Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Picture Book Review: Ergo by Alexis Deacon, illustrated by Viviane Schwarz (2021)

Quick Booktalk

Ergo, a chick who has not yet hatched, is at first content to think she is the entire world until curiosity prompts her to look beyond the walls of her shell.

About the Illustrations

The pictures are very simple, consisting mainly of Ergo's face making different expressions. The boldness of the lines and the yellow and gray color scheme help these illustrations to stand out even at a distance. They also have a cartoonish look to them that emphasizes the humorous moments of the story in which Ergo slowly discovers parts of herself, and then realizes that not everything is a part of her. 

Story Time Possibilities

Because the illustrations can easily be seen at a distance and because the text involves lots of emphatic outbursts of excitement, this is a strong story time contender. Though it's really about bigger issues than a baby bird hatching,  it would still fit well with an egg theme or bird theme for preschoolers and early elementary schoolers. I think it could also make for some interesting discussions among older listeners about thinking outside of boxes, taking chances, and expanding horizons. 

Readers Advisory

Ergo reminds me a lot of Ollie by Olivier Dunrea and I think it would be interesting to read the two together, as Ergo gives the perspective from within the egg and the characters in Ollie view the same situation from without. I think this book may also appeal to readers who have enjoyed Jon Klassen's books. This story isn't unsettling and has a more definite message than most Klassen books I've read, but the use of the picture book medium to explore existential questions is very similar.


I received a finished copy of Ergo from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.

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