It all began with the egg. If the egg hadn't been so hard, Ethel wouldn't have needed to stretch her legs. And if Ethel hadn't left the nest to stretch her legs, Cawly, that old crow, wouldn't have snatched the egg. And if Cawly hadn't snatched the egg, Dylan, who was inside the egg, wouldn't have hatched high in a tree in an eagle's nest. Between his chicken mother coaching him from the ground and his eagle mother screaming at him in the nest, Dylan has a hard time trying to figure out just what he is--a ...
It all began with the egg. If the egg hadn't been so hard, Ethel wouldn't have needed to stretch her legs. And if Ethel hadn't left the nest to stretch her legs, Cawly, that old crow, wouldn't have snatched the egg. And if Cawly hadn't snatched the egg, Dylan, who was inside the egg, wouldn't have hatched high in a tree in an eagle's nest. Between his chicken mother coaching him from the ground and his eagle mother screaming at him in the nest, Dylan has a hard time trying to figure out just what he is--a chicken or an eagle. How he comes to discover his true identity will have children giggling from page to page. David L. Harrison is in high form in this hilarious barnyard adventure. He's joined by Karen Stormer Brooks's comical illustrations, which add to the fun.
K-Gr 2-When Ethel the hen takes a break from sitting on her egg, it is nabbed and ends up being hatched by a mother eagle along with the rest of her brood. Unfortunately, the emphasis of this nature-versus-nurture story is on the adults rather than the youngsters, and overuse of dialogue prohibits storyhour use. The wordy, drawn-out tale ends comically as the chicken, raised as an eaglet, finally leaves the high nest by dive-bombing a fox that is threatening Ethel below. Brooks's cartoons make the best of the text, emphasizing the action and offering diversity of perspectives. However, the world won't miss Dylan or E-awk (his eagle name).-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
A case of egg-napping and mistaken identity finds a chicken being raised in the household of an eagle. Dylan is still an egg when his mother, Ethel, decides to stretch her cramped legs, only to have her cherished egg snatched by a balding crow who thinks an egg is just what’s needed to grow some new feathers. Ethel creates such a ruckus, the crow drops the egg into a nest high in a tree, said nest harboring two much larger eggs. Ethel, who can’t fly worth a hoot, clucks and cries down below as an eagle returns to that nest. Momma eagle, "whose name is too hard to pronounce," is suspicious of the little egg, but with a mother’s protectiveness, she keeps it warm until it hatches. It’s a sorry creature that emerges, in the eagle’s eye, and Dylan looks even sorrier when the other two eggs hatch. He establishes communication with Ethel below, but is confounded as to who his real mother is. When he hasn’t got a taste for the grub the mother eagle supplies, nor can he fly any better than any other chicken, he has his own suspicions. These are finally laid to rest when a fox nearly eats Ethel and his childlike protectiveness swings into action, summoning in Dylan the boldness, if not the grace, of an eagle. Though not very strong in the identity department, this is most pleasurable in the confusion Dylan generates in the eagle family: the mother’s befuddlement and the siblings’ desire to eat him (he "smells just like chicken"). Harrison’s (Volcanoes, p. 1131, etc.) telling has that droll wit that bespeaks the silliness of the situation. Brooks’s (Sister for Sale, not reviewed, etc.) art tends to be sugary when it comes to Dylan, with his pop eyes and furry feathers, but it also has the spark ofnarrative animation, making it easy for younger readers to follow. (Picture book. 3-6)
David L. Harrison is the author of many books for children, including Farmer's Garden: Rhymes for Two Voices, Somebody Catch My Homework, and the Christopher Award-winning Book of Giant Stories, all published by Boyds Mills Press. He lives in Springfield, Missouri.
Karen Stormer Brooks has illustrated several children's books, including I Bought a Baby Chicken by Kelly Milner Halls and published by Boyds Mills Press. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.