Little Grunt and the Big Egg

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Cover of Little Grunt and the Big Egg

Little Grunt and the Big Egg (A Prehistoric Fairy Tale) is a 1990 picture book written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola.[1] It is frequently studied in elementary schools in the United States.[2][3] It was adapted into a play by William Morton.[4]

Plot summary[edit]

The Grunt Tribe live in a big cave next to a volcano. When Little Grunt is told that the Ugga-Wugga Tribe is coming over for Sunday brunch the next day Mama Grunt orders him to find some eggs so that she can make an omelette. Little Grunt searches high and low and there are no eggs to be found anywhere. Just then he stumbles over the biggest egg he has ever seen. He carefully drags it home so that it doesn't break and shows it to his family. They are very impressed. The egg is left in front of the fire when all the Grunts go to bed. During the night they all wake up to a cracking and breaking noise and, in the hearth, they find a baby dinosaur amongst the broken egg shells. Little Grunt keeps the dinosaur, who he names "George", as a pet and so begins a strong friendship.[5]


Kirkus Reviews found "The illustrations are typical dePaola. The kids will lap it up, as they do TV cartoons of the same undemanding quality."[6] while Publishers Weekly stated "This lively twist on the familiar tale of a boy and his pet is sure to provoke giggles."[7]


  1. ^ "For Children". The Day (New London). August 4, 2006. p. D5. 
  2. ^ Dewitz, Peter (2010). The Essential Guide to Selecting and Using Core Reading Programs. International Reading Association. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-87207-707-2. 
  3. ^ Norris, Jill; Melanie Coon (2005). How to Report on Books, Grades Prek-K. Evan-Moor. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-59673-083-0. 
  4. ^ Popp, Marcia S. (1996). Teaching language and literature in elementary classrooms: a resource book for professional development. Routledge. p. 264. ISBN 978-0-8058-2253-3. 
  5. ^ Roberts, Patricia (1993). A green dinosaur day: a guide for developing thematic units in literature-based instruction, K-6. Allyn and Bacon. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-205-14007-7. 
  6. ^ "Little Grunt and the Big Egg: A Prehistoric Fairytale". Kirkus Media LLC. 15 March 1990. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Little Grunt and the Big Egg: A Prehistoric Fairytale". PWxyz LLC. Retrieved 12 June 2015.