New Review Tuesday: Duck! Rabbit!
And so I was thrilled to get my hands on her newest picture book, Duck! Rabbit!, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Duck! Rabbit! is a fun look at visual illusion—specifically the duck-rabbit conundrum that psychologist Joseph Jastrow first observed over a hundred years ago. Is Lichtenfeld's funny, black-and-white rendering a duck or a rabbit? Readers will battle it out with the two competing narrators, one of whom sees a duck wading through a swamp, the other a bunny hiding in the grass, and so on. The speakers eventually come around to one another's perspective, only to be stumped again by an anteater/brachiosaurus.
There are so many possible curriculum connections in this simple story — use it to talk about perspective and point of view from kindergarten on up. Older kids will be inspired to research other famous illusions. Point them in the direction of Al Seckel's great non-fiction book, Optical Illusions: The Science of Visual Perception. And of course the bunny/bird protagonist makes Duck! Rabbit! a terrific springtime read aloud!