Peep can’t wait for Halloween to start, but the younger Egg has a long list of reasons to wish it would not. In a scene familiar to many families, the prospect of trick-or-treating conjures costumes and candy for some, while others are haunted by thoughts of vampires, mummies, witches and ghosts, real or imagined. Peep and Egg, two delightful sibling characters introduced this spring in Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching, return in Peep and Egg: I’m Not Trick-or-Treating, a hilarious, endearing new read-aloud book for young children that may help take the fright right out of Halloween. 

With a first book that was called, "delightful and right on target," by Kirkus, and “spot-on” by Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, Author Laura Gehl and Illustrator Joyce Wan have created books that gently offer a way to help children discuss fears. 

Laura Gehl, who has been doing a lot of school talks to preschool and early elementary students, explained the appeal this way: “Kids can relate to Peep and Egg, and they open up and talk to me about their fears.  These range from the fantastical for younger children–like monsters, dinosaurs, and exploding jellyfish; to more realistic fears for older kids, such as fear of strangers, injury or fire. There’s a lot of overlap, including many fears that I hear again and again, such as fear of thunder, spiders, sharks, or moving to a new home. 

“We then talk about what helps us have the courage to move past our fears. Sometimes kids offer something imaginary, like unicorns, but they also talk about how friends and family can help – or even a beloved stuffed animal. 

“The fears that come up at school visits are often ones I recognize from raising my own four children, who had all kinds of fears, some of which surprised me at the time with their intensity. It helped when I came to the realization that early childhood can be a very scary time because so much is new and unfamiliar. That’s why, when I talk with adults, I ask them to think about experiences that are new to them – like skydiving or swimming with sharks. Once put that way, it’s easier to understand how the world can look to a young child for whom almost everything is new. 

“Our next book will be Peep and Egg: I’m Not Taking a Bath,” which addresses one of the most common childhood fears.  We hope that giggling through Egg’s list of excuses…too splashy, too fishy, too slobbery…and watching the way clever Peep changes stubborn Egg’s mind, will help take some of the stress out of bath time for little ones.”  


Laura Gehl is the author of several picture books, including One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Laura has four children, who all love trick or treating. She and her family live in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Visit her online at


Joyce Wan is the author and illustrator of many popular board books, including You Are My Cupcake and We Belong Together. Joyce lives in New Jersey. Visit her online at

August 2016

Peep and Egg: I’m Not Trick-or-Treating • Written by: Laura Gehl • Illustrated by: Joyce Wan • Ages 2-6 • Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux • ISBN: 978-0374301224 • $16.99 Hardcover