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First the Egg

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  5,218 ratings  ·  530 reviews
WHICH CAME FIRST? The chicken or the egg? Simple die-cuts magically present transformation-- from seed to flower, tadpole to frog, caterpillar to butterfly.

The acclaimed author of Black? White! Day? Night! and Lemons Are Not Red gives an entirely fresh and memorable presentation to the concepts of transformation and creatiity. Seed becomes flower, paint becomes picture, wo
Hardcover, 28 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Roaring Brook Press
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Cassandra Gelvin Look at the top of the page, to the right of the cover image.

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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,218 ratings  ·  530 reviews

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Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mark-harmon
this book was much too sophisticated for greg to figure out at first, but let me say for the record that i always understood and appreciated it. its the kind of book you have to actually physically look at to enjoy; its very well-constructed and kind of a hoot, . i didnt expect to like this book, but i can acknowledge the care and thoughtfulness that went into making it, and i actually really enjoyed reading it. twice. one more class to go and then back to adult books...mostly.
I do love these books with cutouts on each page so that the background color changes for the story depending which side the page is on. Simple and effective. It is a fun beginning book for kids and art lovers.

The nephew likes to figure out how to engineer this kind of thing. Both kids will look at the colors on the page and figure out what the new color will be and where the color from the previous page came from. The nephew gave this 3 stars and the niece gave this 1 star. It’s too simple for h
Jun 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
What looks simple is actually quite sophisticated, or for me at least. Without Karen's help I would have been lost from the details of this book. Part of me was angered that the book thought the egg came first and then the chicken, but then I realized this book was actually a subtle reworking of the age old question, and possibly a worthy addition to the philosophy section. ...more
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Kids really get into this book. It makes them feel smart when they can predict what comes next, and it makes them think when their predictions are wrong.

I had kids in my school create their own pages for a book like this (thanks for the terrific idea, Judy Freeman!) and they came up with some great ones. Some of my favorites (or those that I can remember now that summer's here): First the thread, then the shirt; First the book, then the library; First the blue and yellow, then the green. <>
Nov 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
A book my 6 yr old as well as my twin 3 yr olds loved. A solid reading level 1 book, this cute story keeps all ages engaged with the bright colorful pictures and cute story. A great addition to any children's library. ...more
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Citation: First the Egg, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. (Roaring Brook Press, 2007). 32p. Controlled Vocabulary.

Summary: This non-fiction easy reader introduces before and after science, reading, and writing concepts. Beginning with an egg turning into a chicken, it comes full circle to show the chicken, then the egg, at the end.

Critique: (a.) This book’s greatest strength is its illustrations. It was awarded the Theodor Geisel Award as well as the Caldecott Honor. Colorful paintings and accompanying
Amy Vana
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
First the Egg written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger is a 2008 Caldecott Honor Book and a 2007 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year.

