Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Story About Surprises

You never know what surprises lay just around the corner. Sometimes they are good. Sometimes they are bad. And sometimes they seem scary at first glance, but after some consideration, we find that they are gifts in disguise.

This is the message I got from Egg a new picture book from Kevin Henkes, the author of Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, Wemberly Worried, Waiting, and many other amazing picture books. Egg is about four eggs—one pink, one yellow, one blue, and one green—waiting to hatch. The pink, yellow, and blue eggs hatch right on time, revealing pink, yellow, and blue birds that fly away just like they are supposed to. The green egg does not hatch right on time. It waits. And waits. And the result is…unexpected.

Will the egg hatch? What will be inside? Kids will have fun guessing what will happen on the next page. Egg is described as a graphic novel for preschoolers. The the layout of the book is similar to a comic book, but the story is simple and the words are repetitive enough that a three or four-year old will find the story engaging and easy to understand. This book, with its single word sentences and word-free illustrations, also offers ample opportunity for critical thinking, prediction, and discussion between parents and young children.

I loved that so much feeling and humor could be communicated in such a direct and minimal way. If you haven’t read Kevin Henkes to your kids, this is a great introduction.

And it’s great for Easter.

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