Because I’m such a humble guy, I do not review my own book here.

(Ed: WARNING: This is another self-serving/indulgent post.)


I found this on my porch late yesterday afternoon…What could it be?


Oh yeah, author’s copies of my new book… I’d COMPLETELY forgotten all about this. Totally skipped my mind. Hadn’t thought about it since I turned the final art edits in last Thanksgiving morning. I guess it’s coming out pretty soon (September 5th—Mark your calendars, peeps!) and I guess I arranged for a launch party (7:00 pm, Sept 8 at Brick and Mortar—an awesome new indie bookstore in Redmond! Be there or be infested with ghost imps!) so I thought I’d write a post about it here.


I Love You More than the Smell of Swamp Gas (HarperCollins) was inspired by an image I created a few years ago during my October Monster Month.


I was trying out a new style, without the black line and fill most of my illustrations seem to incorporate. Which is something (trying out a new style) I will not do for a book again without plenty of rehearsal with that style. I spent a lot of time redoing art for Swamp Gas—not at the behest of my editor (hi Jill) or my art director (hi Erica) but at the whiny and bossy critic in my head.

You can see some of my process here of the characters and the toe-biting stones:

This is from my thumbnails

First sketch with the toe-biting stones.

Added a skeleton…

…but decided to use it elsewhere in the book and went for the simpler surprise here.

And in the end it seemed to be the right choice.


I don’t want to presume to “review” my own book, I mean how objective would that be? No matter how funny or charming or silly or icky it is, I can’t really say that myself. Even if it is true. Which it very well may be. I only mention it because, well…I’ve been told there is a bit of each of those in the book. I won’t bring up other words used to describe it like “genius, brilliant, hilarious,” or “swampilicious” because that might be construed as bragging. Besides, I can’t remember who said any of that. I might have dreamt it….

Anyway, I Love You More than the Smell of Swamp Gas tells of a parent and child monster working their way through the swamp at night in pursuit of a skink. Along the way, the child questions the depth of the parent’s love. And the parent reassures the child that its love is greater than the love for things they encounter along the way. Including toe-biting stones, blood-sucking ducks, and two-headed bears.

I think Kirkus summed it up best when they called, “Perfect for those parents who are sick of the treacly “how much do I love you” books and who want something with a little more ick.”

Because I feel SO awkward talking about my new book (I just don’t want to be that guy—I am very humble at the core) and despite how good it is—which I’ve been told it is, I’d like to give away two copies of it. Let a couple of you see for yourselves what an amazingly fun read it is (someone called it that, I’m pretty sure, but can’t remember who.) Leave a comment below and I’ll enter all names in a drawing for them on the 15th of September. Plus I’ll throw in some pretty cool swag.

For locals, here’s the details on the September 8 book launch:




PS If I was a little more self-centered I’d mention that the illustrations are pretty good too. But I’m not, so you’ll have to take a look at the book and come to your own conclusions. Which would probably be something like, “Hey! These are really swell pictures!” Probably.


  1. Go, Kevan!! Congrats! It looks great! And I love your blue wall too 🙂

  2. Kathleen Mazurowski

    I can’t wait to read this monsterly book! Thanks for sharing the journey.

  3. Sounds hilarious, Kevan! I would love to win it for my adorable 10-month-old grandbaby Joanna, whose parents and grandparents definitely love her more than the smell of swamp gas. (Though her diapers are often noxious!) I do hope you’ll forgive me for saying that she is cuter than your little monster. Congrats!

  4. It looks really fun, Devan! Congrats!

  5. Stephanie Harrison


  6. Looks fab Kevan! I have grandkids who would love this, but I’m in the UK. Best of luck with the launch ☺

  7. I’d love a copy & promise to write an unstinky review.

  8. Kevan, No one is more qualified than Jack, my 7 year old grandson! That would be 3 reviews (me, mom & Jack) for one well anticipated book. You know boys love the icky!

  9. I love your monsters, Kevan!! <3 I'm so happy to see them in print!! A hearty congratulations to you!!!

  10. Congratulations, Kevan!
    It looks so cute and funny – I’m sure it will be a “monster” success! 🙂

  11. I would love a chance to win a copy for my great nephew James. He loves your “Bunnies”. Congrats on another publication!

  12. you are one humble dude…I want this book!!!

  13. Blood sucking ducks? Did you overhear conversations in the ’80’s among me & my buddies regarding Vampire Mallards, which we were totally convinced were a thing?
    Seriously, this looks like great fun & perhaps a grand conversation starter with the 5 year old nephew, if I decide to share it with him.
    I love the art I’m seeing! I really should see Brick & Mortar, so I may see you there.

  14. I can’t wait for this new one, Kevan! Love, love, love the icky, stinkyness of it all.

  15. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! Ewwww!!!

  16. Do I qualify?! Congratulations! ❤️

  17. Vampire Mallards? I did not overhear your conversations in the 80s. But then again, it was the 80s—who remembers!
    Thanks, Kiki! Hope to see you there!

  18. Well done, Kevan! I have three grandsons who would love a book about swamp gas. Is there skunk cabbage in it, too? What about dog farts?

