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We got swag

…promotional swag, that is. Here are some of the more original marketing materials we’ve gotten recently.

Lynne Rae Perkins’s husband handmade real acorn pendants to celebrate the release of her  middle-grade animal fantasy Nuts to You (Greenwillow, August 2014).

acorn pendant in box

“You’ll never sleep the same again,” promise promo items for Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller’s Nightmares! (Delacorte, September 2014): a sleep mask, chocolate-covered espresso beans,

nightmares 1

and a spooky-scene-filled ViewFinder.

nightmares 2

For Rick Yancey’s post-apocalyptic YA series entry The Infinite Sea (Putnam, September 2014), we received a twine-bound preview of the novel and a survival kit.

infinite sea

infinite sea survival kit

Inside the survival kit: a whistle/compass, waterproof matches, first-aid supplies, and a magnetic chess game.

Chronicle sent an activity kit — including temporary tattoos — in honor of Hervé Tullet’s Mix It Up! (September 2014).

mix it up kit

For Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s Sam & Dave Dig a Hole (Candlewick, October 2014):

dig a hole

dig a hole candy

adorable — and delicious! — construction-themed chocolates. Publishers, you can’t buy love with chocolates, but we sure like it when you try. 😉

More Barnett: a mug disguised in a fake milk carton for The Terrible Two (coauthored by Jory John and illustrated by Kevin Cornell; Amulet, January 2015).

terrible two

And last but not least, Knopf sent a Post-Its kit for sharing your “bright places,” inspired by Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places (January 2015).

bright places

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.



  1. While reviewing for DISCOVERY GIRLS magazine, I’ve gotten a feathered boa, sparkly sunglasses, the same spooky viewer (but no chocolate…sob), an amazingly heavy metal box (the shipping on that monster must have been impressive), a harmonica, t-shirts, a cool little burlap drawstring bag, stickers, bookmarks (I do love bookmarks), pencils (I always like pencils)…but no chocolate. Ever. I’m so jealous of your chocolate swag.

  2. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:

    Oh no! Chocolate swag is the best, especially when it’s that cute. Hope you get some soon!

    One time we got Pigeon sugar cookies (thanks, Disney-Hyperion!): Might be my favorite swag thus far.

  3. Lolly Robinson Lolly Robinson says:

    Katie, thank you for waiting to post this until today when there is just a skeleton crew here in the office. Now that you’ve taken your photos, we get to eat! For the rest of the Horn Bookers who are taking vacation days, nya nya-nya nya nya!

  4. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:



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