Four round and rubbery cartoon African animals—a wild dog, a warthog, a lion, and an elephant—find what seems to be a hole in the wall.
Round-eyed with excitement, each runs back to its fellows to report that the previous observer was wrong about what it observed. The dog finds the hole first: he sees a dog in it. The warthog sees a warthog, and so on. Alert children will catch on to this from the first image. (Spoiler alert: it’s a mirror.) At the end, when all four buddies (only the elephant is tagged as female) realize they are all correct and view themselves together in the mirror, “Everyone was happy because everyone was right!” The type is large and bold and uses color to highlight various words; all the colors have a smooth and slick feel to them. The story is based on a Mark Twain fable, which is reproduced in all of its fustian glory in three pages of text at the end. The moral of that tale is actually somewhat different from Wilhelm’s version and will prepare young readers for deconstructionist literary criticism in their later years, but the whole makes a fairly good read-aloud with very few words.
A deceptively subtle thought-provoker for preschoolers. (Picture book. 4-7)