I love it when I read a story that is unpredictable. Most movies/tv shows/books fit in to one of a few formulas, and after reading a few pages or watching a few minutes of it, you can usually tell where the narrative is heading.
When I read The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci with my older son (age 9), we got a few pages in, and he exclaims, "Oh I can tell where this is going! It's going to be like Cinderella." He was right. The beginning of this story has all of the makings of a Cinderella adaptation - a young girl who works night and day to please her mean and selfish mother and sibling. That, however, is where the similarities between this story and a fairy tale formula stop!
When her mother sends her on an errand to fetch water at the well in the woods, Blanche meets an old woman who is terribly thirsty. Blanche shows kindness and gives the old woman water. When the old woman meets Blanche at the well a second time, she brings the girl to her unique home. There Blanche sees a two headed cow, chickens of every color of the rainbow, and other crazy things. Because she is polite and doesn't laugh at any of the old woman's crazy possessions, the old woman rewards her with magic eggs that produce riches and jewels! When Blanche's mean sister, Rose, visits the old woman, she is not as polite, and her behavior gets her in trouble.
storytime conversation starters:
- what was the craziest thing blanche saw at the old woman's farm? would you be able to go there and not laugh?
- why was blanche rewarded and rose was not?
- what would you want to be hidden in your magic eggs?