  19. Congradulations Kevin

  20. You had me at “toe biting stones.”

  21. So now I have 2 grandsons with one who is 4 and in pre kindergarten. He is all boy and I bet besides us all reading this to him at home, the kids in his class would love to hear it too!
    Can you put my name in the mix!!??
    Would love it!

  22. I have two grandson that would love this story from the sound of things. Toe biting stones, how much better could things get?! thank you.

  23. Anything with Kevan monsters is bound to be excellent. I’d like to get some toe biting stones too. And, I have some neighbors that I would love to read this to!

  24. I can’t wait to see AND smell it! Congrats to you Kevan!!

  25. We have a rule about not discussing bodily functions at the dinner table (modified to “while anyone is still eating.”). It happens most nights. At least this could be a fun way to break the rule.

  26. Rebecca Van Slyke

    I smell another hit! And it smells like swamp gas!
    My second grade monsters will love this.
    So will their teacher.
    Oh. Wait. Now that Morgan has her own class of second graders, I’ll be buying two copies. Get your signing pen warmed up!

  27. Swamp gas? Toe-biting stones? A little more ick? Talented (yet modest) author-illustrators? I’m in!

  28. I love it already, and I only familiar with it from this post. I’ll be looking out for it. Too bad you are so shy about sharing the details.

  29. Julie McCullough

    Looks amazing!! I would love to read it to my great niece ( yes, I’m using her as an excuse, cause I really want to read it myself )

  30. I look forward to reading it! And would LOVE a copy…does it come with a Pink Drink?


  31. Yay! looks wonderful! But then you already know that! 😉

  32. Ah, sweet dreams of goo and ghosts! Congrats and looking forward to this one!

  33. Guess this is why I love ❤️ you so much!! P.S…… you can give my copy to one of your wonderful wanna be critics!! They will be nicer than me…. ❤️❤️?❤️❤️(Your Mom)

  34. I’m a fan. Loved Bunnies!

  35. Somewhat new to the fold but looking forward to seeing your latest. If I’m lucky, I’ll win a copy for my personal collection and purchase another to share with my grands. Can’t say not winning will be unlucky as it will warrant a trip to the book store either way and that’s always a win. Enjoyed your early rollout here. Singularly Kevan I’m sure.

  36. I love you more than the scent of roses. Congratulations on your new book!

  37. Congratulations! If I win, this book will be added to our school library collection. ????

  38. Hi Kevan!

    You became my littles favourite author with “Puddles!!!” (She simply cannot put the book down), and it wasn’t later until we realized that you illustrated “Tickle Monster”, which is her other favourite! We’re excited to read the rest of your book and look forward to picking up a copy of this one as soon as it’s available in Canada!

  39. So excited! My niece loves your books! Can’t wait to read this one with her!

  40. This looks wonderful! One way or another I’ll be reading this to my girls. The older one loved Bunnies! The baby will love this just as much. Congratulations!

  41. Love the concept. Can’t wait to read it.

  42. Put me in that drawing!!!’ I know this book will be delightful just like all of the others!

  43. Me! Me! Pick me! I practically live in a swamp!!!
    Congratulations Kevin!!! It looks like another winner!!! And would be a hit in the swamps of SC. Can’t wait to get my copy.

  44. Yeah! Congratulations!!! I look forward to adding your newest masterpiece to my collection.

    P.s. Happy Pink Drink Night #TeriAtteberry

  45. It looks hilarious! Love it. Thank you so much for sharing your process. And if you can’t share your book with other picture book lovers, who can you share it with?

  46. Susan Karunama Twiggs

    With the day I’ve had I need toe biting monsters. I need to win!

  47. Kevan – Congratulations on what looks to be another winner. My shelf is getting swamped with your books (not really, there is room for plenty more, and I can always add more shelves).

  48. To be loved more than Swamp Gas – now that would be scent-sational! Congratulations on your upcoming book launch.

  49. How stinkin’ cute is this book?? I want to sell it at my shop…let’s work out something with my local library and my gallery and get this baby some publicity in South Puget Sound this October! Which is going to be “Artober” at my shop….Woohoo!

  50. Your illustrations are really creative and fun, and as someone who does a teeny bit of painting/drawing in their spare time, it’s really cool to see your drawings step by step. My niece loves your books, and I’m sure this one will be a hit with her too 🙂

  51. Haha..your book looks & sounds fun and if I win I’ll make sure all my book club reads it before passing on to my little grandswampmonsters.. lots of reviews and recommendations for you there.

  52. Looks like lots of monsterly fun! I have to read this just to find out if they catch the skink!! Congrats, Kevan!

  53. Kevan, love seeing your sketches. Thank you, and cya at the bookstore!

  54. Congrats! It looks like a lot of fun!

  55. Jessica DiStefano

    Oh! We can’t wait for the new book! Henry and Gianna are HUGE fans! Congratulations!

  56. It looks fabulous, can’t wait to read it!!

  57. Hey, this book looks swell! My son would love this! Looking forward to it.

  58. Oh, man, Kevan! I love everything about this darling book – and this fascinating post! 🙂

  59. Kevan,
    I can’t think of a more icky book to have on my book shelf. And what a monstrously humble post—we’re so happy you aren’t letting this it get in the way of sharing what looks like a very stinky-sweet book. Oh, and thanks for sharing some initial sketches, too!


