These days you read about celebrities who try to cash in on their fame by “writing” (often “co-writing” with the actual writer) a children’s book or two. I can see why people think it’s easy to make a children’s book, but the truth is, truly great children’s books can take years to germinate and a lot of effort to produce — which also explains why there are thousands of bad/mediocre titles out there that don’t read well; are style over substance; are let down by either the text or the images; are pointless copycats of classics (or worse, each other); exist to sell character merchandise; or are just plain uninspired.
It’s a rare thing, thus, to discover a thoroughly sincere and original book with a subject matter that is clearly close to the author’s heart. But that’s exactly what Tillie Lays An Egg is: a labour of love.
The protagonist of this book is the white hen on the cover, Tillie, who is just one of the seven well-looked-after hens kept in the henhouse in the author’s backyard. All the hens lay an egg every day, but unlike the other hens who obediently take turns to lay their eggs in the nesting box, Tillie enjoys laying her eggs in unconventional places.
This is a simple, sweet story that will appeal to children, particularly those who love farms/farm animals. Kids will also have fun searching for Tillie’s eggs in the gorgeously styled full-page photographs.