Waddle: A Scanimation Picture Book

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Waddle: A Scanimation Picture Book Book Poster Image
Optical animation is mesmerizing and fun for all ages.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value
Positive Messages

Encourages kids to move around with the animals while they read.

Positive Role Models & Representations
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this third of Rufus Butler Seder's "scanimation" books is as mesmerizing as the others, with a text that is perfect for beginning readers. 

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What's the story?

The text asks the reader to move like the a penguin, frog, pig, elephant, and so on. A scanimated image on the opposite page is that same animal, which appears to move as the reader moves the page. Three words ("slip-slide-swoop," "flip-flop-floop," "jiggle-jiggle-romp") underneath each illustration add to the noise of the motion, and a little rhyming rhythm to the book.

Is it any good?

This book will appeal to just about everyone. The text is simple and playful enough to add a little extra fun to a book that is mainly about the fascinating illustrations. The youngest kids will enjoy the play, beginning readers can manage the text, and older ones will be captivated by what exactly makes the animals appear to move. 

Rufus Butler Seder, the artist who developed the scanimation technique, has also used it to give the illusion of movement to suncatchers and other optically animated toys, greeting cards, and even full-sized murals. He has two other bestselling scanimation books called Gallop and Swing.

The reader moves the pages, and the animals waddle, flap, hop, and so on. This is scanimation...very original and fun. Black stripes on a transparent plastic film slide across scrambled images to create the illusion of sequential movement. And, this time the animals are in color. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movement on the pages. What exactly makes the animals move?  How does moving the page back and forth make the penguin waddle, or the frog hop, or the hummingbird "flitter-flitter-fly"?

  • Have you ever seen any other kind of optical art? How is this like cartoons that you see on film? What makes them move? How is that different?

Book details

For kids who love animals

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