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'Cuckoo!' by Fiona Roberton and 'I Hatched!' by Jill Esbaum: Spring is here

Two picture books to celebrate Spring
courtesy of Dial and Putnam Juvenile

Picture books for Spring


"Cuckoo" and "I Hatched" are two new picture book releases that will help young readers celebrate the advent of Spring.

"Cuckoo!" is a picture book for young readers by Fiona Roberton. It's the story of a cuckoo who hatches but soon finds that he speaks a different language from the other two chicks in the nest. Even his "mother" speaks a different language.

So Cuckoo decides to leave the nest and find someone who speaks his language. The many animals he encounters do not speak his language, not the Sheep nor the Frogs. Not the Pigs nor the Snakes. Not the Cows nor the Rabbits.

Dismayed, Cuckoo decides to enroll in language school to learn other languages. While the other animals are becoming proficient in many languages, Cuckoo cannot learn.

But there is a happy ending, for finally, Cuckoo finds someone who speaks his language and understands him. It will be interesting for young readers to learn that many in the Cuckoo family lay eggs in the nests of other birds, thus allowing them to raise the cuckoo as their own. Because the cuckoo is usually larger than the chicks from the natural mother, the cuckoo gets most of the food.

"I Hatched" by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Jen Corace is the story of a baby killdeer who runs around exploring the countryside before returning to his mother. His discoveries are shared in verse and the illustrations are bright and colorful; at times they almost appear abstract.

After a day of adventure, baby is curled up with his mother when a sound surprises him. Another baby is hatching. The first baby hatched is happy to share his knowledge about the world around him with his baby sister.

It's a happy book about nature, discovery and sharing.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover books provided by Penguin Books for Young Readers for review purposes.

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