Pro: An adorable no-text picture book.
Bottom Line: Looking for a different sort of picture book for your kids? This is an excellent choice.
Normally when we get picture books sent in to the store, we end up with four or five of a title each time. But one day when putting books out, I saw this one all by itself. Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley featuring a little sewn together bear character looking curiously at an egg in a world that wasn’t illustrated, but built.
That’s one of the things that makes this book so different and so great. While other picture books are all illustrated with colored pencils, paints, and other mediums (including crayons sometimes!), Rebecca Dudley built the entire forest. From each little leaf to the glowing campfire Hank makes when night falls, it’s a unique world that any reader would want to step into.
The little hero of the story, Hank, discovers an egg on the ground one day. When he finally figures out where it came from, he does what he can to return it. But it’s not an easy task. Will Hank be able to get the egg back home safe and sound?
Children will have to figure out this story without words. That’s the other thing that makes this book special. While there have been wordless picture books before (such as Tuesday and Flotsam by David Wiesner), they aren’t very common. Most parents aim for picture books because they’re fun and help kids learn to read. But a wordless picture book does something else – it allows the child a chance to use his or her imagination and build a story themselves. What is Hank thinking? When other characters come into the picture, what might they say? How does Hank feel? What will Hank do next? What should he do next?
I thought this book was adorable. If I had kids, nephews, or nieces, I would have bought it right then and there. Hank isn’t the only creature that lives in the forest either, so it’s well worth taking the time to look closely at every page and see what you can discover. I look forward to more books like this from Rebecca Dudley.
Notes from the playlist: "Cozy Digs" by Brian D'oliveira