Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Review - The Boy and the Egg

The Boy and the Egg
by Ellen DeLange
illustrated by Martina Heiduczek
Date: 2019
Publisher: Clavis
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

A boy discovers an egg and wonders what is inside. Could it be a turtle? A dinosaur? A new pet?

Filled with humor and wonder this imaginative picture book is for nature lovers big and small.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

At first, I was really enjoying this book. The pictures are really cute, and the boy's musings on what might be inside the egg are creative. But then... he starts to get kind of selfish. I suspected we might have a problem when he hoped it would be a crocodile because he "always wanted to train a wild animal to do tricks". Then I realized that the boy isn't just a caring little guy who wants to take care of an abandoned egg because it's the right thing to do. The things he thinks about that might be in the egg always have to benefit him. Ostrich? He could ride it to school. Dinosaur? He could impress his friends. When it turns out to be a gosling, he's disappointed... before he realizes that he can use this poor little creature for his own gain. He can swim with it and teach it to do tricks, and it will follow him everywhere! Then the kid has the gall to say they will be friends forever. I really don't like how this potential friendship is portrayed as a one-way street; the poor gosling is just going to end up being a status-symbol accessory. The book never points out that this is a problematic way to view and treat animals. (They're not just here for our benefit!)

So that aspect of the book was really disappointing because the illustrations are really nice. With different text, I probably could've rated this book higher. I don't have a problem with the boy thinking about what could be in the egg; what turned me off was how he would then think about how those potential hatchlings could benefit him.

Thank you to NetGalley and Clavis for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2.17 out of 5

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