cover image Eggday


Joyce Dunbar, Jane Cabrera. Holiday House, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1510-6

In a story both clever and wise, Dora the duck decrees that the following day will be ""eggday,"" complete with a competition for best egg. She tells Humphrey the horse to bring a ""horse egg,"" Pogson the pig a ""pig egg,"" and so on. Humphrey, Pogson and their pal Gideon the goat have no idea how to lay an egg, but they give it a spirited try, letting out a cacophony of oinking, neighing and bleating. Dunbar's (This Is the Star) text, suspended in black type at an angle, seems simple and purely funny, but it implicitly reminds readers of familiar, worthwhile lessons about competition and creativity. Hetty the hen, matter-of-factly pointing out that the male animals from non-egg-laying species aren't equipped for Dora's task, suggests an imaginative alternative. Cabrera's (Cat's Colors) eye-catching artwork covers every inch of the double-page spreads with thick brushstrokes in vibrant colors that seem infused with the spring sunshine; the curving horizon in her backgrounds is just one sign of the inspired, childlike style of her compositions. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)