In honor of Easter, Spring, and my daughter’s newfound obsession with eggs, I did an egg theme this week. And boy, are there a lot of fun books about eggs. It’s Spring Break this week, so I was expecting a small turn-out, but after the first few minutes a big crowd arrived, and it ended up being a wonderful large group with a wide variety of ages. Here’s what we read:
Owen’s Marshmallow Chick by Kevin Henkes (Amazon.com link)
I hadn’t originally planned to read this, but at the beginning of storytime I only had two families, both with very young kids. This board book worked perfectly for them. Owen eagerly gobbles down all of the candy in his Easter basket, until he gets to the yellow marshmallow chick, which is the same color as his fuzzy yellow blanket. Will he eat it too?
Except If by Jim Averbeck (Amazon.com link)
A fun book to read aloud, especially because the kids get to join in on the repeated line “Except If,” which is usually set apart on its own page. The older kids caught on quickly, and eagerly shouted it out each time they spotted it. “An egg is not a baby bird, but it will become one, except if…it becomes a baby snake.” Each page shows a different possible outcome: the egg might actually hold a lizard, or a dinosaur. Except if…it actually becomes a baby bird.
There is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems (Amazon.com link)
Another great Gerald and Piggie book. In this one, Gerald is disturbed to discover that he has a bird on his head, and even more disturbed when another bird arrives, followed by a nest, and three eggs. This book got lots of laughs, even from kids who had clearly heard it before.
Flap Your Wings by P. D. Eastman (Amazon.com link)
The first time I checked this book out, my daughter demanded to hear it three times in a row. And when I had it in my stack at storytime, one of the Kindergartners pulled it out and said, “Oh! Read this one!” It is a fun story, with hilarious illustrations. When a boy finds an egg lying in the middle of a path near a pond, he puts it in an empty nest in a nearby tree. Mr. and Mrs. Bird are surprised to find it there, but kindly decide to care for it, even though the baby that eventually hatches from it is like no bird they’ve ever seen (he’s an alligator). Thankfully he doesn’t eat his adoptive parents, who keep him well fed until it’s time for him to fly from the nest… This one was quickly snatched up at the end.
Three Baby Birds
I had a puppet with three baby birds in a nest that I held out for the kids to “feed.” I made this song up using the tune to Shortnin’ Bread (click on the triangle to hear the first verse):
Three baby birds were sitting in a tree,
Crying to the Mama Bird, “Feed me! Feed me!”
One little bird got a wormy from his mum.
Gulp it up! Slurp it down!
Yum! Yum! Yum! (Repeat with two little birds, and then one).
Two Little Blackbirds
Two Little Blackbirds (The kids love this song, especially the quiet/loud and early/late verses. Click on the triangle to hear the tune.)
Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill (hold up two thumbs)
One named Jack and the other named Jill.
Fly away Jack (put one thumb behind back), fly away Jill (put other thumb behind back).
Come back, Jack (bring thumb out in front), come back, Jill (bring other thumb out in front).
Two little blackbirds sitting on a cloud, One was quiet (whisper), and the other was loud (yell)…
Two little blackbirds sitting in the snow, One was fast and the other w…a…s…s…l…o…w…
Two little blackbirds sitting on a gate, One was early, and the other was… (pause)…late…. (I really exaggerate the pause, until all the kids are shouting out “LATE!”)
INSTRUMENT PLAY-ALONG WITH A CD: Red Red Robin by Rosie Flores from Sing Along With Putumayo (Amazon.com link)
CRAFT: Pom-Pom Chicks
My son did this craft in preschool many years ago, and it’s always been one of my favorites. I cut diamond shaped beaks out of orange paper, and little feet (these were triangles with the point cut off, and tiny triangles cut in the wide end to make a W shape). Then I gave them to the kids along with pom-poms, wiggly eyes, glue and glue sticks, feathers, and plastic Easter eggs. (The feathers make it harder to fit the finished chick inside the egg, but they are very cute). One girl asked for stickers to decorate her egg, so I brought some of those out as well. The glue sticks worked pretty well for holding things on, but you have to rub them hard against the pom-pom.
OTHER EGG BOOKS:
An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston; illustrated by Sylvia Long (Amazon.com link)
I meant to read this nonfiction book, because it is beautiful. Every page shows different types of eggs, all in brilliant colors, while describing various characteristics of eggs: eggs are quiet, eggs are colorful, eggs are shapely. It also includes a brief description of the parts of an egg, and how the protect and feed the embryo inside. The last page shows all of the different creatures who hatched out of the eggs. The illustrations in this book are so striking that when I read it to my daughter, she wouldn’t let me turn the page until we had talked about every single egg.
The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown and Leonard Weisgard (Amazon.com link)
A fun, simple story by Margaret Wise Brown (Goodnight Moon), that is perfect for Easter because it includes an egg and a bunny. When a bunny finds an egg, he tries everything he can think of to make it hatch: kicking it, jumping on it, and rolling it down the hill. He is so worn out from his efforts that he falls asleep…and the egg hatches.
Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones by Ruth Heller (Amazon.com link)
Another great nonfiction title that is simple enough for preschoolers. This book describes, in rhymed verse, all of the different creatures that hatch from eggs.
Daniel’s Mystery Egg by Alma Flor Ada; illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Amazon.com link)
A cute easy reader that also works well for storytime. When Daniel finds an egg, all of his friends take turns guessing what kind of animal will come out of it: a duck? an ostrich? an alligator? But they are all in for a surprise.
An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni (Amazon.com link)
My daughter loved this story about a frog named Jessica who finds an extraordinary pebble. Her friend insists that it is a chicken egg, so when it hatches, Jessica and her friends assume the new baby is a chicken. They become close friends with the new baby, until the chicken finds her mother. The frogs all find it very funny that the chicken’s mother calls her “my little alligator.”
What are your favorite books about eggs?