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The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South
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The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  5,349 ratings  ·  346 reviews
A Southern folktale in which kind Blanche, following the instructions of an old witch, gains riches, while her greedy sister makes fun of the old woman and is duly rewarded.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 29th 1989 by Dial Books
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Meg McGregor A little known fairy tale, by Perrault, called Toads and Diamonds. Not the book title. This is a fairy tale about three pages long. I read it in a col…moreA little known fairy tale, by Perrault, called Toads and Diamonds. Not the book title. This is a fairy tale about three pages long. I read it in a collection of fairy tales, my Mother had, years and years ago.(less)

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I’ve never heard anything like this tale before. It is a great tale. It could be an excellent movie done right. It’s a Creole folktale. The artwork is done in colored pencils.

I love this line “They lived on a farm so poor, it looked like the tail end of bad luck.” That is a great way to start the tale. At first I thought this would be a retelling of Cinderella and it almost is, but this is much different. The youngest girl, Blanche, was sweet and she had to do all the work, while the older sist
Indeed, I do realise and understand that Robert D. San Souci's The Talking Eggs won a 1990 Caldecott Honour designation for illustrator Jerry Pinkney. However and that all being said, while I have definitely appreciated Pinkney's accompanying illustrations, I have also never really been able to truly love them (as I tend to find his pictorial renderings rather too detailed and involved for my own personal tastes, leaving nothing much to and for my imagination, and the busyness of the visual deta ...more
This version belongs in the Cinderella category of folk stories, and it turned out to be one of the very, very rare renditions of this rags-to-riches tale that doesn't have a prince nor left-behind footwear, and even rarer (in my experience): there's no stepmother. The wicked and abusive parent here is actually the girl's biological mother! The ugly stepsister is likewise the girl's full sibling.

Another distinction was that, whilst there's no fairy godmother, the role is still taken over: a kind
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a spellbinding tale of two sisters, their mother, an old witch- woman, some very odd animals and a whole lot of talking eggs. It is based on a Creole folktale and captures the flavour of the American South.
The illustrations are beautiful and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

It is a story which highlights the virtues of kindness and generosity and the dangers of greed; A wonderful moral teaching lesson for everyone.

Library copy
Talking Eggs

“The Talking Eggs” is a very lovable yet surreal tale about an innocent little girl named Blanche who overcomes greed and cruelty by helping an elderly woman who may not be who she seems in Robert San Souci’s version of this famous Creole tale.

Robert D. San Souci’s retelling of the ancient Creole tale is marvelous as it contains lots of scenes dealing with magic and also some suspense, especially in the end referring to the fate of Rose and her mother. Robert D. San Souci’s language is simple
Dec 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Interesting story with lots of traditional folktale/fairytale elements--i.e., good sister vs. bad sister, magical old woman who gives them challenges and one overcomes with her goodness and patience, the other succumbs due to her mean spirit. Creole origins so some great "flavor" to the story, and a few surprising twists! I wasn't really a fan of the illustrations, despite their Caldecott nod, so overall I would give this three stars though I definitely do recommend checking it out and surely ot ...more
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Old World European fairytale meets New World Creole revision = eggs talking. Two daughters and their mother live in the backwoods of Louisiana. Of course, one child is good and one is bad, and the mother is nothing to write home about (whew). As we think we're scrambling down a Grimm Cinderella path, the backwoods take over and an old woman appears.

You got a spirit of do-right in your soul. God is gonna bless you.

While you can anticipate where the story is headed, there are some surprises along
May 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Mazza che orrore di storia!!! Mia suocera americana ci azzecca sempre con i libri per i suoi nipoti...non ci poteva spedire di meglio!! Illustrazioni orribili con un'accozzaglia di racconto tra Cenerentola e l'horror psichedelico.....
Meno male che ho aperto il libro prima di proporlo a mia figlia questa sera come lettura pre nanna.....
avrei rischiato il lettone x i prossimi 6 mesi!!!
Luisa Knight
Here's a fairy tale styled story that teaches the moral lesson that it pays to be good.

Ages: 5 - 10

Cleanliness: Fairy tale magic, two headed cow, chickens that lay magical eggs, and an old woman that takes her head off her shoulders to comb her hair. The words "hollering bl**dy murder" and "stupidest" are used.

**Like my reviews? Then you should follow me! Because I have hundreds more just like this one. With each review, I provide a Cleanliness Report, mentioning any objectionable content I come
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Folklore Enthusiasts / Jerry Pinkney Fans
Based on a Creole folktale first collected by Alcee Fortier in 19th century Louisiana, The Talking Eggs is the story of two sisters - the lazy, unpleasant Rose, and the hard-working, kindhearted Blanche - and the very different rewards they are given, for their very different behavior, while a guest in the home of a powerful old witch-woman. Blanche, who is much put upon by her mother and sister, follows the witch's instructions to the letter, politely refraining from laughing at the old woman's ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fine retelling of a Creole folktale. I really had no idea where this one was going - it seemed like a strange combination of Cinderella and Baba Yaga. Most fairy tales seem so familiar that it was fun being surprised by one.


I loved those many colored hens!
Mar 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Is it just me? I didn't particularly like Jerry Pinkney's illustrations for John Henry and now I feel about the same for his illustrations here. Both books won Caldecott honors, so either I'm missing something or I just don't share a personal taste with those who gave the awards. Or I'm being particularly critical for some reason right now. I have liked his illustrations in other books, such as Noah's Ark and The Ugly Duckling.

