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The Enormous Egg

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,589 ratings  ·  272 reviews
Young Nate Twitchell is surprised when one of the hens on his family farm lays a giant egg. After a painstaking wait, Nate is even more surprised when it hatches and out pops a baby triceratops that he names Uncle Beazley! But when Nate decides to keep the dino and raise it on his own, he has no idea what he's getting himself into. As Uncle Beazley grows, Nate and his fami ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1956)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,589 ratings  ·  272 reviews

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Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Out-of-date and sexist, not to mention implausible. But it does include this: "No, Joe, a scientist doesn't know all the answers. Nobody does, not even teachers. But a scientist keeps on trying to find the answers." And that's a good thing, so, I say, sure, read it if you like.

Otoh, I remember now that I didn't actually like it all that much when I was a kid, either.
Mar 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dinosaur Lovers
I remember reading this book when I was younger and thinking, "Holy Crap! You mean this is all I have to do to get a pet dinosaur??!!" And then I learned the definition of "fiction." I hate books.

Update 1/2013: Re-read this last week, and it's still fun. Also surprised to see that the Dinosaurs-->Birds thing was around in the 1950s.
Mar 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Harrison
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How I love Oliver Butterworth! A childhood favorite illustrated by another fav Louis Darling. A wonderfully written, classic and fun story.
Luisa Knight
Here's a fun read!

When Nate goes out to the chicken coop early one morning, he is startled at seeing one of the hens perched atop an unusually enormous egg! What will be even more shocking is what hatches out of it! And boy, is Nate excited. A kid hasn't had this kind of a pet ... in well, ... a really, really long time!

Sprinkled with humor and funny characters throughout, kids will enjoy imagining what it would be like to have such a pet themselves.

Ages: 10+

Cleanliness: Gosh, Gee, Golly and t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
A piece on NPR on guilty reading pleasures led me to re-read The Enormous Egg. As with so many things aimed at children, much of Butterworth’s commentary is way over their little heads. On the surface, this is a simple, very funny story about a farm family in Freedom, New Hampshire. One of their hens lays an enormous, funny looking egg. Nate is determined to do whatever it takes to hatch the egg. Since it is too big for the bemused hen to turn, he goes out to the barn every three hours to turn t ...more
Nov 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is not one of those classics that stands the test of time. It is full of weird gender stuff (girls do not like dinosaurs, only want to become telephone operators or homemakers) and old white scientists who smoke too much. The premise seems interesting, but the story is boring, takes too long to go anywhere and while the idea of a dinosaur is neat, there is no emotional attachment to the creature by Nate, only a sense of entitled ownership. I quit. boo.
Robin Kempf
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, probably. Fun fantasy for any kid to own a dinosaur, but what I loved was how this dinosaur becomes a matter of federal policy. Democracy springs into action. How will Uncle Beasley fare? You’ll have to read to find out.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Greg Zink
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
Yes, I know, this is a kids book and I am an adult, but I picked it up the other night and couldn't stop until I finished it. The Enormous Egg was probably my favorite book when I was growing up, so I really enjoyed going back to it and finding I still loved it. The storyline is simple but beautiful, the writing is concise yet evocative, the illustrations are gorgeous and the emotion is vivid. And all that for a story about a boy and a dinosaur!

Like I said before, the storyline is really simple
Jemma Z
Apr 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
My kids’ elementary school read this for their school-wide read and then they wanted me to read it to them. I’m disappointed that school picked a book with so many sexist elements (honestly the way the mom and sister were written was the worst). Maybe it made sense in its day, but it can be consigned to the dustbin of history and we’d all be better off.
I loved, loved, loved this book as a boy. The triceratops was (and still is) my favorite dino, and I first read this book on the family farm I stayed at every summer. My primary chore back then was to take care of the chickens, so the idea that a chicken would lay an egg that would hatch a triceratops felt like it was written just for me.

