Thursday, April 9, 2009


Eggs are seldom ever scrambled and gobbled up by the main characters in children's books. 

They are either the precious treasure(s) of an adoring parent or caregiver who is entrusted with ensuring that no harm befalls the living creature developing inside or they serve as the transitory dwelling place of a charming critter who is either a) lost b) in danger c) looking for its real parents or d) all of the above.

It is a formula that works, especially when the illustrator adds subtle nuances and ticks to the new born babe.  Consider for instance the lost little chick in Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. With his spindly legs and inquisitive manner we quickly fall in love and hope against hope that this darling will find his real mom (he does).  

This was one of the first books I had to sign to a preschool class when I was student teaching 14 years ago and boy was I nervous. I kept signing "Are you my father" instead of mother.  

Eggs can also be found in the Caldecott winning children's book Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.  In it Mr. and Mrs. Mallard go from hatching eggs to tending chicks all the while exploring Boston Public Garden.  Classic, amazing book.

Then there is the young adult literature of Eragon by the precocious young author Christopher Paolini that begins when the young hero finds a dragon egg for which he sacrifices much and cherishes beyond all things (I never made it past page 289 and I really wanted to like it).

Of course this time of year egg books abound as the Easter Bunny hippity hops his way to the baskets of some boys and girls.

There is Bunny Trouble by Hans Wilhelm about a soccer obsessed hare named Ralph who finds his place in the egg painting/decorating business after a rough start.

And Easter Mice! by Bethany Roberts.  An Easter egg hunt that finds the most, the biggest and the BEST eggs hidden in the grass.

Sample text: "CRACK! Surprise!  An Easter Friend!"  The last egg hatched a baby turtle.  The 5 and 6-year-olds loved this!

Thinking back, I may have to amend my previous statement. Maybe eggs do get fried in children's books every so often.

Consider Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. But then again, they are green and perhaps not the kind that would spring to life adorable little offspring. I guess we'll never know.

The top picture is taken from The Peace Book by Todd Parr.  The caption that accompanies it reads "Peace is keeping someone warm". 


tut-tut said...

Lovely! I still have Make Way for Ducklings. Happy Theme Thursday.

Candie Bracci said...

Very nice post.Yes eggs are all that!
Have a nice day.

Brian Miller said...

nice. are you my mother was a fav of my boys. very cute. happy easter and TT!

Mickle in NZ said...

Oh Gary,

On the top shelf of the bookcase here in my bedroom are special books, yes:

"Are you my Mother"

"Green Eggs and Ham"

And the incredibly perilous for parents who have had a bad day and/or a relaxing drinkie or own favourite..

"Fox in Socks"

Hope you have a happy and relaxing Easter break, Spring for you and Autumn for me, Michelle in Wellington, NZ.

(woohoo, darling Zebbycat is sound asleep)

willow said...

I adored Make Way for Duckings and have such fond memories of Captain Kangaroo reading it to me from his Treasure House!

I used to be a licensed sign language interpreter, but haven't signed for years.

Wings said...

Great post. You know, all this wracking of my brain for the theme and I never once thought of "Green Eggs and Ham" and I must have read it HUNDREDS of times to my kids.


Tom said...

i can't see how green eggs would be very appetizing...especially scrambled green eggs.

Ronda Laveen said...

I never thought about it but I agree that green eggs would probably not produce pretty offspring. Maybe Shrek, though.

The Clever Pup said...

Thanks for this. It reminds me very much of the time spent I reading to my son.

I read him a story about a hen called Queenie how crossed a highway to lay her egg in a dog bed. Queenie, One of the Family by Bob Graham.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

welcome to tt!! great post.....and covers some really egg-cellent books. easter mice!! how did I miss that book!!

Gary said...

Kimy - I thought you might like that one.

Steve said...

I loved "Make Way for Ducklings" when I was a kid. And as for "Eragon," it's pretty impressive that you got 289 pages into it!

Salty Miss Jill said...

Here's a Turkish children's song (to be sung in a chicken voice):

Yumurtum sijak!
Inan masan gel dibak!'

'Bock bock bock!
My egg is hot!
If you don't believe me, come look!'

lettuce said...


happy post warm feeling


Mrsupole said...

I made green eggs and ham for the grandkids once. Will never do it again. They ate them and thought it was fun. I could not bring myself to eat any.

Great books. But have only read Green Eggs and Ham to those grandkids.

Thank you for sharing.

God bless.

California Girl said...

Make Way for Ducklings...a favorite of mine as a child which is probably true of most. Nice nice post.

Kris said...

The book "EGGS" is also a ripper.

Dakota Bear said...

A nice post!

David said...

Easter or not, many of the egg books you mentioned are year round favorites. Especially Are You My Mother? and Green Eggs and Ham!

WAT said...

OOOOOOOOOOOO! Eggs feature prominently in our culture I see! Thanks for opening my eyes!

Remember PINK FLAMINGOS? THE EGG LADY sitting in that baby cradle?! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


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