The Odd Egg

Emily Gravett, Author, Emily Gravett, Illustrator . Simon & Schuster $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-6872-6

An odd duck finds an odd egg in Gravett’s (Meerkat Mail ) economically told story. Envious of a quintet of various mother birds snuggling with their eggs, a male duck wants an ovoid bundle, too. From an undisclosed locale, he adopts a gigantic egg whose green spots match his head feathers. The other birds cackle with amusement; the bookish owl consults an “Egg Spotters’ Guide” and looks askance at Duck’s treasure. Gravett arranges the six eggs across a spread in ascending-size order. When each “creak cracks,” layered, before-and-after specially cut flaplike pages reveal each successive baby greeting its mother with a “tweet” or a “honk.” Ultimately only Duck’s mystery egg remains. Using visual suspense and few words, Gravett depicts an alligator bursting from the shell, snapping its jaws and scattering the naysayers. There is mild ambiguity—not everyone is shown getting out of its way and feathers do fly—yet the gator seems amiable. A parting view shows it waddling after skinny Duck, saying “Mama,” wearing a scarf Duck has knitted and booties that resemble a duck’s webbed feet. A witty salute to both nature and nurture. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/27/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 1 pages - 978-0-230-53135-2
Hardcover - 28 pages - 978-0-230-75048-7
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-99921-42-82-0
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-89-7184-920-0
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-986-211-482-7
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