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THE STONE HATCHLINGS by Sarah Tsiang

THE STONE HATCHLINGS

By Sarah Tsiang (Author) , Qin Leng (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55451-433-5
Publisher: Annick Press

Can a girl's imagination turn stones into eggs?

Little Abby and her cute dog find two heavy eggs in the backyard. There's no nest nearby: "They must have fallen from the sky," she thinks. Lickety-split, Abby makes a nest of sweaters so she can hatch them. Mother says that they're just stones, but she lets Abby carry her nest to the kitchen so she won't miss dinner. That night, Abby's dreams are especially lively. There could be swans inside the eggs, or alligators or turtles! Next morning, Abby hears some cracks, and out pop two peeping chicks. Mom wonders what Abby's doing with her paint set; even colored blue and yellow, "They're still stones," Mom insists. Clever photo collage allows both to be true: The photographed stones form the bodies of the blue-and-yellow chicks, while wings, tails and heads are rendered in the same cartoon style as the rest of the illustrations. One day, the chicks stop singing, then their feathers begin to fall off. Abby knows what she must do. She takes them outside and kisses them and watches them fly away. Later that day, Mom asks whether Abby wants to bring her birds in for the night. "Those aren't my birds," Abby declares. "Those are stones."

Tsiang portrays the life cycle of imagination with a deft touch; Leng's pictures capture both mirth and motion. Lovely. (Picture book 3-5)