By BILL DUNCAN
The ancient Romans believed that all life comes from an egg. The origin of the Easter egg comes from an early Christian belief that eggs were the “seed of life,” symbolic of the resurrection of Christ. Eggs have been part of rituals in Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Persian cultures. As we approach Easter Sunday, some 30 million more eggs than normal will be sold and dyed for Easter Egg hunts.
So it would seem that Della Noavoll of Lookingglass and Dorothy Shattenkerk had Easter in mind when Della wrote “One Egg to Another,” her third children’s book, all illustrated by Shattenkerk of Tenmile. Della says that was not the case. She got the idea for the book while helping a grandson prepare deviled eggs “and it just went from there.”
One might think differently looking at Shattenkerk’s colorful cover illustrations of eggs sitting in a basket while other eggs are peeking around the spring flowers in the background. Indeed, the Easter egg story is included in the book.
In “One Egg to Another,” the eggs do the talking as they give children directions on how to cook them. Neavoll said the book is designed for a parent/child activity in the kitchen and begins with how to boil an egg. The talking eggs then explain how to fry an egg, followed by how to scramble eggs.
True to their name and origin of the Neavoll’s idea, talking eggs with horns, describe how to make deviled eggs. One of the horned eggs pleads that the name deviled eggs “doesn’t mean we are bad. We are the good eggs and we taste good too.”
There is little in the way of preparing eggs that Neavoll doesn’t have her talking eggs explain, even the exotic egg dish, Eggs Benedict, but as one of the eggs says, “Eggs Benedict is a special dish that adults like to eat.”
Neavoll’s first two book used bugs as the theme. “Eggs was a departure from my previous books, but I became captivated by the many ways to prepare eggs and how easy it is for children to help prepare them,” she said. “Also, the subject allowed for great illustrations.”
Neavoll is already working on her fourth book. The subject? Eggs. The working title is “Emma’s Colored Eggs.”
“I believe children’s books should be activity books, not just words,” Neavoll said. As with her first two books, she devoted several back pages for children to color the subjects that are in the story.
In “One Egg to Another,” the back pages are black and white eggs drawings that are to be colored by the individual reader. However, the color illustrations done by Schattenkerk are as much a part of the charm of the book as are the words. Schattenkerk out did herself on the illustrations in “One Egg to Another.” This is the fifth book, Tenmile resident Schattenkerk has illustrated and the third book written by Neavoll.
The two local writer/artists make a perfect team.
(Bill Duncan can be reached at bduncan@nrtoday or by writing to P.O. Box 812, Roseburg, OR 97470.)