I was first introduced to this early childhood picture book in Children’s Handbook in Children’s Hand; A Brief Introduction to their Literature. I located the text edition at my local library. The library also had an electronic format; Hoopla Audio Book. The electronic format was easy to follow, paced appropriately, and had an engagi
Sara Ullery
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-reviews
first the Egg by Laura Seeger
• Sweet story simply explaining what came first. Great choice for younger children, first the seed, then the flower!
• Prek-1
• Teachers may use this for circle time, reading lesson, English, science
• Individual students will really enjoy the illustrations and simple sentences in this book making it a great choice for beginners
• Small groups may use this book to discuss what came first, and some of what surprised them!
• Whole classes may use this book relating to sci
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Caldecott- My favorite thing about this book was the pictures. The illustrator did a great job. I appreciate this book because it is a great way to teach students the process of an egg becomes a chicken, a caterpillar goes into a cocoon and becomes a butterfly, and first you paint and then you get the picture. I would read this book to my class because I really hope to teach kindergarten someday and I think it is a great book for that grade level.
L12_luisespinoza Espinoza
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This picture book expresses in a very simplistic way the idea of change and transformation through a straightforward approach. From the first couple of pages showing "First the Egg, then the Chicken", to the last couple of pages showing "First the Chicken, then the Egg" and everything in between (the tadpole to frog, the seed to flower, the caterpillar to butterfly, the word to story, the paint to picture), the die cut format of the pages provides surprises at every turn of the page. The thick, ...more
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
First the Egg is a 2008 Caldecott Honor book written for children ages 4 to 6. It is nearly a wordless picture book that is about transformations: "first the egg, then the chicken; first the tadpole, then the frog...first the word, then the story". The illustrations in this book are colorful, yet simple, child-like paintings in hues that capture the environment of the subject. The author puts an interesting twist at the end of the book to reinforce the concept of the the circle of life--the book ...more
Hayley Larson
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was actually one of my very favorite Caldecott winners/honors. I thought not only the concept was really informative and cute for children, but the artistry and creativity using cut-outs was quite enticing as well. I felt like I loved this book just as much as a child would because of the colors and illustrations. On each picture you could see the brushstrokes which was another beautiful touch. The book showcased the age old question: what came first, the chicken or the egg? It begins ...more
Carlee Utvich
This is a very basic level reading book about what different animals start out as first and what they turn in to. For example first the egg, then the chicken. This is a very easy reading book that children can could read on their own. It slowly turns in to a book with different simple narrations and big words. The pictures are only one object and look like they are painted. This is a sequential book because it shows what the things start out with and what it ends up as. This would spark curiosit ...more
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fun little book! Its simple text is nonetheless effective: "First the egg. Then the chicken. First the tadpole. Then the frog." on up through seeds and flowers, to words and stories and paint and pictures. Cut-outs in the page help to form the illustrations and it's very fun to see how the cut-out fits with the next picture when you turn the page. I was smiling all the way to the last picture. And as to which came first, the chicken or the egg, it may not be as clear as the title ...more
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Brandi Barnett
This is wonderful! It's a very simple book. First the egg, then the chicken. First the tadpole, then the frog. My favorite: First the word, then the story. The first page shows the egg, with a cutout, and then the second page shows the chicken. The text is simple but could be used to have discussions about cause/effect or life cycles. And it comes full circle at the end...first the chicken, then the egg! This would be a fantastic addition to a preschool class...I'm certain toddlers, preschoolers ...more
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really thought the way this book was done was ingenious. It's a cut-out book with various cut-outs meaning one thing on one side of the page, and then after turning the page, the cut-out is something else. A lot of thought went into the creation of this book, and I think it would help small children with understanding shapes and the way things progress from one stage to another (ex. from an egg to a chicken, from a caterpillar to a butterfly, etc.). ...more
Jennifer Nemo
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
summary: First the egg then the chicken. Then the book continues with seeds, tadpoles, and caterpillars.

Curriculum Connection: First...then..., sequence of events, connections

Audience: pre-k-2

Personal Reaction: I loved the simplicity of the book. The cutouts make it fun and make you want to read it again.

Visual Appeal: The use of all primary colors with visible brush strokes will appeal to young children.
Becky B
With just a few words, and the use of die cuts, readers get to explore several before and afters like egg and chicken or word and story.

Simple but cute and a very easy read. Perfect for beginning readers and those just exploring the relationships of things before and after.
Emily Briano
Sep 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Seeger is proving herself to be a top name as a picture book author/illustrator. A beautiful, well-crafted book.
4.5 out of 5
I couldn't stop reading this book over and over... Simple, beautiful and so clever!
Sep 18, 2018 added it
Shelves: picturebooks
Could this book be more perfect? No, it could not.
Sierra Lasky
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: award-winners
This book shows how one thing transforms into another. For example, going from an egg to a chicken or a caterpillar to a butterfly. This book would be very good for students that can’t read or that are just beginning to read because there are minimal words and they can understand the book by looking at the pictures. It is written very simply and has the same form throughout the book. The book is filled with a large variety of colors. The illustrations make the book very easy to read. There are f ...more
Paige Rolfing
Feb 02, 2016 marked it as to-read
Summary: This story lists out beginning and end results of multiple items. One one page it shows the beginning stage, like “a word”, and the next page contains the result, like “a story”. The book begins with “first the egg, then the chicken”. To come full circle, the story ends with, “first the chicken, then the egg”.

