Animal Eggs book cover image

Animal Eggs

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By: Dawn Cusick and Joanne O'Sullivan / Illustrated by: Susan Greenelsh

Kids who like animals will love Animal Eggs!

Discover amazing colors and dozens of shapes and sizes—pink, yellow, orange, red, purple eggs, spotted eggs, speckled eggs, see-through eggs, and so many more. Explore dozens of wild and wonderful ways animals protect their eggs: male fish that protect hundreds of eggs in their mouths, female turtles that make elaborate nests on seashores, and female spiders that spin a silk ball around their eggs and carry the ball with them everywhere. Marvel at the surprising places some animals lay their eggs—in fruit, on the bodies of other animals, and even in dog poop!—so the baby animals have food to eat from the minute they hatch.

Features a dazzling variety of animals, including snakes, amphibians, insects, spiders, crustaceans, fish, birds, and even mammals, all in four-color photography. Includes glossary and index.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Dawn Cusick, author

Dawn Cusick enjoys making science education fun for both kids and adults. Dawn writes award-winning children's nature nonfiction books. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, a certificate of post-Baccalaureate Major in Biology from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, and a Masters of Science in Biology from Western Carolina University.

Read more about Dawn.

Joanne O'Sullivan, author

Joanne O'Sullivan is the author of 101 Places You Gotta See Before You're 12!, 101 Things You Gotta Do Before You're 12 and 101 Ways You Can Help Save the Planet Before You're 12, as well as many titles for adults including, Book of Wacky Law Stuff and Book of Superstitious Stuff for the Imagine imprint. She and her children spend many happy hours exploring the wonders of the natural world.

Read more about Joanne.

Susan Greenelsh, illustrator

Susan Greenelsh has been painting and drawing since her early teens. She finds inspiration in almost everything in nature. She lives in Waynesville, North Carolina.

Read more about Susan.

Awards & Honors:

  • Animal Behavior Society Outstanding Children's Book Award (winner)

Editorial Reviews:


Eager to give young readers the scoop on eggs, two authors - one a biologist - plack each page of this survey with close-up color photos, then wedge attention-getting headers and informative captions into the remaining spaces. Taking up two or three spreads apiece, topics range from types of egg-laying animals and the wide variety of egg shapes and colors to protective structures that animal parents build or excrete, egg coverings, and animals that guard or steal eggs. In contrast to the lyrical tone of Dianna Aston's An Egg is Quiet (2006), some scenes here are not for the squeamish, such as a photo of an egg-eating snake "Puking Eggshells" (as the header has it) or the final pair of spreads, headed "Gross or Cool?" which shows unlaid eggs in a slit open python's body and a caterpillar fatally festooned with wasp eggs. Though the "egg tooth" with which hatchling reptiles escape their leathery eggs is twice mentioned but never depicted, and there is no list of additional resources, this introduction will surely entice budding naturalists.

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

This curriculum-friendly title explores the many facets of that notably facetless entity, the egg. Dividing the presentation into short chapters with plainspoken headings—e.g., Egg Guarders, Egg Stealers, Egg Escapers—Cusick and O'Sullivan compare the egg-laying and -hatchling habits of a broad spectrum of animals, from the predictable chicken to the less endearing stink bug. Each tidily composed double-page spread offers color photographs of three or four examples of the topic under discussion, with brief descriptive paragraphs that will do double duty as quick captions for casual browsers. Although the emphasis in on protective adaptations and strategies that maximize chances for survival, the predator's point of view is not neglected, and some arresting photos of snakes, snails, and catfish dining are certain to elicit enthralled cries of "Eeeuuuwww." Should the audience think that scientists (and their teacher) know everything there is to know about eggs, the authors toss in a couple of unsolved mysteries: why some animals have brightly colored eggs, and how rats manage to transport large stolen eggs without breaking them. A brief glossary and index round out this inviting offering.

School Library Journal

This engaging book shows the diversity in color, size, and shape of animals' eggs, and explains the laying behaviors of a large number of creatures. Three to four sharply reproduced images from photo archives appear on each spread, and they are clear and informative. The authors' conversational style includes some humorous headers and smoothly written basic bits of information that set each creature apart: reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, mammals, celaphopods, spiders, and insects. The organizational scheme serves browsers well as a means to whet interest; the eggs are grouped by shapes, sizes, colors, guarders, stealers, shelters, and more. The last section, "Whose Egg Is This?" poses the question above five photographs to see whether readers can identify which animal laid it. The combination of basic information and high-quality photography will enable children to answer correctly. 

Sun Times

...Another interesting animal topic is “Animal Eggs” by Dawn Cusick and Joanne O’Sullivan. Subtitled “An Amazing Clutch of Mysteries and Marvels,” we now learn about various animals that lay eggs. Included are several mammals. I knew about the platypus but did not realize that spiny anteaters also lay eggs. Eggs of all different shapes and colors are deposited in all kinds of places and range greatly in size. The ostrich wins the prize for biggest egg but I couldn’t find a declaration of the smallest egg. The male jawfish holds his mate’s eggs in his mouth for more than a week to keep them safe and warm. I guess he doesn’t eat during that time. We even meet some egg stealers along the way. At the back, again, there is a guessing game. This also uses photographs instead of illustrations, giving us a true picture.


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ISBN: 978-0-9832014-9-6

ISBN: 978-0-9797455-3-9

ISBN: 978-1-60734-394-3 PDF
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 4-7
Page count: 48
8 x 8

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