Theme: Telling a story to get your message across

I love it when I’m sitting reading a stack of books from the library and I come across one that does something especially well.  Recently, I read Liz Wong’s Quackers.  It is all about a cat who loves life down at the pond with the other ducks.  Well, except for maybe the water.  And eating duck weed.  But other than that he loves being a duck.  Then along comes one of the barn cats who can’t believe that Quackers thinks he is a duck.  The other cat takes Quackers up to the barn.  Quackers loves life up at the barn.  He loves being a cat.  Except for having to lick himself clean.  But eventually he misses the ducks.  Soon he figures out that he can be both a duck and a cat.

Clearly this is a story about being different but still belonging.  But the really awesome part? Wong absolutely never says that.  Not one tine.  All Wong does is tell her story about Quackers the feline duck. It is brilliant.  Why?  Because she gets her message across without ever coming out and stating it.

Instead, she’s created a great character.  Quackers loves experiencing different things.  No matter where he is, he throws himself into life, enjoying the experience even when he doesn’t actually love every last thing about it.

She’s also created a great setting.  You have a pond full of ducks who are perfectly happy to accept and love Quackers.  And you have a barn full of cats who are also happy to let him take part in life cat-style.

Not once does she say:

  • Be who you are.
  • You can be different and still belong.
  • Your life can be filled with varied experiences.

All of those messages are in there but they would be preachy if Wong came out and said any of those things.  Instead she does what we all need to do – she tells a really great story.

–SueBE