Thursday, April 13, 2017

High-Speed Chase! The Runaway Egg by Katy Hudson

Mother Hen said, "Chick, would you watch your baby brother for a bit?

Keep him warm and safe until I get back!"

How hard can that be? thinks Chick, since his brother is an egg. It's not like he's going to do anything.

But no sooner does Mrs. Hen fly the coop than Chick hears a ominous CRACK from the bottom of the egg, and out pops--a leg. With an even more ominous KER-RACK, another leg pokes out, and YIPES! the egg is afoot!

Egg is off, and the chase is on!

Egg blindly races right past the PIG STY sign and along the top rail of the pig pen. Chick, however, is not so nimble and falls into the mucky mud. Yuck! But he bravely charges on, as his brother bumbles into the sheep barn where shearing is in progress and some scary scissors snip just a bit from Chick's stubby tail feathers! HEY!


But Chick has no time to lament his abbreviated tail feathers. His brother dashes on, right into the pen of .... THE BULL! Egg, no doubt seeking warmth, cozies up right next to the burly bull who's taking a snooze, just as his shell decides to crack a bit more, allowing one tiny wing to protrude. Chick courageously grabs his little brother's wing and reverses course in a race back to the chicken coop, with the abruptly wakened Bull hot on his heels, arriving just in the nick of time before Mama Hen waddles in.

"Look!" she cried. "Your baby brother is hatched!

Are you ready to be a big brother?"

Chick's weary look fairly drips with an ironic "If you only knew....", in Katy Hudson's delightfully droll latest, The Runaway Egg (Random House, 2017). There's plenty of slapstick farmyard fun as Chick pursues the egg on legs through the barnyard with his own well-being somewhat in doubt, and Hudson, author of the popular Too Many Carrots, has the knack of storytelling well in hand as her action flows quickly from left to right with each page turn. Hudson's clever artwork, done in a fine blackline and what looks to be digital "watercolors," captures the faces of the various bemused animals as they witness the odd spectacle of an egg on legs chased by a chick through the flowers and across the barnyard. It's all great fun, just right for Eastertide and springtime reading. "Being an older sibling has never been this harrowing and hilarious," say Kirkus Reviews.

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