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I HATCHED! by Jill Esbaum


by Jill Esbaum ; illustrated by Jen Corace

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3688-7
Publisher: Dial Books

A killdeer chick bursts from its egg raring to go.

Pecking its way out of its shell in great good spirits, this little plover is seeing everything for the first time. “My feet are verrrry far away. / And WHOA. / The world looks BIG today.” As the chick explores, Esbaum’s verse rhymes and rollicks: “[O]nce my down is fluffed and dry, / I take off running. / Don’t know why!” It zooms through fields, circling cows and trees; it gazes into a pond, figures out the concept of reflections, describes its own features and breaks into song. Mama pauses it for lunch but not for long: “Uh-oh. Gotta run again. / See you later, / don’t know when. / I’m learning—quickly!—how to steer / while darting here // and here / and here.” Using ink, pencil and soft watercolors, Corace shows the killdeer chick from very close up and from far away across a landscape, emphasizing how quickly it zips back and forth. Predominant tertiary colors with only small splashes of bright primaries emphasize the natural environment and balance the text’s high energy. Certain biological discoveries will amuse young readers (“I stop because…look out below! / Something’s falling from my… / Oh”), while adults will appreciate this baby bird’s similarity to human toddlers.

Invigorating and ebullient.

(Picture book. 2-4)