Toddlers and preschoolers are basically 35-pound kid-shaped sacks of fears, decorated with pigtails and chocolate stains, fairy wings and Batman suits.
These fears can drive parents crazy. I say that as a mom who once carried a terrified preschooler—a HEAVY terrified preschooler—across a large parking lot after a rainstorm, due to a number of Evil Earthworms lurking above ground. And as a mom who is now resigned to leaving her daughter’s bedroom light AND the hall light on every single night, keeping the Robber-Filled Darkness of Doom at bay.
But really, who are we to judge? We adults have our own illogical fears. Show me a slug and I’ll show you an adult screaming and hiding under the covers. Yep, that would be me. Spiders? No problem. Bees? No problem. Slugs? MRMMMMF!
Yet we parents are constantly encouraging our little sacks of fear to try new and terrifying things. How would adults feel in the same situation? Wanna try skydiving tomorrow? How about an afternoon of swimming in shark-infested waters? Sure, these activities have very low injury—or casualty—rates. But for most of us, that type of logic doesn’t do much to combat the terror.
Into the fear-filled world of toddlers, enter adorable chick siblings Peep and Egg, brought to life by illustrator extraordinaire Joyce Wan. Peep can’t wait for Egg to hatch; she wants to share all the fun and beauty of the world with her little sister. But Egg is scared of….everything! Climbing on the roof of the henhouse? Might as well order a concussion with a side of broken wings. Counting the stars? You mean AT NIGHT? In the DARK? AAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Over the course of the PEEP AND EGG series, Egg will face all kinds of typical preschool obstacles—from taking a bath (AAAAAAAHHHH!) to trick or treating (AAAAHHHH!) to tasting new foods (AAAAAHHHHHH!). Fortunately, Egg has a secret weapon in overcoming her fears: the ever-patient, ever-comforting Peep.
Will reading PEEP AND EGG with your preschooler be a magic bullet for eliminating childhood fears? No. But curling up and sharing PEEP AND EGG with your child will be a magical experience, the way reading any book with any child is a magical experience. An experience that makes the child feel safe and loved and cozy…and makes the world a little less scary as a result.
And if Peep and Egg manage to help a few kids take a few steps toward conquering their fears—then that’s the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae. Wait! What is that slimy thing on my computer? MRMMMMMMFF!
You know, I think I’ll just stay right here underneath the covers. Can somebody please hand me a book? And an ice cream sundae?
Bio: Laura Gehl is the author of PEEP AND EGG: I’M NOT HATCHING as well as several other PEEP AND EGG books hatching in 2016 and 2017. Laura’s first picture book, ONE BIG PAIR OF UNDERWEAR, was a Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Title, a Booklist Best Books for Youth selection, and winner of the CBC/MSRI Mathical Prize for grades K-2. Read more about Laura, and find printable Peep and Egg activities, at www.lauragehl.com. Laura lives, reads, and eats ice cream sundaes in Maryland with her husband and four far-from-fearless kids.
Borrow Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.