“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Duck! Rabbit! • Picture book

Duck! Rabbit!
Just out! • April 2009 • Chronicle BooksPicture books • Ages 3 and up
From the author of Little Oink comes a clever take on the age-old optical illusion: is it a duck or a rabbit? Depends on how you look at it.
Story: Readers will find more than just Amy Krouse Rosenthal's signature humor here—there's also a subtle lesson for kids who don't know when to let go of an argument. A smart, simple story that will make readers of all ages eager to take a side, Duck! Rabbit! makes it easy to agree on one thing—reading it again! Talk about fun!
Story behind the story: Editor Victoria Rock explains why Duck! Rabbit! is so special: "How often do you receive a picture book whose concept is rooted in a 19th century psychological drawing used to discuss issues of perception and reality (and the philosophy of Descartes)? Even more importantly, how often do you receive such a book that actually works as a children's picture book? Pretty much never, I am willing to wager. And yet, here is precisely that book. And whether you see a duck, a rabbit, an anteater, a braciosaurus, a zebra...or something else, entirely, I am willing to make another wager: I bet you'll enjoy it." (Purely a gentlewoman's bet. No money involved).

Do YOU see a duck or a rabbit? Take the quiz, vote for what you see, and then find out what it reveals about you. There are also e-postcards, a video, a teacher's guide and more.
FYI, all the review copies for this title have been sent. Please click on the comments link below to read what your colleagues have to say!


MDudiak said...

Duck! Rabbit! is an amazing and fun book with multiple instructional opportunities. The idea of perspective is presented in such an effective but amusing way. I wish it had page numbers so I could share my favorite perspective ideas --rabbit cooling off his ears & duck getting a drink as well looking at them through binoculars. The teacher’s guide has some nice cross-curricular ideas for the classroom http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

I can’t wait to show it to my pre-service teachers who write their own children’s book—what a great model of how to motivate and engage young (and not so young) readers!

Aubrey Heusser said...

This is an adorable story, short and simple, though there isn't really a plot. It shows that the characters can disagree without being mean, and that there are different ways to look at the same thing, but the message isn't "preachy" at all. The pictures are simple but well done - could be used as an example for art classes too. Because it is so short, even the youngest children will enjoy hearing it, but there are enough bigger words that older beginners (2nd-3rd grades) can practice reading it. I count this as a solid 4 - not necessarily a must-have, but definitely a great addition.

Michelle said...

Duck! Rabbit! is a delightful book. I love the agruements each side uses to support his/her interpretation of this cloud. Very engaging! I've all ready ordered a copy for my library. 5 stars

EShay said...

Duck! Rabbit! is adorable. It took me an embarrassingly long time to notice there was a duck, as well as a rabbit, but I enjoyed it. What a lesson in perspective.

Although there is not a plot, the story can be appreciated by children through adults.

I also loved the fact that it was based on an old optical illusion.

I give it a 5.

Barbara said...

I shared this cute, but short, book with my middle schoolers to expose them to another approach to story writing. They appreciated both the perspective and language confusion.
(At first, I did not see these shapes as clouds, but my students did.)
Rating 4/5

Amy said...

I loved Duck! Rabbit! I know the young readers at my school will love reading and hearing this delightful book. Although it is simple, it is a great way to start a discussion about different opinions/point of views about a variety of things. 5 stars!

Sandra Stiles said...

I loved this book. It reminded me of days lying on my back looking at the clouds trying to decide what the shape was. I read it aloud to my mother and I saw a rabbit first and she saw a duck. It will be interesting to see what my ESOL students believe the picture is. I give this a solid 4

Kris said...

Duck! Rabbit! is a perfect example of a seemingly simple picture book that brings up rather complex issues -- in this case, of perception and difference of opinion. The text is simple enough to be used with very young children, but the issues it explores make it appropriate for really any age, including adults. There are so many interesting discussion possibilities – how people can look at the same image but see different things; envisioning how the two speakers could come up with a compromise; even discussing the identity of the two speakers in the story could be fun! The illustrations, done in bold black lines and watercolors, are very appealing and would be very visible in a group situation. Overall, this is just a delightful book! I give it a 5.

Kris Lill
Allen County Public Library
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Julie Burroughs said...

What a great book! My 5 year old granddaughter read it 3 times before we could make a decision. She changed her mind twice. Now she is sure it is a rabbit! I can't wait for school to start so that I can share this with my 3rd graders. Duck! Rabbit! will be a great intro book on perspective. Be sure to see the teacher's guide on chronicles website. Good ideas. I give this book 4/5.

Brian said...

On my first read of Duck! Rabbit! I wasn't sure it worked for me. But then I read it with a partner - my seven-year-old. He laughed, and when he did, I realized that, yeah, this book works! I look forward to using it with my classes in the future. I'm planning optical illusion books based on this format created and read by partners.

