THE ODD ONE OUT by Britta Teckentrup

Britta Teckentrup - Odd One 1


Britta Teckentrup has created an enormously engaging search-and-find book for preschoolers.

Each double page spread depicts a crowd of virtually identical animals with an “odd one out.” A friendly verse indicates the outlier to be searched for. As an example, the text on the ostrich page reads:

A wobble of ostriches
stand tall and proud
forming a handsome
and feathery crowd.
As these birds stretch their necks
           gazing around,
which one of them pecks
at the grass on the ground?

The right hand side of the two-page spread features 33 overlapping ostriches standing upright with one pecking ostrich in the mix. The birds in various shades of brown stand out against a plain orange background. On some pages the animals overlap, and on some, they are boldly silhouetted against a monochrome background. The last double page spread of the book brings a sense of closure to the hunt. It features a carnival of the many animals already depicted and asks us to find the one newcomer to the field.

This is an excellent book for developing visual discrimination skills with the youngster on your lap. You might think it would be a one shot deal; once you’ve found the odd ones out, why pick up the book again? Actually, kids seem to enjoy the hunt all the more on subsequent rounds. What I love about this book is that it’s so low tech. The pages turn at a young child’s natural pace. There are no congratulating bells and whistles built in. And funny thing, success turns out to be inherently rewarding, obviating the need for those gimmicky add-ons.