Esme's Egg by Neil Griffith and Chistine Grove

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Esme's Egg by Neil Griffith and Chistine Grove

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Eggs - where they go, how they get to us and the lifecycle of egg/chicken/hen neatly wrapped up in the story of Esme's egg.
Buy? Yes Borrow? {{{borrow}}}
Pages: 36 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Red Robin Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1905434978

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Every day in the laying season Esme the hen laid an egg and every day Farmer Ferguson came along and removed it. Esme tried being a little bit devious but wherever she laid her egg Farmer Ferguson came along and took it away. Nothing daunted, Esme decided that she was going to follow her egg and so began a trip which involved a van and a warehouse and another van and finally a supermarket before Farmer Ferguson arrived to take Esme and six chicks back to the farm.

At this point you might be nodding wisely and thinking that you've seen lots of picture books like this. Off hand we quickly mentioned The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend and John Manders and The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett then we had to stop or we would have been playing all afternoon. But Esme's Egg is nothing like these books and it's certainly a departure for Neil Griffiths. Aimed at the older pre-schooler and upwards this is the story of how eggs get from the hen to your shopping basket and Esme is simply there to carry the story. This is education with feathers on.

Some points are glossed over and the hatching is - perhaps - a little unbelievable but it's the general story line that's important rather than the specifics. Far too many children think that milk 'comes out of a bottle' with no thought or knowledge about how it got into the bottle. This book gives a basic understanding about where eggs come from, introduces vocabulary associated with hens (there's a marvellous picture at the end of the book showing all the different parts of a hen). It's also an introduction to life cycles.

Christine Grove's illustrations are very easy on the eye with gentle colours but an amazing amount of detail. It's a book where you spot something new every time you look. I've just found a little mouse in the hen house! And I'd like you to look at the expression on Esme's face. Are you hard-hearted enough to take her egg? No. I thought not.

The book is suitable to be shared with a child and also for the emerging reader to try on their own. The vocabulary is challenging but the pictures give a lot of clues. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. The next time I crack an egg I shall make certain that Esme is not around.

A slightly older child will enjoy A Horrid Factbook: Food by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross which gives a lot of information about food.

Buy Esme's Egg by Neil Griffith and Chistine Grove at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Esme's Egg by Neil Griffith and Chistine Grove at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Esme's Egg by Neil Griffith and Chistine Grove at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Esme's Egg by Neil Griffith and Chistine Grove at Amazon.com.


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