cover image Mule Eggs

Mule Eggs

Cynthia C. DeFelice. Orchard Books (NY), $21.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-06843-4

A city slicker moves to the country and makes a jackass of an unkind farmer who has tricked him out of buying a mule in this goofy picture book. Knowing he'll need a mule to work his new farm, Patrick heads to market. A mean-spirited fellow sells the naive Patrick a pumpkin, assuring him that it is a big, orange ``mule egg'' that will hatch a fine animal any day. Patrick goes so far as to sit on his ``egg,'' but to no avail. When he finally realizes his mistake, Patrick devises a way to give the smooth-talking pumpkin-grower a taste of his own medicine. DeFelice's (The Dancing Skeleton) prank-filled tale is bound to get young readers laughing. Although Patrick's initial stupidity is hard to credit, the author's smooth storytelling propels her audience past the point of disbelief. Thickly textured pastels by Shenon (Burgoo Stew) keep the mood light and the action lively. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)