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Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: A Cape!

ACape[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.]

A Cape!; written and illustrated by Marty Kelley. Marty Kelley, 2014. 32.pp. ISBN 978-0-692-22596. 16.95.

Who needs pants? Not the superhero of this story, for whom briefs, sneakers, and a cape are plenty. But while he has superpowers–and confidence–aplenty (“Watch me lift the couch over my head”) what he really wants is an audience (“I can FLY!!!!”), and Dad, unseen behind his newspaper, is Not Playing: (“Please don’t jump on the couch.”) The boy, all exuberance, is pictured in full color, his boasts in a playful red font; Dad is in plain pencil, his long-suffering rejoinders in boring Times Roman.  Kelley expertly employs the plentiful white space on each double-page spread to give the dialogue punch and the red cape plenty of room for flourishing. The ending springs a nice alliance (with Dad down to his boxers), and while I wonder if the book’s message might speak more to parents than children, I thought that about No, David! and was emphatically proven wrong. R.S.


[This review may be distributed freely and excerpted fairly; credit to “Read Roger, The Horn Book Inc.,]

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Thank you for the very kind review, Roger. For what it’s worth, I’ve read this book at many schools this year and the ending speaks to both adults and kids – teachers and parents all sigh, “Awwwwww…” and the kids laugh hysterically because dad is in his underpants. Everybody wins!

  2. Terry Regalado says:

    Hello Mr. Sutton,
    I just came across an article stating how you created the “Selfie Sweepstakes” a couple years ago. I followed the link and it brought me to this site. What a thoughtful thing to do for self publishers. I have a children’s book I’ve written and have been exploring and learning about how to go about publishing. Will you be conducting another “Selfie Sweepstakes” again? I’d love to get some feedback on my book.
    Thank you,
    Terry Regalado

  3. Beverly Langeveldt says:

    Dear Mr. Sutton

    I just found your article about the “Selfie Sweepstakes” and wondered if you were going to do this again this year. I just self published a book on and would love to have some feedback/review. Its called “The Adventures of Jak and Quin – The Rescue of Rupert” I have two more in the pipe line.

    Thanks in advance
    Beverly Langeveldt

  4. Toy Robinson says:

    I hope you do another selfie sweepstakes, I’d love a review or feedback on my children’s book.

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