First the Egg

by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Laura Vaccaro Seeger's First the Egg

Children's book review by Steve Barancik

Ages 3-5

A peek-through-the-pages book

You've probably experienced some of those amazing cut out books through the ages. The ones where there's a die cut hole in the page that looks like one thing before you turn it and another after.

The kind where your child has to turn the page backwards to see

How'd they do that?

The kind that turn you, the parent, into a magician!

First the Egg is one of those books, and good enough to win a Caldecott Honor.

Artist-Author Laura Vaccaro Seeger turns an egg into a chicken, a tadpole into a frog, a seed into a flower. (She even turns a word into a story.)

And this isn't one of those cut-out books where the back side of the cut page has a kind of "Don't look at the man behind the curtain" messiness to it.

No, when Vaccaro Seeger gives us a die-cut caterpillar on a right side page, and the next right side page contains the inevitable butterfly, you won't find the left side page in between twiddling its thumbs.

No, you'll find a cocoon.

First the Egg doesn't really answer the "What came first?" question, but then again, your child wasn't asking it. But this book is a fun puzzler nonetheless.

triptych of 'First the Egg', die-cut pages

More Caldecott honorees.

Read more of Steve's reviews.

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