Monday, February 13, 2017

Egg - a bookwrap

Four eggs.
One big surprise!



Authored and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Ages 4-8

Illustrations for your enjoyment...

Prestigious reviews for you to ponder...

“Full-page spreads [depict] surprise, wonder, and newfound companionship. ...Another stunner from Henkes, who is able to evoke so much with few words and such seemingly simple illustrations. Gorgeous and thought-provoking.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Thickly outlined in brown, Henkes’s animals exude sweetness and innocence; and a quietly surreal ending, which sees the setting sun morph into an egg and then an orange bird, subtly emphasizes the anything-is-possible potential of storytelling. ...Terrific encouragement for readers to embark on their own narrative experiments.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Fans...will delight in his use of line, simple forms, and a gentle palette, all of which clearly portray feelings, depict action, and suggest character. The concise text and straightforward illustrations, however, belie a more complicated tale. ...This is a book that reads will want to pour over.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

“Picture-book master Henkes...taps into the deepest emotions of preschoolers with the simplest of stories. …Pacing is, as ever, perfect, taking full advantage of the switch from the early, snappy paneled pages to a series of wordless spreads that tell the story of the budding four-way friendship.” (Horn Book (starred review))

“With characteristic understatement, Henkes explores tenderness, acceptance, friendship, and love in this deceptively simple story. ...Henkes’ illustrations provide depth and a meaningful sense of the passage of time. ..The open-ended conclusion invites readers to continue the story themselves.” (Booklist)

Four eggs wait to hatch, but their destinies differ. ...executed with gentle mirth and invitingly minimal text. ...[youngsters will] appreciate it as a tale of adorable little birds finding an unexpected sibling.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“Kevin Henkes reprises the delicious milk-chocolate and sugared-pastel color sceme of 2015’s “Waiting” in “Egg.” Part preschool comedy routine, part word primer…children will learn the words “alone,” “said” and “lonely” before the tale takes a conciliatory turn with the making of “friends.” (Wall Street Journal)

Unwrapping my thoughts...

The book begins with four eggs:  one pink, one yellow, one blue, and one green.  The first three crack open and a co-ordinated coloured bird fledges and enters the world.  But what about the green egg?  It just sits there... no cracking... no hatching... just stillness!!!

The first three keeners are off flying around but out of pure curiosity they return to find that the green egg still has no movement... nothing.  The trio decide to help out by persistently pecking at its shell.  To their utter amazement they succeed and out pops a baby alligator. No way!!  SURPRISE!!!!  The foursome  form a forever friendship despite their genetic differences and celebrate life together.  

The storyline is simple and sweet and the author throughout uses a graphic novel format to express moods and interactions of the quads.  

The illustrations are outlined in brown, and painted with watercolours.  The author isn't finished with surprises yet.  He ends the book with a thought-provoking surprise, one that will have the reader thinking of all the possibilities around them.  I love the book and highly recommend it. 

Storywraps rating:  5 HUGS +++ !!!!! ... to infinity and beyond.

About the creator of the book...

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten’s First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly’s Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, “It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius.” Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels—one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive’s Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin. You can visit him online at

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