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EGGS by Marilyn Singer


by Marilyn Singer & illustrated by Emma Stevenson

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 15th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1727-8
Publisher: Holiday House

Birds and spiders, most insects, fish, amphibians and even a few mammals lay eggs. This wide-ranging introduction to the container that protects developing embryos of many species begins with a short explanation of egg structure. The author goes on to discuss physical characteristics—texture, size, shape, color and number—before turning to whether and how animals protect the eggs—by hiding them, brooding them in or on themselves, or building and guarding a nest—and finally, how they hatch. Appealing illustrations include both large-scale and miniature gouache paintings with careful detail. Full pages of comparative images highlight particular points. Text transitions are clear, but too often the author suggests purpose when she means effect: Some eggs are camouflaged “so that predators . . . can’t find them” and birds remove eggshells “so that predators aren’t alerted to newborn chicks.” The backmatter includes helpful information about protecting eggs, a glossary of words italicized in the text, the author’s sources, a list of wildlife organizations with websites and an index. An unusual take on a familiar subject. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)