by Judy Newman with Alexie Basil and Alana Pedalino
Eggs were everywhere in my childhood.
I waited for them to hatch for my science fair project at the John Ward School with a level of excited anticipation I have felt only a few times since that spring in fourth grade.
Our family speculated for weeks about why our pet chameleon laid an egg twice the size of its head. (Mystery never solved. The egg just showed up in its tank one day. The egg never hatched.)
I loved the annual ritual of decorating Easter eggs (especially the process of blowing out the insides of the eggs through carefully made pinholes) and hunting for them and their chocolate counterparts in our backyard.
Egg in the Hole is one of two dishes I can cook reliably. (Chicken Marbella is the other.)
And, of course, my bookshelves are filled with classic children’s books featuring eggs. There are too many to list here—I could write a chapter alone about the glorious senses of anticipation in each of these books. But some of my favorites are:
• The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
• The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown
• Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones by Ruth Heller
• Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
• Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
And then later:
• Rechenka’s Eggs by Patricia Polacco
• Hedgie’s Surprise by Jan Brett
• After the Fall by Dan Santat
• Egg by Kevin Henkes
• First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
• An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni
It is always so much fun to find a wonderful new book starring an egg. So as we head into spring and into a new season of hope, self-awareness, and community, I am excited that The Good Egg by Jory John and illustrated by Pete Oswald is our Book of the Week (for two weeks!).
Like many of you—teachers and other grown-ups (you know who you are!)—I can relate to that bespectacled little egg who wanted to fix everyone else’s problems.
“Eggs-quisitely excellent.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
In the story, the Good Egg is the peacekeeper in the family (or carton). While the Good Egg saves cats from trees, carries others’ groceries, waters plants, and changes tires, the other 11 eggs wreak havoc—eating sugary cereal, staying up past bedtime, and even breaking their belongings.
Finally, the stress of trying to keep everyone in-line gets to be too much, and the Good Egg starts to crack—literally!
A doctor recommends some self-care, and so the Good Egg embarks on a journey to find inner peace again. In the process, the Good Egg learns that the only person you can control is yourself, and sometimes you just have to let the actions of others go.
Like Jory John and Pete Oswald’s previous collaboration, The Bad Seed (and their recent books The Cool Bean and The Couch Potato), The Good Egg is charming, laugh-out-loud funny, and packs a powerful message: take care of yourself!
David Vozar and I agree on the motivating powers of The Good Egg, and he was inspired to change his approach to day-to-day stressors.
We at Scholastic Book Clubs put together several resources and videos this week to help you introduce your students to The Good Egg:
• Sing and dance along as the Book Boys perform an original upbeat song, “The Good Egg,” in a fun music video
• Read an exclusive author interview with Jory John in Behind the Scenes to discover what inspired him to create The Good Egg
• Discover how kindergarten teacher Beth S. Prince uses The Good Egg to show her students it’s okay for us and our friends to be less than perfect in a Book Talks review
• Download a free discussion guide and activity about tracking story elements in Cooked Up from a Book
I hope that you and your students enjoy The Good Egg!
And, as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any egg-cellent (or not-so-perfect) ideas or thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. And I’d love to hear about your favorite egg books.