by Mia Posada
Millbrook Press, Minneapolis, 2007
Description: 29 p. : col. ill. ; 27 cm.
Subject: Narrative and informational nonfiction; eggs/baby animals; question and answer format
Interest Level: K-3; Reading Level: 4.0
Lexile measure: 890
4 out of 5 stars
Summary from jacket flap: “Look! Animal babies are hatching from their shells. Study the picture and read the clues to find out what animal it will be. Can you guess? The charming verse and enchanting watercolor collages portray the many ways animals care for their eggs and young. This book is filled with fascinating facts about animals, hatchlings, and their environment.”
Evaluation: This book is very similar in style and format to What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? The illustrations are done in a collage format with a close-up on the questioning page, and then a full-view of the animal that hatches from the eggs on the follow-up answer page.
Posada also employs the use of repetition by beginning each section with a four-line hint that rhymes, followed by the question, “Can you guess what is growing inside this/these egg(s)?” The answer is provided by the animal being named, accompanied by a short paragraph that provides basic information about the animal, such as where it lives, how it hatches, and what it does as a baby. Six different animals are featured.
Additional information is at the back of the book. There is a visual that shows the actual size of the eggs compared to each other, a look at the inside of a duck egg, with information about incubation times for each of the animals.
With slightly more text that What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?, this book would be suited for a slightly older audience, or you could select just a few sections to read. Young children would probably get a little restless if you read the entire book.
The rhyming sound, combined with the repeated question, exclamation of the animal name, and informational paragraph all combine to make for different reading sounds. The rhyming hints are sometimes a little awkward to read, so practice beforehand is essential.
The illustrations are visually appealing and little clues to the animal are just visible enough that children will enjoy guessing the animal. The different sounds of the text, combined with the question and answer format and some repeated phrases, make this a good read-aloud with the potential for a lot of interaction with the listeners.
Guess What is Growing Inside This Egg is just as suited for a read-aloud as What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? The audience for Guess should be older than for What, or only portions of the book should be read in one sitting.