Hello, friends! Our book today is Hatch!, written by Cassie Hoyt and illustrated by Amanda Crawford Brown, a book about the many different types of animals who begin life as eggs.
In a repeating two-spread refrain, the reader is presented with an egg as it begins to hatch, and wonders what animal is about to emerge. The eggs are different colors, sizes, and call different types of nests their home When each hatchling emerges, it’s a new and unique creature to meet. Ducks, snakes, penguins, frogs, and even spiderlings make appearances, to name but a few.
As a concept, the book is very cute – it’s a great cross section of animals that hatch from eggs, including plenty of fan-favorites among young animal lovers. The repeating quartet is fun to read aloud, though it’s structure and wording is so strongly reminiscent of Eric Carle’s classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear that it feels like it can’t be a coincidence (an homage, perhaps?). The art is… unique. While the nests are drawn nicely – balancing details, shading, and textures well – the animals themselves lack depth and consistent scale, and the coal-black, Coraline-like eyes they all feature are flat at their best, and legitimately haunting at their worst. The length is fine, and JJ enjoyed the repetition and inherent interactive nature of the text, but she also seemed deeply confused by the artwork. Overall, this indie has a sweet concept, but fails too often in the execution to make its mark.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)