Thursday, March 5, 2015

P. ZONKA LAYS AN EGG by Julie Paschkis

Hardcover: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-819-6
Ages 4-8
About the book: Why doesn't P. Zonka lay eggs?

Extraordinary hen P. Zonka spends her time taking in the beauty around her: the shiny green of the grass, the buttery yellow of the dandelions, the deep blue of the sky. The other hens can't understand why she never lays eggs like they do - they think she's just plain lazy. But when P. Zonka finally decides to give egg-laying a try, the other chickens are in for a spectacular surprise!

My thoughts: Bright! Cheerful! Folksy art! Those were my first impressions of P.Zonka Lays An Egg. Julie Paschkis has an enviable talent for different, folksy, engaging art. When I visited her website, I saw a huge selection of books she has illustrated and they show a artist who excels in her particular style of artistic expression.

In the story of the barn yard filled with chickens, P.Zonka being one of them, we have an unproductive loner, P.Zonka, who just doesn't lay eggs like the other chickens. I guess there is always one in the hen house that is different. That is often the case in society at large - someone might be a bit different. It may be their style of dress, their proclivity for a different type of music (march to their own drummer), or the artist in the group who just sees the world in a different way.

The text for the story flows beautifully as the chickens chastise P.Zonka for not laying an egg. She tries to explain what she has been doing (instead of laying eggs) when she looks at the sky, the sun, the flowers, the grass. Eventually, they get her to "conform" to what all good chickens do and she lays an egg. And oh what an egg!

I absolutely love the combination of story, text, and wildly exuberant illustrations! This is a book to place on your child's home library shelf and one they will want read repeatedly. Because, you see, they will fall in love with P.Zonka and her world of beauty.

NOTE: P.Zonka was born of an ancient Ukrainian tradition, closely associated with Easter. It is the custom of an egg decorating technique called pysanky. Julie Paschkis and her family hold a big party where they decorate eggs every year after the tradition of pysanky. I found it interesting to read about the history egg decorating on Wikipedia. Perhaps you will, too.
Mix of disaporan & traditional Ukrainian pysanka
copied from Wikipedia
Julie Paschkis was born in 1957 and grew up in Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. Her parents encouraged the children to read, to draw and to play outside. Julie still like to do those things. She attended Germantown Friends School, Ringerike Folkehogskole in Norway, Cornell University, and the School for American Craftsmen at RIT where she received BFA. Please visit Julie's BLOG - Books Around the Table.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.

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