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
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.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A fable about friendship with a touch of mistaken identity. One day Jessica, an adventuresome young frog, rolls home a ``beautiful stone'' to show her two froggy friends. Marilyn, who knows ``everything about everything,'' states with absolute certainty that it's a chicken egg. So when an alligator hatches, the three frogs are surprised and delighted with how well their ``chicken'' can swim. When she saves Jessica from drowning in a tangle of weeds, the two become inseparable friends. One day, a bird lands to lead the alligator back to her mother; Jessica accepts this with equanimity. She is a heroine whose wonder at the world and loyalty to her friends rank her with such erstwhile heroes as Joyce's ``Bently'' and Dr. Seuss's ``Horton.'' But while those two stalwarts protect and cherish their eggs before they hatch, most of this story centers on the relationship that develops after the little alligator springs from its shell. Lionni's understated text perfectly complements his signature illustrations, which are a skillful combination of collage, crayon, and watercolors. An eggs-traordinary treat from a master storyteller.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY
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.