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Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld

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Publisher: Chronicle Books,

Material: hard cover

Summary: It's a simple image, or so it seems. One narrator says it's a duck. The other says it's a rabbit. Can it be both? This is a book that demonstrates that one thing can be interpreted different ways.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 5 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 1

Age of Child: Read by a 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: It's no surprise that our daughter loved the book. She got to the last page and asked if there is another book with the anteater. She is so pleased that she could see "both halves" of the illusion before it got to the more detailed images at the end. She picked this up and thumbed back and forth through the pages a bunch of times on later occasions.

Adult Reader Reaction: What a simple, elegant, fun book! We were a little bit concerned that she would only see "one side," but she got it right away. There is one spread where you turn the book sideways, which I think adds something extra to enjoying the book. For so much of the book each narrator is set in their position, and it was nice to see them "rethink" their ideas.

Pros: A simple illustration carries along this story about two (off-page) viewers who seem to see one thing in two different ways.

Cons: Even though the story is simply presented and funny, I could foresee an age where a child is "too young" to distinguish the duck and rabbit and become frustrated.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is a book that you'll love to have and will undoubtedly be dog-earred by your toddler by the time s/he is ready to read it on their own.


Educational Themes: This is an engaging book that's meant for fun reading. The vocabulary is simple and repetitive, with lots of sight words, making it an ideal book for reader's theater or partner reading. With the upper range of the audience, you can use it to talk about illusion, perspective, and being open to new ideas.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: June 2009

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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