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Early One Morning

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Join a little boy searching the farm for his breakfast one fine morning.

Early one morning, a little boy sets out to find something for his breakfast. He searches the farm for it. Could it be by the gate? In the truck? In the haystack? Readers will see barnyard animals and guess what it is the little boy is searching for until he finally finds it and settles in for a delicious breakfast with his grandmother.

32 pages, Hardcover

Published February 16, 2021

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About the author

Mem Fox

84 books387 followers
Mem Fox was born in Australia, grew up in Africa, studied drama in England, and returned to Adelaide, Australia in 1970, where she has lived with her husband, Malcolm, and daughter Chloë, happily ever after.

Mem Fox is Australia’s most highly regarded picture-book author. Her first book, Possum Magic, is the best selling children’s book ever in Australia, with sales of over three million. And in the USA Time for Bed and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge have each sold over a million copies. Time for Bed is on Oprah’s list of the twenty best children’s books of all time. Mem has written thirty picture books for children and five non-fiction books for adults, including the best-selling Reading Magic, aimed at parents of very young children.

Mem Fox was an Associate Professor in Literacy Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, where she taught teachers for twenty four years until her early retirement in 1996. She has received many civic awards, honours and accolades in Australia, including two honorary doctorates. She has visited the United States over one hundred times, mostly in her role as a literacy expert although she is also a well-known author in America. She is an influential international consultant in literacy, but she pretends to sit around writing full time.

Winner of the Dromkeen Medal (1990).

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5 stars
19 (7%)
4 stars
61 (23%)
3 stars
124 (47%)
2 stars
50 (19%)
1 star
6 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Jon Nakapalau.
4,934 reviews687 followers
December 9, 2021
A light-headed look at a little boy looking for breakfast. Nice book for small children who are curious about where their food comes from. I believe books like this are important in helping children appreciate everything animals provide for us; so many fail to see this connection. The illustrations are very nice.
Profile Image for Mehsi.
11.9k reviews361 followers
June 1, 2022
A cute, albeit repetitive book about a boy looking for some yummy breakfast. Haha, I knew right from the first thing he encountered and what he said what he was looking for. We follow him around the farm as he tries to find that item. Again, funny and interesting to see what he sees around him, but also a tad boring. I would have rather have something surprising happen midway. Or that he ALMOST had it.
The art was adorable though!

Read this one in Dutch! Too tired/sick to add it to GR though.
Profile Image for Olivia.
3,053 reviews70 followers
June 13, 2021
See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/kidsfi...

EARLY ONE MORNING is a picture book walk around a farm. A little boy heads out to find a couple of things for his breakfast. He notices that the tractor doesn't lay them, nor does the truck, nor cow, nor so many other things on the farm. So who does lay them? The reader may have known all along. The book ends with the boy and his caregiver eating the eggs for breakfast.

What I loved: This was a simple and whimsical look around the farm. The illustrations are intriguing, with a sketch-like quality and full of items and animals around the farm. The little boy has a chicken following him around the farm the whole time to add a touch of comedy. The writing is very simple with repetitive language as he searches for what lays the "things" he needs for breakfast.

What left me wanting more: The book never explicitly says that they were looking for eggs, and this may confuse some readers without additional context from a caregiver. The book also suddenly changes to second person at the end and does not quite draw the conclusions that would be helpful for young readers the simple phrasing suggests it would work best for (caregivers can spell these out for curious readers though).

Final verdict: EARLY ONE MORNING contains entertaining images of a boy and the chicken going around a small family farm looking for "things" for breakfast. The simple and repetitive phrasing would work well for toddlers alongside caregiver explanations.

Please note that I received a review copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Roben .
2,076 reviews6 followers
March 15, 2021
A young child takes a stroll around the farm yard in search of something for breakfast. Something that is laid. Adults will immediately know what the child is looking for but many small children will not. The gate doesn't lay them. Neither does the tractor or the hay stack. A chicken accompanies the child on the search -- they also encounter a cow, a sheep, and a pony. Eventually the child finds what they are seeking and presents them to his happy mother.
I really liked the simplicity of the story. And anyone with littles knows that "Please go fetch" is often accompanied by an extended detour to discover the requested item. I also liked that animal sounds were not included. It is obvious from the picture that the cow is mooing but that is not printed in the book so it's the perfect opportunity to ask the child what sound the cow is making. I agree that this would make a great read aloud for a toddler or preschool story time!
Profile Image for Amanda.
3,658 reviews30 followers
May 17, 2021
Heads Up: if you are a Vegan or are feeling touchy about this subject, this may not be the book for you. On the last page, 2 eggs are consumed in front of the chicken who laid them. She seems to have a surprised (?) look on her face.

I read this with Mister, who had previously read it with his big sister. He loved it so much that he wanted to read it "again, again!" He is 5 now, and I think he delighted in the simplicity of the text and all the familiar farm animals. He knows by now that I will ask him about each animal and what sound it makes; he obligingly tells me and makes the sound, and we are all quite happy and silly.

The illustrations are bright and colorful and almost retro in their cheerful flair. I think that this would be good for storytime except for the fear of hurting people's feelings over eating eggs.
Profile Image for Jennie.
943 reviews
July 5, 2021
A young boy sets out from the house on the farm searching for "a couple of things for his breakfast". The illustrations are key to mapping his joemney as he encounters a mix of farm machinery and farm animals looking for whowever will "lay thne". Meanwhile, he is followed by hen. Eventually he reaches the hen house, finds what he was seeking and heads home for his mum to cook and for them to both to enjoy breakfast.

