Author: Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Illustrator: Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Audience: Preschool through elementary
Summary: Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s First the Egg tells the story of how things grow and change. There is also an element in the story that suggests to young children that something is not always what it first appears to be according to their own perceptions. Laura Seeger uses elements in nature like an egg, a tadpole, and a seed to show how these objects grow and change into a chicken, a frog, and a flower.
First the Egg is a very good teaching tool that is simple and direct. First the Egg helps children understand that the objects they perceive in nature are not necessarily the final form of creation. Perceptions young child and even older adults make about an object tend to be different; sometimes the perceptions are right other times they are wrong. The way the book is designed allows for the readers to anticipate about what they perceive an egg, a tadpole, a seed etc. will turn into which is then conveyed on the next page. The book adds an element of surprise with each page turn as young children learn what these elements of nature, depicted in this book, will reveal as their final form.
Literary elements at work in the story: First the Egg is a concept book meaning that the author has a particular idea she wants to convey in the book. In this book that concept is change and/or perception. Laura Vaccaro Seeger uses creation to convey this concept of change and perception. Nature is an element that young children can easily encounter in their everyday life. Each page in her book provides a theme of surprise as children guess what they think the element of nature will be in its final form.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story?
There is no major perspective that would make a difference to the story. The only minor perspective that would make a difference to this book would be that different cultural contexts may not understand or come into contact with elements in nature that this book uses.
Scripture: Genesis 1:1 and following; Acts 11:1-18
Theology: Change occurs in everyday life. Some changes are simple others are more difficult. Things, people, and places grow and change and sometimes the outcome of this change is very different from what we first perceive. God created the world in such a manner that things will grow and flourish. Humans are limited in their ability to always understand why certain things change or flourish into something unexpected. The good news is that God is in control, knows our human limitations, and teaches/surprises us with knowledge that is true and correct.
Faith Talk Questions
1) What things in nature have you seen change?
2) Tell of a time when you thought an object was one thing, but it turned out to another.
3) How do you grow and change?
4) Have you ever been surprised to learn that a person, thing, or event changed into something that you were not expecting?
5) How could you help someone understand change? How could you help someone understand that there are different perceptions of people, places, and items around the world that differ from their own?
6) Does change bring feelings of sadness, happiness, or surprise?
Review prepared by Jen Mitchell, 2010 graduate of Union-PSCE
First the Egg by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.