Monday, March 30, 2009

Eggs-tra! Eggs-tra! Tillie Lays an Egg by Terry Golson

Tillie is a determinedly free-range chicken--and when it's time to lay her eggs, she refuses to be coop-ed up in the henhouse.

On Little Pond Farm there is standing room only for the only nesting box, so while Buffy, Ginger, Marge, Edwina, Prudence, and Twinkydink make use of the, um, facilities in the coop, Tillie decides to look for alternative seating.

Juicy worms beckon beyond the barnyard's corn trough, and Tillie just follows her beak to gustatory adventure.

"Yum!" she thinks, "there are plenty of tasty worms here!"

But a hen's gotta do what a hen's gotta do, and soon Tillie lays her daily egg on the run, right on the running board of the farm's trusty pickup truck, that is.

As the week goes by, Tillie ventures onto the farmhouse porch on Tuesday for her breakfast, leaving an egg by the broom and dustpan behind the door; on Wednesday she hops onto the kitchen table for a snack and leaves her egg in the sugar bowl; on Thursday she seeks a cozy nest in the laundry room and drops her egg softly on the ironing board; and on Friday she explores the bedroom, leaving a fresh egg by the rain boots on the floor.

"Hmmph!" This place has everything but worms," she grumbles.

Saturday, however, dawns dark and rainy and Tillie has to compromise her free-range roaming ways:

"Drat! I don't want to get my feathers wet! This nest is warm and dry and very comfy!"

"Finally!" cluck the other hens. "Tillie laid an egg!"

Youngsters who are familiar with Walter Wick's Can You See What I See? series will feel at home on the (free) range with Tillie, as author Terry Golson and ace photographer Ben Fink arrange charming vignettes of kitschy period decor among which Tillie deigns to deposit her daily egg. Answering the repeated "Where did Tillie lay her egg?" will keep preschoolers delightedly pointing out Tillie's eggstra-ordinary egg-laying spots as they page through Tillie Lays An Egg. Young children will find eggs-cellent fun among the author's own personable hens who are the stars of these appealing glimpses into egg hunting down on the farm.

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