Blue wakes up one morning and discovers a strange looking Egg in her nest. Blue decides that they should look for Egg’s mother and so begins an journey throughout New York City. When Egg’s family can’t be found, Blue decides to care for it and keep on looking. Spring brings changes and things momentarily look bleak, but Blue’s optimism wins in the end.
I picked up and read this book for the first time yesterday and am so taken with it. I reread it at least four times last night and again this morning and am going to try and put into words what it is that I find so endearing. Here is my list so far:
- The color palate is a calming, subtle and beautiful. As I sat here thinking about how to describe it, I realized that the color palate is similar to An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long, making me wonder if Ward selected her palate from colors of actual eggs.
- A whimsical pink and purple hat emphasizes Blue’s character but doesn’t detract from the overall illustrations (or color palate)
- I made my first visit to New York City 3 years ago and fell in love. The obsessive, I can’t wait to go back, watch any movie with NYC in it kind of love. The end papers immediately drew me to NYC as the setting with small “telescope views” of the different sites Blue & Egg visit – all connected with Blue’s footprints of course. I also appreciated that each of the sites are labeled in the end papers, allowing me to confirm the locations that Blue & Egg visited on their journey if I wanted to.
- I’ve heard and read about the idea that a city, particularly New York City, is often more of a character than a setting. I got that sense from this book as well, I love the three page spread of the Brooklyn Bridge to show the spanse and the view of the city.
- Ward’s use of different papers and the layering of the papers creates a lovely dimension to the illustrations. I appreciate that in the illustrations of skylines, the different papers (math homework, grading book, scantron forms) give each building a unique character in a subtle and unique way. It reminds me of the feeling I get when I look at an actual skyline; at first glance buildings may seem very similar, but closer look reveals that each has unique features and character.
- Blue is a delightful character. I appreciate her positive outlook and persistance to keep looking for Egg’s family. She has a relaxed, yet focused matter-of-fact nature.
- “Blue knew they wouldn’t make it in time if she tried to carry Egg, so she decided they would do what anyone would: take the subway uptown.”
- Blue clearly enjoys life – I only need to look at her eyes, beak and wings to get a sense of the emotions she feels. A favorite example is the illustration of Blue & Egg iceskating, sledding and making snow birds together.
I’ll be rereading this book multiple times – definitely with my daughters and my undergraduate students – and I am confident that I will be able to add to this list of things that I appreciate and love about this story.
When Blue Met Egg
Written & Illustrated by Lindsay Ward
Dial Books for Young Readers
Received from publisher at MSU Children’s Literature Team office.