A case of mistaken identity results in Mr. and Mrs. Bird having to contend with a strange egg in their nest. However, not only do they not try to get rid of the egg, but they look after it as if it were their very own — never mind that it is so big that both of them can sit on it at the same time! And even when the egg hatches and the baby looks nothing like them — or like any bird, for that matter — they try their darnedest to feed and nurture it until the time comes for it to fly (or attempt to, anyway) the roost.
First published in 1960, Are You My Mother? is one of the earliest and most popular books for budding independent readers — and it’s not hard to see why. The sentences are deceptively short and simple, but they add up to tell a warmly humorous tale about a somewhat impulsive hatchling who goes around looking for his momentarily absent mother — albeit in all the wrong places, since he doesn’t know what she looks like.
Funny story: my son used to hate getting haircuts, so one fine day, I told him that if his hair got too long and bushy, birds would think it’s a nest and lay eggs in it. He bought it. Since then, he’d be the first to bug us to bring him for a haircut if he felt his hair was getting “too bushy”, haha! So, imagine my delight when I saw this book!
In The Odd Egg, a duck feels left out when she sees that all the other birds have each laid an egg and are excitedly waiting for them to hatch. So when she finds a large white egg with green spots, she is very happy even though the other birds openly disparage it. One by one, the birds’ eggs hatch, until only duck’s egg is left. Then finally, when it hatches, the baby emerges to give the other birds (and the readers!) a big shock.