Eggstra-ordinary picture books about Eggs! by the Picture Book Denners

The team decided this would be a great time to share our favourite egg themed books – however tenuous that link is. So, here goes!

Lynne's egg book:

I nominate Tadpole's Promise written by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross

When eggs are mentioned, I think it’s fair to say most people think bird eggs. However, there are a huge number of other critters which lay eggs. For example, ladybirds, slugs and snails, earth worms, spiders, butterflies, and frogs. The book I’m nominating is about the last two on this list, a frog and a butterfly. Both of which hatch from eggs!
I stumbled across this book in my local book shop. I was researching for a publisher, who might have been interested in a story I was working on. As I had limited time, I’d told myself I’d only flick through the books to get a feel for them and would, under no circumstances read them. Well… that didn’t happen.
I pulled Tadpole's Promise from the shelf and flicked to the first page. I began to read and just kept reading, until I’d reached the last page. It’s one of the few times I’ve had a laugh out loud moment in a bookshop, quickly followed by a little pang of guilt. I don’t want to give the ending away because it’s clever, it’s tragic and it’s amusing. Plus, it’s a great way to introduce children to the circle of life and the natural wonder of metamorphosis.


P.S. If you want to see the eggs for each species I’ve mentioned just click on the link. 

An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

Natascha's egg book:

AN EGG IS QUIET by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long is part of a series of beautiful nature books. Each has deceptively simple, poetic main story text and layers of more detailed informational text about eggs belonging to all kinds of species.

The book opens with beautiful eggs on the front endsheets and the back endsheets feature lots of colourful hatched creatures.

It begins with a whisper . . .

"An egg is quiet . . ." (hatching), then builds:
An egg is also 'colorful'  . . .  (colours),

From An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Aston & Sylvia Long

'shapely' . . . (shapes), 'clever' (camouflage to safeguard from enemies) and 'comes in different sizes'. It is 'artistic', 'textured', 'fossilized', 'giving' (life cycle), and . . .

The book ends with the joyful sounds as the creatures hatch out into the world.

tiny hummingbirds to giant ostrich, oval ladybird eggs to tubular
dogfish eggs, gooey frog eggs to fossilized dinosaur eggs, t
he detailed images alongside the rhythmical text are mesmerizing!

Clare's egg book:

'All the birds had laid an egg. All except... Duck!' 

That is until Duck finds the most beautiful egg in the whole wide world. The other animals aren't convinced initially. But a twist in the tale soon shows them the error of their ways. 

In the 'Odd Egg!' by Emily Gravett, the first thing that strikes me is how masterful the illustrations are. I love the softness of Emily's characters and the pencil line details. The book also has some clever novelty elements which add to the fun and interactivity and come into play with then eggs hatch. The double page where the reader meets the birds' babies is done so well! 

As well as warm illustrations, there's plenty of onomatopoeia spattered amongst in the concise text, drawing the reader in and making it a great read aloud. It might not be the ending you expect to this sweet, cutesy book... all the more reason I like it! 

Jane's egg book:

 I'm choosing "tell me a Dragon' by Jackie Morris (Frances Lincoln 2009)

This may be a bit of a cheat, as eggs only appear in the endpapers!

For years now, this beautiful, lyrical book has been the favourite of one or another of my four granddaughters. It's inspired us to have lots of fun together, collecting pebbles and dreaming up what type of dragon might hatch out of them.

Jane's youngest garden dragon, guarding some pebbly 'eggs.'

Pippa's egg book: 

Pip & Egg, written by Alex Latimer and illustrated by David Litchfield

Well, as a Pip, I had to choose that title, didn't I! But it's also a superb picture book, thoughtful and beautiful, kind and wise.

Egg and Pip become great friends, but then life brings changes. Unlike in wonderfully shocking Tadpole's Promise (see above), these two are destined to come through challenges to their friendship that leave them still good friends, but different, at the end. First Pip begins to sprout roots and can no longer move. Pip grows taller and leafier as we turn the pages. And then Egg changes ... into a baby bird! Pip understands when Egg needs to fly to a wonderful city to meet other birds. But guess where bird Egg wants to be when she realises she has an egg inside her? Back to the wonderful tree that Pip has become. What could be more satisfying?

Chitra's egg book

In my egg book, the eggs are not characters. But they are both the victims and the heroes of the story. Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market is about eggs that have to crack to become something else. It's a story of making the best of any situation, and it's the story of resilience, even when it comes to something as fragile as an egg. I also wrote a detailed blog post about why I wrote about eggs when I don't eat eggs.  

Illustrated by Kanika Nair

Moira's egg book 

Well, here's a strange little tale about an egg picture book, and about being an author....Back in 2012 I was asked to write a book for ages 4-5 on eggs. Only it wasn't going to have any words! I was nonplussed but I said yes because the fee seemed generous for writing a book with no words, and there were royalties. I was asked to select photos from a picture library that would tell an unspoken narrative about eggs - a narrative using pictures that young emerging readers could chat about with a grown-up. So I found egg photos that told of animals such as fishes, crocodiles, seagulls and eagles....and so far  'What's In the Egg' has gone on to earn me 3 times the original advance. The lesson? As an author, don't necessarily say no to unusual opportunities, even if they sound a bit strange. Keep your mind open!

The book I 'wrote' with no words. 

Garry's egg book

J.Otto Seibold presents Other Goose. Re-nurseried!! and Re-rhymed!! Childrens Classics

If you're a fan of wacky and zany or you just want to shake things up a bit for Easter, then this is the book for you.

J.Otto Seibold re-tells some classic 'Mother Goose' nursery rhymes in his inimitable illustrative style. The book includes a chapter called ' Of Eggs and Accidents - fried, tried and justified' where Humpty Dumpty goes to the mall and buys some platform boots in the sale, size eggleven. In part two he steps in a hole and loses one boot which leaves him clopping around and around in circles. 

Bonkers and lots of fun, this book gets my shout for Easter.

Mini's egg book

The Good Egg 

I did a rather egg-based post back in February to mark 20 years since the publication of my very first book, which was about an egg (Egg Drop.) You can find it here. In it I do a round-up (OK, an oval-up...) of some favourite egg books including this one. Happy Easter, and wishing you the best of eggs!

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