Go For It, Ruby!

illustrated by Rebecca Harry

Ruby is a careful duckling who likes to take things slowly, in her own time. But her new friend Errol is bustling and bold! Together they make the perfect team. Ruby’s careful thinking sees them through a maze of reeds, but when faced with a steep and dangerous waterfall, will Ruby have time to stop and think, or will she just have to GO FOR IT?

A third, charming story featuring everyone’s favourite duckling.

“An important message conveyed in a simple style that children will understand … beautifully illustrated in gentle blurred watercolour, this is a charming and engaging story book.
Louise Ellis-Barrett, WRITE AWAY

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UK Print-On-Demand Paperback: 
ISBN-10: 1540783669 • ISBN-13: 978-1540783660
(Originally published in the UK by Macmillan Children’s Books)

Other Books in the RUBY THE DUCKLING Series

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Author's Note

In the first two Ruby books, Ruby’s slow and steady approach to life is shown in contrast to that of her impetuous siblings, Rufus, Rory, Rosie and Rebecca. 

From a storytelling standpoint, it’s very useful for Ruby to have companions to talk to and play off against, but the large number of Ruby’s siblings created problems for both dialogue and illustration. If all four siblings were going to accompany Ruby on her adventures, I was obliged to give each of them something to say from time to time. And since all of them were ducklings, it was difficult to distinguish between them in the illustrations.

So for this third Ruby book I decided to give her a new companion who, as well as providing the contrast previously provided by her four siblings, would have an appealing character of its own. I also wanted this new companion to be a different type of creature to Ruby, so that it would be easier to tell them apart.

It took me a while to settle on the companion’s identity and I considered a frog and a kingfisher, before eventually deciding on Errol the gosling. Goslings look more ungainly than ducklings, but they are also larger and less delicate and this suited the character I had in mind.

The moral that some readers drew from the second Ruby book is that slow and steady wins the day. However, while Ruby’s measured approach is a virtue in many circumstances, there are times when acting fast is a virtue too. So, while Ruby’s approach pays off early on, in this story it is Errol’s quick thinking that saves the day.


Ruby, the little duckling, finds a new friend and a new adventure in ‘Go For It Ruby’. Ruby likes to take her time, unlike her brothers and sisters who are always in a rush Ruby can see the pleasure in taking things slowly and doing them in her own time, but can she convince others that her way is right or will she learn that sometimes there is another way?
The gentle story teaches the importance of knowing which approach to use in a given situation and how to decide the most appropriate response. It is an important message conveyed in a simple style that children will understand and find themselves applying to their own daily lives. Beautifully illustrated in gentle blurred watercolour, this is a charming and engaging story book.
Louise Ellis-Barrett, WRITE AWAY

Ruby the duckling takes things slowly, in her own time. Her friend Errol the gosling is more impulsive. When they go exploring in search of the golden pool, Ruby’s thoughtful approach helps navigate the winding reeds. But when they come to a rushing waterfall, Ruby learns that sometimes you just have to go for it.
For me, the book’s greatest charm is in its illustrations. The warm palette and soft edges give the characters a gentle fuzzy feel, reminiscent of well-loved soft toys. Though suitable for pre-school and KS1 children, the pictures can be enjoyed by even the youngest readers. The simple depiction of familiar creatures and landscapes meant that even my one year old could enjoy them, pointing out the ducklings with great enthusiasm.