  60. Love that a new style of art pushed you into a new book! Congrats. Looking forward to this one.

  61. You is cool. You books is cool 2.

  62. Gotta love that title! Coupled with those illustrations, it looks like a fun, fun read. Will be looking for it.

  63. I’ll give a plug to my fourth grade class. I can make launch party homework! Brooooooohahaha…….

  64. Congratulations Kevan!!
    My grandbabies would love this book! Owen loves monsters. He is 4 and Aria is 2. I always love your monsters, and mine too!

  65. I love this book more than the smell of dog feet.

  66. What a fun book! Can’t wait to see it— Congratulations to both the talented author and amazing illustrator!

  67. Well done, humble Kevan. I Love You More Than Swamp Gas is definitely on my Anticipation list as I love books with ickle and eekle as opposed to treacle.

  68. Looks like an incredible book for such a humble author.

  69. This looks like a great read- thanks for telling us about it!

  70. Scary and adorable! Congratulations, Kevan!!

  71. Stacy Digianantonio

    Finally! An “I Love You” book without all the froo-froo. I can’t wait to read it!

  72. This looks so fun, Kevin! Congratulations! I’m planning to get myself a copy if I’m not knocked out by swamp gas or tripped up by biting stones. Love the comment from Kirkus – one of my kids was all about the “ick”.

  73. Debra K Shumaker

    My boys would have LOVED this book when they were little. In fact, they’ll probably still love it!

  74. No one is ever too old to read about toe-biting stones. Thanks for sharing!

  75. I love that this came out of Monster November. So looking forward to the launch! xoxoxoxo

  76. Monsters! Love! Can’t wait!

  77. Your NEW signed book by none other than the illustrator and author KEVAN?!! Be still my beating heart. I’m happy for the little readers of the world … and you!

  78. Congrats, Kevan. Sounds like so much fun and I LOVE the cover way more than the smell of swamp gas! I bet I’ll LOVE all the pages way more than swamp gas or toe-biting stones!

  79. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your process and your gloriously gushing gaseous post! My grandchildren will definitely love this book!

  80. Kevin, You had me with the blue wall!! The book would be frosting on the cake.

  81. Ooh. This is icky in the best possible way!

    Congratulations, Kevan. 🙂

  82. Me, me, me. I want to win one!! Love your work, love swamps, and monsters (the nice ones) As usual kevan I hope I did this correctly-

  83. So very happy for you my friend! Oh and PICK ME!!!!!! ❤️?

  84. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Sharing your Redmond launch reading with every preschool I know in the area!

  85. Very funny post and looks like a pretty good book too! Congratulations!

  86. Congratulations, Kevan!! This couldn’t have happened to a more monstrously modest guy! I’m looking forward to getting a copy for my beastly (not so) little boy.

  87. From sappy to swampy! Love the spin on the “do you love me?” theme 🙂

  88. Thanks, Laura! Swampy > Sappy.

  89. My 3-year-old book-loving granddaughter will LOVE this book. This is the toddler who can name all the internal organs in the human body AND their functions. I’m guessing that swamp gas and monsters would be right up her alley!! And a copy of this book would fit nicely on my shelf with my other Kevan Atteberry books. ❤️?

  90. Love the way your mind works. Can’t wait to see the book in its entirety. Hope I can win one since I can’t be there for the launch. ?? you my friend.

  91. “Hey! These are really swell pictures!” I love the description of your process and experimentation with the illustrations. Spot on, you nailed them.

    Biting stones, swamp smells. This would also be a good scratch and sniff book when it goes into the next printing.

  92. Ha! I was out of town and almost missed this post. So glad I didn’t. Congrats on your brilliant, charming, clever and funny new book. Regardless of the source of those claims, it definitely looks like a winner. 🙂

  93. I remember how very much my niece’s kids loved Bunnies when I bought the hot-off-the press copies. I would so like to sit with them to read Swamp Gas to them. Please, please put me in the drawing to win a copy. I am so very excited about your success in children’s books. You have worked so hard to achieve this…as I said at lunch a couple of weeks ago – sooo much better than working at Microsoft doing training art. We did innovate with very forward thinking programs though. ?

  94. Congrat’s Kevin! Looks like you had fun with exploring the new style. I always enjoy seeing the sketches behind the finished product.

  95. What fun! What monster wouldn’t like a copy for their little monsters.
    Thanks for sharing.

  96. Oh my gosh, Kevan, your creativity is amazing. I can’t wait to read this one!

  97. This looks absolutely wonderful! Creepy and wonderful! Thank you for sharing the creative process with us. I love to see how you edited the images..

  98. I’m a bit “treacly” myself sometimes, but this looks like a super-fun book!

  99. Just checking to see if the winner has been announced!

    • The winners for the two copies of the book are Debbie Tageson and my mom, but I disqualified my mom and the second winner is Rebecca Boyer!! I’ll be in touch to get maikling and personalization information. (Thanks for the reminder, Natalie!)

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