cover image Egg Drop

Egg Drop

Mini Grey, . . Knopf, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-375-84260-3

With stories like Ginger Bear and The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon , Grey specializes in pathos around inanimate objects. This poignant nonsense tale concerns an egg that longs to fly. “The Egg was young,” a hen tells a cluster of attentive yellow peeps. “If only it had waited.” Working in stained-glass gouache hues and snippets of paper collage, Grey pictures the egg at an airport in aviator goggles, the pages scattered with feathers and (later) a foreboding postcard of the Hindenburg and a physics diagram (the Egg “didn't know anything about aerodynamics or Bernoulli's principle”). Suspense builds as the Egg (more proactive in his own doom than the complacent Humpty Dumpty) climbs a tower, takes “a step into space” and mistakes falling for flying. Grey pictures attempts to reset its shell with string, nails or (worst) blood-red tomato soup. “Luckily, the egg was not wasted,” comments the hen, as the hero lies on a plate (optimists will notice it is sunny-side up). Grey balances humor and tragedy in her tale of naïveté, but those of fragile constitution should proceed with care. Ages 4–8. (July)