September 15, 2016
Peep and Egg: I’m Not Trick-or-Treating by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Joyce Wan
Halloween is here and Peep is all set to go Trick-or-Treating. Egg, on the other hand, isn’t ready. It isn’t because he doesn’t have a costume. Egg comes out and says it like it is. Halloween is just too scary.
Peep tries to encourage his friend, telling him about the places that they will go trick-or-treat but Egg isn’t looking forward to seeing the scary costumes. Peep tells some jokes and thinks that Egg is changing his mind — after all, his friend laughs at the jokes. In spite of all of Peep’s encouraging words, Egg refuses to go so finally Peep runs off, worried that he’s about to miss out on the fun.
Egg realizes that there is something worse than the scary costumes. Being alone. So he takes off after his friend. Without taking you step-by-bootiful-step through the plot, all is well that ends well.
I have to admit that I hadn’t read the first Peep and Egg book. This fact aside, I was immediately drawn in by Joyce Wan’s illustrations. The bold lines and bright colors are a bit cartoony but that worked especially well when writing about a topic that might scare toddler and preschool readers. Walking around in the dark, masks and things that go bump in the night might be scary but these two chicks are definitely silly and fun.
Halloween can be a scary time for young children and Gehl has created a simple, straight forward story about dealing with those fears with the help of a friend. Using chicks as characters gives a child who is frightened a bit of distance from the topic — this isn’t a scared child but a scared chick, how silly!
Read this at story time to spark a conversation about what the audience finds scary. Read it before Halloween if you have a youngster who is apprehensive.