cover image Dora's Egg

Dora's Egg

Julie Sykes. Little Tiger Press, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-888444-09-4

In this harmonious British import, a hen, proud of her first eggs, makes the rounds of the farmyard to solicit admiration. Dora's friends are too busy with their own offspring, however, to come and look, and the sight of all their winsome newborns is chastening: "" `My eggs are nice,' she whispered. `But that little calf all snuggled up is much nicer.' "" Dora's spirits are revived when her eggs hatch. Touches of humor--""Oh no!... I've broken them!"" Dora says as the hatching begins--make the slightly dim hen especially endearing. Chapman's (What If?) handsome paintings are thick with fresh color, and the spring green pastures and hedges twinkle with tiny flowers. Dora's plump form is both expressively quizzical and (almost) as simple as a cookie cutter. The outdoor scenes of lounging piglets, floundering ducklings and rambunctious dogs, and the warm indoor close-ups of the chicks, are equally fine. Sykes (This and That) and Chapman have hatched a winner. Ages 3-7. (June)