Q: How did you come up with the idea for Peep and Egg, and what do you hope young readers take away from the story?
A: With four young kids, I was living in the land of “I’m not,” hearing those words on a regular basis. In my more-rational, less-sleep-deprived moments I could see that a lot of the “I’m not” came from a place of fear rather than stubbornness or a desire to drive me crazy.
I tried to write a book that spoke to the nervousness behind the “I’m not” in a humorous way. I hope that young readers will come away from the Peep and Egg books with the realization that everyone has fears…that those fears can be overcome…and that sometimes we all need a little help to get cracking!
Q: It looks as if you have another Peep and Egg book coming out later this year--did you plan it as a series from the beginning?
A: It was my agent who suggested I try to turn Peep and Egg into a series. I’m so glad she did! And it was my editor who wanted to keep Egg’s name as Egg even (spoiler alert!) after she hatches. Originally, Egg had a different name post-hatching.
As you said, the second book, Peep and Egg: I’m Not Trick or Treating, comes out later this year. In 2017, Peep and Egg: I’m Not Taking a Bath and Peep and Egg: I’m Not Eating That will be released. There may be more Peep and Egg books in the hatchery as well!
A: Toddlers and preschoolers are the sweet spot for this series. But the story would also be perfect for any child about to gain a younger sibling.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am working on a number of picture books, including one about a sleepover with a twist and one about a little girl who wishes she could have the same dream as her best friend.
Only yesterday did I realize that those two projects share a sleeping theme. I have a feeling this means I need to get more sleep!
A: There are several launch events for Peep and Egg coming up in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania! I’d love to connect with readers at one (or more!) of these events:
Launch party at Hooray for Books in Alexandria, Va.: Wednesday, Feb. 10, 4:00-6:00pm. Itsy Bitsy Audubon at Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, Md.: Saturday, March 12, 10:00am-noon. Storytime at Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia, Pa.: Sunday, March 20, 11:00am.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb. For a previous Q&A with Laura Gehl, please click here.