Egg Drop


Now for something completely different from Mini Grey!

A mother hen tells her chicks about the egg that wanted to fly. “The egg was young. It didn’t know much. We tried to tell it, but of course it didn’t listen.” The egg loves looking up at the birds (yes, it has eyes). It climbs 303 steps (yes, it has legs) to the top of a very tall tower—and jumps. It feels an enormous egg rush. “Whee!” it cries. “I am flying!” But it is not flying, it is falling. Hold your tears, dear ...

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Now for something completely different from Mini Grey!

A mother hen tells her chicks about the egg that wanted to fly. “The egg was young. It didn’t know much. We tried to tell it, but of course it didn’t listen.” The egg loves looking up at the birds (yes, it has eyes). It climbs 303 steps (yes, it has legs) to the top of a very tall tower—and jumps. It feels an enormous egg rush. “Whee!” it cries. “I am flying!” But it is not flying, it is falling. Hold your tears, dear reader—there is a sunny ending for this modern-day Humpty Dumpty. Impossible to categorize, Egg Drop is Mini Grey at her zaniest.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books, September 2009:
"Kids in general will roar with laughter at this expectation-busting tale."
Publishers Weekly
With stories like Ginger Bear and The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon, Grey specializes in pathos around inanimate objects. This poignant nonsense tale concerns an egg that longs to fly. “The Egg was young,” a hen tells a cluster of attentive yellow peeps. “If only it had waited.” Working in stained-glass gouache hues and snippets of paper collage, Grey pictures the egg at an airport in aviator goggles, the pages scattered with feathers and (later) a foreboding postcard of the Hindenburg and a physics diagram (the Egg “didn't know anything about aerodynamics or Bernoulli's principle”). Suspense builds as the Egg (more proactive in his own doom than the complacent Humpty Dumpty) climbs a tower, takes “a step into space” and mistakes falling for flying. Grey pictures attempts to reset its shell with string, nails or (worst) blood-red tomato soup. “Luckily, the egg was not wasted,” comments the hen, as the hero lies on a plate (optimists will notice it is sunny-side up). Grey balances humor and tragedy in her tale of naïveté, but those of fragile constitution should proceed with care. Ages 4–8. (July)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The hero here is a most unusual egg, who does not listen to Mother Hen's advice. It wants to fly and is always looking up, dreaming of the possible ways for doing so. Knowing nothing about aerodynamics but realizing it must get up high, the Egg first climbs up the 583 steps of a tower into the clouds. Stepping off, the Egg is thrilled to be "flying"; of course, it is only falling. "It took us a while to clean up the mess," the author sadly reports, "shells don't heal." Despite the tragedy, which makes front page news in the local paper, we learn that the rebellious Egg comes to a comparatively happy end. We get a hint of this misadventure from the front end pages, covered as they are by an array of eggs, one of which has tiny eyes peeking out. Line drawings and watercolors depict the coop, and scores of fledgling chicks listening to Mother Hen telling the tale. A couple of pages show the Egg imagining egg-y aircraft, with egg bodies for helicopter, plane, spaceship, and other possibilities. The dramatic fall is followed by a double-page display of attempts to put the egg together again, including band-aids, chewing gum, and even tomato soup. What passes for a happy ending is a picture of a plate of bacon and a smiling fried egg. On the back end pages, chicks are breaking out of all those eggs on the front pages. Perhaps they will listen to their mother…. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

In a wonderfully subversive reinterpretation of a Humpty Dumpty-like tale, an egg longs to fly and imagines different ways to do it. Since it is young and doesn't really know much about aerodynamics, it figures a 583-step tower is the key to its dream. As the Egg steps off the top with the cry: "Whee! I am flying," readers see that, in fact, it is dropping like a stone. Various macabre means are used to try to repair the shell, but to no avail. The book ends with a contented fried egg on a breakfast plate and the words, "Luckily, the Egg was not wasted." The mixed-media and collage full-color art is quirky and inventive with multiple perspectives, and imbues the Egg with personality-quite a feat in itself. Pair this tale with Kara LaReau's Ugly Fish (Harcourt, 2006) and Jeanne Willis's Tadpole's Promise (S & S, 2005) for a delectably dark storytime for older children.-Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI

Kirkus Reviews
"The Egg was young. / It didn't listen. / If only it had waited." This modern-day version of Humpty Dumpty (wall, fall, irreparable damage), first published in England in 2002, may prove as controversial as the comparatively benign Arlene Sardine (1998), by Chris Raschka, whose fishy heroine dies mid-book. Here, an egg wants desperately to fly and just can't wait for all that pecking-out-of-the-shell-and-flapping-its-wings business. Despite many warnings (and being ignorant of Bernoulli's principle, illustrated within), it climbs to the top of a 583-step tower and jumps. Gravity ensues. When the broken shell can't be repaired with tomato soup, Band-Aids or nails, the egg-now curiously intact and smiling like the Mona Lisa-is plated sunny-side up with bacon for an unseen diner's breakfast. Some children will laugh, two or three will never eat an egg again and, as usual, none will pay any attention when told "Wait until you're older." Grey's appealing, comical artwork-with soft watercolors, toasty warm palette and refreshingly varied perspectives-employs bits of graph paper, photographs and other textures to wonderful, shattering effect. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375842603
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/14/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 347,217
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mini Grey is the brilliant young author-artist of Traction Man Is Here!, which won the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award; its sequel, Traction Man Meets TurboDog, which was the recipient of many starred reviews; and The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon, a Kate Greenaway Medal winner.

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