Monday, June 28, 2010

The Halloween Kid Is Coming!

I'm so happy to announce my upcoming children's book, THE HALLOWEEN KID! This will be my second children's book that will be published and it's a big dream come true! THE HALLOWEEN KID is about a mysterious masked boy who wrangles Halloween hoodlums to keep the night safe for trick-or-treaters. All is well for years, that is, until a band of greedy goodie goblins gallop onto the scene - then even the Halloween Kid can use a helpin' hand. This book is 32 pages and will be published this Fall (August 10th) through Simon & Schuster. I'm hoping, however, to have some super advanced copies to sell for the San Diego Comic Con on July 22-25 (will confirm soon!)

For a peek at the book, here's a small book movie trailer: (click image to play or click here)

You can also flip and read through the first five pages here:

Simon & Schuster Browse Inside

Growing up and to present day, I love me some Halloween. I LOVE everything about it!

With children's books, I love going to the Halloween section every year and seeing what's new and I'm happy THE HALLOWEEN KID will be a part of that batch this year.

The book itself was inspired by newspaper articles from my hometown where I read that some kids were no longer allowed to dress up in schools on Halloween and were getting discouraged from trick-or-treating because of fear. I really felt Halloween was in danger, more so than being dangerous. The inspiration for the look of the book came from vintage Halloween decorations that I love and which tend to have limited colors. Most times, the colors off-registered a bit, and some of the vintage decorations are worn and distressed, so I tried to emulate that here. It was also fun writing the whole book in a Western drawl, dropping g's and even using a double negative in a sentence, something that normally publishers will try and correct, but my publisher embraced. I hope it makes for a fun read-aloud book. I really owe the printing of the book to my editor, Kevin Lewis. I feel lucky to have illustrated a few books, but since day one, he believed in my writing and it's because of him that CLOUD BOY and THE HALLOWEEN KID came to life. Thank you Kevin. Now, here's a peek at some of the book's process:

This was the cover to the book mock-up (the whole book quickly sketched in it's entirety with pencilled in story) that I used to shop around the idea to publishers. ( you'll see later that the final cover was pretty close to this):

Here's an interior page sketch:

Here's the same page finalized and in color:

Another interior illustration:

This is a peek at the cover process. Initially I just had the Halloween Kid on the cover, but the publisher felt it should reflect the trick-or-treating part of Halloween as well, which I didn't mind at all. The first cover sketch revision showed a trick-or-treating scenario, with houses and all, but it just felt too busy. We knew we wanted to use black as the cover, but the silhouetted houses were getting lost against that.

In the end we just simplified, dropped the homes, and lined the trick-or-treaters at the bottom with no perspective.

Here is the final cover with THE HALLOWEEN KID logo designed by Laurent Linn, who outdid himself with the design of this book!

Here's a group shot of characters in the book that I just did for fun. This image is not in the book, but maybe I'll make a print or a poster in the future.

For More Rootin Tootin' HALLOWEEN KID fun and information please visit:

I will be posting new information, activities and images, as they become available, on that site. There will be free goodies like this HALLOWEEN KID coloring page and maze! (click on the images to enlarge and just hit 'print' on your printer!)

Thanks for reading. More news as the publishing date nears. If you are interested in this book and want to pre-order THE HALLOWEEN KID, you can do so by clicking the link below (if you complete the process through here or at,it would be greatly appreciated!) or look out for the book when it hits bookshelves on August 10th.
Pre-Order here:

More HALLOWEEN KID goodies are coming. Please visit again soon!

Thank you kindly, pardners!


  1. WOW!

    Rhode, this is so very, very cool! The book looks smashing! Wouldn't have thought they would have used a black cover, but it really ties in the whole idea.

    I remember seeing this sprawled on your desk at home..... Congrats, man, I'm very happy for you to get your Halloween book on the shelves.

    And I also remember seeing all the kooky and vintage stuff you had in your studio: The pink popcorn, the little trinkets and knick knacks. Yep, you eat and drink Halloween all year long!

    Okay friend, gotta go for my morning walk, but congrats once again and hope this does spectacular for you guys!


  2. Rhode this book is freaking amazing! I can't wait to get my hands on one. You are such an inspiration!

  3. Thanks for the kind words guys, that means a lot to me!

    Javier-Thank you for your nice comments. I was so happy they went with the black cover, too! That's right you saw the early stages of the book- that was awhile ago! I DO love me some Halloween year-round! It's great to hear that you still have The Eye of the Tiger!

    Greg- Thank you for that, wow, that's too nice. You've got some great stuff on your blog. Keep going and keep creating the goodness!

    Thanks for visiting!