The Good Egg by J., J., and P. Oswald
John, Jory and Pete Oswald. The Good Egg. HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2019.
This imaginative picture book by bestselling creators Jory John and Pete Oswald uses beautiful illustrations and humour to tackle social and emotional skills. The Good Egg is the counterpart to the duo’s book The Bad Seed.
As the title suggests, the main character of this book is a good egg, “A verrrrrry good egg.”
The beginning of the book shows how the good egg stands apart from the rest of the rowdy dozen in his carton by trying to do good deeds—he’s rescuing a cat when we first meet him.
But as the story progresses, we see that the good egg is trying so hard to be good, while everyone around him is rotten, that he reaches a breaking point. The good egg literally begins to crack from all of the self-imposed pressure. Deciding that it is in his best interest to leave the carton, the good egg embarks on a journey of self-care, and self-reflection.
On his journey, the good egg finds peace by taking walks, reading, writing in his journal, and just breathing. Eventually, the good egg starts to feel like himself again. At the same time, he realizes that he is lonely without his friends. He learns that even though the other eggs aren’t perfect, he doesn’t have to be either. The good egg decides that it is much better to be with those you love than to be alone, so he returns to his carton.
The detailed and expressive illustrations by Oswald bring the characters in The Good Egg to life, making them relatable to kids. The story flows nicely with just the right amount of words, making it a good read-aloud, and useful for class and family discussions on topics like perfectionism, self-care, and accepting yourself and others as they are. It is one of those picture books that gives kids an opportunity to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and to empathize. Overall, The Good Egg reminds us of the importance of balance and self-care, and accepting those we love, even if they are a bit rotten sometimes.
Highly recommended: 4 stars out of 4
Reviewer: Tara Gordon
Tara Gordon is a University of Alberta SLIS student with a lifelong passion for children’s books. Outside of school, Tara enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
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