Those are adults, of course, trying to distract me, hoping I’ll chase them rather than stop and look for their eggs/chicks. Their nests shouldn’t be too difficult to spot, as the females lay their eggs atop a shallow pile of sticks or stones. Not that I’ve found one yet. But one of these days I’ll be in the right place at the right time.
A few years ago, I read about the birds online. I wasn’t thinking of writing a book; I just wanted to know more about them. And oh, my. The chicks were ADORABLE. They’re precocial, staying in the shell longer than most “yard” birds. When they break out, they’re ready to go, miniature versions of their parents, running and searching for bugs and exploring their world.
Not long after reading about them, I had a vivid, just-before-waking dream. In it, a killdeer chick hatched and, in a funny little birdie voice, narrated aloud as he ran around discovering his neighborhood and himself. I woke, drowsy, and as I stretched I thought: Ohhh, that was a sweet dream…WAIT A MINUTE! …because I’d just realized that the birdie’s voice was in rhyme. Yowser. I stumbled to my office to jot down any lines I could remember – only two, but thankfully I recalled the gist and was able to reconstruct the rest over the next few days.
Fast forward three years or so, and Dial Books for Young Readers will release I HATCHED! this Wednesday. Illustrator Jen Corace did a spectacular job of bringing this little hatchling to life. From the publisher:
“A baby chick bursts from his egg and into the world with hilarious enthusiasm, awe, and I-can't-help-myself energy, capturing babies' delight in new discovery and parents' joy in this amazing new person. Rompy, rhyming text evokes the zeal of a toddler who's eager for everything. And Jen Corace's gorgeous artwork is alive with critters and curiosities and surprises--the biggest of which? The hatching of a new baby sister, to the absolute delight of her now 'expert' big brother!
Breathless, breathtaking, and downright funny, this story is sure to find fans in new moms, toddlers, and big brothers and sisters too.”
You can win an autographed copy of I HATCHED! by entering with Rafflecopter, below. The contest will end January 31st. Please add a note in our comments section telling us why you hope to win the book. Thanks!
P.S. If you see an early version of this post, there won't be pictures, as Blogger isn't letting me post them, for some reason. I'll keep trying! If you're reading a later version, and you see the pics just fine and dandy, then, um, never mind.