Review Blog

Feb 05 2020

Are these Hen's eggs? by Christina Booth

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760523497. 32pp.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Hen can't wait for her eggs to hatch. She counts the days, the sunrises and sunsets as she sits impatiently on her nest containing three eggs. But one night, thunder roars, and lightning flashes, water cascading across the landscape. Next morning, Hen along with some other birds: a goose, duck, cockatoo and owl, search for their eggs, the farm dog and cat, pig, sheep and horse helping as well. Hen gathers ten eggs beneath her, aware that some are not her eggs. Duck has brought along one of her eggs knowing how anxious Hen is. Hen waits for the sunrise, counting the days once again until her eggs hatch.
Children will love seeing the various chicks that hatch from the eggs beneath Hen. Each of the mother birds comes along to claim their chicks, reinforcing the link between chick and parent bird.
And then there is one last egg to hatch, a twist that will make the readers laugh, all the more so when Hen does not see the difference with the little turtle snuggling into her warm feathers to sleep.
Christina Booth, author of such wonderful titles as One careless night, 2019 (the story of the Thylacine) and Welcome home, 2013 (the return of whales to Tasmania's shores) is known for her strong ties to environmental issues and this book reveals another strength: humour. The illustrations expose the relationship between the animals in the environment, the duck even giving Hen one of her own eggs, underlining the efforts we must make in helping others. The fun of the reveal when the eggs hatch will greatly amuse younger readers, and Booth has cleverly used her endpapers to show the difference between the eggs' size, making sure readers know which egg belongs to which animal. Are these Hen's eggs? presents a different take on an egg hunt sure to be a hit at the upcoming Easter festivities. Themes: Hens, Eggs, Counting, Anticipation, Friendship.
Fran Knight

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