Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 24, 2019

Book Giveaway: If You’re Scary and You Know It! by Carole Gerber

Carole Gerber has written a new picture book titled, If You’re Scary and You Know It!, illustrated by Noel Ill, who was featured on Illustrator Saturday in April. It hit book shelves in August, but this giveaway will be just in time for Halloween.

Carole has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Carole abd Noel!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Using the familiar song, If You’re Happy and You Know It, and thinking back to my childhood Halloween costumes, I wrote in what I hope is whimsical verse about eight costumed children pretending they are the characters they are portraying as they wait for trick-or-treating to begin. Noël Ill’s engaging and colorful illustrations feature a diverse cast of children who pair perfectly with my verses.


I have always loved Halloween! I grew up in a small town in Southern Ohio back in the era when children went trick-or-treating unaccompanied by parents. Part of the fun for my sister and me was making our own costumes, with a lot of help from our mother. Then we’d meet up with a half dozen or so friends, all carrying empty pillow cases for collecting our treats.

In the early stages of deciding what to write about, I came across a couple of picture books that were take-offs on the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” One that impressed me was Kim Arnold’s If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws. I’d had a picture book published by Doubleday titled, 10 Busy Brooms about a little witch who flew around rescuing others from danger, and I wanted to again write about Halloween. This time, I focused on the anticipation and excitement children feel as they put on their costumes and imagine they really are pirates, witches, scarecrows, and other traditional Halloween characters. Setting it to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” seemed a perfect fit with what I wanted to say. After they learn the words, I hope kids will want to sing as they act out the costumed characters in If You’re Scary and You Know It.

I was unagented when I submitted the manuscript to Familius, a new publisher I had read about online. The art director at that time, David Miles, got back to me within days saying he wanted it. But (and there’s always a “but”), he wanted me to delete some of the characters so he could produce it as a shorter board book rather than as a 32-page picture book. I agreed that this was an excellent idea. He then sent me illustrations by three artists he had in mind and I chose Noël Ill because her work is so colorful and playful. It is a perfect match for my words! From sketches to final illustrations, I worked with the art director every step of the way. David, who is also a talented author/illustrator, left to pursue his own career before the illustrations were complete. His replacement, Derek George, was also great to work and passed along every illustration for my approval. I never communicated directly with Noël, as that is a big “no-no” in publishing. However, when the book was sent out for printing, I emailed to say I was thrilled with her work!


I began writing in John D. Engle’s high school creative writing class decades ago. I was one of many students to whom he taught the fundamentals of writing and then revising, revising, and revising some more. His criticism of students’ writing was never harsh, but he was matter-of-fact and demanded our best work. I and others got our work published in student publications, some of which actually paid us. He also chose some of our poems, short stories, and essays to be published (for free!) in the local weekly newspaper. As far as I know, I am his only student at Princeton High School to have gone on to become a professional writer.

But first I graduated with a degree in English education from Ohio State. I taught high school and middle school students for a couple of years. I am not an extrovert and it wore me out, so I returned to OSU and earned a master’s degree in journalism. I then worked full-time on the creative staff of an advertising agency, as a company’s magazine editor, and then as a marketing director. After those in-house jobs, I began freelancing for businesses, and gradually moved into writing elementary reading and science books for educational publishers. This long and winding path led me to write dozens of elementary reading and science books, 18 published picture books, and a few chapter books. My previous picture book, A Band of Babies, was named a 2017 Best Book for Babies by Amazon editors

John Engle and I maintained a friendship for years, until his death in 2006. I dedicated one of my early picture books to him and was overjoyed that my dear teacher received and read it before leaving this earth.

Carole’s Christmas picture book, The Gifts of the Animals, also published by Familius, will be out later this year. 

Learn more about Carole’s writing at

Carole, this looks like such a fun book. It should be a big hit with kids, since they love Halloween. Good luck!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This looks like a great book, and I’m sure that my youngest grandson would love it! I receive and read your blog posts on a regular basis, Kathy:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • This sounds like a delight that kids will enjoy reading and acting out. Congratulations Carole.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This looks like such a fun book Carole. I’m definitely going to get it for my pre-school students. Thanks for sharing Kathy. I subscribe to your blog and will tweet and reblog your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Writer-Reader-Teacher and commented:
    Check out this fun book for Halloween!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my! So cute!! Can’t wait to read it. Congrats!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love fun and sweet books like this. I think it will be a winner with young children. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fun book! Congratulations, Carole. And thank you for sharing about your high school writing teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a terrific idea! I look forward to seeing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have some nieces and nephews who would love to act out the rhymes in this book!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like a great active book for the little ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks to everyone who commented! You can find it at bookstores, on Amazon, and at Walmart, which ordered 10,000 of these board books for stores nationwide. Yay! Thanks, Walmart!


  11. If you’re awesome and you know it clap your hands!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Looks like an adorable book. Thanks for the chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a fun Halloween book to share with the children.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh, what fun! Thank you for sharing this delightful book kids are sure to love!

    Liked by 1 person

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