The Talking Eggs

The Talking Eggs

Hardcover(1st ed)

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The author of such delights as The Christmas Ark and The Enchanted Tapestry joins forces with illustrator Pinkney to resurrect a colorful folktale that captures the unique flavor of the American South. A 1989 Caldecott Honor Book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803706194
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/28/1989
Edition description: 1st ed
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 160,870
Product dimensions: 10.31(w) x 10.38(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

A native Californian, Robert D. San Souci was born in San Francisco and raised across the bay inBerkeley. Reading and writing have always been a part of his life -- his earliest memories are ones of being read to.

"I always knew I wanted to be a writer.Before I knew how to read and write, I would listen carefully to stories that were read to me, thenI would retell them to my younger sister and brothers. But I would add a new twist or leave outparts I didn't find interesting -- so the storytelling impulse was already at work in me".

In elementary school, Mr. San Souci wrote for his school newspaper, and in high school, heenthusiastically worked on his school's yearbook. He was thrilled to have an essay of his printedin a book titled T.V. as Art. As a student at St. Mary s College, he took a variety of classes in creative writing, English and world literature. In graduate school, he focusedon the studies of folklore, myth and world religions.

As a budding writer, Mr. San Souci supported himself in the publishing field as a copywriter and abook editor. "All the time, I was writing newspaper articles, book and theater reviews, andstories for magazines", he notes.

"In 1978, my first book, The Legend of Scarface, was published and illustrated by myyounger brother, Daniel San Souci. The book was highly acclaimed. I was lucky to have anartist/illustrator in the family -- it s great working with Dan".

Many of Mr. San Souci's ideas for books come from reading and researching. He also findsinspiration by traveling and keeping his eyes open. "I love to travel by bus. I can sit and stare outthe window and simply observe". And sometimes he just listens to people talking. "I love tolisten for the flow and rhythm of the language that different people use".

When writing books for children, Mr. San Souci knows that it's important to listen to the childinside. He has always had a love of folklore which inspires many of his books. As a boy, he wasfascinated by knights, dragons, and the Arthurian legends. As an adult, he continues to mine thewealth of oral tales from around the world and brings this literature and history to life in dramaticstories for today's children.

Altogether, Mr. San Souci has published 56 books, most of them based on legends, myths andfolklore. His latest book, Kate Shelley: Bound for Legend (Dial), is the true story ofKate Shelley, who at 15, risked her life to prevent a passenger train from plunging off astorm-wrecked bridge near Boone, Iowa in 1881. She received a gold medal from the state ofIowa for her heroism.

Robert San Souci resides in San Francisco, California, and is the recipient of several major awardsincluding the 1993 Aesop Prize, a prestigious annual award for a children's book thatbest incorporates folklore in text and illustration.

Jerry Pinkney has been illustrating children's books since 1964 and has the rare distinction of being the recipient of:

Five Caldecott Honor Medals

Five Coretta Scott King Awards

Four New York Times Best Illustrated Awards (most recently 2006 Little Red Hen)

Four Gold and four Silver medals from the Society of Illustrators

Boston Globe Honor Book Award (John Henry 1994)

In addition to his work on children's books, he is an extremely successful artist who has had eleven one-man retrospectives at venues ranging from the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists to the Art Institute of Chicago. His current one-man show entitled, "Building Bridges, the Art of Jerry Pinkney" was organized by the Pittsburgh Children's Museum and will be traveling through 1998. Mr. Pinkney has illustrated for a wide variety of clients, including National Geographic , the National Parks Service, the U.S. Postal Service, the American Library Association and the Association of Booksellers for Children.

Born in Philadelphia in 1939, Jerry Pinkney states, "(I) took an interest in drawing very early in my life, and at some point I realized I'd rather sit and draw than do almost anything else." While growing up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia his interest in art was supported by hisfamily -- especially by his mother. "She certainly understood me and made it clear to everyone that if art was what I wanted to pursue, then that's what she wanted to have happen. My father also became very supportive, and when I wanted to take art classes after school he found ways for me to attend."

