Sourcebooks, publisher of the How to Catch series of picture books that mixes humor, rhyming, and STEM concepts, is spinning it off into graphic novels for early readers ages six through nine.
The series, which demonstrates how readers can glimpse such elusive and mythical creatures as elves, mermaids, witches, and even the Easter Bunny, is a bestseller for the Chicagoland publisher: it has sold 14.4 million copies to date through the trade and book fairs. Launched in 2016, there are currently 17 picture books in the series, two board books, and multiple activity books, as well as proprietary projects.
“We’ve been so thrilled that the How to Catch series has resonated with children, parents and teachers,” said Karen Shapiro, publishing manager of Sourcebooks’ Wonderland imprint. “We wanted to make sure there was a place for children to go next with the adventures of How to Catch. Graphic novels are a growing area for younger children and the zany nature of the series lent itself beautifully to this format. We can tell the stories in different, exciting ways with a brand-new art style―and we get to introduce two lead characters who are best friends: Pup and Dragon.”
The graphic novels will launch in September with the release of Pup and Dragon: How to Catch an Elf, written by Alice Walstead and illustrated by Paul Gill. The announced first printing is 100,000 copies. It will be followed in 2024 with the release of Pup and Dragon: How to Catch a Dinosaur and Pup and Dragon: How to Catch a Unicorn. More graphic novels are in the pipeline for 2025 and beyond, featuring the Easter Bunny, a mermaid, a monster, and other creatures, but their pub dates have not yet been determined. Sourcebooks intends to publish at least two How to Catch graphic novels each year.
Three new How to Catch picture books are also scheduled for release in 2023: How to Catch a Garden Fairy by Alice Walstead, illustrated by Elkerton (Mar.); How to Catch a Daddysaurus by Walstead, illustrated by Elkerton (Apr.), and How to Catch Santa Claus (Sept.), as well as a board book, My First How to Catch the Big Bad Wolf by Walstead, illustrated by Joel and Ashley Selby (Mar.).
Last fall, Sourcebooks organized its inaugural How to Catch STEAM Week for elementary school educators, which featured the How to Catch books as a tool to teach STEM concepts.