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Susan FraserThe author, Joh Nichols and Ken Rolston have created an imaginary world that has all the elements of a classic fairy tale inhabited by cartoon characters. It must be a challenge to make believable characters who are chickens and eggs, but the author and illustrator have managed to create a thoroughly wicked chicken queen with an army of squawkers and a brave young Eggbee and his superhero friend Pouleteer.
Children will readily identify with the hero and his friend as they trick the squawkers into letting them enter the palace, push the wicked chicken queen into her spilled hot choclate and rescue the beautiful turquoise tortoise before he is made into a necklace. Both adults and children will enjoy the play on language. "Eeeggg' shouts Eggbee as he bumps into the chimney and later puts on his shellmet before flying off on his rescue mission.
Action packed, brightly colored illustrations support the fast pace of the tale, but the illustrator also has taken time to capture expressions such as the gentleness of Mumbee's goodnight kiss and the evil in the eyes of the squawker guards. My favourite illustration is of the expression on Eggbee's face as he proudly sky-surfs the tortoise to safety. It is quite a feat to depict so much movement and emotion in any character.
I have read this book to a few of my preschool friends and watched them become totally absorbed in the exciting rescue of the beautiful turquoise tortoise. I have watched their enjoyment of the language "Yum, sticky fingers make for licky fingers" says Eggbee after he pushed the queen into the hot chocolate. I found this book a very enjoyable read aloud to young children.