Ten spreads with gatefolds and a culminating dramatic fold-out lead young readers from a single penguin egg to an ostrich's clutch of 10 eggs. Song-like, non-rhyming verse gives clues as to who might hatch. The answer to the repeated refrain, "Who will the babies be?", is found beneath a flap. Besides discovering the animal baby or babies, kids will also pick up a lot of nature terminology and interesting facts about animals, their birthing environments, and habitats.
Writing for a younger audience than usual, Halfmann pares down the text, leaving a math/science book that will have readers counting, guessing and learning baby-animal names.
“Two eggs stuck together, / warmed by a furry tail in a tunnel by a stream. / Who will the babies be?” After guessing, readers can flip the gatefold to reveal, “2 platypus puggles, / with bills like ducks, slurping milk like kittens.” A clean design and predictable pattern help readers join in. Halfmann takes care to include animals from across the classes, featuring some old favorites such as penguins, monarch butterflies, robins, turtles, snakes and frogs, while also introducing some species that may be more unfamiliar to readers: glowworms, fish and ostriches. While rhyming verses might have better suited the pictures, subject matter and intended audience, Halfmann does well without it, using strong, descriptive words that might have been sacrificed in a rhyming text. For her picture-book debut, Thompson plays up the nature theme by using richly textured papers and fabrics to fashion her cut-paper collages. While her shapes and outlines are quite simple, their textures are anything but plain, adding another whole dimension to the artwork. A final page displays all of the eggs and their approximate sizes in relation to one another.
A solid addition to the spring egg shelf.
Janet Halfmann is an award-winning children's book author who grew up on a Michigan farm and later became a journalist before forging a career in books for kids. She created coloring and activity books for Golden Books, and her books on animals and nature can be found in the Smithsonian and have informed and inspired many a budding entomologist, future farmer, aspiring veterinarian, etc. The author lives in South Milwaukee, WI.
Besty Thompson once served "chick duty," guiding the care of fledgling chickens hatched in her classroom. Ms Thompson found her research for this book fascinating, especially with regards to the fantastically "curious" platypus. She lives with her family in Portland, Maine, and makes her children's book debut with Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be?
Jacketed hardcover. Ages 3 and up.
USA 16.99 | Canada 18.99