Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hunwick's Egg

Have you ever met a Bilby? Emmy and I haven't, but we are hoping to one day. Emmy is so full of anticipation for the Easter Bunny's arrival tomorrow morning, but after reading the book, Hunwick's Egg, she is wondering about a visit from an Easter Bilby. The Easter Bilby is the Australian alternative to the Easter Bunny. Bilbies (a type of bandicoot) are marsupials. They are about the size of a rabbit and like rabbits have large ears. Bilbies are nocturnal, omnivore animals living in the arid areas of central Australia. They are endangered due to habitat destruction.

Mem Fox and Pamela Lofts have created a story of hope celebrating the warmth and power of an unexpected friendship. When after a storm, Hunwick discovers an egg he is determined to take care of it until it hatches. Hunwick's neighbors (emu, cockatoo, echidna) are concerned when the egg doesn't seem to be hatching, but Hunwick realizes that his egg is actually a perfectly shaped stone and continues to "love it with all his heart." The illustrations add an interesting element to the text and showcases the flora and fauna of the Australian landscape.

Making connections while reading is an important part of the process and Emmy is on her way. She was able to use prior knowledge to make a connection from this book to one we had previously read (text to text connection...there is also text to self and text to world connections). After reading Hunwick's Egg with her, Emmy immediately compared it to The Odd Egg. She realized that the duck and the bilby both needed a friend and wanted to take care of something special. Even though Hunwick's egg did not turn out to be an egg, Emmy understood the stone's special meaning to Hunwick as she has a rather large collection of rocks that each mean something special to her.

Click here to read an interview with Mem Fox about this amazing story.

This is Mem Fox's second collaboration with illustrator Pamela Lofts - the first being the wildly successful classic Koula Lou.

"There was once a baby koula, so soft and round
that all who saw her loved her. Her name was Koula Lou.
The emu loved her. The platypus loved her.
And even tough little Koala Klaws next door loved her.
But it was her mother who loved her most of all..."

Whether you enjoy a chocolate bunny or a chocolate bilby
(profits help protect these animals from extinction),
Emmy and I wish you a very happy Easter!

No comments:

Post a Comment