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Aaron and Wendy Together Again!


A Not-Too-Grimm Fairy Tale

Book illustration

Told by Aaron Shepard
Illustrated by Wendy Edelson

“Quack! Quack! Quack!
I want my money back!”

Quackling was proud when the King came to him to borrow money. But years passed, and the King never paid him back! So, he took his sack and started for the castle. But a very small duck will need very good friends when he gets there!

Will Quackling get what he wants, or something even better? Find out in this lively, rhythmic retelling of a favorite European folk tale.

Picture book • Ages 3–9

Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of The Baker’s Dozen, The Sea King’s Daughter, The Monkey King, and many more children’s books, while his Web site is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader’s theater. Once a professional storyteller, Aaron specializes in lively retellings of folktales and other traditional literature, which have won him honors from the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, the Bank Street College of Education, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Folklore Society.

Wendy Edelson is the award-winning illustrator of The Baker’s Dozen, Christmas Truce, Which Shoes Do You Choose?, and many more children’s books. She has applied her talent to a wide range of illustration projects, including picture books, pet portraits, posters, and puzzles. Among her clients have been Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the U.S. Postal Service, Cricket Magazine, McGraw-Hill Education, and the American Library Association.


You’re welcome to download a free digital copy of this book, if you’re willing to write a review on your favorite online retailer—or anywhere else—or even just want to evaluate the book for your own purchase. Your posted review can be positive or negative—really, say just what you think, good or bad! If you’re posting on Amazon, though, they want you to include a statement like, “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.”

Also welcome to download it are educators, librarians, booksellers, rights buyers, or anyone else needing to evaluate it professionally.

To download now, just hit the link below. No personal info or approval is required. And please feel free to share this offer with others.

Quackling ARC
(PDF, 8 MB)

Skyhook Press

Hardcover ~ 2018

Paperback ~ 2018

Ebook ~ 2018

The following links may earn commissions for this site.

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Book cover


“[A] lively folktale retelling . . . Edelson enhances the allegorical tale, about goodness and honoring commitments, with striking renderings of anthropomorphic animals.”—Publishers Weekly, July 30, 2018

“An enchanting fairytale that is easy to read and follow along, keeping youngsters excited and involved in the action.”—Kimberly Poe, Goodreads reviewer, November 18, 2018

“Not just for kids, grown-up youngsters will love it, as well. Beautiful art, beautifully done re-telling—LOVED IT!”—RaChelle Holmberg, Goodreads reviewer, January 24, 2022

“It’s the cute-enough-to-go-into-a-coma artwork by Wendy Edelson coupled with Brothers Grimm that hooked me. Very short read with easy sentences and rhymes. Adorable.”—Korrin Kearney, Goodreads reviewer, March 1, 2022

“The illustrations are gorgeous and filled with detail. Those alone make this book worth a read. I also enjoyed the lesser known (where I live) fairy tale . . . A good choice to read to children of all ages.”—Morris Morgan, Goodreads reviewer, March 7, 2022

“A great book to teach children the elements of fairytale. It is interesting, repetitive, funny, and based on a European folktale. As a grade 3 teacher, I would definitely purchase this book for my classroom library.”—Angie Kuhnle, teacher, March 13, 2022

“A darling retelling of a classic fairytale with so many great qualities. The rhythm, sets of threes, illustrations, and page design all come together to create a wonderful read-aloud.”—Callie Anna Oxner, Goodreads reviewer, March 21, 2022

“Filled with surprises and delights . . . Bright and colorful in every way.”—Linda Gill, The Reader and the Book (blog), March 24, 2022

“A simple but absolutely delightful story, this one is one of my favorites of this year.”—Michelle Kalm, Goodreads reviewer, March 30, 2022

“Children will be delighted to take part in the storytelling and thrilled with the satisfying conclusion . . . Illustrator Wendy Edelson has created masterful renderings of the action. The highly detailed art bursts with color and action and will draw youngsters into its pages.”— Jill Stanish, Live to Read to Live (blog), April 20, 2022

Sample Text

Once there was a very small duck with a very loud quack. So they called him Quackling.

Now, Quackling was clever and he worked hard, so he saved up a good deal of money. In fact, he saved up so much that the King himself came to borrow some.

Quackling was proud to loan his money to the King. But a year went by, then two, then three, and the King never paid him back.

“I’ve waited long enough,” said Quackling. So he took a sack for the money, and he started for the castle, calling,

“Quack! Quack! Quack!

I want my money back!”

Before long, he came upon a ladder leaning against a wall.

“Where are you going, Quackling?” said Ladder.

“To the King for my money,” said Quackling.

“To the King!” said Ladder. “How wonderful! Will you take me with you?”

“Why not?” said Quackling. “One can never have too many friends.” And he called out,

“Quack! Quack! Quack!

Ladder into sack!”

Quick as you can blink, Ladder was in the sack. Then Quackling walked on, calling,

“Quack! Quack! Quack!

I want my money back!”

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