Genre: Family / Folktale / Kindness / Manners
Year Published: 1989
Year Read: 2008
“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 yet soothing as Blanche makes fast friends with the old woman. Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations are truly beautiful and creative. His drawings display realistic looking people and surroundings as he masterfully gives details in the characters facial expressions and provides appropriate colors for the environment surrounding the main characters.
Parents should know that the scene where the old woman takes off her head may upset young children. Even though this scene is done extremely delicately since the image does not actually show the old woman taking off her head, children might think that anyone can take off their heads and still live through the whole ordeal. However, small children need to understand that the old woman is actually a fictional character and what she does to her head does not necessarily affect the people in reality.
“The Talking Eggs” is one of the most beautiful and surreal stories I have ever read. Robert D. San Souci’s narrative and Jerry Pinkney’s drawings both created a story that is full of magic and laughter that will be a favorite among both kids and adults for many years. This book also beautifully describes the cultures of the Creole people in the olden days. Children who would like to explore the heritages of the Creole people back then would really enjoy reading this book for references.
* 1990 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrator Honor