First Book on the Big Duck Hatches

“Have you heard the story?
It’s been whispered far and wide;
There’s a Duck in Flanders;
It’s so big, you can walk inside!”

A Duck’s Tail by Rose Nigro

A new book, set in rhyme, tells the story of The Big Duck and the obstacles one community overcame to return it to Big Duck Ranch in Flanders. The 38-page children’s book is the first book by Long Island artist Rose Nigro.

“It’s a historical book for children to hopefully teach them a lesson and about the history of the duck,” Nigro said.

The book is very personal for Nigro. A resident of Flanders for more than 20 years, Nigro remembers how members of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association talked about bringing the Big Duck to Big Duck Ranch, where the Big Duck lived for 50 years before it was moved off the land. After the community of Flanders worked together to return the Big Duck to its original nesting place, Nigro became inspired to tell the story in when former Southampton Town Supervisor Patrick Heaney made a speech at the welcome home ceremony for the Big Duck in 2008.

“At the homecoming Skip said, ‘When the people lead the leaders will follow,’ and I thought this was such a great challenge and met so well by everyone involved I wanted to write a historical book.” Nigro said.

A Duck’s Tail was published this past April and is currently available for $26.95 at the gift shop inside The Big Duck, at BookHampton and online at Reeves Bay ArtWorks. The writing didn’t always come easy for Nigro.

“The first several drafts were more historical and it was kind of boring,” Nigro said. “I wanted to do it in rhyme, and I thought it sounded better and turned it into a children’s book.”

Dozens of illustrations in the book by designer Tom H. John complete the lyrical feel of the book.

“It’s wonderful,” Nigro said of the artwork, adding that she loved his approach to the artwork from their first meeting.