About Kali Stileman
With a degree in 3D design Kali Stileman taught until her children were born. Roly-Poly Egg is her first picture book. "My children are my greatest inspiration and my fiercest critics," says Kali. Kali and her children live in an old gamekeepers cottage in the middle of a wood in Wiltshire, England.
Publication Date: March 2011
BISAC: JUV002040, JUV009000
Book Format Detail: Unjacketed Hardcover with Cardstock Pages and Spot Lamination Throughout
Retail Price: $12.95
Dimensions: 9-1/4" x 10-3/8"
Mother love leads to near tragedy in this tale of an egg. Rendered in smears of fiery red paint, Splotch the bird personifies her name. She learns the true testament of a mother's love after she lays a magnificent polka-dotted egg. "It was small—yes, spotty—yes, and absolutely perfect in every way!" In her utter joy, she bounces her branch—and the egg falls off into the lush jungle habitat. Met with ambivalence by some and threat from others, the little one is tossed until it's gently returned to her grateful mom. A respite might seem to be in order, but then a startling sound signifies tremendous change: "Crack! Crack! Crack!" Splotch's protruding eyes dominate each animated expression. Her scrawny patterned legs resemble her offspring's ultimate zany appearance, and the egg's decoration mirrors the wild chick inside. Individual colored dots from brilliant greens to dramatic fuchsias connect the endpapers to the unique babe. Clean gray dashes provide a physical indicator of the remarkable journey, and a whimsical butterfly remains a silent sidekick throughout. Paint streaks collide with textured papers, creating a bright array of rainbow hues. Spare, crisp sentences describe each action, leaving lots of room for expansion in the bold mixed-media spreads. Vibrant designs breathe life into this mama, highlighting one endearing fowl with a ferocious heart.
February 15, 2011 Kirkus Reviews
Splotch—a red, bug-eyed burst of a bird who fully resembles her name—is so overjoyed about the egg she laid (it's shiny blue with multicolored spots) that her branch shakes, and the egg falls. Via a dashed line, readers can follow the egg's trajectory as it rolls down Jemima giraffe's neck, bounces off a zebra's hoof, and has several other narrow escapes before returning to Splotch, at which point it begins to crack. A flap at the end reveals a blue chick, whose cockeyed stare and shock of scribbly plumage only a mother could love. Vibrant collages, somewhat suggestive of Eric Carle's work, pack plenty of kid appeal. Ages 3–7.
March 7, 2011 Publishers Weekly
Splotch is a small bird, not a bit pale but amorphous, nothing more than a colorful splotch of paint with eyes, beak, and legs, who lays an egg “small–yes, spotty–yes, and absolutely perfect in every way.” The tone is gentle and playful, and the colors and technique are reminiscent of Eric Carle’s work though rendered in a more stylized way. The egg itself has spot lamination, making it appear shiny and a bit raised, appealing to the tactile sensibility of young children. The roly-poly egg rocks back and forth before falling and making its perilous journey down from the treetop to be kicked by a zebra, rolled down a giraffe’s back, and so on, until it finds its way tossed up to Splotch. That journey is indicated in a dashed line so young fingers can trace its path. The surprise ending is a visual, tactile delight: lift the top and bottom flap and there’s little splotch. The art is a feast for little eyes and little fingers, and the lilting, descriptive language will lull little ears, too.–Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
May 2011, School Library Journal
Splotch, a bright red-orange smudge-of-paint bird with googly eyes and spindly legs, lays a small, spotted, 'absolutely perfect' egg. In her excitement over the egg, Splotch causes it to drop from branch to branch; roll down a giraffe's neck; get kicked by a zebra; and encounter a crocodile, an elephant, and monkeys before returning to Splotch and hatching into a polka-dot blue chick, which Splotch declares 'absolutely perfect.' The stylized illustrations are crisp, clear, minimal, and placed against stark white backgrounds that allow Splotch and her cohorts to pop off the pages. A line of dashes traces the path of the egg, making it easy to follow the adventure. The hatching is cleverly depicted with a full-page likeness of the brightly spotted egg affixed to either side of a split-down-the-middle page flap. If you're looking for another happy hatching story, try Jane Simmons' Daisy and the Egg (1999). – Randall Enos.
May 15, 2011, Booklist
My daughter adores this book. It has been her favorite for over a year. It is whimsical and colorful and sweet.