PEEP AND EGG: I'M NOT HATCHING is Here and Giveaway! February 9, 2016 16:58 22 Comments

I am very egg-cited to announce the official release of my latest book, PEEP AND EGG: I'M NOT HATCHING, a picture book I illustrated that was written by Laura Gehl and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan. This is the first book in a funny new character-driven series for toddlers in which a reluctant chick named Egg overcomes her fears. It's the perfect book for any child who's feeling nervous or reluctant about trying something new.

I always think it's interesting to hear from both sides of an author/illustrator collaboration so I had Laura give us a little background on how she came up with the idea for this story:

"As the mom of four young kids, I have spent about ten years in the land of "I'm not."  From "I'm not putting on my shoes" to "I'm not blowing my nose" to "I'm not going to sleep," I've heard them all!  Sometimes, toddlers are just being stubborn when they go into "I'm not" mode.  But many times, the "I'm not" comes less from a determination to rule the world than from a place of fear.  Everything is new when you're two!  And new can be scary. 

When our fabulous editor Janine O'Malley first read I'M NOT HATCHING, she immediately identified with the story because her life--like mine--was filled with kids saying "I'm not."  I remember that Janine's son had recently declared, "I'm not going to the dentist!"  I hope other parents and kids feel that same immediate sense of kinship with Peep and Egg."  

When I first received the manuscript for this adorable book back in 2014 from Janine, the voices in the manuscript are so strong that I could see the characters in my mind right away. Whenever I first start working on a new book, I like to storyboard in thumbnail size first which helps me plan the general layout of each page and text placement without having to worry too much about the details at this point.

peep and egg storyboard

Many times, the images in the final book can change significantly from my initial ideas in the storyboard stage and this book was no different.

In the next stage, I draw larger versions of each spread with more details in pencil. For this book, I also fine-tuned the look of the characters in this stage too. Here are some sketches from the initial drafts of the book:

peep and egg not hatching

peep and egg duck pond

peep and egg sheep

The final art for this book is done in Adobe Illustrator. For a sneak peek of some final interior illustrations from the book checkout the trailer created by writer, illustrator and KidLit TV host, producer, and writer Katya Szewzuk here:

Special thanks to Laura Gehl for writing this adorable and funny story and editor Janine O'Malley and art director designer Anne Diebel at FSG for helping me bring this book to life. Huge thanks always to my agent and friend Teresa Kietlinski of Prospect Agency for her help and support.

This book is available where ever books are sold. Here are some links where you can find the book online: (Amazon) (Indie Bound) (Barnes and Noble)

Since it's book launch day, you know what that's GIVEAWAY TIME! I'm giving a signed copy of the book, a signed READ poster, and a set of Peep and Egg stickers to three lucky winners! Just leave a comment below and I'll pick three winners at random!

peep and egg giveaway

The giveaway ends Tuesday, February 23rd at 8pm EST. Three (3) winners will be selected in a random drawing from among all entries received.
Open to residents of U.S. only, please. Winners will be notified via e-mail. Prize winners must provide me with a physical address to which the prize will be mailed. If this information is not received, an alternate winner will be chosen by random drawing. 

I am truly thankful for all of you out there for supporting me on this incredible journey and allowing me to share this journey with you.


**UPDATE** The giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all of you who entered! It's always nice to connect with you! The following winners, who were selected randomly, will be notified via email: