Pablo by Rascal

Cover image.

Pablo by Rascal (9781776573240)

Highly stylized, this picture book focuses on Pablo, a baby bird who is ready to leave the egg. But Pablo is going to do it in his own unique way. After a breakfast of croissant and hot chocolate, he gathers his strength. He is too big for his egg now, so he must break out. First, he creates one hole, just the right size for his eye. He looks all around and then creates a second eye hole so he can really see out. He pecks two holes, one on each side of the shell so that he can hear what is happening around him. Then one hole for his beak so he can smell soil and flowers. The sixth and seventh holes are for his legs so he can wander. Then holes eight and nine are just right for his wings to come out. Pablo is entirely free of the shell, but he saves a piece just in case.

Visually arresting, this Belgian picture book features a pure black egg on a white background. Subtle shading and clouds move past, but the focus and each page center around Pablo himself as he steadily frees himself from the egg shell. The book steadily counts the number of holes that Pablo makes and is marvelously absurd has he continues far longer than most readers might think, staying in the shell and creating holes.

The art is simple and very funny. Perhaps most delightful is the final reveal of Pablo freed from the black egg, looking nothing like what one might have expected.

For the toddler, preschooler or parent who appreciates a bit of the surreal. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy provided by Gecko Press.

Review: I Hatched! by Jill Esbaum

i hatched

I Hatched! by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Jen Corace

An exuberant chick hatches from an egg and merrily dashes through his first day in this spring picture book.  The chick quickly discovers that it has long legs and can really run.  While running, he discovers a frog, water, worms and many other things in his environment.  He learns to sing as well as poop as his day continues.  In the evening after returning to the nest, he gets a surprise when another egg cracks open.  Now he can be the expert and show his new sister everything!  Maybe.

This book is pure bottled joy.  The little chick is wildly positive and vivacious.  He captures the delight of babies in their world and invites readers to see things with fresh eyes as well.  Esbaum makes it clear that he is a killdeer with his long legs, his song and the way he acts.  It’s a pleasure to see a book about a bird in a nest on the ground, running fast that is not about learning to fly but more about being an individual and safely learning new things.

Corace’s illustrations reflect the same cheery delight.  They celebrate the little bird’s markings, the challenge of hatching from an egg, and happily show all that he explores in his first day.  They have a lightness and humor about them too.

Toddlers will enjoy this book that mirrors their own enthusiasm.  Perfect for spring story times with little ones.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial.