Thursday, March 3, 2011
|not duck feet, but a boy can wish...|
A Comical Lesson in Critical Thinking
Dr. Seuss also went by Theo LeSeig when he authored books he did not illustrate. I Wish That I Had Duck Feet is one of these books and thus is not one of the first thought of or found when searching for Dr. Seuss. In my opinion, it’s a hidden gem. The narrator of the story begins by wishing he had duck feet for the fun he could have in the water, but after some consideration realizes there may be some not-so-desirable effects as well (in particular, a not-so-pleased mom). So continues the pattern of the book, as he considers the pros and cons of various animal features: deer horns, a long trunk, a whale spout, a tail, and even a combination of several features. While each seems enticing at first, he soon realizes that he is better off being himself. Children will love the humorous pictures and the imagined scenarios of each animal option. The “be proud of who you are” lesson and cognitive model of critical thinking are the icing on the cake. The value of being yourself is implied similarly in another book we enjoyed, You Look Ridiculous, but I Wish That I Had Duck Feet focuses on the function and value of the physical features, rather than just the appearance. I’m excited for the arrival of this one on my doorstep – both because of the connection to my childhood and also because I’m looking forward to using it to help B understand pros and cons.
Appropriate for preschoolers, primary grades.
Did you get a chance to see my Read Across America post and the Cat in the Hat cupcakes? Did you celebrate? Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss (or Theo LeSeig) book? Got another book to share? Comment away and link up!