In junior high school Mr. Pinkney had a newsstand and took a drawing pad with him to work every day and sketched passersby. That was how he met the cartoonist John Liney, who encouraged him to draw and showed him the possibilities of making a living as an artist.

After graduating from the commercial art program at Dobbins Vocational School, where he met his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney received a full scholarship to attend the Philadelphia Museum College of Art (now University of the Arts). While at PCA he and Gloria married. After their first child was born, they moved to Boston, where Mr. Pinkney worked as a designer at Rustcraft Greeting Card Company, and at Barker-Black Studio where he developed his reputation as an illustrator. Eventually he opened Kaleidoscope Studio with two other artists. Later he opened his own freelance studio -- Jerry Pinkney Studio -- and moved to New York. Sensitivity to and an interest in a variety of cultures has always been a dominant theme of Mr. Pinkney s work. He has also drawn inspiration for a significant part of his work from African American culture. Among his numerous projects are his twelve postage stamps for the U.S. Postal Service Black Heritage series. Mr. Pinkney was a member of its Advisory Committee for ten years and he was also invited to join the NASA artist team for the space shuttle Columbia. "I wanted to show that an African American artist could make it on a national level in the graphic arts. I want to be a strong role model for my family and for other African Americans."

Many of Mr. Pinkney's children's books celebrate multicultural and African American themes. "Working on both the Uncle Remus tales and John Henry has shown me an important link between pivotal and opposite African American folk heroes. Brer Rabbit, the sly trickster, originated during slavery and was the first African American folk hero. Slaves who wanted to get the better of their masters needed to be cunning and sly -- hence the trickster role. However, later comes John Henry, a free man, whose strength and valor bring him fame. He was a strong folk hero for African Americans, a symbol of all the working men who made a major contribution to the building of the roads and railroads in the mountains of West Virginia -- a dangerous job for which many paid with their lives."

Mr. Pinkney's two latest books areThe Little Red Hen and The Old African by Julius Lester (illustrated by Jerry Pinkney). Books give me a great feeling of personal and artistic satisfaction. When I'm working on a book, I wish the phone would never ring. I love doing it. My satisfaction comes from the actual marks on the paper, and when it sings, it's magic".

Jerry and Gloria Pinkney live in Westchester County, New York. The Pinkneys have four children: Troy, Scott, Brian, and Myles, and seven grandchildren. Two of the Pinkney's children are also involved in children's book illustration, Brian through illustrations, and Myles throughphotography. In addition to illustrating children's books and other projects, Mr. Pinkney has also been an art professor at the University of Delaware and State University of New York at Buffalo. He has given workshops and been a guest lecturer at universities and art schools across thecountry.

