Peg Gets Crackin’ – Jo Renfro

Peg Gets Crackin' by Jo Renfro
Published by Beaming Books on February 6, 2024
Genres: Children's
Buy on Amazon

Time to get crackin'!

Peg is perfectly content within the safe, contained shell of her egg. While her siblings hatch around her, she imagines all the scary things waiting in the outside world--things that make her happy to stay an egg.

But even Peg must hatch. She grows, and grows, and one day . . . CRACK! Peg takes her first hesitant steps into the big, frightening world and discovers . . . the world isn't so bad after all. In fact, it's actually pretty wonderful!

Bursting with spirit and humor, Peg Gets Crackin' is packed with entertaining illustrations and perfect for read-aloud storytime. Young readers will giggle at Peg's antics and resonate with her journey to conquer her fears. You never know what exciting adventures are waiting just outside of your shell!

The egg is warm. The egg is safe. The egg isn’t all that exciting, but it’s all that Peg’s ever known. But then…CRACK! And a whole new world opens up. Peg Gets Crackin’ is a cute story about stepping outside our comfort zones and finding new adventures. Jo Renfro’s colorful illustrations and engaging story will keep your little ones interested and thinking about their own “eggs.”

I especially liked how Peg Get’s Crackin’ incorporated art into the text. Usually, when authors/illustrators/publishers try to get fancy and artistic with the text, it can affect readability for little ones who are just learning to read. Jo Renfro appears to have taken that into consideration, utilizing illustrated text at appropriate times and in ways that enhance readability rather than take away from it. When the text says “Crackety Crack,” she draws it as if the words are shaking. “Jumping” gives the illusion of going up and down. You get the idea. It provides novelty that will challenge new readers but with context clues to help them recognize words/letter outside of traditional lettering.

This would be the perfect book for dealing with new experiences—first day in a new school, first day in a new city, first time visiting a new church. Peg Get’s Crackin’ validates the safety of the egg while gently pushing Peg toward their new experience. It doesn’t demand, cajole, force, beg, or bribe. It simply presents Peg with the new experience and gives her time to come to terms with it. And that’s what I appreciate most about this book. Children get drug around to new things a lot without much care or thought for their feelings. We, as adults, know things are okay and often can’t see with the perspective of a child how scary unfamiliar and new things are. Peg Gets Crackin’ validates that perspective while also exhorting readers and listeners to step into new experiences.

Overall, Peg Gets Crackin’ is a fun book that my kids have loved. And it has a good message. You can’t beat that!