A Treat for YOU: Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat (Giveaway!)


I have a spooktacular treat for all of you boys and ghouls.

Sue Lowell Gallion was kind enough to stop by Picture Book Builders and share her latest picture book, Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat, the adorable follow-up to the equally adorable Pug Meets Pig.

This, by the way, is what Kirkus had to say about the book in a starred review:

“Gallion’s tale works on many different levels: as a look at clever problem-solving and compromise, as a friendship story, and as a text suitable for early readers, with plenty of repetition, simple vocabulary, and short sentences. Wan’s pencil-and-digital illustrations support all of this with spare backgrounds, simple details, and a focus on the friends’ relationship. Delightful.”

And this is what Publishers Weekly had to say in another starred review:

“Wan’s art is almost impossibly cute, and the message about compromise is one for any time of year.”

Nice, huh?

Sue, congratulations on your latest picture book! Please tell us about Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat.

I wrote this manuscript just after my debut book, Pug Meets Pig, sold to Beach Lane Books. The plot truly popped into my head. It made sense to follow the format and voice of the first manuscript and I thought it further developed the characters in a very visual way. A year later, after I’d seen a first sketch dummy of Pug Meets Pig, I wanted the editor, Andrea Welch, to see the Halloween story. I had no expectation that it would sell, especially at that time, and they bought it right away. No one was more surprised than me!

What sparked the idea for this book?

My dog, Tucker, is a black lab mix with a great deal of personality. Most of the time that’s a good thing. He happens to hate costumes or clothing of any kind. Put something on him besides a collar, and he acts like he’s paralyzed. But the terrier mix next door loves wearing little dog outfits. She wears pajamas,cheerleader dresses, and definitely is into Halloween. Barkley’s costume that year was a skin-tight, glow-in-the-dark skeleton body suit. Tucker and I went outside to see her, and he obviously thought Barkley was an embarrassment to their entire species. There was my story!

Tell us about your path to publication and about the moment you received Your Very First Offer.

“The Moment” for me happened when I sat down for a manuscript critique at the SCBWI LA conference in 2013. Aren’t those critiques nerve-wracking? We writers are braver than we think! Anyway, Allyn Johnston of Beach Lane Books opened her folder, took out my manuscript, and said, “This is a book.” We talked through the text, brainstormed a bit,and she asked me to send her a revision.  I couldn’t believe it. The book sold about six weeks later.

I’d been seriously working on the craft of picture books for about seven years then – reading stacks of picture books, going to SCBWI events and other workshops, and meeting other writers. Being an author was a childhood dream of mine. I could picture myself on an “Authors” playing card right after to Louisa May Alcott.

Joyce Wan’s art feels like the perfect match for your text. The sweetness, the charm, those expressions! What was your reaction when you first met Pug and Pig courtesy of Joyce’s art?

That was another “The Moment!” I was absolutely thrilled when I saw an early sketch dummy. The characters appear simple but are so expressive, and the world Joyce created is the perfect backdrop. The visual story really lends itself to talking about feelings with kids, too.

If you had one key piece of advice for writers, what would it be?

Stick with it. But don’t stick with that one project. Don’t expect to sell that manuscript that is your first love. Don’t put all your focus into revising and reworking the same thing. You have more than one book in you. Working on different ideas from the very beginning will stretch you faster.

Thanks so much, Sue!



Sue Lowell Gallion lives in Leawood, Kansas. She has two grown-up kids, two book-loving grandsons under the age of two, and one black lab mix named Tucker who likes to hold hands.  Her favorite day of the week is Tuesday, when she reads with second graders. Visit Sue at suegallion.com, follow @SueLGallion on Twitter, and check out her picture book recommendations at Goodreads.

Psst! For even MORE information about Pug, Pig, Sue, and Joyce, please visit HERE. Our very own Jill Esbaum wrote a post about Pug Meets Pig.



Boy oh boy, do we have a TREAT for one lucky duck commenter. Sue is giving away a signed copy of her book and this READ poster. Winner will be revealed in my next post.

(the book)

(the poster)


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Tammi Sauer

Tammi Sauer, a former teacher and library media specialist, is a full-time children's book author who presents at schools and conferences across the country. She has more than 30 published picture books and has many others on the way. Her books have received awards, earned starred reviews, made lists, been made into musicals, and been translated into many different languages. Most importantly, kids really like her books! To learn more about Tammi and her books, please visit tammisauer.com and follow her on Twitter at @SauerTammi.


