More than just chickens come from eggs, as Posada (Ladybugs)explains. In fact, all kinds of critters-from spiders to penguins to octopuses-begin life as hatchlings. The repeated refrain, "Can you guess what is growing inside this egg?" pairs with a simple riddle-in-verse, prompting readers to identify various creatures. "This egg sits snugly on its father's feet./ He warms it with his body's heat./ Under his feathered belly, it's cozy and warm./ Safe from the icy Antarctic storm." Although the eggs are presented up close, visual clues-often a glimpse of a nearby animal parent-provide helpful hints. (Here, the answer should be clear to any fans of March of the Penguinsor Happy Feet.) A page turn reveals the answer, as well as a more expansive view of the animals' habitats and some prose factoids ("You can actually see the baby octopuses inside their eggs!"). Posada's paint and collage pictures are sumptuous in both texture and color; she beautifully evokes the furriness of a penguin's belly and the mounded dirt and sticks of an alligator's swampy nest. Even if the guessing may come easily, children will certainly learn a great deal about some youngsters of the animal kingdom. Ages 5-9. (Apr.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Eggs that do not come in stock sizes suited to specially designed cartons at the supermarket (no matter what the kids think) can be fascinating in their infinite variety. For each different kind of ova, Posada presents a clue-filled verse, a teasing fragment of a watercolor collage, and the universal question about what is developing inside the featured egg. A quick flip of the page reveals the answer with a full-blown illustration and an informative paragraph on the featured creature. (Yes, a purist might carp on being told the spider spun her egg case "with her eight long legs" with nary a mention of spinnerets, but spiders do use their legs to distribute the spun silk, so never mind.) The text is brief and to the point, and the charming collages generate Waldo-like searches for a clue to parental identity. Final pages present the eggs in question in their actual sizes and a step-by-step visualization of the miraculous changes inside a duck egg from the 4th to the 26th day. For a tighter focus, think of titles like Martin Jenkins's The Emperor's Egg (1999), Ruth Horowitz's Crab Moon (2000, both Candlewick) or Dianna Aston's luminous An Egg Is Quiet (Chronicle, 2006). Attractive, informative, and fun for the younger set.
Patricia ManningCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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