Nonfiction Monday – Eggs

Recently I wrote a thematic book list on spring life that focused on eggs and life cycles. Marilyn Singer was kind enough to drop by and leave a comment. When I learned she had a new book out entitled Eggs, I ran right out and got one.

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Eggs, written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Emma Stevenson, is a gorgeous look at these extraordinary vehicles of early life. The book begins:

IT’S A QUIET CRIB.
It’s a bobbing boat.
It’s a private pond.
It’s a room with no view.
It’s walls to break through.
It’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It’s an egg.

It goes on to discuss how all animals need to make more of their own kinds, and that while some animals give birth to live young, many animals lay eggs instead. Eggs are described as special worlds that provide everything a developing embryo needs to grow, from food and drink to oxygen. But embryos need more than this to survive. They need a hospitable climate, meaning they must not freeze of overheat. Singer goes on to describe the texture, shape, size and color of eggs. Readers learn about how many eggs different species lay, how they’re protected by parents, nests, or both, and how they hatch. Emma Stevenson makes her debut as a picture book illustrator with this book and it is a beautiful first effort. The gouache paintings are finely detailed and offer a visual treat to accompany the text.

The book ends with a extensive series of notes, including information on protecting eggs, a glossary, source notes and wildlife organizations. A comprehensive index is also included.

I learned several new facts about eggs while reading this book. Did you know that …

  • Bird eggshells are always hard, but their texture varies? Some eggs feel soapy, while some are powdery.
  • A flying fish’s eggs have long threads to catch on to seaweed so they won’t float into dangerous waters?
  • A termite queen may lay as many as a billion eggs in her lifetime?

Overall, this is an informative and thoroughly engaging book. I highly recommend it.

Book: Eggs
Author: Marilyn Singer
Illustrator: Emma Stevenson
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 32 pages
Grades: 3-8
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1727-8
Source of Book: Personal copy purchased from a local independent bookstore.

This post was written for Nonfiction Monday. Head on over to Anastasia Suen's blog and check out all the great posts highlighting nonfiction this week.