Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and thirty-eight

Love is a peculiar thing. It can make you feel on top of the world, turn you into a morose lump of misery, or make you act like a crazy nutcase. It can bring out the best or the worst in a person. In today's picture book, love changes the life of an old bandicoot and it gives his existence new meaning.

Hunwick's EggHunwick’s Egg
Mem Fox
Illustrated by Pamela Lofts
Picture Book
Ages 3 to 6
Harcourt, 2005,0-15-216318-2
   One day there is a ferocious storm, and once the clouds had cleared away, Hunwick the old bandicoot finds that a large egg is lying next to the entrance to his burrow. None of the other animals know whose egg it is, and after Cockatoo says that the egg “needs a home,” kind hearted Hunwick decides that he will be the one to take in the “lost” egg.
   All the animals wait and wait for the egg to hatch, but it doesn’t. Hunwick in the meantime talks to the egg, tells it his life story, takes care of it, cuddles it, and in general, grows to love it, but the egg still does not hatch. After a time, the other animals decide that the egg isn’t going to hatch after all, and they all feel sorry for Hunwick. Little do they know that Hunwick is not unhappy at all. Quite the contrary. The egg is his, it is a great companion, and Hunwick loves it no matter what.
   This pure, uncomplicated little story about an undemanding and true love is beautifully illustrated to show Hunwick’s spectacular Australian homeland with its plants, animals, and landscapes. On the one hand, we cannot help smiling as the story unfolds, and on the other, we have to admire Hunwick’s ability to give love.

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