This is a book that young children' will love as they join in the simple refrains and recognise familiar farm items and animals. Clever in its simplicity, so typical of Mem Fox, and cleverly illustrated by Christine Davenier with cheeky faces and strutting confident characters - love the hen strutting behind the boy on his morning journey around the farm.
Profile Image for Emily.
1,197 reviews9 followers
August 5, 2021
Great storytime book - a boy goes for a walk to find his breakfast, and is followed by a chicken. He encounters lots of farm animals and objects, but none of them "lay them." Good opportunities for prediction, colors, sounds, and your audience being in the know before the character. The art has a lot of movement and expression in the very sketchy pencil and china marker art, beautifully filled with splashy watercolor. Unfortunately, depicts a very traditional picture book - a white male protagonist, gray haired, cardigan- and day-dress-wearing granny, old-timey truck and tractor, clothes on the line. Nothing bad, but nothing new. Hundreds of picture books look exactly like this.
Profile Image for Peacegal.
9,954 reviews90 followers
March 4, 2021
I saw the title of this book and started to hum Johnny Cash.

In reality, this is pretty far from a Johnny Cash song and is a retro tale about a young boy exploring his old-fashioned farmstead and collecting eggs for his breakfast. Various farm sights and sounds are explored on each page.

Vegan parents will want to be aware that the whole premise of the book is the boy discovering which farm animal lays eggs, and then collecting them to eat. The depiction of the idealistic barnyard is of course quite far from the reality of how most eggs are produced.
March 8, 2021
Cute enough. A little boy walks around the farm looking for what lays eggs - all while a chicken is following him. Kids will laugh and point to the chicken on each page. It seems at the end of the book, the chicken is sadly looking through the window, watching the boy and his grandmother (or mother) eat her eggs.
Profile Image for Molly Cluff (Library!).
2,363 reviews31 followers
March 19, 2021
A charming, cozy walk through the farmyard. A young boy sets off in search of eggs across the farm, commenting on all the other farm animals and fixtures (tractors, haystacks) that don't lay eggs. Very atmospheric, and it's cute that a chicken follows him on his whole stroll. Though these kinds of books are always weird to read as a vegan, haha.
Profile Image for Alissa Tsaparikos.
365 reviews2 followers
April 19, 2021
A little white boy goes on a quest for breakfast on his farm. He finds one animal or object after another, but they don't lay them, the text says. This narrative opens up a lot for children to guess at. And the obvious answer is tagging along behind the youngster. However, the ending is left off a bit vague and unfinished.
Profile Image for Mary.
1,269 reviews10 followers
June 20, 2021
Cute retro-feeling illustrations show a child going around the farm looking for eggs for breakfast. The text is very simple. Use with preschoolers for farm units. Look for the chicken in each illustration. Compared to other Mem Fox books, this one is a bit of a disappointment. Borrow from the public library instead of purchasing.
Profile Image for Kayla.
36 reviews
January 21, 2022
Not my favorite Mem Fox. I thought I had skipped a page when we went straight to "the gate doesn't lay them." The book never tells the reader what the boy is looking for--in theory this should be a fun guessing game. But, I feel like the first page doesn't do much to help us understand what the boy is looking for. Not everybody eats eggs for breakfast.
Profile Image for Jared White.
852 reviews20 followers
March 1, 2021
It's a little morbid to have the hen looking in at the end as people eat her eggs. I guess we'll assume they're unfertilized and that's why the hen seems perfectly okay with this prospect throughout the book.
Profile Image for Gabrielle Stoller.
1,378 reviews25 followers
March 16, 2021
THe illustrations were my favorite part of the book (considering pastels aren't often the go-to anymore). But the book was BLAH. No point and once you knew the little boy was looking for an egg, it was obvious what the punch line of the book would be.
Profile Image for Amy.
2,663 reviews23 followers
May 29, 2021
This is such a sweet book, perfect for young readers. A little boy sets off across the farm to find eggs for his breakfast. I love that the chicken follows him the whole way! It is simple, charming, and sweet.
Profile Image for Nancy.
Author 9 books44 followers
May 26, 2022
In this simple picture book for young children, a young boy is searching everywhere (follow the illustrations and simple text to guess) until he finally finds it for breakfast. Sweet tone and illustrations that will engage young readers.
Profile Image for Anthony.
5,361 reviews24 followers
July 18, 2022
Early one morning a little boy leaves his house, and takes a trek around the family farm in search of a couple of things for his breakfast, he walks and searches just about everywhere until he finds what he was looking for.
Profile Image for Mrs Heet -Librarian.
504 reviews3 followers
October 3, 2022
A very cute, somewhat repetative book about a boy looking for eggs for breakfast. He passes many things found on the farm and the children could act out sounds for each item. This could be fun translated into a flannel board activity for younger children.
Profile Image for Christine Grant.
1,885 reviews9 followers
November 2, 2022
Confusing in that the book never says what the boy wants for breakfast. The children are supposed to know that he wants eggs and that the chicken is the one laying the eggs. I probably will not use this again.
Profile Image for Dimity Powell.
Author 31 books76 followers
February 7, 2021
Not the Mem Fox of your but a sweet enough premise / joke / guessing set up coupled with gentle illustrations to delight the very young.
Profile Image for Erin Buhr.
Author 5 books34 followers
April 22, 2021
This is a super cute picture book for young children. The repetitive structure, use of illustrations, and simple humor is perfect for little ones. This reminds me a bit of the classic ROSIE'S WALK.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews

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