What Will Hatch?

What Will Hatch? illus. by Susie Ghahremani. 40p. Walker. 2013. Tr $12.99. ISBN 978-0-8027-2311-6; PLB $13.89. ISBN 978-0-8027-2312-3. LC 2011046330.
PreS—Using minimal text, Ward introduces seven animals that hatch from eggs-sea turtle, penguin, tadpole, crocodile, robin, caterpillar, and platypus. The first spread includes a two to three word "clue," and the question, "What Will Hatch?" On the second spread, the clue's rhyme is completed and the answer is provided in words and illustration (e.g., "SANDY ball./WHAT will HATCH?/PADDLE and CRAWL-/SEA TURTLE."). The book is designed for use with very young children, and the illustrations are dominant. Ghahremani's folk-art gouache paintings on wood, in soft blues, browns, and greens, are filled with patterns and animals with softly rounded bodies-several in cartoon style. A die-cut hole in each sequence denotes the shape of the creature's egg and is placed among other painted eggs. Unfortunately, the sizes are not to scale. For example, the robin's egg is larger than an extra-large chicken egg, while the platypus's resembles a small pistachio nut. The dark-brown text, hand-printed letters, with some words in all capitals, some in lowercase cursive, often does not blend well with the soft illustrations. The male emperor penguin incubates its single egg in an "egg pouch" on top of its feet, as indicated in the brief endnotes on each species. However, it has a fancy crown of feathers and distinctive black, white, and yellow coloring rather than the rounded head and brown shading of the bird in the paintings. Moreover, the concept of this book will be lost on the tots to whom it is targeted.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

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