Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be?

Overview

Ten spreads with gatefolds and a culminating dramatic fold-out lead young readers from a single penguin egg to an ostrich's clutch of 10 eggs. Song-like, non-rhyming verse gives clues as to who might hatch. The answer to the repeated refrain, "Who will the babies be?", is found beneath a flap. Besides discovering the animal baby or babies, kids will also pick up a lot of nature terminology and interesting facts about animals, their birthing environments, and habitats.

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Overview

Ten spreads with gatefolds and a culminating dramatic fold-out lead young readers from a single penguin egg to an ostrich's clutch of 10 eggs. Song-like, non-rhyming verse gives clues as to who might hatch. The answer to the repeated refrain, "Who will the babies be?", is found beneath a flap. Besides discovering the animal baby or babies, kids will also pick up a lot of nature terminology and interesting facts about animals, their birthing environments, and habitats.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Matte cut-paper collages with wood-grain, paper, fabric, and other textures illustrate this nature-themed counting book. On the left-hand pages, words curve above and below large numbers, mimicking the subject matter: eggs and the hatchlings inside, which include newborn platypus, robins, turtles, and more. “Nine eggs, round and black, safe in shimmering jelly, floating on the pond. Who will the babies be?” reads one spread. Gatefolds open to the right or upward, revealing the answers: “9 frog tadpoles, breathing with feathery gills and swishing finny tails.” Charming and lovingly designed entertainment. Ages 3–up. (June)
Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
Deceptively simple text, illustration, and design combine to make an excellent science and math book for toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary children. Halfmann's descriptive clues introduce readers to ten eggs of various shapes and sizes on each verso. Each recto invites them to guess what will hatch before opening the gatefold on the right to see and learn more about the particular hatchlings. This combination of counting and science exposes children to eggs in all classes; some will be quite familiar to youngsters, while others like the platypus and glowworm eggs will be less familiar. Unusual words like puggles, clutch, and fry are easily understandable from context. Youngsters will delight in naming the animals and their babies and counting the eggs and hatchlings on each page. Thompson's mixed media collages use crisp lines, earthy colors, and shapes to focus the young child's eyes, then allows their eyes to move beyond as she reveals details of the babies' habitat, relative size, etc. The book ends with all the eggs on the recto, labeled and showing comparative size; the gatefold shows all the babies (unnamed) and says, "Count the babies once again!" Of course the young readers will, and name them, too! Turn the last page and see a beak poking out of a robin egg, providing another memory check. Youngsters will want to see this time and again, whether at home, at library story time, or at school. Teachers can use it to model non-fiction writing and descriptive language. Reviewer: Peg Glisson
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Part counting book, part science book, this engaging title will find a natural home in classrooms and storytimes. Each spread features a number and a type of egg and invites readers, through bouncy rhyming text, to guess, "Who will the babies be?" The recto folds out to reveal the hatchlings. All types of eggs are covered here, from penguins to caterpillars to fish to snakes. The text also tells what the baby animal is called. The engaging question-and-answer format is enhanced by Thompson's gorgeous mixed-media collage illustrations. On a couple of pages, text printed over patterned portions of the artwork is difficult to read. However, this is a minor quibble in a picture book that is sure to delight teachers and preschoolers alike.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Kirkus Reviews
Writing for a younger audience than usual, Halfmann pares down the text, leaving a math/science book that will have readers counting, guessing and learning baby-animal names. "Two eggs stuck together, / warmed by a furry tail in a tunnel by a stream. / Who will the babies be?" After guessing, readers can flip the gatefold to reveal, "2 platypus puggles, / with bills like ducks, slurping milk like kittens." A clean design and predictable pattern help readers join in. Halfmann takes care to include animals from across the classes, featuring some old favorites such as penguins, monarch butterflies, robins, turtles, snakes and frogs, while also introducing some species that may be more unfamiliar to readers: glowworms, fish and ostriches. While rhyming verses might have better suited the pictures, subject matter and intended audience, Halfmann does well without it, using strong, descriptive words that might have been sacrificed in a rhyming text. For her picture-book debut, Thompson plays up the nature theme by using richly textured papers and fabrics to fashion her cut-paper collages. While her shapes and outlines are quite simple, their textures are anything but plain, adding another whole dimension to the artwork. A final page displays all of the eggs and their approximate sizes in relation to one another. A solid addition to the spring egg shelf. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609051914
  • Publisher: Blue Apple Books
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 478,876
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Halfmann is an award-winning children's book author who grew up on a Michigan farm and later became a journalist before forging a career in books for kids. She created coloring and activity books for Golden Books, and her books on animals and nature can be found in the Smithsonian and have informed and inspired many a budding entomologist, future farmer, aspiring veterinarian, etc. The author lives in South Milwaukee, WI.

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