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An Egg Is Quiet

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Overview

This stunningly beautiful and wonderfully informative book from award-winning artist Sylvia Long and author Dianna Hutts Aston makes for a fascinating introduction to the vast and amazing world of eggs. Featuring poetic text and an elegant design, this acclaimed book teaches children countless interesting facts about eggs. Full of wit and charm, An Egg Is Quiet will at once spark the imagination and cultivate a love of science.

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Overview

This stunningly beautiful and wonderfully informative book from award-winning artist Sylvia Long and author Dianna Hutts Aston makes for a fascinating introduction to the vast and amazing world of eggs. Featuring poetic text and an elegant design, this acclaimed book teaches children countless interesting facts about eggs. Full of wit and charm, An Egg Is Quiet will at once spark the imagination and cultivate a love of science.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This ebullient introduction to the magical world of eggs is one of the most charming books of the month. Award-winning artist Sylvia Long and writer Dianna Aston seem joyously intent on sharing their sense of wonder about every type of egg: giant ostrich eggs, tiny hummingbird eggs, even tinier ladybug eggs, gooey frog eggs, and fossilized dinosaur eggs.
From The Critics
A lesson about eggs is really a lesson about life. Elegant, true-to-nature watercolors of countless eggsthose of field crickets to sea turtle and ostrich eggs-reveal their beauty, practicality, and variety. "An egg is shapely," reads the title of one spread, which shows a stunning turquoise-colored egg with cocoa-colored striations, coupled with this tidbit: "Seabird eggs are pointy at one end, so if they're laid on rock ledges, they roll around in safe little circles, not off the cliff." Readers will find a wealth of other fascinating facts, all a testament to nature's graceful designs and ingenious packaging. (Ages 6 to 8)Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2006
Publishers Weekly
Like the subject matter it describes, this book packages with understated elegance the substantive matter found within it. "An egg is quiet. It sits there, under its mother's feathers... on top of its father's feet... buried beneath the sand," Aston (When You Were Born) begins, as spot illustrations zero in on a hummingbird, emperor penguin and sea turtle, respectively. The narrative then launches into a kind of survey about the characteristics of eggs, which follows a simple format. In most spreads, different adjectives (colorful, shapely, textured, etc.) complete the sentence, "An egg is...." This repetitive rhythm contrasts with the visual variety of the illustrations. Long's (Sylvia Long's Mother Goose) skilled use of contrast and compositional balance prevent monotony. For example, a border that resembles a color test pattern runs down the outer edges of a spread of nearly 40 carefully placed "colorful" examples, set against a white background, which dazzle the eye. The main text appears in large, flowery cursive, while a smaller printed typeface serves as labels and brief factual captions. "An egg is clever," in fancy script, for instance, sits alongside examples of camouflage: "An egg might be speckled to resemble the rocks around it." The letters' dramatic curlicues mimic curvy grasses and vines dappled with tiny insect eggs. Long introduces breathtaking color into the final spreads, as a concluding scene "hatches from" this peacefulness, reminding readers of an egg's purpose. This attractive volume pleases on both an aesthetic and intellectual level. Ages 5-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Many urban children are only familiar with the ordinary grocery store chicken egg. Here is a wonderful opportunity to introduce little ones (and grown-ups too) to the variety of beautiful eggs existing in nature. More than sixty eggs are gorgeously drawn in ink and watercolor—a real treat for the eye. Little touches—such as the ruler included so we can gauge size—are included. The text matches the illustrations perfectly—or is it the other way around? The end papers will keep you entertained too. This is a truly gorgeous, beginning nonfiction book for children that will keep adults' attention as well. 2006, Chronicle Books, Ages 5 to 10.
—Maria E. Gentle
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-An exceptionally handsome book on eggs, from the delicate ova of the green lacewing to the rosy roe of the Atlantic salmon to the mammoth bulk of an ostrich egg. Aston's simple, readable text celebrates their marvelous diversity, commenting on size, shape, coloration, and where they might be found. The author occasionally attributes sensibilities to eggs ("An egg is clever," for example). Still, her quiet descriptions of egg engineering and embryo development (no mention of mating) are on the mark, and are beautifully supported by Long's splendid watercolor depictions of a wide variety of eggs. (One teeny carp-Steller's jays are not spelled with an "ar," though they are stellar performers when wheedling for your lunch at a campsite!) A beautiful guide to the unexpected panoply of "the egg."-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Worthy successor to Ruth Heller's Chickens Aren't The Only Ones (1981), this engrossing album pairs images of dozens of precisely detailed eggs and their diverse wild parents to basic facts presented in neatly hand-lettered lines. Nearly all depicted actual size (and those that aren't, are consistently so labeled), Long's eggs look real enough to pick up, whether placed in natural settings or suspended on white pages. All, whether from birds, insects, reptiles, fish or amphibians, are not only identified, but Aston adds both topical phrases-"Eggs come in different sizes"-to each spread and, usually, memorably presented additional facts: "An ostrich egg can weigh as much as 8 pounds. It's so big and so round, it takes two hands to hold one egg." A delight for budding naturalists of all stripes, flecks, dots and textures. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)
From the Publisher
"The succinct text will draw young fact hounds, particularly fans of Steve Jenkins' Biggest, Strongest, Fastest and his similar titles. Long's illustrations are elegant and simple, and the gallery of eggs, as brilliantly colored and polished as gems, will inspire kids to marvel at animals' variety and beauty." -Booklist

