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Although kids will adore the concept of hatching eggs under one's arms, the translation of Guy de Maupassant's story is not always smooth; exclamations that work well in French teeter a bit in English. Halperin (who illustrated Anne Shelby's Homeplace, 1995, etc.) draws readers in with highly detailed, multiple-panel paintings of the French countryside. However, an overall softening of the characters' eccentricities makes this version needlessly skim over the hearty, bucolic humor for which the tale, setting, and two protagonists were created.