Age Range: 3 - 6
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A case of egg-napping and mistaken identity finds a chicken being raised in the household of an eagle. Dylan is still an egg when his mother, Ethel, decides to stretch her cramped legs, only to have her cherished egg snatched by a balding crow who thinks an egg is just what’s needed to grow some new feathers. Ethel creates such a ruckus, the crow drops the egg into a nest high in a tree, said nest harboring two much larger eggs. Ethel, who can’t fly worth a hoot, clucks and cries down below as an eagle returns to that nest. Momma eagle, “whose name is too hard to pronounce,” is suspicious of the little egg, but with a mother’s protectiveness, she keeps it warm until it hatches. It’s a sorry creature that emerges, in the eagle’s eye, and Dylan looks even sorrier when the other two eggs hatch. He establishes communication with Ethel below, but is confounded as to who his real mother is. When he hasn’t got a taste for the grub the mother eagle supplies, nor can he fly any better than any other chicken, he has his own suspicions. These are finally laid to rest when a fox nearly eats Ethel and his childlike protectiveness swings into action, summoning in Dylan the boldness, if not the grace, of an eagle. Though not very strong in the identity department, this is most pleasurable in the confusion Dylan generates in the eagle family: the mother’s befuddlement and the siblings’ desire to eat him (he “smells just like chicken”). Harrison’s (Volcanoes, p. 1131, etc.) telling has that droll wit that bespeaks the silliness of the situation. Brooks’s (Sister for Sale, not reviewed, etc.) art tends to be sugary when it comes to Dylan, with his pop eyes and furry feathers, but it also has the spark of narrative animation, making it easy for younger readers to follow. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-56397-982-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002


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