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I Wish That I Had Duck Feet: Green Back Book (Dr. Seuss - Green Back Book) Paperback – Illustrated, 5 Jan 2004
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“[Dr. Seuss] has…instilled a lifelong love of books, learning and reading [in children]” – The Telegraph
“Dr. Seuss ignites a child’s imagination with his mischievous characters and zany verses” – The Express
“The magic of Dr. Seuss, with his hilarious rhymes, belongs on the family bookshelf” – Sunday Times Magazine
“The author… has filled many a childhood with unforgettable characters, stunning illustrations, and of course, glorious rhyme” – The Guardian
“Dr. Seuss ignites a child's imagination with his mischievous characters and zany verses.” – The Express
From the Inside Flap
Illus. in full color. "This zany story of a boy's wishes for duck feet, a whale spout, deer horns, a long tail, elephant's trunk, etc. will be a favorite with young readers."--"School Library Journal. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Children have powerful imaginations, and this book provides an outstanding model for helping them to learn how to use their imaginations in more useful ways. In addition, the story is so interesting and compelling that they will be drawn into wanting to reread it often. As a result, they will begin to memorize the sentences . . . and thus have the foundation for identifying the words that go along with their recollections.
Unlike many children's books, this one would also be appealing to adult literacy students.
The illustrations are particularly good for making the boy's (and your child's) imagination come to life.
The book begins with the boy waddling around on duck feet.
"You can splash around in duck feet.
You don't have to keep them dry.
No more shoes!"
". . . very good to have them when I play." This is illustrated with the boy getting thules in a pond while ducks swim by.
"BUT . . . My mother would not like them." She would not like the wet mess in her clean house.
From this sequence, you can see how the book is structured. The child imagines some new feature attached to his body. He then thinks about the advantages of that new feature. Next, he considers the drawbacks. Having looked at both, he goes on to decide whether to keep the feature or not. This is a method that many geniuses have used throughout history to make their great breakthroughs. Sharing this method is a wonderful gift to give your child!
Then, the boy goes on to repeat the process.
"SO . . . If I can't have duck feet,
I'll have something else instead . . .
. . . two horns up on my head."
He tries on "a long, long tail," "a nose just like an elephant's," and "ALL THOSE THINGS!" The last he calls a "Which-What-Who."
Then the story teaches its final lesson:
"AND SO . . . I think there are some things I do not wish to be."
"And that is why
I think that I
just wish to be like ME."
The final illustration shows all of the appendages discussed in the book in a garbage can.
An obvious application of the book is to encourage your child to come up with her or his own ideas for changing the body, discussing benefits and drawbacks, and deciding whether the change would be a beneficial one over all. You can have tremendous fun with that one, while teaching Benjamin Franklin's favorite method for making decisions. He would list all of the pros and cons of something on a piece of paper, and then decide what do do. Millions still use this process.
I especially like the way the book helps the child come to appreciate what he or she already has. Few books of imagination leave a child feeling more satisfied with herself or himself. That's a very nice touch.
If you find that your child is sensitive about some feature (glasses, being diminutive, a large nose, or whatever), you can use this book's structure in a different way. You can encourage your child to find as many advantages as possible to overbalance the disadvantages that have already been noticed, and to be glad about that feature. That perspective would be a great gift to your child!
See potential all around you . . . then seize the opportunities that truly make sense!
But the most important thing that "I Wish That I Had Duck Feet" teaches beginning readers is the value of looking at both sides of an issue. While the young boy is able to come up with lots of reasons why having duck feet would be a good thing, his mother has at least one very good reason why he would not want them. From that point on in the story the young boy comes up with both the pros and cons for each of the things for which he wishes. Not only does this make the point that kids should think things through first, but it also serves as a reminder that not everything kids wish for is worth having.
Still, the ability to see both sides of an issue is an important skill for young kids to acquire (older ones too, for that matter). Besides, parents can use the lesson from this book to good advantage. The next time your kid wishes they could have something and they tell you all the reasons why it would be a good thing to have, you can ask that they come up with reasons for the down side. If they claim they cannot come up with any you can certainly find one and tell them that since they could not come up with the pros and cons the answer is "No." However, as much fun as this can be keep in mind that if they come up with points for both sides and make the case for the pros outweighing the cons, you are pretty much obligated to grant their wish.
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