When Blue Met Egg is a delightful story about a spunky bluebird named Blue who lives in Central Park. When a snowball flies through the air and lands in Blue’s nest, Blue adopts the newcomer, mistaking it for an egg, and taking it everywhere for several wintry months.

Newcomer Lindsay Ward combines this charming story with funky illustrations created from cut-paper collages and sketches, taking readers on a bird’s-eye tour of New York City. Blue and Egg travel to Columbus Circle, the subway, an art museum, the opera, the top of a skyscraper and to a telescope pointed at the Statue of Liberty. A wonderful fold-out section features Blue and Egg perched atop the Brooklyn Bridge.

Look closely at these illustrations and you’ll see bits of newspaper in Blue’s nest, skyscrapers fashioned from test answer forms, crossword puzzles and graph paper in the Central Park snow, maps in the East River. The beauty of Ward’s style is that these fragments are a seamless part of each illustration: present, but not overpowering the art. Blue’s nest appears so cozy that you can practically feel its softness, while the snow appears to fall from the sky in a panoramic skyscraper scene.

Ward moves the story along with gentle humor, as Blue unsuccessfully tries to share a hot dog with Egg, or reads The Golden Egg to her friend. Finally, Blue tries to feed Egg soup as Egg begins to melt, but (as with the hot dog) it doesn’t go well.

When Blue Met Egg is about hope, friendship and undying optimism. When Egg melts, Blue panics, but ultimately finds happiness: She discovers a pink flower in Egg’s melted snowball puddle, and exclaims, “Egg, you’ve bloomed!” Blue always sees a glass as half full, which is a sweet, lasting message for young readers.

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