Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 10, 2017

Book Giveaway – Pug & Pig Trick or Treat by Sue Lowell Gallion

When I noticed Sue Lowell Gallion had a Halloween book coming out, I contacted her to see if she would like to be featured on Writing and Illustrating and participate with a book giveaway for PUG & PIG TRICK OR TREAT. Now you might be thinking Halloween is in October, but I realized last year, featuring a Halloween book in October was too late, so this year some lucky winner will be able to enjoy this book with plenty of time before Halloween and after.

Joyce Wan created a wonderful READ Poster (See bottom) and Sue will add that to the book giveaway and she will send the READ poster to two additional winners.

If you would like to win a copy, please leave a comment, reblog, tweet, or talk about PUG & PIG TRICK OR TREAT on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.


Pug and Pig are back for a heartwarming Halloween adventure in this adorable picture book that’s perfect for pet lovers of all ages.

Halloween night has come to Pug and Pig’s house, and the darling duo is sporting matching costumes. The costumes are cozy. They glow in the dark. And they have masks! There’s only one problem—Pug hates wearing his. So he decides to rip it up and stay home. But Halloween just isn’t any fun for Pig without Pug! Can Pug find a way to be a good friend and get back into the Halloween spirit?


In October 2013, a few weeks after Beach Lane Books bought PUG MEETS PIG, my next-door neighbor came over with her dog, Barkley, dressed in a new Halloween costume.  This was far from Barkley’s first fashion show — Barkley’s family loves to dress Barkley up, and Barkley, a tiny, tireless terrier mix, bounces about in any outfit, whether it’s a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader dress or flowered pajamas. However, my family’s dog, Tucker, a black lab mix, feels differently. Tucker’s response to wearing costume or any kind of clothing is to freeze. He looks like a miserable statue until he’s released from costume confinement. Even then, it takes him a while to recover.

So Barkley zoomed about the yard in her glow-in-the-dark skin-tight skeleton costume, and Tucker looked at her as though she was an embarrassment to all of dog-dom. As we laughed, I thought how Pug and Pig would react to the scenario, and over the next few days, I wrote and polished this story. I shared it with my critique partners and with my agent at the time, Karen Grencik. Karen thought the manuscript was funny, but that a Halloween theme could limit the market. And I knew it was unlikely Beach Lane would buy a second book when they had just acquired the first. So I filed the manuscript away. After all, I was absolutely thrilled about the sale to Beach Lane Books (my debut picture book, which was a result of a manuscript critique with Allyn Johnston at the 2013 SCBWI LA conference!) and that Joyce Wan had agreed to be the illustrator.

A year later, Andrea Welch, our editor, shared a sketch dummy for PUG MEETS PIG with me. The visual story, with Joyce’s roly-poly characters and the way she showed Pug and Pig’s emotions with her amazing line work, made me think about the Halloween manuscript again. When I took another look at the text, I liked how the story further developed the two main characters. I tweaked it a bit more, and asked Karen Grencik to send it on to Andrea with the full understanding that the timing could be entirely wrong, a Halloween book too narrow, etc. Karen sent the text to Andrea that day, which was a Monday. On Wednesday, Andrea replied. “Oh my gosh, Karen – we LOVE THIS! What a great follow-up!” When Joyce agreed to come on board again, Pug and Pig had a second adventure on the way. Wouldn’t it be nice if our business always worked this way??

Just before PUG MEETS PIG launched last September, Andrea sent me a sketch dummy for PUG & PIG TRICK OR TREAT. I was charmed by Pug and Pig’s night world. The “Joyce Wan-ized” sunflower scarecrow and Pug and Pig jack-o-lanterns are adorable.  I don’t think Halloween has ever been so cute.

Doesn’t Pug look absolutely pitiful squished and squashed into his skeleton costume? Tucker would agree.

Pug takes care of his dilemma by destroying his costume, which then creates a new problem for Pig. Pug’s solution to Pig’s problem is in the muddy corner of the back yard. By creating his own costume (as Pig’s muddy shadow), Pug makes sure his pal isn’t left to celebrate the holiday on her own.

Don’t you love this spread with its tribute to children’s literature greats?

 The twist in the last spread of the sketch dummy, with Pig leaping into the mud, was a complete surprise to me. The original text ended with Pig and her shadow at the Halloween party and a “reveal” that Pig’s shadow was actually Pug (which our child readers/listeners would have figured out all along.) Instead, here was Pig diving into the mud, then snuggling happily with Pug in their dog/pighouse (seasonally decorated, of course.)

At first, I questioned what would have motivated Pig to get her beloved costume dirty. But the answer was pretty clear – she’s a pig, after all! Now I can’t imagine the book without that final completed circle of muddy friendship.

To me, this is a great example of how a picture book is made. So many different creative minds, hands, and hearts shape and improve a picture book as it goes through the illustration and editing process. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be a part of the Pug and Pig team with Joyce Wan, Andrea Welch, Allyn Johnston, and Lauren Rille of Beach Lane Books plus so many others within Simon & Schuster.

Happy (early) Halloween!


Click here to read a nice interview with Sue:

Sue Lowell Gallion lives in Leawood, Kansas. She has two grown-up kids, one grandson, and a black lab mix named Tucker who likes to hold hands/paws. Her favorite day of the week is Tuesday, when she reads with first and second graders. She’s worked in the field of public relations and holds degrees from Southern Methodist University. Visit Sue at, follow @SueLGallion on Twitter, and check out her picture book recommendations at Goodreads.

Thank you Sue for sharing your book and journey with us and offering one lucky winner a book and poster, plus two more poster winners. Nice to show off a fellow former SCBWI Regional Advisor. Good luck!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. What adorable characters! Thanks for sharing your journey. This would be a delightful book to have!


  2. The book business has a lot to do with timing, and it sounds like your connection with your editor was the perfect trigger. Your doggie deserves a belly rub for inspiring this one!


    • He would tell you he deserves a treat, Wendy. And I so agree, it’s all about timing, and we as authors and illustrators don’t have any control over that. It’s wonderful when it all clicks!


  3. I love hearing what inspires a story. I can’t wait to read Pug & Pig Trick or Treat!


    • Thanks, Marilyn! You’ve known Pug and Pig for a long time (she’s a fellow SCBWI member of mine in Kansas City and was in a critique group that saw and HELPED Pug Meets Pig long ago!)


  4. A delightful post! Thank you!


  5. This book looks like a real hoot–I’ll be sure to tell all my friends who share their homes with Pugs (and other dog breeds) plus potbelly pigs!


    • There are a lot of pug lovers out there, and it’s been fun to connect with them through the books! Thank you!


  6. I’m excited to read Pug & Pig Trick or Treat:) My boys love Halloween books and this one looks awesome. Congrats Sue!!! Hooray for Kansas authors:)


    • Thanks so much, Sheri! I’m putting together a list of favorite Halloween books now, I’ll share it on my website. See you at the conference I hope!


  7. Awwww! That’s so adorable! 🙂 I can’t wait to hand sell this book at the bookstore where I work. And as always, I love to hear the story of how this story came to life. This is so helpful.


    • Thanks, Susan, and I so appreciate bookstore love! You make such a difference and thank you!


  8. Pug & Pig are so adorable — and who doesn’t love Halloween?! Looks great to me!


  9. I only found Pug and Pig recently and loved them! I’m so happy to see a Halloween follow-up.


  10. LOVE PIg and Pug! What fun friends!


  11. Interesting to note that the stories behind the book are delightful by themselves.


    • They are. Everybody loves reading them, especially for the inspiration.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love Pug and Pig!


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