Puddle's Big Step
by Amber Stewart & Layn Marlow

Amber Stewart and Layn Marlow's Puddle's Big Step

Book review by Dimitrios Sokolakis

Ages 3-5

A small step for mankind, a giant leap for a kid

"I am ready for it. Well, maybe not. Am I, Mummy?"

duckling's webbed foot

Heading to the first day at school: what a thrilling feeling for your precious ones! Most kids are impatient for that day - their first day on their own with no parents to protect them. A huge leap towards an unknown future. This book introduces us to the first day at school through the eyes of a charming, vivacious duckling named Puddle.

When Puddle was barely more than an egg, he couldn’t wait to start duckling school, always asking his mummy if he was big yet. Together with his friends, he kept watching older ducklings waddling to and from Duckling Elementary. (Okay, the book doesn't call it Duckling Elementary, but I like the sound of it.)

Then, one day, Mummy says to Puddle: “Puddle, now you are big enough to start duckling school.” Puddle’s heart goes “pitter-patter, pitter patter.” How proud he is, how happy that he is going to learn so much stuff and have his very own school bag! But, wait a minute…. He edges a bit closer to Mummy as he begins to imagine her absence. Hmm. Maybe he isn't quite old enough yet.

The next day, Puddle's webbed feet resist leaving home, but Mummy’s words and preparations provide enough comfort and reassurance for him to take that big step. Puddle realizes he has Mummy’s love and support, from the beginning of the school day, through lunch time and nap time. Secure in his Mummy's love - and confident she'll be there at the end of his day - Puddle's first day of school becomes an exciting experience!


A tender story for a tender age, with simple language and descriptive images. Although it deals with the first day at school, it would also serve as good reading for kids preparing for daycare center or an overnight.

Room for improvement:

I wish there'd been a role for Daddy as well. We offer some comfort too!


Puddle's Big Step assures kids that parents are always there in spirit!

Read more of Dimitrios's book reviews.

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