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Which Would You Rather Be?    by William Steig & Harry Bliss order for
Which Would You Rather Be?
by William Steig
Order:  USA  Can
Joanna Cotler, 2005 (2002)
Hardcover, Softcover

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I love the role reversal in Which Would You Rather Be? Instead of being pulled out of the tophat, the bunny's the magician, and he's pulling out choices and animating them for his boy and girl audience, occasionally to their dismay. Harry Bliss's engaging illustrations capture the kids' reactions as well as the myriad of creatures that populate that magical hat.

It looks like a lot of fun and will give rise to spirited discussion. After all, which would you rather be: a stick or a stone, a cat or a dog, a mouse or an elephant, a grown-up or a kid (that one is a no brainer)? Though it has its stereotypical moments (the girl likes the cat and the boy the dog), the story also fights assumptions, as when the choices of a boy or a girl are both represented by the same figure in a hockey outfit.

As always with William Steig, Which Would You Rather Be? is a cute story, but also a thoughtful one, that adult and child can explore together. Enjoy it!

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