The Egg

( 2 )

Overview

When George finds a large, mysterious egg in the chicken coop, he can't resist taking it to his room and waiting to see what will happen. He nurtures the giant egg with bedtime stories and makes sure to keep it warm. Then one day out hatches a dragon! George is excited to take on the responsibility of raising his newborn friend and quickly instructs him in all things dragon-y-how to fly, breathe fire, distress damsels, and defeat knights. But what to do when his dragon becomes lonely for other dragon friends? ...
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Overview

When George finds a large, mysterious egg in the chicken coop, he can't resist taking it to his room and waiting to see what will happen. He nurtures the giant egg with bedtime stories and makes sure to keep it warm. Then one day out hatches a dragon! George is excited to take on the responsibility of raising his newborn friend and quickly instructs him in all things dragon-y-how to fly, breathe fire, distress damsels, and defeat knights. But what to do when his dragon becomes lonely for other dragon friends? This gentle fantasy with charming illustrations offers an original take on the relationship between a boy and a beast, suggesting the pangs parents might feel when their own little one grows up and becomes more independent.

George hatches a dragon from a strange egg that he finds and then faces the challenge of raising him properly.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the tantalizing opening pages of this fantasy, a boy peers into a henhouse and sees a hen perched upon an enormous golden-brown egg: "George knew something wasn't right when he found more than he bargained for under his mother's favorite chicken." The only clue to the egg's source is a mysterious hole in the henhouse roof. George uses a wheelbarrow to maneuver the armchair-sized egg into his house, and in a tense four-part spread, he watches as something ("It definitely wasn't a chicken!") starts to hatch. After an all-too-brief period of suspense, a muscular, bat-winged baby dragon emerges, and George patiently trains it to fly and to aim its fiery breath. Robertson's (The Bed and Breakfast House) delicate, detail-rich watercolors resemble those in Peter Collington's wordless books, and indeed some of Robertson's multipanel illustrations convey the duo's silent communication (since George "didn't speak Dragon"). In one sequence, a lesson in "How to Defeat a Knight," George uses a wooden sword to mimic a certain saint, then waves a white flag as the dragon looks at him with affection. Yet many practical considerations go unpictured: How does George get the gigantic egg through his bedroom door? How does he befriend the dragon? And what does a kid feed a giant green lizard? Robertson hints at the magic in his opening pages, but unlike other tales with similar premises (such as Dick King-Smith's middle-grade novel The Water-Horse), his story doesn't realize its potential. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
A boy peers into a henhouse and sees a hen perched upon an enormous golden-brown egg. When a muscular, bat-winged baby dragon emerges, the boy patiently trains it to fly. According to PW, "The delicate, detail-rich watercolors resemble those in Peter Collington's wordless books." Ages 4-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Most of us would probably faint if we found what George found in his mother's chicken house one morning. What he found was an egg to be sure, but it was a simply enormous egg, a mammoth egg. George however was a very sensible and level-headed boy and instead of fainting he took the egg to his warm bedroom and read it stories. This George did faithfully for three days and three nights. Then the egg hatched and George discovered that the egg contained not a chicken but a dragon. George, being the kind of boy he was, was not overwhelmed or daunted at the prospect of becoming a "mother" to the dragon. Instead, he set about teaching the dragon "dragony ways," with skill and a clear understanding of what a young dragon should know in life. It is only when George is reading his dragon a book of dragon tales that George discovers that his creature is lonely and in need of dragon company. The next day the dragon is gone but not for long. When he returns he has something of his own to share with George, his devoted and loving "mother." With wonderful illustrations and a great skill with descriptive prose the author of this book takes us on an extraordinary journey. During this expedition into an unknown world we share the bond that exists between George and his dragon and we see how love, and good sense, can make all the difference in a difficult situation. A gentle and warmly humorous tone, and an understanding of how young people think on the part of the author makes this a very special book indeed. 2003 (orig. 2000), Puffin, Ages 3 to 6.
—Marya Jansen-Gruber
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A beautifully written fantasy with luminous, richly hued artwork that is as evocative as the text. When George finds a gigantic egg in his mother's chicken house, he realizes that it is special. Lugging it back to his room, he keeps it warm and reads to it until a baby dragon pecks its way out of the shell. The hatchling decides that the boy must be his mother. "George had never been a mother before, but he knew that it was his motherly duty to teach the dragon dragony ways." Hence, lessons commence in flying, fire breathing, damsel distressing, and knight slaying. George successfully raises the creature, only to learn that he must say good-bye as the dragon goes off to search for his own family. He later returns, though, to take George on a breathtaking flight to the place where these creatures live. When it is time for the boy to leave, he gives his friend a tight squeeze. The beast, in return, roars. "George didn't speak Dragon, but he knew exactly what the dragon had said: `Thank you.'" The paintings reflect the growing relationship between the child and his charge. The dragon is perfect for a young audience-realistic looking without being too scary. Each painting is a treasure on its own, filled with warm lighting, even warmer shadows, and incredible detail. This is one egg that won't gather dust on your shelves.-Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142400388
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/9/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 450,120
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.52 (w) x 10.85 (h) x 0.09 (d)

Meet the Author


M. P. Robertson studied illustration at Kingston University. He is an internationally acclaimed author and illustrator of children's books. His many books include The Great Dragon Rescue, The Dragon Snatcher, Frank 'n' Stan, Food Chain, Hieronymus Betts and His Unusual Pets, and Ice Trap!, written by Meredith Hooper. He lives with his family in Wiltshire, U.K.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2009

    The Egg

    Some kids enjoyed this book, some did not, I enjoyed it and loved reading it. The illustrations and imagination are wonderful. If a teacher is into fiction/dragons and very young sceince fiction story, it's for you. I loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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