An Extraordinary Egg

An Extraordinary Egg

4.6 3
by Leo Lionni
     
 

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Illus. in full color. While taking a walk, three frogs discover what they believe to be a chicken egg and eagerly wait for it to hatch. When a scaly, four-legged creature with a long snoutful of teeth emerges a few days later, the frogs are still convinced it's a chicken and are thrilled to have a new friend. Soon the frogs and "chicken" are inseparable, at least

Overview

Illus. in full color. While taking a walk, three frogs discover what they believe to be a chicken egg and eagerly wait for it to hatch. When a scaly, four-legged creature with a long snoutful of teeth emerges a few days later, the frogs are still convinced it's a chicken and are thrilled to have a new friend. Soon the frogs and "chicken" are inseparable, at least until the day "chicken" finds and returns to her mother...an enormous "hen" who looks suspiciously like an alligator! "An eggs/rmtraordinary treat from a master storyteller."—School Library Journal. "Just the thing to lighten up a picture-book hour."—Kirkus.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
01/01/2015
PreS-K—Leo Lionni, that picture-book master who was always a bridesmaid (he recevied four Caldecott Honors, but never the Medal), has been a favorite among librarians and children for generations. After a successful career as an art director and graphic designer, Lionni began creating children's books at the age of 50. From the startling simplicity of his first book, Little Blue and Little Yellow (1959), to the exquisite compositions and thoughtful storytelling in Swimmy (1973), Inch by Inch (1960), Frederick (1967), and Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse (1969), Lionni's style is characterized by textural collage work, naturalistic palettes, and straightforward, child-friendly text. His last children's book, An Extraordinary Egg, was completed in 1994, when Lionni was 84 years old. It's the charming tale of Jessica, a frog "full of wonder," and her extraordinary pebble that turns out to be an extraordinary egg. Jessica and her froggy friends insist that the hatchling is a chicken, depite clear visual evidence to the contrary. Back in hardcover, this classic picture book is a delightful read-aloud and deserves a spot on the shelf along with Lionni's other great works.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``On Pebble Island, there lived three frogs: Marilyn, August, and one who was always somewhere else.'' Like the amiable animals in Lionni's previous, inimitable fables, these anthropomorphized amphibians have a quiet but memorable adventure. In the spotlight is the roving frog, Jessica, who is ``full of wonder,'' and proclaims everything she finds--even common pebbles--``extraordinary.'' When she comes across a stone that is ``perfect, white like the snow and round like the full moon on a midsummer night,'' she lugs it home, whereupon Marilyn, ``who knew everything about everything,'' announces that it is a chicken egg. ``I was right! It is a chicken!'' she exclaims smugly when the egg hatches and a baby alligator emerges. Kids will giggle at the frogs' repeated references to the friendly newborn as ``the chicken.'' They'll be even more tickled when the frogs chuckle at the ``mother chicken'' who, finally reunited with her offspring, greets her ``sweet little alligator.'' ``What a silly thing to say!'' concludes the omniscient Marilyn. In his 40th book, Lionni is in typically fine form. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
One of the best known children's fable tellers is Leo Lionni. This is his fortieth book. The heroine of the story is Jessica, an adventuresome frog who is full of wonder and always brings back treasures to share with her frog buddies, Marilyn and August. One day she brings home an extraordinary egg and Marilyn tells her it's a chicken egg. The frogs hold firm to this belief, even when an alligator hatches out, and eventually finds its way home and is called alligator by its mother. Lionni makes a place for young children to be part of his story. A preschooler knows more than these silly frogs and Lionni sets up situations where children can find triumph in their knowledge. Lionni knows how to tell a story to entertain while planting seeds that may one day blossom into new knowledge.
Carolyn Phelan
Jessica the frog discovers an egg, which her frog friend Marilyn identifies as a chicken egg. A baby alligator hatches out, but the frogs continue to call it a chicken. When Jessica helps the "little chicken" find his mother, she's amused when the mother calls him "my sweet little alligator." It's not much of a story, but preschoolers who are old enough to know their alligators from their chickens will enjoy being in on the joke. Lionni's collages of cut papers, shaded with crayons or oil pastels, make distinctive double-page spreads that show up well at a distance, and the text is clearly written. A mildly appealing animal tale for Lionni fans.
From the Publisher
"An eggs-traordinary treat from a master storyteller." —School Library Journal (Starred Review)

"Just the thing to lighten up a picture-book hour." —Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"Kids will giggle at the frogs' repeated references to the friendly newborn as 'the chicken.' They'll be even more tickled when the frogs chuckle at the 'mother chicken' who, finally reunited with her offspring, greets her 'sweet little alligator' . . . In his 40th book, Lionni is in typically fine form." —Publisher's Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679858409
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
03/22/1994
Pages:
1
Sales rank:
425,019
Product dimensions:
9.26(w) x 11.01(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
520L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Leo Lionni, an internationally known designer, illustrator, and graphic artist, was born in Holland and lived in Italy until he came to the United States in 1939. He was the recipient of the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was honored posthumously in 2007 with the Society of Illustrators’ Lifetime Achievement Award. His picture books are distinguished by their enduring moral themes, graphic simplicity and brilliant use of collage, and include four Caldecott Honor Books: Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Hailed as “a master of the simple fable” by the Chicago Tribune, he died in 1999 at the age of 89.

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4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love many of Leo Leonni's books, but this one is my absolute favorite! My children all love it, and I think part of the reason may be that they love to see me laugh and laugh every time I read it! The book is heartwarming, sweet, and funny. The characters are loveable and empathetic. This is a wonderful read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Perfect for storytimes !!!! The kids get a real kick out of this story. It gives them a chance to feel pretty smart especially when Jessica the know-it- all convinces everyone, 'It's a chicken, everyone knows that chickens come from eggs.' Loads of fun. Don't overlook the connections you can make with illustrations. Look for Rodin's Thinker. Many kids will recognize it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago