First the Egg

My newly minted six year-old, about to enter first grade, chose this book from the bins at the library.


I often wonder at her book selection process, as it seems to be hunt and peck, plucking a book after rifling through just a few.  Maybe something about the cover piques her interest, sometimes it’s one I later find out she’d read with her beloved kindergarten teacher – once, it was because it had the country Swaziland in the title, whose name sent her into peals of laughter the first time she heard it pronounced (no disrespect, Swaziland).  But most times, it seems she chooses a book simply because it seems as good as any other, with a shrug, an impatience with the process.

Whatever her motivation, First the Egg was a great choice.

Starting with a spin on the proverbial question of origin, First the Egg introduces and reinforces many important literacy skills.

Cause and effect, Sequencing, Prediction, Sight words/recognition for emerging/early readers, Parts of a Whole.

Graphically, it is a treat.  Cut-outs on each page hint at what comes next, further reinforcing prediction skills and creating excitement, anticipation for young readers.  Sequencing and staging of processes is reinforced as well, for on every ‘then’ page, there is an illustration in the middle of the phase.  For example, the egg hatching before the chicken appears on its own page.  My favorite, of course, is the Word > Story series.  So exciting to see all that typeface take shape into a story.

And my six year-old isn’t the only one who can read it.  My three year-old, after hearing it a few times from her sister, started “reading” it.  It most likely was memorization and parroting, but I can’t help but feel that she’s starting to put those patterns together.

Ironically, when I took a break from writing this post, my daughter told me that she had, indeed, read this in kindergarten.  So she may not be as brilliant as I thought in picking out this book, but maybe her teacher is!  And at least the lessons stuck with her.  Most importantly, the joy of a good book.

Leave a comment


  1. danielle

     /  September 13, 2013

    Asher has that one too! He loves to read it. And by read I mean rip.


    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  September 13, 2013

      The cut-outs in the pages make for great places to grip and rip, I would imagine!



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