An Egg Is Quiet (Aston/Long Nature Books)

by Dianna Hutts Aston (Author)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Award-winning artist Sylvia Long has teamed with up-and-coming author Dianna Aston to create this gorgeous and informative introduction to eggs. From tiny hummingbird eggs to giant ostrich eggs, oval ladybug eggs to tubular dogfish eggs, gooey frog eggs to fossilized dinosaur eggs, it magnificently captures the incredible variety of eggs and celebrates their beauty and wonder.

The evocative text is sure to inspire lively questions and observations. Yet while poetic in voice and elegant in design, the book introduces children to more than 60 types of eggs and an interesting array of egg facts. Even the endpapers brim with information. A tender and fascinating guide that is equally at home being read to a child on a parent's lap as in a classroom reading circle.

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Publishers Weekly

Starred Review
Like the subject matter it describes, this book packages with understated elegance the substantive matter found within it. "An egg is quiet. It sits there, under its mother's feathers... on top of its father's feet... buried beneath the sand," Aston ("When You Were Born") begins, as spot illustrations zero in on a hummingbird, emperor penguin and sea turtle, respectively. The narrative then launches into a kind of survey about the characteristics of eggs, which follows a simple format. In most spreads, different adjectives (colorful, shapely, textured, etc.) complete the sentence, "An egg is...." This repetitive rhythm contrasts with the visual variety of the illustrations. Long's ("Sylvia Long's Mother Goose") skilled use of contrast and compositional balance prevent monotony. For example, a border that resembles a color test pattern runs down the outer edges of a spread of nearly 40 carefully placed "colorful" examples, set against a white background, which dazzle the eye. The main text appears in large, flowery cursive, while a smaller printed typeface serves as labels and brief factual captions. "An egg is clever," in fancy script, for instance, sits alongside examples of camouflage: "An egg might be speckled to resemble the rocks around it." The letters' dramatic curlicues mimic curvy grasses and vines dappled with tiny insect eggs. Long introduces breathtaking color into the final spreads, as a concluding scene "hatches from" this peacefulness, reminding readers of an egg's purpose. This attractive volume pleases on both an aesthetic and intellectual level. Ages 5-10. "(Apr.)" Copyright 2006 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2 -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. (One teeny carp -Steller -s jays are not spelled with an -ar, - though they are stellar performers when wheedling for your lunch at a campsite!) A beautiful guide to the unexpected panoply of -the egg. -" -Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY" Copyright 2006 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"The succinct text will draw young fact hounds, particularly fans of Steve Jenkins' Biggest, Strongest, Fastest and his similar titles. Long's illustrations are elegant and simple, and the gallery of eggs, as brilliantly colored and polished as gems, will inspire kids to marvel at animals' variety and beauty." -Booklist

"An exceptionally handsome book...A beautiful guide to the unexpected panoply of 'the egg'." -School Library Journal

Dianna Hutts Aston
Dianna Aston spends a lot of time in her backyard hoping to find new eggs. She often enlists the help of her husband, children, and their assorted pets. She lives in Texas.

Sylvia Long is the illustrator of many books for children including the best-selling Sylvia Long's Mother Goose, Hush Little Baby, and Snug As a Bug, all published by Chronicle Books. Ms. Long's detailed paintings are inspired by her love of animals and the outdoors. She lives in Arizona.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Chronicle Books
Publication date
March 20, 2014
Aston/Long Nature
BISAC categories
JNF051050 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Biology
Library of Congress categories
Flicker Tale Children's Book Award
Winner 2007 - 2007
Texas 2x2 Reading List
Recommended 2007 - 2007
South Carolina Childrens, Junior and Young Adult Book Award
Nominee 2008 - 2009
Beehive Awards
Nominee 2008 - 2008
Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
Recommended 2007 - 2007
Grand Canyon Reader Award
Nominee 2009 - 2009
North Carolina Children's Book Award
Nominee 2009 - 2009
Winner 2006 - 2006

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