'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 23 April 2011

Easter Review: The Odd Egg

It must be so wonderful for Gravett to have such creative license with her books. Opening The Odd Egg is like a birthday gift - every page is like tearing off a new wrapper, heart thumping at the surprise lurking within as each shred of wrapping peels away...

The opening endpaper, for example, features a single floating feather. Then the ensuing page also features a floating feather, only this time there is a gorgeous duck chasing that feather.

Then there is a title page with an enormous spotted egg then the story opens with a gaggling variety of birds, all in the process of laying eggs.

All except Duck, who peeks curiously underneath himself to reveal nothing but thin air. Alas, no egg (least of all because he is male).

Duck dreams of laying a prize-winning egg, the most beautiful egg in the whole wide world, and so when his luck turns and he actually finds an egg, you can imagine his euphoria. Only this is some kind of egg. Enormous.

Spotted. Concerning. Yet despite the taunts from his bird friends, Duck is convinced this egg is beautiful and that a glorious baby is residing inside.

Reminiscent of The Hungry Caterpillar's graduated flap pages, Gravett then takes us through a heart-stopped series of cracking eggs, as all the other birds welcome their new babies... the rooster, the owl, the flamingo... all greet their new little chicks. But when Duck's egg finally cracks... the baby inside certainly causes a flap amongst his ornithological friends.

I won't spoil the ending, but needless to say, there's no surprise feathers were flying in the opening endpapers.

Fun - surprising, adorable, funny, eye-achingly beautiful. And the last page will make everyone smile.

Title: The Odd Egg
Author/Illustrator: Emily Gravett
Publisher: Pan Macmillan, A$14.99RRP
Publication Date: 01/05/09
Format: Soft cover
ISBN: 9780230531352
For ages: 0-6
Type: Picture Book