It is, of course, patently ridiculous, but Triceratops is technically a member of the ornithischian (“bird-hipped”) branch of dinosaurs, which is no doubt where
The whole family enjoyed this story as a read aloud. 💗
Heather Moore
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lex-me-2019
Quick read aloud with my 12 year old. This was solid fun and sparked a lot more conversation than I anticipated. The outdated gender roles and general science-y feelings of the 50’s vs today presented great moments to stop and discuss.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
What would YOU do if a dinosaur hatched in your backyard? Nate Twitchell and his family can give you a few ideas. This charming story is entertaining and imaginative. I can see why it is considered a classic and really enjoyed reading it for this year's Battle of the Books. ...more
Dusk Peterson
Well, I certainly didn't expect this humorous fantasy novel from the 1950s to feature activists protesting Congress.

The premise of this children's novel (wonderfully illustrated by Louis Darling, who also illustrated the Beverly Cleary novels) is that a rural boy's hen gives birth to a Very Unusual Animal. A ruckus follows: reporters ("It was a newsreel outfit down in Concord that wanted to come up and make some pictures"), scientists ("Every one of them had a different theory, I guess, and each
Tara Kaiser
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Read this with my son for an all school read. Cute story, but not my favorite.
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very big meh.

I adore dinosaurs and it would be a dream come true to find a dinosaur egg. That said, this plot was exceedingly lame.

I know people will say “keep in mind when it was written” and I was and I still did not like it. Just because a book is old doesn’t mean it can’t last through time. This one does not.

It’s completely sexist. The women are all ridiculous. A dinosaur was just born and the mom only seems to care that supper is served on time. Another neighbor lady is “frightened” of t
Laura (Book Scrounger)
This is a childhood favorite of my husband's, influenced in no small part, I'm sure, by the fact that he shares a last name with the main character (and grew up/lives about an hour's drive from where this is set).

So a first line like "My name is Nate Twitchell, but I can't help that" is an amusing way to start out. I can understand the comparisons to Homer Price here (though I think this is a bit wordier), especially in terms of descriptions of small-town life around mid-century.

The premise is
Jul 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book at a garage sale for a quarter. A children's book, written in 1956, it tells the tale of an egg laid by an ordinary hen, which turns out to be a dinosaur egg. The dinosaur, which I need not remind you, hasn't been seen in millions of years on earth, hatches and .. well, I don't want to spoil the story. The writing, for having been written in 1956, sometimes feels old-fashioned, but it kept my attention throughout. I was truly interested to realize the situations described - ...more
This was a fun, silly story narrated by a boy who tells his story of an enormous egg that hatches into a dinosaur. It is a good old-fashioned book and not at all dated or sexist as some people claim. However, my issue with the book is the scientific idea of evolution and the dinosaurs existing million of years ago. I believe the Biblical account of creation, so would not recommend to children unless they already have a firm understanding of creation or it is explained to them how the book contai ...more
Nevada Libert
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
i love this book! how they had to save the one and only living dinisor. great story about a boy with a prehistorical reptile and how he had to come up with ways to feed it and keep it warm, and to save it from the sentors who wanted to kill him and stuff he, and how the boy had to come up with his own speech to save his best friend the dinysor.
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
The second of Claire's 4th grade novels. It's set in the 50's, perhaps early 60's. Mom wears an apron, dinner is on the table @ 600, all the kids do their chores. Instead of boy and his dog, it's boy and his dinosaur. Hope the next novel is better! ...more
Jan 29, 2009 marked it as to-read
I SO would have loved a baby triceratops when I was little!
One School, One Book challenge. Cute read, originally published in 1956. My 1st grader liked it.
A bit dated, but not in a bad way. I found the tea-partyish senator particularly funny and timely.
Allison M
Jul 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: junior-fiction
My son enjoyed it a lot, but it wasn't my favorite that we've read together ...more
Samuel Valentino
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book a long time ago as a kid, because I loved dinosaurs. I remembered it now that I find myself raising chickens. In fact, the premise is so odd that I thought I had misremembered the story, but when I put in "chicken egg triceratops" this came right up!

I wish I could say that as a kid, I thought that I could get a dinosaur this way. But the only way my parents would let me ever have a chicken was in nugget form, so even if hens laid dino eggs every day I'd still never have gotten o
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Butterworth was born in Hartford, Connecticut and spent much of his life as a teacher, teaching at Kent School in Kent, Connecticut from 1937 to 1947 and Junior School in West Hartford, Connecticut from 1947 to 1949. Additionally, beginning in 1947, he taught English at Hartford College for Women in Hartford, Connecticut until the late 1980s.

Butterworth was an author of many children's books, most

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