by Tracy C. Gold

Several years ago, I visited Austin, Texas while traveling for a friend’s wedding. I love animals, so number one on my list for my time in Austin was watching the bats fly out from under Congress Bridge (don’t worry, I also had tacos and barbecue and heard live music). A million bats fly out from their home in this bridge in quick succession right around sunset!

Here’s a video! It is so cool!

That was way before I was writing picture books, and way before I had a kid of my own, but somehow it snuggled its way into my brain.

Flash forward to Fall 2019. I signed with literary agent Carrie Pestritto, who fell in love with one of my picture book manuscripts about a real-life mass flamingo rescue that hasn’t found a home with a publisher (yet!). Carrie let me know that editors were looking for Halloween books, and I started brainstorming. I thought a riff on the “Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet” song would be really fun. I also thought it would be fun to write about a somewhat “undersung” spooky animal. Black cats and spiders seemed kind of obvious (and while I love black cats, I do not think I will ever be brave enough to write a book about spiders). Then, out from a dark corner—cave?—in my mind, flew the bats from Congress Bridge! I remembered that bats eat BUGS and “Trick or Treat, Bugs to Eat” was born. From there it was lots of drafting, singing the book aloud, and revising, and many months later, a book deal with editor Kelly Barrales-Saylor from Sourcebooks eXplore!

Here’s the cover reveal!

I absolutely adore this cover and all of Nancy Leschnikoff’s illustrations. This bat is just SO CUTE but also just a little scary. Plus, this dark purple is my favorite color! It was a wonderful surprise to see it after just seeing black and white sketches of the illustrations for a while.

I will be mailing out free book-themed stickers, design to-be-determined, to anyone who lets me know they have preordered or requested the book at their library! More details on that and how to get signed copies from my local bookstores can be found here.

Thanks for letting me share the cover reveal, Tara!

Well, thank you for being so patient! It’s true, I’ve been slow with the blog lately. Since I postponed this post, I’m going to make it up to you, blog readers, by offering a virtual video call with me. I’ll pick a winner next week. So leave one comment below about the cover to enter. Good luck!

Tracy C. Gold loves bringing characters to life. She is a writer, freelance editor, and mom living in Baltimore, Maryland. She has two picture books forthcoming in 2021, “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby” from Familius in March and “Trick or Treat, Bugs to Eat” from Sourcebooks in August. She also writes short stories, essays, novels, and poems. Her work has been published in several magazines and anthologies. Tracy earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore and earned her B.A. in English from Duke University. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s playing with her toddler, or hanging out with her horse and dog, both rescues. You can find out more about Tracy at, by following her on Twitter and Instagram at @tracycgold, or by liking her Facebook page.