Book Review: Rita Antoinette Borg ‘Meg The Egg’


“One morning Mother Hen was sitting on her nest when two of her eggs hatched,” begins the story of Meg, an agoraphobic chick who doesn’t want to hatch because she is afraid of the outside world. Meg has a dilemma – what to trust? Her Mother’s soothing voice: “Come out Meg, I want to give you a cuddle!” or her own fears: “The world outside my egg is so NOISY!”

Mother Hen is anxious for Meg to hatch, worried that she will go on the rubbish tip if she doesn’t. The chick’s fears increase as the day progresses and the moos and oinks and quacks get closer. By nightfall, she still hasn’t hatched, despite Mum’s encouragement and reassurance that all will be well. The most frightening noise is a loud howl, which unbeknown to Meg belongs to a fox. She calls the noise “Howls”. When Mother Hen is taken by Howls, Meg finds her courage at last and sets off on a mission to save Mum, still inside her egg.

Meg The Egg is a read aloud, share and discuss book to return to again and again, brought to life with prose and drawings. The pictures advance the text, which is geared towards pre-schoolers, though the visuals will inspire inquisitive toddlers too. The images capture the mood as the story progresses. The book deals with two fears at once – noise and the unknown – and family bonds. It is a lovely story for introducing and discussing the fears your child may have, one of humanity’s most basic, primitive emotions.

We learn by watching others face uncomfortable situations, in real life and in movies and books. Observing and helping others – human and animal – triumph over hurdles empowers children with the confidence to change fear into action, shaping them into resilient adults capable of reading their feelings and reacting appropriately. `He did it so I can do it!’ is one of man’s most powerful motivators. Rita Antoinette Borg captures that message well with this uplifting story of overcoming obstacles.

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