Eggbert, the Slightly Cracked Egg

Tom Ross, Author, Rex Barron, Illustrator
Tom Ross, Author, Rex Barron, Illustrator Putnam Publishing Group $16.99 (1p) ISBN 978-0-399-22416-4
Paperback - 1 pages - 978-0-698-11444-9
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-11291-8
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Vibrant illustrations of life-size eggs and other household items generate excitement in this soft-boiled story. Eggbert, an egg who wears a red beret and carries a palette and brush, enjoys painterly success in the fridge until his egg compatriots discover a crack in his shell. Banished, Eggbert tentatively makes his way through the kitchen, the windowsill and the garden. There's a lag midway as Eggbert camouflages himself in various outdoor scenes, hoping to paint himself into the landscape. Momentum picks up when he accepts his imperfection and travels around the world to see ``famous cracked sights''--a canyon, an island volcano, the Liberty Bell. Ross, creator of the It Zwibble series, doesn't trouble the reader with mundane considerations, namely, that an egg would go from cracked to rotten in short order. Instead, he sustains the fantasy and establishes a point--that a great artist might in fact need to be ``slightly cracked.'' Barron, in his picture book debut, fills every page with warm, undiluted hues and realistic backgrounds. But the eggs are his least credible, most cartoonish creations, largely due to his decision to attach spindly, flesh-tone arms and legs to the solid white torsos. Mischievously touted as a ``Grade A book,'' this rates a Grade B-plus. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
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