copyright © 2007 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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The Talking Eggs 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robert Souci always knew he wanted to be a writer even before he could ever write. He would listen closely as people would read to him, and he loved it. Many of his picture books retell fairy tales, myths, folktales, and legends around the world. Robert has received two Caldecott awards for The Talking Eggs and The Faithful Friend. Three of his books have also been named Coretta Scott King Honor Books. The Talking Eggs is a story of two sisters, Rose and Blanche. Rose is spoiled and lazy, but she is her mother¿s favorite. Blanche is a slave to her sister and mother. One day Blanche finds an old woman by the well and changes her life forever. In the book the old woman says ¿And since you are such a good girl, I got a present for you.¿ What happens to Blanche? Does she find a better life for herself or is she stuck with her mean family? Read the rest of the book to find out. The lesson of the story is that beauty may hide ugliness while sometimes the plainest of all objects will conceal the most beautiful treasures. The reading level of the book is second grade, ninth month. I liked the book, and it revealed a very important message. Souci, Robert D. San. The Talking Eggs. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1989.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A young, hardworking girl named Blanche gives an old woman a drink of water one day at the well. The old woman tells Blanche that she will be ¿blessed¿ because she has a do good spirit. When Blanche returned home from the well her mother and sister, Rose, are mad at her for taking so long at the well to fetch the water and begin to be very mean to Blanche. Because of this Blanche runs into the woods and begins to cry. Then the old woman came and took her home with her but Blanche had to promise not to laugh at her home. While at the woman¿s house Blanche sees very different things, but does not laugh. The old lady allowed Blanche to take some eggs home with her, but she could only take the eggs that said, ¿Take me.¿ Blanche did so and the eggs turned into wonderful surprises and when she got home her mother and Rose wanted to find the old woman and get surprises for themselves. Find out if they found the old woman or not when you read
Guest More than 1 year ago
Caldecott If you like the story of Cinderella this is a book for you. This is a charming little folktale about two sisters one mean and greedy, the other generous and kind and their encounter with a strange, magical old woman who wanted ¿a sip of water¿. In the end, the good sister is rewarded and the bad one punished. This is a nice story with a good message. A native Californian, Robert D. San Souci was born in San Francisco and raised across the bay in Berkeley. Bibliography San Souci, Robert D. The Talking Eggs. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1989.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm now in high school and i can actually remember reading this book when i was little. It is very creative and has a good moral. Read this book to your children!!! they will love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in forth grade and fell in love, fifteen years later I still remember this book and still love it.Its an amazing story that I would surely pass down to my children one day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book received a Caldecott Honor as one of the best illustrated children's books in 1990. The rich, subtle watercolors expand the reader's appreciation of the story, and help keep some of its stronger elements in balance for younger children. The story itself is a cross between several favorite fairy tales, most significantly Cinderella, and represents a retelling of a Creole story from the American South. A widow has two daughters, and lives with them on a poor farm that 'looked like the tail end of bad luck.' Rose, who was like her mother, was 'cross and mean and didn't know beans from birds' eggs.' Her sister, Blanche, was 'sweet and kind and sharp as forty crickets.' Unfortunately, their mother liked Rose best because they were so similar, being 'bad-tempered, sharp-tongued, and always putting on airs.' While the two of them chatted, Blanche did the work. One day, Blanche was getting water and ran into an older woman who asked for a drink. Blanche helped her. As a result, Blanche was late returning and received much ill-treatment from her mother and sister. Running off, Blanche saw the old woman again, who asked Blanche to join her. She warned Blanche not to laugh and to do as she was told. Soon, they are in a magical place where all kinds of strange things happen. But there is plenty to eat and drink. At the end, Blanche is told to bring back certain talking eggs and throw them over her shoulder. When she does, a nice set of surprises occurs. Immediately jealous, her mother sends Rose to the old woman to get similar help. But Rose cannot follow directions, and the magic either doesn't work for her or causes her problems. In each case, justice is done. The story is told in an imaginative way that makes the reader want to know what will happen next. Unlike many fairy tales where you can pretty much outline the rest of the plot near the beginning, this one