Rating: 4 - Recommend without Reservation. Younger students will enjoy listening to two goofball grown-ups read it aloud, and older students will enjoy performing the book for others.

4th Grade Teacher

P.S. I especially liked the zebra.

Carol said...

Duck! Rabbit! is one of the books that you would want to buy for a picture book loving friend, because you want them to have it in their collection. My first thoughts were, how this would be a great mentor text for many of the traits of writing. You could use this for Idea, Voice, Organization, and Conventions. The book has simple but effective illustrations that look like a graphic artist created them. I like the use of borders and the flow between double spreads and single. At one page, you have to move the book vertical to get the full effect of the illusion. I must mention the fantastic end pages, I love the duck and rabbit clouds!

Score 5/5

Carol Null
Southwest Harbor, ME
K-8 Librarian

Mrs. Horne said...

I loved this book...my son, who is still a little young to understand even loved it.

I think the idea of seeing the same thing in a different way is a great lesson for children. They will really love how the book is full of viewpoints.

I think this is a great addition to my picnic basket :)

Rating: 5/5

Lindsay Horne
New Kent Middle School
New Kent, VA

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed "Duck! Rabbit!" This book has a lot of teaching possibilities. In science class students learn that "observation is the key to success", but what happens when perseption comes into play? This book can also be used to discuss visualization. How do people visualize different things? The last idea is to help my middle school class when they are having difficulty in different social situations. This book can be brought out to again teach perseption. Everyones perseption is their own reality. Are you seeing a rabbit or a duck.
This is a wonderful book, how something that seems to be so simple can be used in many different ways.

Lemon the Duck said...

Ohhh, the writing and creativity this book sparks! My two year old niece has been walking around the house saying "ducK,wabbit" because even at that age---she gets it! The idea of perspective, the humor, and side-bar conversation combines to make this book a winner. This book is a great intro to backing up one's statements with evidence.
The book stands on it's own but the teachers guide provides some nice extensions.
I'm going to use this in September. What a fun, motivating book for writing and reading! I rate this book a 5 +.
Laura Backman
Reading Specialist
Author of "Lemon the Duck" http://lemontheduck.com

Anonymous said...

duck rabbit made me laugh so hard because after I was done reading the children were arguing about what it was, a rabbit or a duck? I give this book a 4 star because it made them use their imagination.

Susan Appleton said...

What a FUN story to read! I love how you can see the different perspectives between duck/rabbit. I even shared it with my 5th graders who LOVED it! What a creative idea! I haven't seen a book like this before on the market and it was refreshing! GREAT JOB and a definite 5!!!!

Stacy B. said...

Duck! Rabbit! is a book I definitely plan on using in my Kindergarten classroom this fall. The pictures are engaging and the simple text will challenge my students but encourage their first grade buddies to read it to them. I see this book as one my students will refer to as one that teaches point of view as that is something that is such a new concept to a young learner. Thanks for such a fun read!

Janelle said...

Duck! Rabbit! is a book I will share with teachers to teach perspective and also to help students see that there is not always ONE correct answer. Struggling middle school students often sit quiet in the classroom because they're sure there is only ONE correct answer and they probaby don't have it. I will encourage teachers to use Duck! Rabbit! to open conversation that will encourage students to enter into discussions and defend their own perspective. Great book to encourage thinking.

jlarkin said...

A definite 5!

I LOVED this book - and so does my four year old son. He loves looking at the different perspectives as the characters go back and forth between "duck" and "rabbit" - and he loves the ending! It's very cute, the pictures are great - and now my sister-in-law who teaches Kind. wants to steal my copy!

bbqhuff said...

I used this book for the "Be Creative" summer reading program theme "Color Your World". It gives kids a fabulous introduction to perspective. Two of us read it and used our most argumentative voices...the kids loved it! A must have for library picture book collections.

Barbara S. Huff
Youth Services Librarian
Farmington NM Public Library

Martine Battista said...

Wonderful! I can't wait to share this with my students when school starts. I know the younger ones will love it. To my surprise my 7th grade daughter and her high school aged friend picked it up and began reading it together. They had so much fun I plan on sharing it with my upper elementary students as well. Thanks for such a delightful read. I give it a 5!
Martine Battista
Denair Elementary School Library
Denair, CA

Julia Pitau said...

Duck! Rabbit! is a cute book written in a fashion that is sure to please the young at heart. I hope this book travels throughout our library.

Picnic rating: 4

Denair Charter Academy
Denair, CA

Natalie H. said...

Very cute book that makes little ones take a closer look to see if the picture is a duck or rabbit. Fun! 3 stars!

Tom Lichtenheld said...

Hi, this is Tom Lichtenheld, co-creator of Duck!Rabbit!. I'm thrilled to see so many interesting comments about our book. You can see all my books at tomlichtenheld.com.
Thank you for your support!