Welcome to the very first New Book Wednesday!
Stop by every Wednesday to get the scoop on our Spring 2015 titles.

This Wednesday we’re talking about P. Zonka Lays an Egg, written and illustrated by Julie Paschkis.

P. Zonka and her daydreaming ways are getting a lot of attention. If P. wasn’t such a head-in-the-clouds type of gal, I’d be worried the fanfare might make her a little vain. (Read the STARRED reviews here: PW, Kirkus, SLJ)

P. Zonka Lays an Egg is a bright, beautiful celebration of individuality and imagination. But the coolest thing about the book is what inspired it.

Have you ever heard of pysanky?

In short, pysanky is an egg decoration technique, stemming from ancient Ukrainian tradition, closely associated with Easter.


The sun was the ancient Ukrainians’ supreme god, but the only creatures able to approach the life-giving star were birds. Hoping the winged creatures could fly high enough to intercede for humanity, Ukrainians inscribed wishes and requests to the heavens on birds’ eggs.

These richly decorated eggs are called pysanky.

The pysanky were made as gifts for honored family and friends—talismans meant to bring happiness, fertility, and protection. Each of the elements and colors carried symbolic meaning.

☼ The sun represented happiness, growth, and good fortune.
{Flowers signified love, charity, and good will.
h Waves, ribbons, and belts meant eternity.
Birds, hens, and roosters symbolized fulfillment of wishes and fertility.

Red was the color of love and joy, while pink meant success.
Yellow represented resurrection and spirituality.
Green was the sign of new life, of prosperity and wealth.
Blue encompassed courage, strength, stability, loyalty, and health.

So, what do pysanky have to do with P. Zonka?

Every year, Julie Paschkis’ sister, Jan, and brother-in-law, Greg, throw a big neighborhood party where friends and family make pysanky and eat traditional Ukrainian food to celebrate spring and the Easter season. 

P. Zonka Lays an Egg came out of this experience. (Get it? Pysanka…P. Zonka?)

Want to know more about pysanky, Julie Paschkis, or how to throw your very own pysanky party? Stay tuned!