Can I Join Your Club? Written by John Kelly. Illustrated by Steph Laberis.

Can I Join Your Club?

Written by John Kelly

Illustrated by Steph Laberis


Protagonist, Duck was on a simple quest: he wanted to make new friends. He started by asking Lion at his Club Lion if he could join, but Lion explained his club was only for animals that could roar. Duck’s attempted roar sounded suspiciously like a quack so Lion rejected him, but Duck persisted. Next, he tried Snake then Elephant. Unfortunately, they followed Lion’s lead: Club Snake required a loud hissssss to join and Club Elephant, a strong trumpet blast. Duck failed at those, too.


Perturbed, but resilient, Duck thought of a brilliant solution: he would start his own Duck club! When his first potential member turned out to be a turtle needing a friend, another brilliant idea popped up: Duck changed the name of his club! Soon Duck’s club had so many animals wanting to join that Lion, Snake and Elephant had to investigate.


Kelly’s endearing story shares the importance of being more inclusive than exclusive and celebrates not only diversity, but how to understand the feelings of others. Laberis’ colorful palette and endearing characters add humor and temper the harsh rejections that Duck initially faced. This positive book will help young readers to understand the importance of compassion.

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