Lemon the Duck

Awards and Accolades

Laura Backman
About Lemon
Bookmark, Reviews, and Teacher's Guide
How to Order
Awards and Reviews
Awards and Accolades
Lemon's Equipment
Perfectly Pekin Pictures
Lemon on TV and in the News
Contact Lemon
Fun Mail
Lemon's Links
Lemon's Peeps
Just Ducky Sayings
Quack Me Up
Duck Poetry
Feathered Flash Games

Lemon the Duck

A picture book based on the inspirational true story. Because of a disability, Lemon is unable to walk, but with the support of a compassionate teacher and her students, Lemon is still able to become one happy duck!

  • Introduces the concept of disability to children in a story they can connect with; contains several positive messages: 
  • disabilities do not make us any less special; the quality of life of any living creature is important 
  • individuals with disabilities may need to find creative ways to do things, but they can achieve their goals 
  • it is good to offer help, but also important to know when to step back and simply offer encouragement, so that individuals feel a sense of accomplishment, pride, and independence 
  • An asset to Special Educators who utilize stories about disability that are appropriate for young children 
  • Free Teachers' Guide, written by the author (a K-12 Reading Specialist).

Summary: Ms. Lake and her class conduct an egg-hatching project in school and on the big day, welcome four little ducklings into the world. The students soon realize that the soft yellow one they named Lemon looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, but can’t stand up and walk like a duck. They worry that Lemon won't be happy if she can't do all the things ducks love to do, and work together to help Lemon thrive. When the time comes to tackle the challenge of encouraging Lemon to stand up, their creative ideas lead to a surprising solution – the recycling of an old doggie life vest, which, it turns out, makes the perfect duck harness! Through working with Lemon, the students share her in victories and learn that acceptance, love, and extra special care can go a long way. They also come to understand that her difference doesn’t make Lemon any less special.
Author Information: Author Laura Backman’s real-life experience taking Lemon under wing inspired her to share this exceptional story with children everywhere. She was born and raised in Rhode Island, received her Masters in Education from Rhode Island College, and teaches elementary school in her hometown of Portsmouth. Visit www.lemontheduck.com, to learn more about Backman's feathered friend who has capture the hearts of many.

Praise & Publicity for Lemon the Duck:
“A clever story about accepting and supporting those with life challenges ... The illustrations are adorable and the expressions on the faces of the children in the story as they ponder how to help the loveable Lemon can be used as discussion-starters.” – Library Media Connection, May 2009
“Laura Backman has done an incredible job ... She has crafted a book where much can be learned about not only the basic development of “oviparous animals” but more importantly the value of an individual with special needs ... Cleyet-Merle's images capture the wide-eyed innocence of children looking at a special needs character for the first time. She has revealed a sense of wonder, concern, love and compassion ... delightfully well-written, with excellent illustrations, and has a variety of purposes in a classroom. I highly recommend this book both for home and school use.” – Canadian Review of Materials, September 2008
“This delightful story of how a group of school children and their teacher care for a duck with special needs is based on a true story of the real Lemon the Duck. It has obvious applications for discussions about differences, the value of each individual and caring for others who need help, but it is such a great story with such wonderful illustrations that children and teachers will love it for those reasons alone.” – Canadian Teacher Magazine, January 2009 

“By caring for Lemon, the students shared in her triumphs and defeats, and learned about love and acceptance. Most important, the children discovered that disabilities and differences don’t make a person or animal less special or valued.” – RI Catholic Magazine, October 2008

“This book is based on the inspirational true story of the author's real-life experience with a duck born in an elementary school classroom. It teaches not only about egg to duckling development but also about animals (and people) who are different and have special needs. Children need to remember that disabilities do not make anyone less special, and a book like this is a helpful way to impress such a lesson on their minds. It is a truly heart-warming story with lovely illustrations that I highly recommend.” – Stories for Children, October 2008

