From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K—This is the story of a drake who is feeling left out. "All the birds had laid an egg. All except for Duck." When he finds a huge, green-spotted egg, he loves it right away. Sitting high atop it—so high that he barely fits into the picture—he is subjected to the taunts of the egg layers: "Not pretty." "It'll never hatch!" "Ha ha!" Gravett uses narrow pages that gradually increase in size to reveal all of the other eggs hatching, from the smallest chick to the tallest flamingo. While the moms cuddle their new hatchlings, Duck waits—and waits. Leaning against the large egg, he knits up a storm until "Creak Crack, SNAP": out pops an enormous alligator, scaring all of the scoffing birds right off the page. The final, priceless illustration shows an adoring alligator marching—in four knitted slippers and a muffler—behind Duck, murmuring, "Mama." There are many aspects of the story that make it worth adding to the what-have-I-hatched collection. First, it's so simple that toddlers can enjoy it. Second, the layout is unique and well suited to the plot. Third, the illustrations are a joy to behold: funny, personable, and oh-so-eye-catching. The ecru background on every page is a nice touch, lending the book a little extra cachet. Kids will love cracking the pages of this exceptional story.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
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All the birds have laid an egg except Duck. Fortunately, he finds one and it’s beautiful, but the birds laugh at his enormous, green-speckled egg. Their eggs hatch; Duck’s doesn’t. He waits and waits until—SNAP!—a huge alligator breaks out of the shell. Gravett is on a roll (well, actually, an egg roll) with this charming visual joke. Cleverly designed with graduated cut pages as each egg—“Creak Crack”—opens, the spacious composition includes humorous details and a palette of green daubs on the white egg that harmoniously matches Duck’s green neck. The handsome illustrations on classy cream-colored paper, the inviting cover, and the scream-inducing surprise ending make this an “egg-cellent” book for sharing and a “just ducky” natural for storytime. Preschool-Grade 2. --Julie Cummins