Egg Time, Spring Time: The Happy Egg by Ruth Kraus
IT WAS JUST BORN.
IT WAS AN EGG.
A white bird regards the blue egg she has just laid with some surprise.
It can't do bird things--walk, sing, or fly.
IT COULD JUST BE SAT ON.
And the bird does her duty. She sits on the egg, and one day it surprises her with a CRACK!
Out comes a jaunty blue bird who greets her with a lusty PEEP! And it's ready for action.
It walks right off, page right! It sings like a bird. And then it flies away, right off the page, only to reappear, in the upper right corner, proud and happy.
And, as Ruth Kraus suggests in the new issue of her classic, the little blue bird may someday have her own egg to sit on, in the revised edition of her The Happy Egg (Harper, 2016) Kraus's narrative is beginning-reader simple, and the illustrations provided by her husband, Crockett Johnson (of Harold and the Purple Crayon (Purple Crayon Books) fame) are minimalist, flat, blackline drawings with primary colors--blue and yellow--that tell the story wordlessly with iconic images. There is a flower blooming, so we know it's spring. The hatchling passes in a page turn through early nestling days, fledging and flying right away, in an instant of telescoped growing up. The final page promises a successful transition, with five blue eggs waiting for their turn to be sat on.
With the message that growing up is a hopeful thing, this is the stuff of classic picture book storytelling, and Krauss herself authored two Caldecott Honor books, the iconic The Carrot Seed, 60th Anniversary Edition illustrated by Crockett Johnson, The Happy Day, illustrated by Marc Simont, as well as A Hole Is to Dig, with pictures by Maurice Sendak.
Kirkus Reviews says simply "...deceptively simple and sweet."