In brief: A boy discovers a giant egg on his farm, which catches the attention of a vacationing paleontologist—which is less surprising than it might seem, since the egg turns out to be a triceratops egg. When the baby dinosaur hatches, things get really complicated—especially when the federal government gets involved.
What makes it a great readaloud? Fantastically entertaining premise aside—a chicken hatches a baby dinosaur!—this book contains lots of interesting ideas about science, politics, and the idea of being American vs. un-American. (We read it right after studying McCarthyism and were really struck by some of the parallels.)
But be aware: This book was written in the 1950s, and it's not ahead of its time when it comes to portraying women or diversity. (It is a good conversation-starter if you want to talk about diversity in literature, though.)
Quotable: "No, Joe, a scientist doesn't know all the answers. Nobody does, not even teachers. But a scientist keeps on trying to find the answers."