written and illustrated by Christina Booth
reviewed by Mia Macrossan
Christina Booth is an award-winning author of eight books, and illustrator of over twenty. Trained as a teacher and painter, she was awarded a CBCA Honour Book Award for her book Kip, and has won numerous notable book awards as well as the Environment Award for Children’s Literature for Welcome Home.
Are These Hen’s Eggs is a multi-layered story that touches on a number of themes including co-operation, tolerance and perseverance.
It works as a mini biology study for the older readers and even as a counting book for the younger ones.
Hen is sitting on her nest counting the days until her eggs hatch but then one night a storm scatters them far and wide. She starts searching and is helped by Cat, Dog, Goose, and even Cow, Sheep and Pig join in.
Even though she knows they are not all her eggs Hen sits and waits until nine eggs hatch. Each chick belongs to a different bird but there is a surprise waiting to hatch in the tenth egg.
Digital illustrations using watercolour textured background and pencil, pastel and watercolour tools create a warm and satisfying story. Booth varies the scale of the images so we have closeups and long shots, vignettes and double page spreads. The final endpapers reveal which egg belongs to which animal.
Lots of possibilities here to explore with a young child and there are even teacher’s notes and a trailer on YouTube. A rich little book that will reward re reading.
Allen & Unwin 2020 Hardback picture book $24.99 Age 3 – 6 ISBN 9781760523497