has some interesting, unexpected twists. The writing is witty, and makes good use of the story's inherent charm in praising goodness of character. If you have a sensitive child, this may not be the right book for you to acquire. The treatment of Blanche can upset some children. The magic involves creatures having two heads, and the old woman being able to take her head on and off again. In one scene, Rose takes the woman's head as a ploy to get some talking eggs, too. You can see how this might be a bit much for a sensitive four year old. Children who are able to suspend their sense of reality will probably have no problems with the story. I enjoyed the watercolors very much. They provided a richness in their exquisite detail that made me feel good just holding the book. Also, it made the book seem more sophisticated than the typical treatment of fairy and folk tales. The book deals with many realistic problems that occur in families, like having only one parent, not having enough money, having one child be favored over another, having one child be treated poorly, and children looking for sympathy from nonfamily members. This will provide many opportunities to discuss these issues, and find out what your child thinks. I also suggest that you talk about whether or not Blanche should have gone off with the old woman. The book seems to suggest that looking for help from strangers is a good idea. That's not an idea that I wanted my children to have, so you will probably wnat to clarify your feelings on this subject as you read the book. May all be loved, and treated fairly! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
juliac83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Blanche is the younger less appreciated sister who does all the work around the house. Her mother and older sister who are bad tempered and sharp-tongued would sit around in rocking chairs fanning themselves. One day Blanche meets a curious thirsty old woman. The old woman senses her good spirit and takes her to her home, then trusts her with a secret. Since Blanche is good and true she is rewarded with magical eggs which give her wonderful things. In her sister¿s jealousy she looks for the eggs to only find out her eggs had a surprise of their own.Personal Reaction: I have enjoyed this book since I was younger. I loved the story behind it and the magic of the eggs was always intriguing. I love how it shows that having a good spirit may not always be easy but is the right thing.Classroom Extension Ideas: This is a great book to teach manners, and to treat others how you want to be treated. You could have the kids decorate an egg, either beautiful on the outside with an ugly inside or a boring egg with a beautiful inside. This would also be a great way to introduce hidden messages. You can ask the children to point out the message behind the story and explain how hidden messages are not always good.
silly_tine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The author has given us a great folk tale, well written, wonderful illustrations, a work full of lessons and just a pure simple fun story to read. Like all good fables this one not only entertains, but teaches some very valuable lessons in life and living (something most of we adults could use a dose of now and again). This is a great book for a child to read on her or his own, a wonderful book to read with a child and a great book to read to an entire class. It is absolutely amazing the amount of discussion this book can create in a class room. I certainly am not going to go into the story line here, other reviewers here have done a grand job of that, but I do say the book is well worth owning and well worth using with children and/or young adults. I do wish more of our folk tales and lore could be so well presented. This particular edition is well constructed, sturdy and can last through many little hands. Highly recommend this one.
IEliasson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Talking Eggs by Robert San Souci is a retelling of a Creole folktale of a wicked elder sister, Rose, who is favored by her mother and the ill-treated younger sister, Blanche, who is rewarded with riches for her kindness and obedience to an old witch. The lush watercolor illustrations by Jerry Pinkney captivate the reader with their detailed depictions of the woodsy bayou setting, the family¿s ramshackle farmhouse, and the old woman¿s enchanted cabin where the chickens are feathered in rainbows, the two-headed cow brays like a mule, and elegantly dressed rabbits dance the reel.. The sour and superior demeanor of Rose and her mother are nicely juxtaposed with the sweet and kind countenances of Blanche and the old woman. A captivating rendition of a Louisiana fable that will delight children with its satisfying conclusion of poetic justice.
