The Odd Egg

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
The Odd Egg Book Poster Image
Satisfying and amusing tale about being different.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Being out of step with the crowd is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it might make life just a bit more interesting.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a simple little story, somewhat predictable, but still an original, witty tale with a great lesson about being a little out of step with the crowd.

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What's the story?

When all the other birds are sitting on the eggs they have laid, a duck feels left out because he doesn't have one. Finally, he finds his own egg...a large spotted, "odd" egg that causes quite a stir among the other birds. Again, when their eggs have hatched and his hasn't, he is concerned. But that is nothing compared to what happens next...

Is it any good?

Every book Emily Gravett has written is original, witty, and a little quirky, and this one is no exception. Kids will like the story, and the watercolor and pencil illustrations are up to the usual Gravett award-winning standard. Both are simply put forth, somewhat muted, but cute and genuine. Gravett adds little artistic touches here and there that add an expressive emotional depth to the tender tale that is told with an economy of language.

For example, as the duck sits atop his large spotted egg, the reader can almost hear the cackling of the other birds as they gawk and tease him while the owl searches the guide to spotted eggs for information. Not much is said beyond a few teasing remarks, but just the way the birds are huddled, how the neck of the duck bends down searchingly, and the eyes of the lounging owl look as though they are rolling in his head says so much. Even the flamingo's beak seems to grin sarcastically. Anyone who has ever felt out of step with the group will know exactly what is going on.

 

The watercolor and pencil illustrations are up to the usual Gravett award-winning standard. Drawings are simple and somewhat muted, but very cute and genuine. Little artistic touches here and there...a sarcastic grin, a leering eye... add an expressive emotional depth to the tender tale that is told with an economy of language

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how it feels to be left out of something. What was it the duck wanted? He thought the egg he found was beautiful. How did the other birds react? What did you think? What does the sound each baby bird makes when he hatches tell you about the kind of bird he is? How did the duck react when his egg did not hatch? How do you feel when you have to wait for something you really want? Why are the feathers flying all around as the alligator pops out? Why is he calling the duck "Mama"?

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