Saturday, July 18, 2015

Duck! Rabbit!   
By Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

Awards:  Many!  To name a few……2010 Baker’s Dozen (13 best books for Family Literacy) by Pennsylvania Center for the Book  American Library Association Notable Children's Book of 2010 *Time Magazine Top Ten Children's Book of 2009, #1  * Publishers Weekly Best Children's Books of the Year, 2009 *Barnes & Noble Best Kids' Books of 2009 * National Parenting Publications Awards 2009 –Gold Award

Duck! Rabbit! is an imaginative, clever story that centers around an optical illusion that students absolute love!  Be prepared to read this over and over!

I would use this book as a mentor text for Opinion Writing with K, 1st or 2nd grades during the immersion phase of Writing Workshop. The immersion phase takes place before the writing portion of a Unit of Study begins. The teacher spends time reading aloud books that fit into the writing genre to introduce the students to that particular genre. This gives students the opportunity to learn how to listen and think about the genre as writers.

I would read the book and have the students form an opinion whether they think the illustration is a duck or a rabbit.  They would have to then decide (probably working with a partner or triad), on reasons to support their opinion. Depending on the grade level and the ability of the writers, we may do some shared writing (K, 1) , developing stories to support the opinion (modeling, modeling, modeling all the while) or I would possibly group together according to opinion(1st or 2nd gr) to write a group story expressing and supporting their opinion.  Sharing these stories would be lively and fun!

Book Talk
Rosenthal and Litchtenheld created a hilariously entertaining  book that challenges readers to decide whether the illustration/optical illusion is a duck or a rabbit! 

The verbal exchange by two unseen characters is a comical banter back and forth discussing whether the image is a duck or a rabbit.  As each present their reasons or evidence to support their perspective, it is easy for the reader to see that point of view.

A favorite line: “Look, the duck is so hot, he’s getting a drink.  No, the rabbit is so hot, he’s cooling off his ears.”

The story ends with the two characters somewhat making a truce over the duck/rabbit debate, only to start the deliberation all over again when they see an anteater/brachiosaurus!!

Expect huge student engagement with this read! And…take advantage of that engagement by encouraging the students of form an opinion!

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text:
Book Genre: (Humorous) Persuasive Text
Reading Workshop Strategies: Questioning, Visualizing,Predicting, Compare and Contrast
Writing Workshop Genre: Opinion Writing (especially immersion read aloud phase of WW)

Tom Lichtenheld’s website:

Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s website:

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