savannah.julian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Blanche's mother favors her sister more because they are both cruel, greedy, and lazy. One day when Blanche is fetching water for her thirsty sister she meets an old women and gives her some water. The old woman invites Blanche to her home where she sees strange animals and magical food. Before Blanche leaves to go back home to her abusive family, the old woman gives her permission to take eggs from her coop that say ¿take me¿, but to not take the ones that say "leave me". When she enters the coop, all the plain white eggs say "take me", but the eggs saying "leave me" are covered in beautiful jews. Blanches resists and takes the white ones like the woman says and does what she is instructed by throwing the eggs over her shoulder as she walks home. When she does this, the finest possessions she could ever imagine trickle out of them. When Blanche returns home, her mother and sister are incredibly jealous, so her mother instructs Rose to go visit the old woman the next day. She is offered the same thing as Blanche, but she takes the jeweled eggs instead. When she throws them over her shoulder, horrible beasts and animals come out of them they chase her and her mother into the forest.
kb143317 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young girl named Blanche is kind to an old woman at the watering well. The old woman invites Blanche to her home where she witnesses strange animals, sees food multiply in front of her eyes, and is given permission to take the eggs that say ¿take me¿ from the chicken coop. Blanche throws the eggs as instructed by the old women and the finest possessions she could imagine trickle out of them. After Blanche returns home, her mother and sister question her about where she got the nice things from. Blanche answers, ¿From the old woman I met at the watering well¿. The next morning, her sister Rose goes out to find the old woman so she too can have beautiful possessions. Rose is invited to the home of the old woman as well. When they arrive Rose laughs at the animals, complains about cooking, and when given permission to take the eggs that say ¿take me¿ from the chicken coop she takes the eggs that say ¿leave me¿ instead. Rose throws the eggs as instructed by the old woman and is surprised not by the finest possessions she could imagine but by the unpleasant animals that emerged out of them.The illustrations of this story were created with pencil, colored pencils, and watercolor. These medias help create a rustic feel for this American South folktale. Extension Ideas1. Have the children draw a picture of throwing plain eggs over their shoulder and of the things they most desire trickling out of the eggs.2. Have each student create a fancy ¿leave me¿ egg by decorating a hard-boiled egg. (Would work best around Easter time)
PeterSinclair on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rose and Blanche are sisters. Rose is thorny and blanche is pure as snow. The mother is as loathsome as Rose. One day, Blanche is fetching water for her sister and encounters an old lady, who she gladly gives water. The mysterious old lady invites Blanche to her house, and asks her not to laugh at anything she sees. Blanche obeys and is greatly rewarded. When the evil mother and sister see Blanche's wealth, they plot to acquire the same. Their selfishness foils the plan and they remain poor and miserable while Blanche lives as a wealthy lady in the city.
conuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is apparently a traditional Creole folktale. It reminds me a lot of Diamonds and Toads, and a lot of Baba Yaga, frankly, but maybe I read too many fairy tales?At any rate, this is the standard "Nice girl follows instructions and gets lucky while her mean older sister is contrary to the bone and pays for it" sort of story, but it's enlivened by the dialect and the illustrations.
cvyork on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Plot is improved compared to Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. But, same Cinderella story
GI142984 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story takes place on a poor farm where one mother and her two daughters live. The eldest daughter named Rose was much like her mother lazy, mean, and greedy; and the youngest named Blanche who nothing like them was kind and hard working. While fetching water Blanche came upon an old woman and gave her some water. In return for her kindness the woman gave Blanche some supper and a bed to sleep in one night when she ran away from her mother. Blanche did as she was told by the woman the night she stayed and the next morning was told to take some eggs only if she took the ones that said,¿ Take me¿. Blanche followed the old woman¿s instructions on the way home threw the eggs over her shoulder and out came all sorts of wonderful things, including a horse and carriage. When she arrived home with all of her new things her mother and sister got jealous and then Blanche¿s mother ordered Rose to go to the old woman¿s home. When Rose arrived to the home, the woman find out she was nothing like Blanche. Rose disobeyed all of the old woman¿s instructions and when she went to take the eggs the next morning; she took all the ones that said, ¿Don¿t take me¿. When Rose threw the eggs over her shoulder she didn¿t get the things that Blanche got, instead she got creatures that chase after her and her mother. In the end Blanche took her nice things to town where she was able to live pleasantly but stayed kind; and her mother and sister were stuck on the farm.This book reminded me a lot of the Cinderella story, similar story lines. The good sister who is hard working and obedient vs. the evil sister who is lazy and greedy; in the end good wins. I didn't see the unique characteristics of the old woman's house and lifestyle coming at first when I began reading, it was a pleasant surprise. These kinds of stories are great for children because imagination is one of the best things you gain from reading, and this book did just that. I do wish there was a little more story added about the old woman and the house, but all in all great book!
