Ergo by Alexis Deacon, illustrated by Viviane Schwarz (9781536217803)
This philosophical picture book explores one chick’s world. Ergo wakes up not realizing she is inside an egg and thinks that she has discovered her entire world. She has eyes to see, toes that wiggle, wings that flap, a beak to peck and legs that kick. Perhaps, she thinks, she is the world and she had found everything. That’s when she discovers the wall of the egg around her. She pushes the wall, rolls the egg over, and realizes that she can move the entire world! That’s when she feels the bumps coming from outside the egg and realizes that she is not the entire world. Now she must decide whether to leap (or peck) her way into the unknown or stay safe in her small universe of the egg.
Deacon and Schwarz follow I Am Henry Finch with this picture book that plays with Plato. The book works on multiple levels, allowing adults to recognize the philosophy while also really working well as a picture book for young children that asks big questions about our world and our place within the universe. The use of the little chick and an egg serve a clever purpose here. Ergo asks the big questions while the simple style of the writing supports the ideas being shared.
The illustrations are simple and bold. Done in a sunshine yellow, Ergo fills the page. Often surrounded by a cool blue-gray, the illustrations show Ergo and her world, egg-sized and then larger.
Clever and inquisitive, this book will egg on children’s thinking about the world. Appropriate for ages 2-6.
Reviewed from copy provided by Candlewick Press.