Monday, January 22, 2007

An Egg is Quiet

Aston, Dianna. 2006. AN EGG IS QUIET. Ill. by Sylvia Long. San Francisco: Chronicle. ISBN 0811844285 [Suggested Grade Levels P-2]

Long’s delicate watercolor illustrations of eggs and the creatures that produce them, along with Aston’s spare yet fact-filled text, combine to form a book that’s both beautiful and immensely informative. Even the end papers are educational: the eggs painted at the front of the book give way to their corresponding birds, insects, reptiles, and sea life at the back of the book.

The layout of the book, as the Booklist review puts it, “resembles pages drawn from a naturalist’s diary.” The main text, in an old-fashioned penmanship style, may be too much like cursive for the least-experienced readers, but it fits beautifully with the illustrations. Other text is smaller and more specifically scientific. School Library Journal calls it, “A beautiful guide to the panoply of the egg.”

Go on a nature walk. Look especially for birds, insects, and other creatures that lay eggs. Challenge the children to spot any nests. Use this book and the other reference works to identify what they see.

Dye/decorate eggs to resemble those illustrated in the book.

Other visual nonfiction books:
Jenkins, Steve. BIGGEST, STRONGEST, FASTEST. ISBN 0395861365
Kottke, Jan. FROM EGG TO ROBIN. ISBN 0516235087

By Julie Brinker

No comments: