Deceptively simple, exceedingly playful series of statements entices young readers to think, what comes first: the chicken or the egg? When children flip the page, they’ll find a fuzzy chick and the adult—“then the CHICKEN.” So it goes through the life stages of frog, flower, and butterfly. Then, Seeger turns from nature. “First the WORD,” she writes, “then the STORY.” “First the PAINT . . . then the PICTURE,” with a painting that pulls the story together, showing chicken, flower, frog, and butterfly enjoying a beautiful day together. Seeger lines it up to maintain a casual mood with generous swabs of rich greens, sky blues and bright yellows on canvas.