Click, Clack, Surprise!

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Click, Clack, Surprise! Book Poster Image
Fun bath-time book shows lots of ways to get clean.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows how different animals bathe, including pigs who wallow in mud. Lively wordplay ("rub-a-dubbing," "snippity-clipping") helps make this a fun bath-time book. 

Positive Messages

Taking a bath can be fun. Cleaning up for a birthday party can be fun. Different baths for different folks. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Little Duck is enthusiastic about imitating other, older folks and open-minded about doing things different ways. Farmer Brown is nice and makes a cake for Little Duck. All the barnyard animals show up to celebrate Little Duck's birthday. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Doreen Cronin's Click, Clack Surprise! is part of the series that began with Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. The animals aren't messing with or rebellng against Farmer Brown this time. Here it's all about the animals getting ready for a birthday party for Little Duck, offspring of the star of Duck for President. The only joke (or "surprise") is Little Duck imitating the chickens' and pigs' "baths" and turning up at the party all dirty. Fun wordplay helps make this a great bath-time book.

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What's the story?

In CLICK, CLACK, SURPRISE!, it's Little Duck's birthday and all the barnyard animals are getting cleaned up for the birthday party in different ways. The duck "rub-a-dubs" in the tub, the cat "slurp-a-lurps" with her tongue, the chickens "shimmy and shake" in a dust bath, and the pigs "squish and squash" in the mud. Little Duck imitates each one, even the chickens and pigs, which means she shows up to the party at the maple tree all dirty (that's the surprise). Farmer Brown brings a cake he baked for her and everyone sings, "Happy Birthday  to ... ewww!"

Is it any good?

This cute installment shows how different animals get clean, making it a fun bath-time book with a birthday twist. Click, Clack, Surprise! breaks out of the pattern of the animals fooling or rebelling against Farmer Brown with a simple story of a little one imitating others and ending up covered in dust and mud for her big party. Betsy Lewin's engaging cartoon-like illustrations add lots of humor and familiar characters. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Click, Clack, Surprise! is different from the other books in the series. Is it just as fun when the story's not about the animals tricking Farmer Brown? 

  • Who's your favorite animal in this series? Why? 

  • Why do we get cleaned up before going to a birthday party? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and animal stories

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