There is a certain category of urban picture book which emphasizes the kind of independent adventures a child can have while roaming the neighborhood. Ezra Jack Keats was a master at this. His books were set in New York City, of course, but Chih-Yuan Chen takes us across the world to Taiwan in On My Way to Buy Eggs. Shau-yu's mother sends her out to buy -- you guessed it -- eggs, and on the way she has the kind of encounters that would pass right by an adult, but to a small child become full of wonder. She follows the shadow made by a cat walking on a roof, looks at the newly colored world through a blue marble and takes on a whole new role when she finds a pair of eye glasses.
The text is simple, but charming, like Shau-yu herself, and I love books like this which celebrate the way a child's spirit takes off when she is given some freedom to explore the city in her own way. The imaginative aspect of the story will be familiar to all young listeners and the glimpses of a Taiwanese neighborhood will provide just the right touch of the exotic.
Big Kid says: She had fun, didn't she?
Little Kid says: Blue!