Sunday, February 1, 2015

Review: The Wonderful Egg, by Dahlov Ipcar

I flipped through this book yesterday at the Flying Eye Books / Nobrow booth at ALA Midwinter. From the appearance of Dahlov Ipcar's delightfully animated dinosaur drawings, it looked like something I might have checked out from the library when I was a child. (It's a re-issue, painstakingly restored, of a book originally published in 1958, so the time period was about right for me to have seen it at a young age, given how long books last in public libraries.) I went back to look at it again today, this time examining it more closely, including the words.

Suddenly it all came back to me. I had read The Wonderful Egg, from the library, many times! "Triceratops was big, too, but not as big as Brontosaurus." BAM! Take that, Proust! So of course I had to buy it. Such beautifully stylized drawings, simple but informative text, and a narrative twist to end it. Plus, at the back, "This is the Way to Say Their Names," which was most probably my introduction on how to pronounce the names of two dozen dinosaur types.

Now I want to read all the rest of the Dahlov Ipcar books that Flying Eye is re-issuing.

By Dahlov Ipcar
Flying Eye Books, 2014 (Doubleday, 1958)
ISBN-10: 1909263281
ISBN-13: 978-1909263284
48pp., $19.95