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Trick or Treat with Katy Duffield!

Welcome to #SeasonsOfKidLit, readers, writers, and extraterrestrials too! Today we have an extremely adorable monster book on the blog, with a relatable theme for the season: colds. We are all familiar with colds this time of year. But do monsters catch colds, too? Author Katy Duffield (and illustrator K.G. Campbell) imagine what it would be like if aliens get sick in their book, Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too! AHHH-CHOO! So, want to know what happens when aliens catch a cold? Read on...

Q: Welcome to #SeasonsOfKidLit, Katy! I'm excited to have you and hear all about your out-of-this-world book for the season: Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too! AHHH-CHOO!! As we know, aliens fall on the spooky side of characters, and colds are common for fall, so this naturally feels like a fun book to add to anyone’s fall collection. Can you share a little about the story with us?

A: Hi, Heather! Thanks for asking me to contribute.

As the title suggests, Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too, is about a little alien who comes down with an awful cold. His parents try everything from Milky Way milkshakes to meteor showers to the dreaded lunar decongestants to no avail. And the worse he feels, the worse his dog Mars Rover feels, too. Mars Rover can’t stand seeing his best friend sick—so he jumps into action, until he finally brings a smile to Little Alien’s face.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for this adorable story?

A: I’d wanted to write a story with an alien main character for quite a while, so one day I made a list of problems an alien might have. I wanted the problem to be relatable to picture-book-aged readers and when I hit on the idea of an alien having a cold, I thought that might be fun to explore. The manuscript’s first line, “Little Alien was sick. And sick is extra-terrestrial bad when you have two throats, five ears, and three noses,” came to me pretty quickly and I went from there.

Q: How fascinating! What’s your favorite spread or scene from the book?

A: I have several favorites, but my favorite-favorite would have to be this one showing a feeling poorly Little Alien and a very concerned Mars Rover. It sums up the story perfectly. I love how K.G. Campbell’s art shows so much emotion in this illustration and throughout the book.

My second favorite illustration is the one where Little Alien is standing under a meteor shower, trying to cool his fever. In the finished art in the book, Mama Alien and Mars Rover are holding a towel to keep from “exposing” Little Alien, but in an earlier piece of art, Little Alien’s bare buns were showing. I kind of hate that the change was made. ;-)

Q: Can you share a little more with us about yourself and your works with everyone?

A: I’m the author of more than forty books for children including four additional picture books—Farmer McPeepers and His Missing Milk Cows (illus. by Steve Gray), Loud Lula (illus. Mike Boldt), Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals (illus. Mike Orodán), and the recently published House Finds a Home (illus. Jen Corace).

I write both fiction and nonfiction and I’ve written a couple of beginning chapter book series and several biographies for educational publishers. I feel so blessed that I get to spend my time doing something that I love.

Q: What other fun titles of yours should we check out, ASAP?

A: My two most recent picture books are Crossings and House Finds a Home. Crossings is my first trade nonfiction picture book. It’s a lyrical look a number of fascinating wildlife crossings around the world from tunnels for tiny salamanders to blue ropes that help monkeys safely cross roads in Costa Rica to red crab bridges in New Zealand and more. The book has won some awards and has been really well-received. It’s nice that people are enjoying it. :)

House Finds a Home just came out in August. I started working on the manuscript after I lost my mom. I drove by my childhood home after it was sold—it was my mom’s pride and joy— and the house just looked so sad. The first line came to me then: “You might think houses don’t have hearts. But House had one. And it was broken.” This led me to write the book from House’s point-of-view and shares the idea that even though life often changes, home is where the LOVE is.

That's so sweet. Thanks for sharing this with us, Katy! And thanks again for joining in the fun.

Q: Would you like to leave a Trick or a Treat for the readers?

A: I’d love to leave a treat for readers—the winner can choose either a signed copy of Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too or a non-rhyming picture book critique (under 800 words, please).

Thanks so much for such a galaxy-sized treat!

Contest Details: To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below and let Katy know which book(s) of hers you're most excited to read! The winner will be announced on or about November 4th.

*Note: Book giveaways will be shipped in the US only.

Reminder: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of ten (10) Rate Your Story Speed Passes.

About Katy Duffield:

Katy Duffield is the author of more than forty children’s books. She’s written fictional picture books about a farmer who lost his cows, a little country girl with a big ol’ voice, an alien with a cold, a house looking for a home, and others.

She’s also written many nonfiction books about a wide range of topics such as orangutans, hurricane hunters, movie stunt doubles, venom extractors, and dogs that protect penguins. Her most recent award-winning nonfiction title, Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals (illustrated by Mike Orodán) shares information about how wildlife crossings help protect animals around the world.

Katy enjoys writing fiction because it’s fun to make up characters and to use your imagination to figure out where the story will take those characters. With nonfiction, Katy gets to research and explore all kinds of things that interest her—and then write about them!

For more about Katy, check out the below links:

Twitter: @Katy Duffield

Instagram: @katysduff

To purchase Katy's books on Amazon, or to leave a review, click here.

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CJ Penko
CJ Penko
Oct 26, 2022

I remember the first time I saw the cover for CROSSINGS. I was hit by how brilliant of an idea that was. It's so neat to hear about the author behind it. And I'm super excited to read ALIENS GET SNIFFLES TOO. What a first line.


Lauri Meyers
Lauri Meyers
Oct 14, 2022

I love the concept of Crossings. There is so much opportunity to build our world more in tune with nature.


Thanks so much for sharing with us! I laughed out loud reading the spread with "ahhh, 321, blastoff, choo!" Aliens certainly do get sick like the rest of us :)


Jessica Milo
Jessica Milo
Oct 12, 2022

I love the fun idea of a little alien with a cold!! And his dog, Mars Rover, is adorable! I can't wait to read this and House Finds a Home sounds so sweet!


Oct 11, 2022

You can't go wrong with aliens as a hook. What a creative way for kids to relate to this fun character. I love the idea of House being the character in House Finds a Home. What a unique perspective!

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