Oona Finds an Egg (The Oodlethunks, #1), by Adele Griffin/Illustrated by Mike Wu, (Jan. 2016, Scholastic), $12.99, ISBN: 9780545732796
Recommended for ages 7-10
Oona is a Stone Age girl whose father stays home and bakes kind of weird health food, like newt fingers; her mom works at an advertising agency where they’re trying to sell consumers on the wheel; and her little brother, Bonk, is just annoying. She really, really wants a pet, so when she finds an egg while she’s out wandering, she’s so excited! Her parents let her keep it until it hatches – they’re worried that she may be eaten by what’s in the egg! – but Oona is convinced that Something Cute is in that egg just waiting for Oona to love it. She cares for the egg until one day, it disappears – and Bonk is acting awfully guilty.
Oona finds an egg is a new intermediate series for readers growing out of easier chapter books like Scholastic’s Branch series, and ready to tackle a little more. Oona is a good protagonist: she loves her family, she doesn’t always get along with her little brother, and she shows,The Oodlethunks are a pretty modern stone-age family (apologies to The Flintstones), with a working mom and stay at home dad; kids will recognize the family structure and relate, either having friends with working moms, or having working moms/stay at home dads of their own.
It’s a fun new series that kids will enjoy, with prehistoric animals that kids may not have heard of before – Ms. Griffin provides an explanation on a few of them at the end of the book – and fills the gap between more challenging fiction and easy readers. There are illustrations and text, and plenty of opportunities for a good book discussion.