Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 2, 2021

Book Giveaway: A CAPE by Marty Kelley

Marty Kelley has written and illustrated a new picture book, A CAPE published by Sleeping Bear Press. It is available in bookstores now. SBP has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

All you have to do to get in the running is 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 other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Marty.

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!


When a boy finds a cape (!!!) he knows it must mean he has a superpower, everyone with a cape has one. But dad is far too distracted to play, until the boy discovers he does have a superpower–a super powerful imagination!–far too powerful for dad to resist. This is a silly celebration of childhood, imagination, and the power of play.


A Cape! was born of a single red towel in our linen closet. As I was getting a towel one morning, I realized that we had a single bright red towel and it would make a fantastic cape.

I visit a lot of schools each year and I like to share works-in-progress with students and teachers to see how they react. They really seemed to enjoy this one so I sent it to my agent, Abi Samoun, at Red Fox Literary. She liked the story and sent it out to publishers, but was unable to find a home for it.

Unwilling to give up on the book, I started a Kickstarter campaign to cover the costs of self-publishing the book, something I had never really considered doing with any previous books. It was an incredible amount of work to run the Kickstarter, but it was successful! After that, the real work began. I spent a very long time getting the book ready to go to press and working with a printer to create exactly the book I wanted. It was the first time I had total creative control of a book. It was a tremendous freedom, but it came with a lot of responsibility to get things right.

I made the decision to only make the book available at schools that I visited instead of making it available online at any of the typical places where you can buy a self-published book. I assumed it would take me about 10 years to sell my entire first printing, but I was thinking long term.

The first printing sold out in less than 2 years, which was very exciting. Rather than do a second printing by myself, my agent agreed to reach out to Sleeping Bear Press to see if they might be interested in buying the rights to the book. They were!

I’ve enjoyed working with the people at Sleeping Bear over the years and, thanks to the wonderful editor and art director I worked with, a slightly modified version of A Cape! is now available. It still has all the elements that I loved about the first book, but the slight changes and tweaks to the art and text make it an even more enjoyable book.

I most likely won’t self-publish any more books, but it was a wonderful experience and I’m delighted with where the journey has taken me.


Marty Kelley: Author, Illustrator, Recovering Second Grade Teacher.

I’m currently a children’s author and illustrator but have, in the past, been a second grade teacher, a baker, a cartoonist, a newspaper art director, a drummer in a heavy metal band, a balloon delivery guy, an animator, and lots of other things.  I’ll probably continue writing and illustrating children’s books for many years to come because there are few other jobs where being able to paint a perfect booger-bubble is an actual job requirement.

My career as an artist started when I began drawing historically accurate pictures of spaceships dropping bombs on dinosaurs. When I started going to school, I found even more artistic fulfillment in creating advanced character studies of my teacher, Mean Mrs. Keane. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I had a regular comic strip published in our local town paper. After high school, I attended The School of the Museum of Fine Arts to become an animator.
Shortly after art school, I had a career crisis and moved to Florida where I went back to school and got my degree in elementary education. I taught second grade for several years before making the difficult decision to pursue writing and illustrating full-time.

I’ve written and illustrated many published children’s books, including: Fall Is Not Easy; The Rules; Winter Woes; Summer Stinks; Spring Goes Squish; The Messiest Desk; Twelve Terrible Things; A Cape!; and Fame, Fortune, and the Bran Muffins of Doom.

In my spare time, I visit lots and lots of schools to show students how I create my books. I’m a juried member of the NH State Council for the Arts Visiting Artist Roster.

Thank you Marty for sharing your book and journey with us. I loved reading about your journey with the book and always love your illustrations. This is a very cute book. Everyone will relate to a frisky child and a parent being distracted with what they are doing. I am sure kids will relate to the little boy and the fun he has imagaining how the cape will give him super powers. Very clever and heart warming. Good luck with the book!

Marty was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Click here to see more of his work.



Talk tomorrow,



  1. Congrats, Marty! Looks like a fun book (I’m signed up for the emails, too.)


  2. Wow, Marty, what a great story-behind-the-story! Congratulations on getting this terrific book into the world. I can’t wait to read it! (I’m subscribed to emails also.)


  3. Glad you persisted, Marty! This story and illustrations are wonderful. Congratulations!


  4. That’s clearly a personality-filled protagonist! (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)


  5. This book is adorable! Everyone needs a cape! Congratulations!

    I follow by email and I will tweet this post, Kathy.


  6. I adore books about imagination and I love your illustrations. Can’t wait to read this book! And I love getting Kathy’s blog emails.Thanks!


  7. Totally cool, fun, and super imaginative!


  8. OMG, this sounds like a perfect book! I loved hearing about Marty’s “historically accurate pictures of spaceships dropping bombs on dinosaurs.” Hahahaha! I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am subscribed by email to your blog and I tweeted about the giveaway.


  9. Sounds darling!


  10. What a humorous story with awesome illustrations! Reminds me of two grandsons. Glad you got the book into Sleeping Bear’s hands, because it is such a relatable book and kids will just love it!


  11. This is a fun and clever idea! I enjoy reading humorous picture books. The illustrations are adorable and add so much to the story. I’m an email subscriber and shared this post:


  12. What a great story. Congratulations! (Shared on Twitter and I receive blog emails.)


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