Bently & Egg – story and pictures by William Joyce

      Bently & Egg – story and pictures by William Joyce, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, (9781481489492), 2017.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Rating: 1-5:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book? When Bently the frog’s friend, the young widow Ack Ack the Duck, asks him to watch her egg, he agrees with reluctance. Noticing how bare and blank the egg looks, Bently decides to paint it. When a little boy finds the beautifully decorated item, he mistakes it for an Easter egg, and “eggnapps” it. Bently launches a rescue attempt that eventually results in him flying, floating, swimming, and negotiating for the egg. Though he successfully returns the egg to the nest, the decorations on the shell are gone, but Bently discovers that he now loves the egg for itself… just in time for the egg to hatch. A final page shows Bently being drawn into the new little family. The illustrations are lovely and feature a palette of springtime pastels. Though this is an enjoyable story on its own, it also contains many elements that could be discussed: the power of art, friendship, responsibility, adventure, and non-traditional families to name a few.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Though not technically an Easter book, recommend this for a politically correct alternative for reading at that time of year. Recommend also to anyone who would enjoy an imaginative tale featuring brief adventures and a happy ending that is equally as imaginative as Joyce’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmor, but a bit less philosophical in nature.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve either with Picture Books or Holiday Books.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Top quarter of the pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  5/9/17

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