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Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be?

By Janet Halfmann

Illustrated by Betsy Thompson

Blue Apple Books

Ages 3-7, Picture Book

(OUT OF PRINT, but available as a DIGITAL BOOK on the subscription-based platforms Epic! and K12)



Maine Librarians Lupine Honor Book

Cybils Finalist

New York Public Library Children's Best List

Gold Best Book Award: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

The Story

Ten spreads with gatefolds and a culminating dramatic fold-out lead young readers from a single penguin egg to an ostrich's clutch of 10 eggs. Song-like, non-rhyming verse gives clues as to who might hatch. The answer to the repeated refrain, "Who will the babies be?" is found beneath a flap. Besides discovering the animal baby or babies, kids also will pick up a lot of nature terminology and interesting facts about animals, their birthing environments, and habitats.

My Inspiration

I got the inspiration for this story when I was researching birds and was amazed by the great variety in just bird eggs. That led me to research other animal eggs, which

were equally intriguing! 

Educational Connections

Counting, animals that hatch from eggs, habitats, riddles, lyrical language


"A solid addition to the spring egg shelf."—Kirkus Reviews 

"Part counting book, part science book, this engaging title will find a natural home in classrooms and storytimes. Each spread features a number and a type of egg and invites readers, through bouncy rhyming text, to guess, 'Who will the babies be?' The recto folds out to reveal the hatchlings. All types of eggs are covered here, from penguins to caterpillars to fish to snakes. The engaging question-and-answer format is enhanced by Thompson's gorgeous mixed-media collage illustrations."—School Library Journal

"From 1 penguin to 10 ostriches, this gatefold gallery offers a first gander at eggs—not just avian but the frog, snake, fish, and platypus sort, too—and the hatchlings that emerge from them. Composing simple cut-shape collages from a variety of scored, patterned, and textured papers in subdued hues, Thompson provides plenty of clues . . . Halfmann's commentary, likewise patterned, is rich in natural details . . . Literal-minded younger children will have no trouble absorbing both the informational content and the gentle verbal and visual rhythms." —Booklist

"Charming and lovingly designed entertainment."—Publishers Weekly

Eggs 1, 2, 3 book cover
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