lleighton05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Critique: Genre: This story cleary describes the distinction between the evil sister and mother, and the good sister. Like most folktales, the good sister prevails in the end because she is considerate, kind, and not selfish. Style: This story has good imagery and uses many characteristics of style to help connect the reader to the story. For example, it uses similes and metaphors to compare things such as: " as forty crickets" and "...horns like corkscrews." Media: watercolor/penicl
lorinhigashi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Blanche is kind and generous unlike her mother and sister. She does as she is told despite their cruelty towards her. When she meets an old woman who offers her a place to stay but only as long as she does not judge what she sees, Blanche has the ability to see past the unusualness of the woman's home - two headed cows, colored chickens and the woman's magic. Her honesty and humbleness rewarded her unlike her sister and mother's cruel and deceitful ways. Blanche also proves that happiness can be gain through plain and simple pleasures, and extravagant objects may not. The old woman obviously is a witch and magical powers but she uses them wisely. She proves that good comes to those who deserve it, thus using her powers for others. Illustrations by Jerry Pinkney are beautiful pictures capturing the morality of the story.
erineell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Talking Eggs, retold by Robert D. San Socui, is adapted from a Creole folktale that has many applicable lessons for its readers on kindness, materialism and greediness. This Cinderella- like story is about a humble and kind girl named Blanche whose drab life is changed after she helps the needs of a stranger. Blanche is forced to do all of the housework while her mother and sister dream about being rich and treat her poorly. While fetching water, Blanche encounters an old woman who is in need of help. The old woman is delighted with Blanche's kindheartedness and lets her know she will be blessed. Returning home, Blanche is mistreated by her family and runs off. Finding the old woman, Blanche goes to her home and encounters interesting situations that require her to not be judgmental. At the old woman's house Blanche sees and experiences magical things that bring blessings to her, especially through the talking eggs. Blanche returns home with her new wealth and the jealousy of her mother sends her sister into the woods to find the old woman. The sister has the same opportunity to receive blessings, but her mean and corrupt, self serving behavior backfires, leaving her with unwanted gifts. San Souci's writing flows from one event to another with a quick resolved ending. The added illustrations are realistic and dominate the page. This is a unique story and mirrors some aspects of the Creole culture found in Louisiana. Age Appropriate: First grade to 3rd gradeThis book would be great to use for teaching kindness and could be used for older children in units of American folklore. Caution: There is a part within the story when the old woman removes her head. Although, it is not portrayed gruesomely, the mere fact might be confusing or scary to younger readers.
elpowers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very beautiful book, could scare small children- for older kids.
taramankin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a great lesson of honesty and kindness. It tells the story of two sisters, Rose who is mean and the Blanche who is kind. Blanche's mother sends her to fetch water and she meets an old woman. When Blanch returns with the water, Rose dumps it and says it is too hot and her mother scolds her which caused her to run into the woods. Blanche meets the old woman again and follows her to her home where she has promised not to laugh at. She does several chores for the old woman and Blanche soon realizes that the old lady has magical powers. The next morning, the old woman tells Blanche to go into the chicken house and take only the eggs that say "Take me" as a present for being so good. She tells Blanche to break the eggs on her way home to get a surprise. Blanche is surprised with jewels, coins, clothes, a carriage, and a pony. When she returns home, her mother finds out where all of these things came from and sends Rose to find the old woman the following day. Rose, not as kind hearted as Blanche does meet the old woman. Because she is so mean and nasty and took the eggs that said "Don't take me," her surprise is not exactly what she expected. She got lots of frightful animals, frogs, and snakes. Before Rose and her mother returned home, Blanche was gone. Blanche left for the city where she lived a grand life while her mother and sister remained unhappy.
224perweek More than 1 year ago
What can I say?? I loved this story. Keeps you turning the pages. Teaches great morals. Don't be greedy.
MJFan01 More than 1 year ago
I love this story
easy2bgreene More than 1 year ago
Enchanting....great life lesson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well told, well illustrated. My three year old had me read it again and again. Would highly recommend.