  1. Thanks for this!

  2. Kathy Mazurowski

    Love Pug and Pig! can’t wait to read their next adventure.

  3. Looks absolutely adorable and fun! I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Congrats!!

  4. danielle hammelef

    I loved reading Pug and Pig and the illustrations are adorable. I’m so happy to read that you are keeping these characters going on new adventures. Can’t wait to read more! And the Read poster would look awesome on my office door.

  5. Loved pug and pig, as did my kids. Can’t wait to read this one 🙂

  6. Thanks for the opportunity to share this delightful book with my delightfull 6 year old granddaughter!

  7. I love that the dog next door helped inspire this book! Ideas come when we least expect it.

  8. What adorable books! Congratulations, Sue, on your bravery paying off in a huge way. I can’t wait to read these!

  9. I loved hearing your “The Moment”. Pig & Pug remind me so much of my two pups Max & Ruby (yes, THAT Max & Ruby!). I can’t wait to see what the get into for Halloween!

  10. I love how your dog Tucker was the inspiration for the story, Sue. Joyce’s illustration style is perfect for PUG and PIG and utterly charming.

  11. This looks adorable! I love Joyce Wan’s work!

    • Me, too, Amanda. My grand babies love her board books, too. And she’s got a sequel to THE WHALE IN MY SWIMMING POOL coming out in 2018 — THE BEAR IN MY BED. It looks adorable.

  12. We just checked out Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat at the Topeka Public Library. Love it! I cannot wait to read your next book:)

  13. Pig and Pug are such fun, relatable characters! I can’t wait to share their Halloween adventures with my 2 y/o granddaughter!

  14. Great advice, Sue! And thanks for sharing your journey.

  15. Can’t wait to read it! I love your story on how it came together. Lately I’ve had several stories that have spontaneously appeared…maybe…..

  16. I’m looking forward to this one too.

  17. Fun to read the story behind the story. I like her quote: You have more than 1 book in you! Thanks, Tammi!

  18. This looks like an adorable follow-up to the first book! And Sue’s story is very encouraging to aspiring writers.

  19. Too fun! Great characters.

  20. These books are the cutest! Hope for lots more!

  21. Oh how I want to hang this poster on my door on Halloween! Thanks, Tammi and Sue!

  22. So cute…thanks for sharing!

  23. Sue, you are going to be the next example of perseverance to my classes! We were just talking about how the difference between a person with talent becoming “successful” or not is the ability to persist. Thanks to you both, Tammi and Sue, for sharing this!

  24. Loved Sue’s talk at the Tulsa Anniversary connect! Can’t wait to read Pug and Pig Trick or Treat!!

  25. I love Pug & Pig. I have the Trick or Treat book on my to read list. Congratulations on your new book!

  26. What a darling book concept! Love the art, too!

  27. The cover art alone makes me want to pick up this book.

  28. Sue, those “Moments” you describe are so inspiring to me! I look forward to reading Pug & Pig Trick- or -Treat.

  29. Oh, this book looks so cute! Love the story of your road to publication. Keep writing, that’s the trick (or treat?). Thanks for the great interview!

  30. So CUTE! Love your work, as well as Joyce Wan’s! Goo luck to you!

  31. love Pug meets Pig and can’t wait to read your latest book.

  32. Stacy Digianantonio

    I love this book! My favorite part is when “Pug does not like his costume until . . .it is scattered all over the yard.” I’ve had days like that, Pug!

  33. This looks adorable! I want to read it! Thank you for doing these interviews. They are so fun to read.

  34. Love Pug and Pig! Congratulations Sue ~ I’m so happy for you!!! Joyce’s illustrations are a perfect fit. Hope there’s more in the future!

  35. Love Pug and Pig! Can’t wait to read your new one!

  36. Rebecca Levington

    Thank you for sharing your story! I especially love the advice about working on more than one thing at once.. I tend to get into a rut trying to make one thing perfect before wanting to move on to the next thing, but I think that is probably the right way to work!

  37. Love Pug and Pig. We have a poodle in our neighborhood who obviously loves his raincoat and booties, so he’s fun to watch. Our dog hates her booties—I can’t make her wear them.

  38. The five copies at our library are really going out! So glad we have P&P Trick or Treat!

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