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Trick or Treat with Sleeping Bear & Torch Graphic Press!

Welcome, readers, writers, and haunted library lovers, too! We have a very special treat today. Carrlee Craig, Publicity Manager from Sleeping Bear and Torch Graphic Press, is here sharing an extra-large dose of seasonal stories with us. Whether you're looking for sweet fall-themed stories about pies or pumpkins, or whether you're in the mood for spooky stories about haunted libraries and schools, you're in luck - she's brought them all! Want to know more about Sleeping Bear & Torch Graphic Press, PLUS want a chance to win some spook-tacularly sweet treats? Read on...

Q: Hi, Carrlee! Welcome back to #SeasonsOfKidLit. We are thrilled you could join and celebrate another fun holiday with us. Readers, if you missed Carrlee’s interview last December during our Spread Joy event, click here.

Sleeping Bear Press and Torch Graphic Press has a list of books filled with both fright and fun - perfect for fall and spooky season.

What are some of Sleeping Bear’s less-spooky books you’d recommend to celebrate fall?

A: Thank you so much for having me back! Sleeping Bear Press has so many picture books that are perfect to cuddle up with to get in a cozy, autumn mood. Some of my favorites that we actually just released this fall would have to be A Family Like Ours, Fix & Stitch, and The Pie that Molly Grew!

While A Family Like Ours is not exclusively a fall book by any means, the cover, gorgeously illustrated by Kayla Harren, gives off the perfect fall aesthetic with the powerful message from Frank Murphy and Alice Lee that is important year round: “Everyone's family is unique--and good!” You will definitely want to bring this one to your family’s Thanksgiving!

Fix & Stitch is a MUST HAVE if you are a fan of classic children’s book illustrations. Liza Woodruff’s beautiful art shines throughout this precious and important book, written by Barbara Nass. Following a Squirrel that owns a tailoring shop who just cannot say no to any of his friend’s requests as winter approaches, this story offers a gentle reminder that while taking care of others is important, one still needs to make time for oneself.

Finally, you will not want to miss the adorable The Pie that Molly Grew! Written and illustrated by two pumpkin pie lovers, Sue Heavenrich shows both a scientific and delicious look at a pumpkin’s stage of growth, from the seed to the sprout to the leaves to the final fruit on the vine, and Chamisa Kellogg’s sweet illustrations pair beautifully with this fall-time story. Best of all, there’s a pumpkin pie recipe waiting for you at the end!

Another few fall-time favorites from Sleeping Bear Press are J is for Jack o Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet and Little Halloween. They continue to be a highlight year after year for Halloween!

Q: Those all sound like excellent autumn reads. For readers who want to curl up with a spooky read before bed, what Sleeping Bear books would you recommend?

A: While we love sweet children’s books, who doesn’t also love a good scare during Spooky Season? Some of the team’s favorites are Street Monsters, Schnitzel: A Cautionary Tale for Lazy Louts, Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters, and The Lady of the Library!

Just in time for Halloween, this year we published Street Monsters by Barbara Joosse and Kevin Barry! On a snowy winter's night in the city, a child simply cannot fall asleep—they hear monsters outside! But don’t worry, the monsters are not monsters at all. They are actually vehicles and equipment like snow plows and garbage trucks that help keep a city running smoothly! These illustrations are spooky and funny enough to have your kids giggling when you finally assuage their nighttime fears.

Schnitzel: A Cautionary Tale for Lazy Louts is about a young apprentice who is not known for his hard work and lacks motivation. But in this retelling of the classic tale “The Sorcerer's Apprentice”, Schnitzel is about to find out why it's never a good idea to invite a cape-wearing, fang-toothed stranger in after dark.

I couldn’t decide if Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters would best fall under spooky or sweet books, but the “Mary, Mary, Tall and Scary” poem convinced me it is spooky! This collection of classic nursery rhymes turned on their heads will give readers the chills—and a serious case of belly laughs. With clever rhyme and spooky illustrations, Mother Ghost is perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit!

Another favorite, The Lady of the Library, is about a ghostly lady who haunts her local library. When the library is scheduled for demolition, a young girl decides the library needs to be saved. The ghost and girl work together to rescue the library and bring patrons and booklovers back making this a lovely, slightly spooky, celebration of public libraries and a timely reminder of the important role they play in their local communities.

Q: Street Monsters and Schnitzels? Count us in! We can't wait to check those out.

Readers, if you'd like a closer look at Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters, check out our interview with Rachel Kolar here.

Torch Graphic Press, an imprint of Cherry Lake Publishing, has such a unique and cool list for slightly older readers. Can you tell us more about Torch Graphic Press’s mission statement and what kind of books it publishes?

