Scrambled Eggs: Quackenstein Hatches A Family by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
MOST CREATURES LIVED
IN PACKS AND HERDS,
IN BLOATS AND LITTERS.
BUT ALL ALONE,
AND ON HIS OWN,
QUACKENSTEIN GREW BITTER.
HE WAS THE HERMIT OF THE ZOO.
But even grumpy old bachelors get lonely, and when Quack sees a sign advertising orphaned eggs needing homes, suddenly he sees his life changing. "I'll adopt!" he exclaims, and takes the egg back to his dark and gloomy little shack. Carefully he tends the rather large egg in its makeshift nest. "Dear Ducky-poo," he cooed, "you'll never be neglected."
But everything changes on that dark and stormy night when, in a gigantic flash of lightning, the egg cracks open dramatically, and out steps... Well, something that couldn't be called a ducky-poo by any stretch of the imagination. It's got long, curved claws, beady black eyes, a long black schnozz, black fur, and a long, flat tail! "You're no duck!" Quackenstein screams and runs out into the windswept night. Through brush and bramble Quack flees, but each time he stops for breath, the thing lurches up upon him. Finally Quackenstein is cornered in a dark cave.
QUACK THOUGHT, "THIS IS BAD!"
THE THING SAID, "HELLO, DAD."
QUACK COULD FEEL HIS COLD HEART MELT.
In Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen's brand-new Quackenstein Hatches a Family (Abrams, 2010) there's nary a hint of the lineage of the changeling that Quackenstein adopts, but for those in the mammalian know, Brian T. Jones' illustrations give us hints that his creature is no monster at all, just a mama-less monotreme--an echidna--whose egg a clueless zoo orderly must have mixed up with the orphaned duck eggs. It's an easy-going, ever-so-lightly-scary takeoff on the ever-popular Frankenstein theme that kids will take to like, well, ducks to water.