First the Egg
First the Egg
Roaring Brook Press, Hardcover, 9781596432727, 32pp.
Publication Date: September 4, 2007
WHICH CAME FIRST? The chicken or the egg? Simple die-cuts magically present transformation-- from seed to flower, tadpole to frog, caterpillar to butterfly.
The acclaimed author of "Black? White Day? Night "and" Lemons Are Not Red" gives an entirely fresh and memorable presentation to the concepts of transformation and creatiity. Seed becomes flower, paint becomes picture, word becomes story--and the commonplace becomes extraordinary as children look through and turn the pages of this novel and winning book.
"First the Egg" is a 2008 Caldecott Honor Book and a 2007 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year.
Laura s paintings have been exhibited at many museums and galleries including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, the Mazza Museum of Picture Book Art, the New York Public Library, and the New York Nassau County Museum of Art.
Laura grew up on Long Island, New York, with her parents, Vera and Phil, brothers, Billy and Tommy, sister, Linda, and both grandmothers. She began drawing at two years old and never stopped. She earned her BFA degree at the School of Fine Art and Design at the State University of New York at Purchase in Westchester, New York. She then moved to Manhattan and began a career as an animator, artist, designer, and editor in the network television business. She created show openings and special segments for NBC and ABC for many years and won an Emmy Award for an opening animation for an NBC Special.
Laura has been an artist and a writer for as long as she can remember and has always wanted to make picture books for children. In the fifth grade, she d written an essay that stated with absolute certainty that she was born to make picture books. By that time, she had written and illustrated her own little library. Over the years, she continued to make books of all shapes and sizes and several years ago, she decided it was time to try to get some of her books published. She was fortunate to have met her editor, Neal Porter, almost immediately. They are now starting work on their sixteenth book together and have plans for many more.
Laura lives in Rockville Centre, New York, with her husband, Chris, their two sons, Drew and Dylan, and their dog, Copper, the star of her "Dog and Bear" series. She loves painting, writing, surfing, boating, tennis, running, playing the piano, and spending time with her family and friends. She takes long walks at the beach each day and paints in her studio each night.
Publishers Weekly In another nimble page-turner, Seeger (Black? White! Day? Night!) toys with die-cuts and strategically paired words. She introduces a chicken-or-egg dilemma on her book’s cover, picturing a plump white egg in a golden-brown nest. Remove the die-cut dust jacket, and a hen appears on the glossy inner cover. The eggshell, thickly brushed in bluish-white and cream, also serves as the chicken’s feathers. This “first/then” pattern is repeated (“First the egg/ then the chicken./ First the tadpole/ then the frog”), with a die-cut on every other page. By flipping a page, readers see the cutout in two contexts. For instance, when an ovoid shape is superimposed on a white ground, it’s an egg; on a yolk-yellow ground, it’s the body of a baby chick. Seeger lines up the recto and verso of every sheet, maintaining a casual mood with generous swabs of grassy greens, sky blues and oxide yellows on canvas. Given the exuberant imagery, the occasional cutout (like the fingernail-size seed of a blowsy peony-pink flower) looks none too impressive. But if minuscule die-cuts seem barely worth the trouble, they do imply the potential in humble sources. Seeger’s clever conclusion brings all the elements together in an outdoor scene that returns readers to the opening: “First the paint/ then the picture… / First the chicken/ then the egg!” Ages 2-6. (Sept.) Kirkus Reviews Starred Review A deceptively simple, decidedly playful sequence of statements invites readers to ponder, what comes first: the chicken or the egg? Carefully choreographed page turns and die-cuts focus on the process of change and becoming, so “First” sits alone on a yellow background, facing “the EGG”—an egg-shaped die-cut revealing a white egg against an orange-and-brown background. Turn the page, and “then” appears, the egg-shaped die-cut now forming the yellow body of a chick emerging from the shell, facing “the CHICKEN”—the white hen whose body gave color to the previous spread’s egg. Tadpole and frog, seed and flower, caterpillar and butterfly all receive the same treatment, then word and story, paint and picture bring all the disparate elements together, nature being the catalyst for art. Seeger’s vibrant, textured oil-on-canvas illustrations contain a wealth of subtlety, allowing the die-cuts to reveal cunning surprises with each turn of the page. Children and adults alike will delight in flipping the sturdy pages back and forth to recreate the transformations over and over again. Another perfectly pitched triumph from an emerging master of the concept book. (Picture book. 2-6) New York Times Children’s Books Bestseller List at #9