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Two books too similar

The Snake has much in common with A Snake is Totally Tail, a 1983 publication.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 20:03 IST

A self-published book by children's author Harriet Ziefert has been pulled after a reviewer noted close similarities between her work, A Snake Is Totally Tail and a 1983 children's release of the same name, by Judi Barrett. "Since I am both the author and the publisher of this book, I must, of course, take full responsibility for the text," Ziefert, who had planned to release A Snake this spring through her own Blue Apple Books, said Tuesday in a statement.

Ziefert's, whose previous works include Sleepy Dog and A New Coat for Anna, was going to give the new book a printing of 6,500, but only review copies had been sent so far. Blue Apple is based in Maplewood, New Jersey.

The similarities between her book and Barrett's, including identical closing lines- "A dinosaur is entirely extinct. This book is finally finished"- were discovered last week by Karen Breen, children's books editor of Kirkus Reviews, an industry publication.

"I have no recollection of ever seeing Ms. Barrett's book- though it would be foolish of me not to consider the possibility that I might have seen it decades ago and that its structure and some of its language imprinted somewhere on my subconscious," Ziefert said in her statement.

The book's cancellation was first reported Tuesday by The Book Standard, a sister publication of Kirkus.

First Published: Feb 01, 2006 20:31 IST