"An exceptionally handsome book...A beautiful guide to the unexpected panoply of 'the egg'." -School Library Journal

Like the subject matter it describes, this book packages with understated elegance the substantive matter found within it. "An egg is quiet. It sits there, under its mother's feathers . . . on top of its father's feet . . . buried beneath the sand," Aston (When You Were Born) begins, as spot illustrations zero in on a hummingbird, emperor penguin and sea turtle, respectively. The narrative then launches into a kind of survey about the characteristics of eggs, which follows a simple format. In most spreads, different adjectives (colorful, shapely, textured, etc.) complete the sentence, "An egg is . . . ." This repetitive rhythm contrasts with the visual variety of the illustrations. Long's (Sylvia Long's Mother Goose) skilled use of contrast and compositional balance prevent monotony. For example, a border that resembles a color test pattern runs down the outer edges of a spread of nearly 40 carefully placed "colorful" examples, set against a white background, which dazzle the eye. The main text appears in large, flowery cursive, while a smaller printed typeface serves as labels and brief factual captions. "An egg is clever," in fancy script, for instance, sits alongside examples of camouflage: "An egg might be speckled to resemble the rocks around it." The letters' dramatic curlicues mimic curvy grasses and vines dappled with tiny insect eggs. Long introduces breathtaking color into the final spreads, as a concluding scene "hatches from" this peacefulness, reminding readers of an egg's purpose. This attractive volume pleases on both an aesthetic and intellectual level. -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Worthy successor to Ruth Heller's Chickens Aren't The Only Ones (1981), this engrossing album pairs images of dozens of precisely detailed eggs and their diverse wild parents to basic facts presented in neatly hand-lettered lines. Nearly all depicted actual size (and those that aren't, are consistently so labeled), Long's eggs look real enough to pick up, whether placed in natural settings or suspended on white pages. All, whether from birds, insects, reptiles, fish or amphibians, are not only identified, but Aston adds both topical phrases-"Eggs come in different sizes"-to each spread and, usually, memorably presented additional facts: "An ostrich egg can weigh as much as 8 pounds. It's so big and so round, it takes two hands to hold one egg." A delight for budding naturalists of all stripes, flecks, dots and textures." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811855549
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Sylvia Long is the illustrator of many bestselling books for children. Her detailed paintings are inspired by her love of animals and the outdoors. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2012

    Recommend indeed.

    A beautiful book that really shows and tells about eggs and can be used in school during discussions of birds and/or comparing of animals that hatch from eggs. It gives a fine perspective on different types of eggs and animals that hatch. A great read for one on one time and in a larger group - lends itself to this setting, too.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    An Egg is Quiet

    I discovered this book when I was looking for one for our kindergarten class. We have been studying eggs and what things come from eggs. The pictures were beautiful and gave the children much to look at and compare. It could be simple picture gazing for non-readers or reading for beginners or those learning cursive. We enjoyed the book so much I purchased another for my nieces and nephews for Easter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2006

    An Egg is...A Must-Have!!

    What a gorgeous book! And just in time for Easter! From the concise text to the colorful illustrations, this book holds my daughters attenion while teaching us both a thing or two. The naturalistic and realistic approach of the pictures was a refreshing change from the cartoon character filled world that is often pushed on children. We are egggstatic about this eggcellent book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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