Sunday, July 12, 2020

Review - The Egg

The Egg
by Geraldo Valério
Date: 2020
Publisher: Owlkids Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

The Egg is an imaginative and unusual story about a bird and a child, and how they become a family. The wordless story opens with a crane caring lovingly for an egg. During a storm, a gust of wind blows the egg from its nest. Despite searching far and wide, the crane can’t find the lost egg anywhere. Heartbroken, the crane spots something―an egg! Not its own, but since this egg is also alone, the crane rescues it to safety.

When the egg hatches, the little one inside is―unexpectedly―a human baby. No matter their differences, the crane loves and cares for the child, adopting it into an avian life. When they take flight together, this unusual duo encounters other birds with their young ones―the babies all a diverse array of creatures, showing that families come in all shapes and sizes.

This whimsical story is open to interpretation and imagination, but above all imparts the message that a loving family can be whatever we make it.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is one of those books that leaves you scratching your head. Not because it's difficult to understand... but because you're just not quite sure what to make of it.

In wordless paper collage, The Egg tells the story of a large bird who loses an egg during a storm. While searching, they find something that looks like their egg... but which actually turns out to be a swaddled baby. Undeterred, the bird raises the human baby as their own.

That's all weird enough, but in the final pages, we see all kinds of birds with their adopted children: a toucan with a rabbit (or maybe it's an aardvark); a flamingo with a little girl; a parrot with a pig; and, rather hilariously, a pelican with a goldfish (in a bowl). I'm not sure what the reader is supposed to take from this. Birds are kidnappers? The "families come in all shapes and sizes" message is almost obscured by the absurdity of the pairings.

No matter. This is probably one of those books that you'll either love or roll your eyes at. It does manage to tell the story clearly without any words at all, which I admire. And the cut-paper illustrations are fun to look at. Overall, this is a strange little book... but one that I'm sure has an audience somewhere.

Thank you to NetGalley and Owlkids Books for providing a digital ARC.

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

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 2.8 out of 5

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