I did enjoy San Souci's retelling of this folktale of two sisters and
It's too bad that I didn't have a copy of this story when I was about eight or nine years old and avidly reading fairy tales. I think this would have been one of those stories that I would have read over and over again. I can see why this was recognized by the Caldecott committee, but some of the faces felt too awkward. (But I prefer this style over people who are drawn to look 'beautiful.') ...more
Read this story to my students for the first time this year! Had the kiddos enthralled!
Charity Whitby
Sep 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
As someone who adores children's classics, and has an ongoing love affair with American children's literature I was genuinely surprised and a little thrown by this work. Firstly, I have to say it is excellent, and the illustrations by Jerry Pinkney are wonderful and reminded me a lot of the great Shirley Hughes. Secondly, I love folklore, and anything to do with Southern Literature (Flannery O'Connor is an absolute heroine of mine), so as this was a Creole Folklore tale, I was excited to check i ...more
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This enchanting story wo one of the Caldecott Honor Medal in the year 1990. The story is a re-telling of a Creole folktale. In the folktale, their ate two sisters, who are as different as night and day. The eldest sister is Rose who is offensive, rude, and selfish. The youngest is Blanche who is quiet, kind, and selfless. Their mother was partial to Rose, for they were like peas in a pod. Blanche was always sent off to do all the chores while Rose and their mother daydreamed on the porch of livi ...more
Merry Jelks-Emmanuel
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This African American-Creole Cinderella story is well written, vivid description and illustrations draws the reader in. Blanche is a sweet child that doesn't have a mean bone in her body. When she assists an old woman, her kindness is rewarded through the eggs that she is given but the key is she must take only the ones she is told to take. When she goes home and tells her mother, they go and their experience is a little different because of the caliber of their personalities and as a result, ge ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
The Talking Eggs seems to draw from several well-known fairy tales: Cinderella, Diamonds and Toads, and Baba Yaga. I think it appeals to kids because they enjoy seeing an underdog come out on top. Personally, I appreciated the fact that we never have to see the woman remove her head - the text simple alludes to it. I also absolutely loved the clothed rabbits and their different faces, outfits, and dance moves. That page of the book has a ton of personality!
Kevin Evans
Sep 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book can teach a lot about greed and cruelty. This is a 1990 Caldecot winner, however, I did not really like the story let alone the pictures. I could not get into this story.
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
1990 Caldecott Honor - Favorite Illustration: I love all the fun colors and clothing that the dancing rabbits wear; that looks like such a magical place to be and party to watch!
Blanche is a sweet girl who is underappreciated and abused by her mother and sister. One day, after being fed up with their treatment, Blanche runs to the woods and finds a strange old woman there. She goes home with the old woman and sees many strange things, but follows instructions and helps out. She is then rewarded
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Author: retold by Robert San Souci
Publisher and Date: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1998

Summary: Blanche is stuck living with her selfish, cruel mother and sister, Rose. Unlike Rose, Blanche works hard around the farm and asks for nothing in return. Without thinking twice she helps an old woman in the forest. Blanche’s kind gesture leads to a life of good fortune. Unfortunately, Rose had a greedy plan to follow her sister’s kind actions that in the end, awards her with what she deserves.

Love this folk tale!! Love the story and really, really love the illustrations. I especially love the illustration of the rabbits dancing.

Rose and Blanche are sisters. Rose is mean and lazy and not very bright...and favored by her mother. Blanche is kind, hard-working and intelligent. One day Blanche gives an old woman a drink. Later the old woman helps her although she is helped because Blanche continues to be kind, honest and caring. When their mother sees how the woman has helped Blanche and
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I remember reading this story as a child, and seeing it on Reading Rainbow. I've always enjoyed the artist and have read several books he illustrated.

The story itself is about four stars because the ending is somewhat simplistic and leaves the reader hanging a bit, but the illustrations really make the book pop. Overall it's a really good book for children, and it's hard to not appreciate the gorgeous illustrations.
Jody Ruff
Jerry Pinkney is my favorite Illustrator! He has done a great job with the pictures in this book. The details in this book is very real. I can see the very details in the different scenery. The illustrations go with the words in the book and with each page that I have turned to read there is a beautiful picture. Love this Book and the illustrations more.
Samantha wickedshizuku Tolleson
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 2nd grade and up
Recommended to Samantha wickedshizuku by: Ohatchee High School Library
I clearly remember reading this in elementary school. It will be one of the books that I absolutely make sure that my children read.
Another read that comes to mind The Fairy's Mistake by Gail Carson Levine; which both share similar themes.
Kiah Ballard
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book reminded me a lot of Cinderella. The mother and sister treated the youngest sister poorly. However like Cinderella, the youngest sister was rewarded for her kind nature. I think this book would be a good example for young children that the way we act can have an effect on what happens to us in life.
May 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
the woman takes off her head!!
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the illustrations and the feel of the story as I read. Ive read an European version of this story and I enjoyed the differences and the imaginings of the illustrator.
Chloe Kessler
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Coretta Scott King Book Illustration Honor Book, Irma Simonton Black Book Award Winner, Caldecott Medal
Preschool-3rd grade
Blanche and her sister both meet an old woman in the woods. The two girls treat the woman very differently, with very different results.
Blanche is described as a sweet, kind young girl. Her mother and her sister Rose are both described as wicked and cruel. I know there’s a really similar fairy tale called Diamonds and Toads, but I’m not familiar with any other versions that i
Margaret Chind
We watched an animated storytelling on the Scholastic Rapunzel DVD. It said it was Jerry Pinkney but did not look like it.
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Around the Year i...: The Talking Eggs, by Robert D. San Souci 1 12 Oct 01, 2016 07:30PM  

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Mr. San Souci lives in San Francisco, California.

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