Monday, September 30, 2013

The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett (2008)

I am not a fan of Goodreads recommendation algorithm finding them odd at best, and completely wrong at worst.  I thought I would try an experiment, do some additional rating, and see if Goodreads could recommend some good books...  My experiment has been semi-successful.  For whatever reason, I can only get Goodreads (for now, at least) to recommend good picture books.  They (whoever "they are" - the binary code gremlins) suggested I try Emily Gravitt.  I was aware of her work in a collection development way - library jargon for "I've ordered her stuff and seen it in catalogs" but never had sat down and read on.  The Odd Egg is my first, and I definitely was pleasantly surprised.  I divide picture books into four piles (which sometimes venn-diagram each other) - books I personally love because they appeal to something witty or personally moving for me; books I would purchase for a child (perhaps a nephew) for a gift; books I would read aloud to a class or use for a storytime, and books that I think should be put through a paper shredder.  Odd Egg falls into three of those categories.  If I were doing a regular storytime, I would try to read it aloud; I would definitely give it to my nephew, and I thought it was really, really cute.  Not overly clever - this isn't Mo Willems territory, and it doesn't have that strange appeal of Barbara McClintock where the animals all have people's hands instead of hooves and paws, which some find disconcerting and I find funny.  But I loved the story, I thought the illustrations, which appear to be watercolor or gouache, are soft and beautiful, with some the intricate details I like in picture books.  There is a hint of wit ( the baby owl speaks in mathematics as well as owl).  A sweetheart of a book!

The Odd EggThe Odd Egg by Emily Gravett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this picture book.  I usually divide picture books into four piles (which sometimes venn-diagram each other) - books I personally love because they appeal to something witty or personally moving for me; books I would purchase for a child (perhaps a nephew) for a gift; books I would read aloud to a class or use for a storytime, and books that I think should be put through a paper shredder.  Odd Egg falls into three of those categories.  If I were doing a regular storytime, I would try to read it aloud; I would definitely give it to my nephew, and I thought it was really, really cute.  Not overly clever - this isn't Mo Willems hipster territory (almost though), and it doesn't have the strange appeal of Barbara McClintock which I adore,  where the animals all have people's hands instead of hooves and paws, and which some find disconcerting and I find funny.  But I loved the story, I thought the illustrations, which appear to be watercolor or gouache, are soft and beautiful, with some the intricate details I like in picture books.  There is a hint of wit ( the baby owl speaks in mathematics as well as owl).  A sweetheart of a book!


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