The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett

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The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Every bird has an egg except duck - until he finds the biggest one of them all. The Odd Egg is a beautifully-illustrated visual joke which will entertain adults and children alike. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: March 2009
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0230531352

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All the birds had laid an egg.

And there they all were. Robin had the smallest egg. Hen, who might well be a Sussex White, is very proud of her egg and hugs it her breast. Wise Owl is concerned about doing the best by her baby and is reading up on the subject whilst incubating the egg and Flamingo is perched rather precariously on top of a very big egg.

All except for Duck.

Duck has no egg. And he's looked everywhere. Finally he found one. It was the biggest, fattest, most colourful egg that anyone had ever seen, but all the other birds laughed and said that it would never hatch. As the other eggs hatched, Duck's egg remained stubbornly in one piece. Even Parrot had a baby boy. But Duck was patient and knitted socks and a scarf for his new baby and one day the egg began to crack…

I love Emily Gravett. I'd hang her gentle, sympathetic, watercolour-and-pencil illustrations on the wall and gaze at them. They're whimsical, easy on the eye and every time you look there's something new to see. The book Owl is reading is called 'The Bright Baby Book'. It's not her only book, though. She also has an egg spotter's guide. Cut pages, perfectly engineered, allow a visual joke to unfold and there's something on every page to keep both parents and children entertained.

Like all the best ideas this one is simple and perfectly executed. The words are few – just enough to elaborate on the unfolding joke – but there are plenty of ideas there to provoke discussion about wild life and even parenting. Some of the visual jokes will be more obvious to an adult, but there's nothing to spoil a child's enjoyment of the book.

I can see this being a book that a child will return to. I'm not going to tell you what emerges from the egg but the first reading will produce shock and surprise and then it will be gleeful edge-of-the-seat anticipation at each reading. It's likely to remain on the favourites shelf for quite a while and whilst it might not quite have classic status it is a book that will be treasured – and not just by children. Definitely recommended.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For another book with a cross-species adoption theme we can recommend The Cow That Laid An Egg by Andy Cutbill.

Booklists.jpg The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett is in the Top Ten Picture Books of 2008.

Booklists.jpg The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett is in the Bookbag's Easter Eggs.

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Buy The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett at


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