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by Dave Horowitz, illustrated by Dave Horowitz

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-25276-1
Publisher: Putnam

Narcissa is a bunny with an issue: Arrogance and conceit are some descriptors that might fit the bill. She stares at herself in a mirror, compliments herself to nearby animals and insults the appearances of other creatures that are less attractive (in her immodest opinion). When she stops to admire her reflection in a pond (recalling the myth of Narcissus, with a nod to those who remember their classical mythology), she spies a clownish, warts-and-all frog. He kindly offers her one free wish, but when Narcissa responds with a characteristic insult, the frog puts an evil spell on the ungrateful rabbit. With this spell, each time Narcissa laughs, she acquires one physical trait from the animals she has insulted: a beaver’s tail, a turtle’s shell and a moose’s antlers. Dejected by her altered appearance, Narcissa wishes she could start the day all over again, and—poof!—the final page repeats the first page, with Narcissa again admiring herself in her mirror. This open-ended conclusion allows for discussion or simply quiet reflection about what the vain little rabbit may have learned. At first glance, the story, much like Narcissa herself, seems lightweight and even shallow, but there are subtle and worthwhile lessons hidden within the humor and trendy figures of speech. Bold, cartoon-style illustrations use speech balloons and sound-effect phrases for added humor. (Picture book. 3-6)