Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cracking Up!: Good Egg by Barney Saltzberg

In ten words and a couple of page-turning tumbles, Barney Saltzberg's little board-bound toy and movable book, Good Egg (Workman, 2009) is, as the publisher's blurb promises, a real crack-up.

Die-cuts, page-sized flaps, pull tabs, swing tabs, velcro tabs for a catchable beach ball, and a final surprising pop-up make this book lots of fun for little fingers and eyes, but the humor is the eggstra that puts this creation sunny-side up.

The experience begins with a flat white egg with the caption "EGG." The waiting egg is commanded to sit, whereupon a lifted page flap reveals the obedient egg seated in a chair. Like a dutiful doggy, the egg goes on to lie down, roll over, shake, and play catch, each to earn the approbation of "GOOD EGG!"

The final command to speak gives the egg pause. It seems to crack up under the strain, especially when the command is repeated with an amplified "SPEAK!" A pull tab first reveals a chick peeping warily between the cracked halves, but a turn of the final page pops up the chick, its wings flapping, its beak cheeping proudly, right out of the egg. Good egg, indeed!

To see that this book is all it's cracked up to be, take a look at its perky preview video here.

A great story time break for the pre-Easter period, Saltzberg's Good Egg takes its place with Laura Vaccaro Seeger's award-winning First the Egg (Caldecott Honor Book and Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor Book (Awards)) for eggs-traordinary springtime fun.

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  • I found Good Egg in a bookshop sometime before Christmas and it really made me giggle - and then my lovely husband bought it for me as a surprise gift! I do think it's very funny, but I also think grownups will get more of the humour (eg the soundwaves, the play on words of "Good Egg"). Still, the pop up engineering is fun, and has some "moves" I've not see anywhere else and this aspect of the book will definitely appeal to the youngest of readers.

    By Blogger Playing by the book, at 1:50 AM  

  • If you watch the video trailer in the link, it's wonderful to watch the faces of the kids as they "catch on" to the layered humor here! This one is subtle enough for adults to enjoy, but great fun for little kids and emergent readers as they join in on the refrain "Good Egg!"

    By Blogger GTC, at 10:28 AM  

  • THANK YOU for the kind words! This is a book that is near and dear to me. Workman really knows how to make a book!!! I went to the link on Amazon and it seems like the video is missing! Workman is looking in to it. Here's the youtube link.

    Most sincerely,


    By Blogger Barney Saltzberg Author, Illustrator, Songwriter, at 11:27 AM  

  • Dear Barney,
    I checked the video this morning and just now, and it was there both times, although it took a bit to load.

    Will monitor it and switch to youtube if necessary.

    Thanks for the praise and thanks for that great book!

    Best wishes,

    By Blogger GTC, at 7:47 PM  

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