Parker Plum and the Rotten Egg Thoughts
Parker Plum wakes from a night of slumber to find a little green egg resting on his pillow. How did it get there? Parker doesn’t know, and doesn’t seem to care. He plops it in his pocket and starts his day… a day that gets worse by the minute. Breakfast is awful, he misses the bus and, worst of all, he has to sit downwind from Dave, a guy who toots all day! Every disappointment gets Parker more upset and makes the egg grow bigger and bigger until it’s ginormous. Is this rotten, smelly blob about to explode? Fortunately for Parker, veteran lunch lady Mrs. Butterbott thinks she can defuse the situation. But it totally depends on whether Parker is willing to unscramble all his self-defeating thoughts. Can he? See what happens in this creative and colorful tale from talented author and educator Billie Pavicic. 32 pgs.
Published by Boys Town Press
Parker Plum and the Rotten Egg Thoughts is a picture book for older readers who don’t always see on the brighter side of things. Pavicnic’s story begins when Parker wakes up and finds a little green egg on his pillow. His day gets off on the wrong foot when his mother serves oatmeal instead of waffles. He misses the bus, does poorly on a quiz, and is moved behind “the stinky kid.” Each time he mentally complains about his day, the egg grows larger. The school’s lunch lady, Mrs. Butterbott, thankfully knows what to do before the rotten egg can explode and helps Parker put the day’s events into perspective.
The illustrations are colored pencil style images that tell the story nicely. Mrs. Butterbott’s advice to ask yourself “can I change this” and “are there any good parts hidden in the bad” whenever something disappointing happens is great advice that can be expanded to anytime something generally bad happens. Putting things into perspective always helps.
What a fun story, as well as a great reminder for any age. The story goes through a day in the life of a young child who deals with regular ups and downs. It’s a fun way to come to a conclusion with the main character about the best way to view things. The book also has great discussion at the end for parents. I would read this over another children’s story because it’s so great for all ages. It was an awesome reminder for myself on how I should view my life.
I read this book with our two grade school aged children. This book was super engaging and our younger child especially enjoyed seeing the egg grow as Parker's negative thoughts increased throughout his day. It was a great way to depict how negativity can grow and grow and eventually it feels like it is just taking over your day.
Mrs. Butterbott came to help and her advice was simple yet effective. She shared with Parker and his friends that you can't always change what happened but you could "scramble away" your negative thoughts by asking yourself two questions...
"Can I change this?"
"Are there any good parts hidden in the bad?"
While these are simple questions they are very powerful reminders for children (and adults) when they are facing challenges or obstacles that they might not have anticipated or wanted. We may not be able to control what always happens during our day but we do have the choice of how we react.
"Parker had learned that disappointing things happen sometimes. But how he chose to think about them made a huge difference."