One morning the solitary Beast finds a big, egg-shaped surprise waiting on his doorstep.
“Please look after me” reads the taped-on note, and so Beast does—though nearly burying it in the garden, dropping it on the table, and letting it roll away down a mountain seems a rough-and-tumble sort of care. Fortunately, the resilient egg rolls right into a hospital, where Dr. Yoko, an “eggspert,” supplies the Beast with a checklist outlining a more responsible sort of care…and in due course, after much manual-reading and laying in of supplies, Beast has his world rocked by the arrival of little Baby Beast. Cue a new parenting-skills learning curve, but in no time Beast is deftly changing diapers, putting Baby Beast into a onesie, sharing a storybook, and tucking the hairy mini-me into bed. His reflection that sometimes “the biggest surprises are the best” then gets a punchline when, in the final scene, he finds two eggs on his doorstep. Beast makes a loving, model, enthusiastic single dad, but even younger readers are apt to wonder at his lack of curiosity about the egg’s origin, not to mention the total absence of mother Beast(s) in this scenario. Beast and Baby Beast are black, hairy haystacks with limbs, but along with lots of comfy domestic details, Judge tucks both light- and dark-skinned human figures into his simple cartoon illustrations.
In its own simplistic, sexist way, a lighthearted bit of behavior modeling. (Picture book. 5-8)