Review: Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

hank finds an egg

Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

This debut picture book started life as a self-published work.  As such, it was the cream of the crop, because it is also one of the best wordless picture books of the year, bar none.  Hank is a little bear, or some sort of bear-like creature, who happens upon an egg on the ground in the forest.  Looking around, he locates the nest that it must have fallen from, but even though he tries several different ways, is unable to reach the nest to return the egg to safety.  Night falls and Hank keeps the egg warm at his campsite all night long.  In the morning, he returns to the nest and finds the mother bird there.  An ingenious solution gets the egg up to the nest and before long, Hank is rewarded for his kindness. 

This wordless picture book has a charm that is hard to put into words.  Dudley has handcrafted all of the items on the page, from the brown leaves that blanket the floor of the forest to the unfurling green fronds of fern that add to the hopeful feeling of the book to Hank and the trees that surround him.  All are photographed with a great sense of detail and also a wonderful depth of field that make it all seem real and true. 

Beautiful and charming, this little book is sure to become a favorite.  Time to curl up with your own little bear and enjoy.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: I Am the World by Charles R. Smith, Jr.

i am the world

I Am the World by Charles R. Smith, Jr.

In this book that combines verse and photography, children from around the world are celebrated.  The images and verse both speak to the wide diversity of people and cultures that make up our world.  At the same time, the universal aspects of children from all cultures are celebrated too, including their strength and spirit.  The combination of a simple and powerful poem and dynamic photographs make for a book that is just as vibrant as its subjects.

Smith is a Coretta Scott King Award winner and his photographs here speak to his skill.  He captures children mid-motion and often in full smile.  His photos are combined with a poem that is simple but also strong, offering subtle rhyme and incorporating enough culture-specific words that a glossary is offered at the end. 

Beautiful, warm and inclusive, this title is a celebration of children across the globe.  Appropriate for ages 6-8.

Reviewed from copy received from Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Top 30 Reads 2005

On to 2005 in my tenth anniversary retrospective.  It’s a year which also saw some amazing reads!  Here are my Top Ten 30 reads of 2005:

Becoming Naomi León Boy Proof Elsewhere

Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan (reviewed February 17, 2005)

Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci (reviewed April 12, 2005)

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (reviewed August 20, 2005)

223048 Guji Guji Hungry Hen

A Good Night Walk by Elisha Cooper (reviewed September 3, 2005)

Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen (reviewed March 4, 2005)

Hungry Hen by Richard Waring, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church (reviewed March 8, 2005)

If You Decide To Go To The Moon I, Coriander Inexcusable

If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty, illustrated by Steven Kellogg (reviewed September 8, 2005)

I, Coriander by Sally Gardner (reviewed December 2, 2005)

Inexcusable by Christopher Lynch (reviewed December 12, 2005)

Invisible Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1) Leaf Man

Invisible by Pete Hautman (reviewed July 8, 2005)

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney (reviewed August 21, 2005)

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (reviewed August 23, 2005)

Magic or Madness (Magic or Madness, #1) Magyk (Septimus Heap, #1) Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Mercy Watson #1)

Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier (reviewed October 2, 2005)

Magyk by Angie Sage (reviewed June 12, 2005)

Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen (reviewed October 15, 2005)

Mimus The Minister's Daughter Naughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)

Mimus by Lilli Thal (reviewed September 7, 2005)

The Minister’s Daughter by Julie Hearn (reviewed October 5, 2005)

Naughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (reviewed July 7, 2005)

Peeps (Peeps, #1) Prom Rhianna and the Wild Magic

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (reviewed October 28, 2005)

Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson (reviewed April 29, 2005)

Rhianna and the Wild Magic by Dave Luckett (reviewed August 21, 2005)

A Room on Lorelei Street Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook The Sacrifice

A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary E. Pearson (reviewed July 12, 2005)

Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein (reviewed April 15, 2005)

The Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner Duble (reviewed December 17, 2005)

The Safe-Keeper's Secret (Safe-Keepers, #1) A Splendid Friend, Indeed Traction Man Is Here!

The Safe-Keeper’s Secret by Sharon Shinn (reviewed March 16, 2005)

A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom (reviewed September 14, 2005)

Traction Man Is Here! by Mini Grey (reviewed August 22, 2005)

Under the Persimmon Tree The Will of the Empress (Circle Reforged, #1) Wrecked

Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples (reviewed August 9, 2005)

Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce (reviewed July 14, 2005)

Wrecked by E. R. Frank (reviewed July 19, 2005)