A: Absolutely! While these graphic novels are featured most-often in schools and libraries, they make perfect additions to any child’s bookshelf! Torch Graphic Press delivers entertaining stories and non-traditional tales in a graphic format that engages all readers and addresses the struggle with text that some readers experience. Distinctive storytelling, character-driven plots, and original graphics let students immerse themselves in adventures that are rooted in realism that make compelling reads for both academic and entertainment pursuits.

Q: The Nightmares of Nightmute is a six-book series and features books about haunted chicken nuggets, creepy librarians, and more! Can you share a little more about this series, and some other like-series on Torch Graphic Press’s list you’d recommend?

A: We all love the Nightmares of Nightmute series! New students Suni, Gale, and Shi-woo soon discover there's more than reading, writing, and arithmetic taking place on the Nightmute Academy campus. In this school's lockers, you're just as likely to find a ghost as you are a textbook!

This graphic novel series includes educational sidebars that explore the history and science (and pseudoscience) behind some of the world's spookiest encounters as well as hands-on activities for middle grade readers. Written by Jason M. Burns and illustrated by Dustin Evans, The Nightmares of Nightmute series is also now available as a complete collection all in one book!

Some other spooky favorites from Torch Graphic Press include The Secret Society of Monster Hunters, Alien Invasion: Sports Edition, and Declassified: The ET Files!

Q: Those books all sound terror-iffic! Thanks for sharing them with us. What is Sleeping Bear’s and Torch Graphic Press’s favorite thing about Halloween?

A: Besides getting to enjoy all of our favorite fall-time books, our company loves dressing up for Halloween. It is a favorite holiday for many of us!

Q: BONUS QUESTION: What sweet treat would pair best with the books on your list?

A: I think the best sweet treat that would pair with Sleeping Bear Press books would be gummy bears year-round or candy pumpkins in the fall!

For Torch Graphic Press, I imagine our spooky graphic novels are best being paired with caramel apple suckers!

Thanks again for joining us, Carrlee! It was a blast having you back for another season.

Readers, want to see #SeasonsOfKidLit's Peek-a-Boo Review for Sleeping Bear's books? Click here to check out our review for Stitch and Fix and here to check out our review for Street Monsters! You can also find our reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.

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

A: We’ll pick a treat! Sleeping Bear Press would love to do a book giveaway for two of our new titles, Fix & Stitch and Street Monsters. Happy Spooky Season and Halloween to everyone!

WOW! Thanks for such amazing treats!

Giveaway Details: To enter to win these boo-tiful books, leave a comment below and 1) thank Carrlee for stopping by and 2) let her know which social media channel(s) you follow Sleeping Bear and Torch Graphic Press on.

BONUS: For each social media channel you follow them on, you'll get an extra entry in the raffle. That's up to 10 total entries!

Facebook: Sleeping Bear Press Instagram: @sleepingbearpress Pinterest: @sleepingbearpress Threads: @sleepingbearpress TikTok: @sleepingbearpress Twitter: @SleepingBearBks

Facebook: Cherry Lake Publishing Instagram: @cherrylakepublishing Pinterest: @cherrylakepublishinggroup TikTok: @cherrylakepublishing

#SeasonsOfKidLit's Trick-or-Treat Winners will be chosen on or about November 5th.

*Books will be shipped in the US only*

Note: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of ten (10) Rate Your Story Speed Passes, perfect for quick MS feedback, provided by Agent Mentee Lynne Marie & Author Heather Macht.

About Sleeping Bear Press:

With the release of The Legend of Sleeping Bear (an Official Children’s Book of the State of Michigan) in April of 1998, Sleeping Bear Press was launched into the world of children’s books!

Deeply committed to its mission of providing books that engage, entertain, and educate, these award-winning books provide opportunities for children to explore the world in educational, library, and home settings.


About Torch Graphic Press:

Torch Graphic Press delivers entertaining stories and non-traditional tales in a graphic format that engages all readers and addresses the struggle with text that some readers experience. Distinctive storytelling, character-driven plots, and original graphics let students immerse themselves in adventures that are rooted in realism. The two inaugural series focus on STEM concepts and monsters and time travel – compelling reads for both academic and entertainment pursuits.

  • Helpful resources for struggling and reluctant readers

  • Great transitional titles from picture to chapter books

  • Relatable characters help readers imagine themselves as heroes in grand adventures

  • Popular format and engaging content are ideal for grade 4 reading level and grades 5-8 interest level

  • Challenging words are highlighted and defined; supplemental activities support further discovery.

To visit the Cherry Lake Publishing, Sleeping Bear, and Torch Graphic Press Bookstore, click here.

If you're interested in submitting a manuscript for consideration to Cherry Lake Publishing, Sleeping Bear, and Torch Graphic Press, see their submission guidelines here. Good luck!


A special thanks to David Rodriguez Lorenzo for the amazing custom-signatures!


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