“Based on a real-life experience, Lemon’s plight will tug at the heartstrings of young readers ... Whether this is read just for the story or seen as a teaching moment on the care of those with special needs, it is a warm and fuzzy tale.” – Children's Literature, 2008

“Lemon not only taught students about egg to duckling development, but also an important lesson about animals with special needs. Lemon is not a throw away duck, not a mistake, not a project gone wrong, but rather a very special duck with very special needs. Students learned a valuable life lesson from Lemon and from their teacher.” – The Majestic Monthly

“This is a joyful and thought-provoking book for all ages about how animals can cope with serious handicaps ... Lemon the Duck is a chronicle of just this kind of courage. It's inspiring on the human side, too. Few people would go to the trouble of teaching a duck with neurological problems to stand up and feed on her own. Laura Backman and her students show how far love can go ... Both the text and the superb illustrations make this book a must.” – Bob Tarte, author of Enslaved by Ducks

“ ... a tender story [that should be] in both school and public libraries.” – Resource Links, November 2008

“... a big-hearted and colourful tale based on a true story ... The students' love for the duckling, plus their problem-solving skills, eventually lead them to an ingenious solution that allows Lemon to participate fully in the life of the classroom and even in that of her siblings on the farm.” – Montreal Review of Books, Fall 2008

“...sweet story are sure to impress everyone, children and adults alike. This book deserves a place of honor on every children’s bookshelf.” – MomCentral.com, Oct 2008

“... [a] beautiful tale of love and caring, suitable for children ages three to seven.” – Waterloo Region Record, Sept. 2008

Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookstore (Cape Cod) Staff Pick: “LOVE this book. The sweetest tale of love, acceptance, and friendship

despite differences. The cheerful and unique illustrations make this true story even more enjoyable.” (April 2009)

  • Winner, 2009 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Honors Award 
  • Winner, 2009 Westchester Fiction Award (elementary category), awarded by the librarians of the Los Angeles Unified
    School District (Westchester Division), featured in the L.A. Times 
  • Recommended by Reading Rockets and by The Children's Better Health Institute's Turtle Magazine 
  • Lemon and Laura have been featured on the NPR program “Here and Now,” the NECN (New England Cable News) program
    “The Secret Life of Animals,” MSNBC, WJAR-10 News Providence, WHDH-7 News Boston, “Dream Reader” (Danvers, MA Community Access Television), “Vibrant Living” (Webradio.net), “Animal Talk Naturally,” and “Pet Life Radio with Bob Tarte,” as well as in a syndicated article by the Associated Press (article appeared in dozens of media outlets in the US and worldwide), TIME for Kids, Providence Journal, Boston Herald, Rhode Island Monthly Magazine, So Rhode Island Magazine, Newport Daily News, Fall River Herald News, Quincy Patriot Ledger, The Day (Connecticut), Majestic Monthly, New Bedford Standard Times, Sakonnet Times, RI Catholic, Stories for Children, Montreal Review of Books, CM: Canadian Review of Materials, Resource Links, South Carolina Orangeburg Times, Warwick Beacon, SouthCoastToday.com, MomCentral.com, MyBackyardNews.com, WickedLocal.com (GateHouse Media New England), and HomeschoolBlogger.com. 
  • The story has also received media attention in Canada (English and French), the UK, Japan, Italy, Singapore, Germany, and Taiwan. 
  • Selected (English and French editions), Approved List of Learning Resources: Nova Scotia 
  • Winner, Mala Davis Book Award (Fishing Cove School, North Kingstown, RI) 
  • Featured on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website (Apr. 2009) 
  • Author and her inspirational duck, Lemon appeared at the Rhode Island State House to kick off MS Awareness Month (2009), and were the keynote speakers at the annual MS Society CT Chapter meeting (2012)
  • Author featured at the 2010, 2011, 2012, and in 2012 “March Into Reading Event” at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI 
  • Blog Reviews: Homeschool Blogger; hi5flashtoys Parenting and Toy blog, Torvex.com (Portsmouth), Vitanet.net 

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