Saturday, February 11, 2017

Eggbert, The Slightly Cracked Egg

Over the next few weeks, I plan to share fifteen of my favorite books to use with elementary gifted students.

Author: Tom Ross

Illustrator: Rex Barron

Publisher: PaperStar

Publication Year: 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0698114449

Eggbert, The Slightly Cracked Egg always finds its way into my beginning of the year must read pile.

In this story, the foods in the fridge discover that Eggbert is slighty cracked. After they kick him out, Eggbert searches for his place in the world, and uses his artistic talent to attempt to blend in. Eventually Eggbert discovers that the world is full of cracks, and instead of trying to hide it he should take pride in his crack.

This low fantasy story does a great job captivating the reader right away. The illustrations follow the plot beautifully, and help develop a believable story despite the fact that the main character is an egg who can talk, paint, and survive much longer than an actual cracked egg! Best of all, what Eggbert learns from his quest for his place in the world represents a universal truth that children easily relate to.

From School Library Journal:
"PreSchool-Grade 2-The other eggs in the refrigerator admire Eggbert's remarkable paintings-until they discover that he has a slight crack. Because of his defect, he is banished from his home. At first he uses his artistic talent to attempt to camouflage himself, but his disguises are quickly discovered. Then he realizes that the world contains many lovely cracks. Brush in hand, he travels the globe and produces wonderful paintings of fissures found in things such as volcanoes and the Liberty Bell. Back at the refrigerator, his former friends ponder his hand-painted postcards with amazement and a touch of sadness. The story might be read as a commentary on the lives of artists and/or the dangers and blessings of nonconformity; however, young readers will be more engaged by the illustrations than by philosophical reflections. Eggs and vegetables rarely assume such lifelike expressions and stances, and the simple text and clear design add up to read-aloud potential. Eggbert is an egg worth watching."-Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN

Gifted students often struggle with understanding and accepting themselves. Even at a young age students notice how they differ from other students and need to learn to accept and appreciate themselves. Eggbert, The Slightly Cracked Egg represents an excellent choice to help primary students learn to understand themselves.

I typically read this book during the first week of school. Afterwards, we have a discussion about what makes each student unique, and we celebrate that. To remind them of this message throughout the year, we create an Eggbert puzzle poster.

Beforehand, I draw an egg on a piece of poster board, and write each student's name to ensure they know which direction is up. Without telling my class what the puzzle pieces will create when put together, they decorate their pieces to represent themselves. Once everyone is finished, they work together to fit the pieces together and discover that they have created Eggbert!

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