Bronze Prize Winner of the 2020 Moonbeam Children's Books Award for Best Book by Youth Author (under 18)!
Quacky, Smacky & Tacky is a charming fully illustrated children’s book about a young boy raising mallard ducklings that demonstrates a boy's creativity and determination, and also the love and trust that can grow between humans and wild animals. There appears to be a natural desire for the seeds of warmth and caring that grow in both kingdoms. It is a story of bird protection for the benefit of humanity and our environment. One-of-a-kind story, based on a May-September true experiences, of young boy (John Browne) who is chosen by his 2nd grade class (biology project) to take home from his school in suburban Minneapolis and raise three mallard duckling (to maturity and able to fly). Sure to tug on the heart strings of both young readers, parents, outdoor and duck enthusiasts with a message of wildlife education, respect and appreciation.
It is a children’s story of adventure, fun, wonder and perils and the love and nurturing of a young boy for his three ducklings. The main characters Quacky, Tacky and Smacky all have speaking narrative, along with Molly, a Canada goose as the story’s narrator, John, John’s mom, his teacher. The “villains" are a fox, a hawk, a raccoon, and a dangerous storm. With visually memorable illustrations and its education value on facts and figures on the world of ducks and raising ducklings, readers will learn about the challenges, life threatening moments, caring, joy and sorrow experienced during this heart-felt adventure.
John Browne, a 16-year-old high school junior created the idea, characters, their names, story line and book’s narrative. In school John is focusing on the sciences, is a member of the Tarp team, likes hunting, fishing, video games, and boating and plans to study biology in college and be a biologist as a career.
"This wonderful children's book brings to life a very important segment of our world -- habitat for mallards. The young boy's love and nurturing of ducklings, his adventures, misfortunes, and devotion will inspire young people to care for our environment. Parents, teachers, and lovers of nature, concerned with presenting ways to keep wildlife habitat, will find support in this book. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts with young children will enjoy the book’s adventure. It is a fun and entertaining read, full of dedication, joy, and sadness. The young boy demonstrates all of the great qualities for respecting and caring for nature, especially 'found wildlife' that cannot fend for itself. Additionally, the book is full of facts and details on caring for baby duckling until they have the ability to fly and join in a migration.” --Gary Hoffman, Mississippi River enthusiast and adventure author
“Quacky, Smacky and Tacky is an entertaining read and a must for anyone who cares about wildlife, nature and the environment. There is a mutually beneficial and healthy bond that exists between animals and people and especially children. Whether it’s a pet dog or a wild duckling, learning about and caring for animals helps a child develop empathy and responsibility. It also boosts self-confidence and ignites curiosity. This lovely children’s book introduces valuable lessons on all the above and engages kids in learning how to respect and care for creatures that can’t fend for themselves.” --Colleen Needles Steward, President and Founder of Tremendous! Entertainment, a television and content production company where character matters.
"Well written and illustrated, this mallard duck story is perfect for young readers. Plus, with the added natural history, a book for adults to learn from as they read to and discuss the contents with children. I had a like experience many years ago when I ended up taking mallard ducklings home as the school year ended. Like John, I worked and worried, the wild ducks grew and at the end fledged."--Jim Gilbert, Naturalist, Teacher and former host of WCCO’s Natures Notes
"After teaching children about the outdoors and wildlife for over 25 years, I've always seen that the message, when graphic and well told, hits home and stays. This book will stick with kids!” --Bill Urseth, Founder, Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club andPresident, Minnesota Youth Hunt Club
"The story of Quacky, Smacky and Tacky will resonate with kids of any age who have experienced wild critters as pets. In every case, valuable lessons about nature are learned; some happy, some sad but all teach the cycle of life." —Ron Schara, Founder of Minnesota Bound Television Show
"Quacky, Smacky and Tacky is not only a delightful and entertaining read, I personally felt I learned something very insightful about nature, and of course ducks, that was very meaningful. I can’t wait to share this book with my grandchildren.” —David McNally, Bestselling Author of Mark Of An Eagle and Even Eagles Need A Push