Sourcebooks Wonderland this month expands its How to Catch brand with the creation of an online component to the bestselling picture book series, which debuted in February 2016 with How to Catch a Leprechaun. The series, written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton, quickly snared kids’ attention, and 10 additional books followed in quick succession, offering advice for catching such prey as an elf, a monster, the Tooth Fairy, a unicorn, dragon, and dinosaur—and snagging sales of more than five million copies. The catch? Each tongue-in-cheek guide includes instructions for building actual traps to capture the titular character, adding a STEAM-related challenge for aspiring inventors. The 12th installment, How to Catch a Yeti, will pub in September.
The How to Catch Club site rounds up crafts, recipes, games, story-time videos starring a costumed Wallace reading his tales, and resources for teachers and librarians. Parents and other caregivers can sign kids up for the club to access downloadable activities, contests, giveaways, and sneak peeks at forthcoming books. The How to Catch Club also offers readers a chance to vote on the starring character of a future How to Catch book and to submit a design for a trap to capture that elusive creature; Elkerton will feature the winning trap proposal in that installment.
Heather Moore, director of marketing at Sourcebooks, spearheaded the creation of the club, which was inspired in part by the stay-at-home culture brought on by the Covid-19 crisis. “The How to Catch titles were our most requested books from teachers and librarians during the recent shelter-in-place period, for online classroom readings,” she said. “This series blends a fun and playful reading experience and the trap-building component encouraging kids’ inventiveness. We recognized the current need for creative online resources for kids, parents, and educators, and we decided that creating an online hub for all things How to Catch is a natural progression for this brand. We’re very excited to be offering this to parents and educators in time for back-to-school and, in many cases this year, for at-home learning.”