Friday, March 9, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: An Egg Is Quiet
Author/Illustrator: Dianna Aston / Sylvia Long
Publisher/Date: Chronicle Books / 2006
Genre/Audience: Nonfiction / Preschool and up

Themes: Eggs, biology, natural world

Opening: “An egg is quiet.  It sits there, under its mother’s feathers… on top of its father’s feet… buried beneath the sand.  Warm.  Cozy.”

 Synopsis: Excerpt from School Library Journal: “An exceptionally handsome book on eggs, from the delicate ova of the green lacewing to the rosy roe of the Atlantic salmon to the mammoth bulk of an ostrich egg. Aston's simple, readable text celebrates their marvelous diversity, commenting on size, shape, coloration, and where they might be found. The author occasionally attributes sensibilities to eggs (An egg is clever, for example). Still, her quiet descriptions of egg engineering and embryo development (no mention of mating) are on the mark, and are beautifully supported by Long's splendid watercolor depictions of a wide variety of eggs.”

Why I Love This Book:  This book is gorgeous and incredibly informative.  Poetic language in simple statement form is supplemented by fact boxes that give the reader an in-depth look at the diversity of eggs on our planet.  The author doesn’t limit herself to bird eggs, but includes fish and insects.  I love the endpapers.  The front shows the eggs and the back shows what has hatched from them!

Science lesson for book:

Author website:

Illustrator website:

Video of hummingbird egg hatching (a bit long, but some great shots of the tiny nest, even tinier eggs and hatchlings, and the mother feeding the babies):

Video of ostrich laying an egg:

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. My son Arthur loves this series! (An Egg is Quiet, A Seed is Sleepy and A Butterfly is Patient) They are wonderful sit and look at books, no reading needed to enjoy them. I often find them among the pile of books in his bed - the highest tier on the Arthur book rating system. Great choice this week!

  2. Laura, this sounds like a very interesting series and a great way to talk about nature with kds. The theme is so simple, but very powerful. Like your choice!

  3. I love this sort of creative nonfictional nature series. I am not aware of this one, so many thanks for introducing me to it.

  4. This sounds fantastic, Laura! I hope Kirsten gets over here to see it - it's right up her alley :) I love the combination of fact with the poetic language. Thanks so much for adding this one to our list!

  5. Yes, I love this one. It is definitely a beautiful pb. I'm still wondering why it was catalogued in the nonfiction section, instead of the EASY section. It IS most definitely a picture book, even though it is nonfiction.

    Be sure and take the QUIZ on my blog.

  6. I like these books. I like how they tell about a science subject in an interesting way. Great PPBF pick and great resources!

  7. This sounds like a wonderful book. I have added it to my need to read list. Thanks for the great review.

  8. The cover art is beautiful! If the inside is as gorgeous as the outside, I know we will love it!

  9. this sounds like a great learning tool for kids in school. the artwork looks lovely... thanks for sharing.

  10. Laura...this sounds like a wonderful book to address nature with young kids. From the synopsis, the illustrations must be amazing. Would love to get a copy. :) Thanks for including such a wide array of resources...will have to take the time to watch the videos. :)