An animal fable—with beautiful watercolor images—about following your dreams when others tell you to quit that never quite...

HAVE YOU SEEN MY EGG?

A resolute rooster decides to adopt an egg in this illustrated barnyard tale.

Red the rooster wakes up one morning from a repeated dream: he’s sure he’s meant to have an egg. The hens consider him ridiculous: “When will you give up this crazy idea?” Roosters, they tell him, “don’t have eggs!” Dejected, Red walks away, but he talks himself into a quest to find his egg. First, he looks in the garden. No egg there; the valiant Rabbit tries to give him a tomato instead. Frog looks in the pond, but only discovers a pebble. Cat, dressed like a fairy princess complete with a beribboned wand, helps Red survey the barn. When they spy a ball of yarn, Owl gets involved, but merely repeats the wisdom of the hens: roosters don’t have eggs. Still, Red is so determined to succeed that he walks out into a storm. There, in a stream in a ditch, he sees an egg floating with the current. Even though he can’t swim, he fearlessly rescues the egg, bringing it home. The play against gender expectations, in which Red, a male, is devoted to locating and caring for his own egg, is charming, and a nice inspiration for all young readers drawn to nurturing, even if they’re told otherwise. But Fairchild’s (Rose and Her Amazing Nose, 2015) plot hangs together loosely, with the egg appearing suddenly and for no reason. Young critical thinkers would be wise to wonder what is in the egg that Red has saved, and to notice that he misses his morning responsibilities to look after it. Many children, however, will just be charmed by debut illustrator Shultz-Jones’ delightfully designed farm animals, including the Owl in dinosaur footie pajamas.

An animal fable—with beautiful watercolor images—about following your dreams when others tell you to quit that never quite delves into the consequences.

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5136-1965-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: 4Kidz Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2017

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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MORNING GIRL

Like the quiet lap of waves on the sand, the alternating introspections of two Bahamian island children in 1492. Morning Girl and her brother Star Boy are very different: she loves the hush of pre-dawn while he revels in night skies, noise, wind. In many ways they are antagonists, each too young and subjective to understand the other's perspective—in contrast to their mother's appreciation for her brother. In the course of these taut chapters concerning such pivotal events as their mother's losing a child, the arrival of a hurricane, or Star Boy's earning the right to his adult name, they grow closer. In the last, Morning Girl greets— with cordial innocence—a boat full of visitors, unaware that her beautifully balanced and textured life is about to be catalogued as ``very poor in everything,'' her island conquered by Europeans. This paradise is so intensely and believably imagined that the epilogue, quoted from Columbus's diary, sickens with its ominous significance. Subtly, Dorris draws parallels between the timeless chafings of sibs set on changing each other's temperaments and the intrusions of states questing new territory. Saddening, compelling—a novel to be cherished for its compassion and humanity. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 1992

ISBN: 1-56282-284-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

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