Theme: Everything goes through a process in order to become the final result. We see this as an egg becomes a chicken and a word becomes a story and a seed becomes a flower. Everyt
Amber Bush
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: libs-642
Seeger, L. (2007). First the Egg . Roaring Book Press

Concept Book/Geisel & Caldecott Honor Award

Picture Book Project

This concept book follows the riddle many of us have heard since we were little; what comes first? The chicken or the egg? The sequential elements change from chickens and eggs to caterpillars to butterflies to seeds to flowers, etc… It is a great book that provides short snippets of text along with amazing illustrations.

I would love to use this book in my classroom. I think it w
Jan 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
School Library Journal says: "PreS-Gr 2 —With brief text and vibrant artwork, Seeger describes familiar transformations in nature. The opening spread reads, "First the EGG." Textured backdrops painted in mustard yellow and rusty orange fill the eye and focus attention on a white egg that peeks through an oval-shaped die-cut from the next page. The following spread completes the thought, "then the CHICKEN," revealing a just-hatched chick and a fluffy white hen. Other similarly conveyed cycles inc ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
1. Genre: Concept

2. Summary: First the Egg is a wonderful children’s picture book about concepts. It teachers children what things come first and how certain familiar things like flowers become flowers, butterflies become butterflies, etc.

3. Critique:
a.) I love the accuracy and the beautiful illustrations of this book. The way the illustrations and concepts are presented with the cut-out pieces is genius.

b.) I enjoyed reading this book and was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy and the simpli
Nov 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Title: First the Egg
Genre: Concept

Summary: First the Egg, illustrates the concept of growth by showing the developmental stages of
of chickens from eggs, butterfiles from catapillars, pictures from paint, and stories from words. as the prgress from seeds, words, and paint to paintings.

A.The critique focuses on the illustration and picture elements of this story.

B. The story uses page cut-outs to illustrate how the outline of the shape of an object can be cleverly used to represent the stages in
Matthew Hunter
2008 Caldecott and Seuss Geisel honors. Close but no cigar on the medals for this one! Receiving both Caldecott and Seuss honors isn't a small feat, however.

Seeger engages the age-old philisophical question "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" in an elegant, seemingly simple, sneakily sophisticated way that's also accessible for little ones. The egg comes first in the beginning. But wait! Why does the book end with the chicken preceding the egg? In between, Seeger shows that paint precede
Courtney Dromazos
Awards: Caldecott Honor (2008), Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor (2008)

Grade: K-1

Summary: First the Egg is a picture book that illustrates and briefly narrates a simple version of the life cycle answering the question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" The book shows the life cycle of insects, animals and also human creations such as art and pieces of writing. The book features colorful illustrations on each page and simple one-line supporting text.

Review: First the Egg would be an excellent
RLL22018_Jorge Ortiz
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think this is a good book to show children a part of science and evolution. It is more geared towards PreK and Kindergarten. In this book you see what comes first and it gets you and the child's minds thinking. The pictures are nice and big and colorful. You can also stop at each animal and talk about their characteristics and how they came about. In the end, it is kind of a twist because then you can ask, What came first? when they already thought they knew the answer. ...more
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Laura Vaccaro Seeger is a New York Times best-selling author and illustrator and the recipient of a 2008 Caldecott Honor, Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors for both 2009 and 2008, a 2007 New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award, and the 2007 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Best Picture Book. Her books include First the Egg, The Hidden Alphabet, and Dog and Bear, among others.

Raised on Long Island, N

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