Monday, February 1, 2016

Q&A with Laura Gehl

Laura Gehl is the author of the new children's book Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching. Her other books for kids are Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel, And Then Another Sheep Turned Up, and One Big Pair of Underwear. She is based in the Washington, D.C., area.

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! 

Q: What do you think is the right age group for Peep and Egg? 

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! 

Q: Anything else we should know?

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.

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