Pig’s Egg is a brilliant book that explains about animal life cycles in a novel and amusing way. Pig is upset that his friends goose, duck and hen can fly and that they don’t have time to spend with him, as their eggs have all hatched (which introduces new vocabulary, particularly ‘gosling’ as a baby goose). However, one day he finds an egg-shaped object on the floor of his sty. Despite his friends’ insistence that it’s actually a turnip, Pig looks after his egg until his ‘baby’ crawls out of a hole. When he tries to show his friends, he only finds a crinkly green egg, but… “the next morning, something VERY strange happened. As Pig lay sighing and staring at the crinkly, green egg, it began to crack. Out wiggled the most beautiful creature Pig had even seen.” A lovely way of looking at the offspring of different animals and the stages of a butterfly’s life cycle!

Pig’s Egg. Catherine Sully, illustrated by Sam Chaffey; ISBN: 978-1-84750-877-5; Alligator Publishing Ltd., 2015; pp 32; £1.99 (available from www.theworks.co.uk)


Jasper’s Beanstalk is a great introduction for younger children into plant life cycles and what plants need to grow. Jasper the cat finds a bean, lavishes attention on it – planting it, watering it, collecting the slugs and even mowing it – but it doesn’t grow. Eventually, he gives up and the bean seed grows (“a long, long, long time later”) into a beanstalk. As well as covering aspects of science, it also links to maths (sequencing, days of the week) and literacy (‘Jack and the Beanstalk’). Ideal for cross-curricular plant topics in EYFS and KS1.

Jasper’s Beanstalk. Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen; ISBN: 978-1444918151; Hodder Children’s Books, reprinted 2014; pp 32; £5.24 (available from Amazon)

Juliette Green

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