cover image Hatch, Egg, Hatch!: A Touch and Feel Action Flap Book

Hatch, Egg, Hatch!: A Touch and Feel Action Flap Book

Shen Roddie. Joy Street Books, $14.95 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-316-75345-6

This harried hen would be happy to experience the joys of motherhood, if only she could become a mother. Apparently lacking a Dr. Spock for fowl, she has absolutely no idea how to hatch her egg. She tries a conversational gambit, force-feeding (``so she cooked a little pot of spaghetti and poured it all over the egg'')--she even resorts to planting in the ground her not-quite-newborn. Taking to her bed in exhaustion and despair (``I will never see you, my baby''), Mother Hen awakens to a pleasant surprise. This beguiling, less-is-more tale would be a charmer even without its flaps and textures for little hands to feel. As it is, toddlers can touch the plaid blanket mother knits to warm her egg, rock the recalcitrant baby in a flower crib and, best of all, feel its down when the inevitable happens. Roddie's straightforward text makes a virtue of simplicity, and Cony's illustrations are a marvel. Rarely has a hen been so expressive, and probably never has an egg seemed as endearing. Ages 2-5. (Apr.)