaudion’s focus now, is as Concept Visualiser. This role is evident in her exceptional interpretation of the text. The pictures are balanced between black and white charcoal and full colour glossy illustrations with exquisite borders. The story progresses frame by frame, adding visual beauty to the significant yet simple text.

Sisters Hannah and Zoe live close to a Reserve that is home to wild things, bushland, and nature in general. They find a wounded duck by the lake’s edge. They have been taught to respect and never interfere with living things in that area. But this is an exception. The duck needs medical attention.

The Vet tells them that Antonia the duck will recover but will always limp. The girls release it into the wild again after it has recovered enough to look after itself, despite that it has attached itself to Zoe, whom she believes is its mother. Zoe has been taught that wild things need to be free.

A new concern is born for the community. A Shopping Centre is planned for the area that houses the Reserve. Where will the children play? Where will the elderly stroll and sit and enjoy the environment if all this goes ahead? The whole community unites to protest against the destruction of their natural surroundings. Photographs are taken and published beside articles in the paper. This draws attention to the imminent disaster. Everyone joins the protest. They come dressed as birds and animals. They have a new way to express their concerns.

This beautifully presented book serves to bring into focus strong environmental issues directed at educating children about the need to fight to protect our natural world. Youth awareness is the key to the survival of wild birds, animals and countless other species that are under constant threat of being decimated by the destruction of their natural habitats. This book has succeeded in passing on this message.

– Anastasia Gonis, The Reading Stack


Goldie Alexander

Goldie Alexander lives in Melbourne.

She has written 60 books for adults and children of all ages, as well as many short stories, articles, scripts and radio talks.

Her most recent books for children include Bridging the Snowy (aussieschoolbooks) the Health and Understanding maga-book series (Blake Education) and for older children, My Horrible Cousins and Other Stories (Teaching Solutions). Her junior detective novel, A-Z PIs, is in press with IP.



Michele Gaudion

Michele Gaudion also lives in Melbourne.

She began her professional career as a freelance illustrator, and has worked in top end advertising, publishing and marketing in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.



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Teachers' Notes and Illustrator's Comment

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