Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mr. Pig Visits. . . Samantha Berger! (With a SURPRISE and a GIVEAWAY!)

Hi there! Guess what? Today I'm meeting the FABOO and talented SAMANTHA BERGER, author of Boo-La-La Witch Spa, Snoozefest, Crankenstein and more! She says she has a surprise for me. I can't imagine what it is. . .

(She DID tell me she'd send one lucky reader a SIGNED copy of BOO-LA-LA WITCH SPA, though. I hope she signs one for me, too. Scroll down for the deets, peeps!)

<<Knock, knock>>

Mr. Pig! Come in! No, don't take off your jacket, we're not staying long.

Are you sure? I don't want to interrupt. 

Positive! This is going to be fun. . . follow me.

Ok, open your eyes! Ta-da! Since my latest book is called BOO-LA-LA WITCH SPA, and takes place in a spa, I decided it would really be best if I worked HERE in this SPA! It's like method acting. If you really want to capture what it feels like to be a character, you try to become that character and go live her life. So I am taking a walk in her shoes. (Well, really it's more of a robe). Care to come along?

I'd be delighted! Can I have robe, too? 

Of course! Here, put this on.

So… in the book Boo-La-La Witch Spa, the witch soaks in a caldron of mold. This spa doesn't have that, but they DO have mushroom quiche and a jacuzzi. Close enough.

The Witch Spa in the book has an all-you-can-eat candy bar. *This* spa has an all-you-can eat fruit bar. That's way healthier than a candy bar, and you might think grown-up people think it's just as good as a candy bar. Even better! (*But secretly, we all know, it isn't).

There is a sauna filled with hot dragon's breath air in the book. This spa has a sauna filled with MY breath, because it's REALLY hot in here! PANT PANT PANT! It's definitely time to find that cool pool of snail drool! But hmmm… something smells delicious. 

Oh, dear, we better get out of here, I think I'm dry-roasting.

Yikes! Moving on. . .

In the story, the Witch (her name is Leeza) goes to get her hair highlighted and styled. Sadly, this spa doesn't have that. And my hair kinda looks like seaweed right now. But luckily, the robes have hoods! PHEW!

I didn't want to say anything, but my little piggy tail is curling up.

Next--one of the best parts! MASSAGE TIME! This spa doesn't have Hag Stone Massages like the one in the book, but it does have Shiatsu, Deep Tissue, Thai, and Aroma Therapy. Here is the view of the chandelier, right before I fall fast aslee--zzzzzzzzzz...(Writing is really hard work).

Zzzzzzzzz… snort… what was that? I think I drifted off. Am I drooling?

The massage was just exhausting! So next we go off to the Solarium for a nice sit down by the fire and a pedicure. But what color to get? Halloween is coming. . . what do you think, Mr Pig? Magic Moonlight? Silk Cobweb? Vampire Bite? Firefly White? Or Eek-a-Ghost Silver? 

I like the sound of Magic Moonlight. 

One of the best parts (for research, of course) has got to be  going to the gift shop! I am looking for Witch Spa Products like MOLD MASK, SALAMANDER SALVE, TOADSTOOL TONER, BASELISK BRIGHTENER, CLOUD-WHIP CONDITIONER and CLAIRVOYANCE - THE PERFUME. I am not finding them, but these look pretty nifty! Pretty nifty indeed.

I do like their book selection.

Me, too, Mr. Pig. 

Alas, it's time to say farewell to the spa, um, I mean "the work space" for the day! It was TOO FABOO. Just like in the book, I DO yell "Farewell, fellow Spa-Goers," as that is my tradition. I don't really wanna leave, but you can't LIVE at a spa. Wait, CAN you?

I think I could live at the spa. . . with YOU, Samamtha. (Er… as long as you didn't let me fall asleep in the sauna or spend too much time in the jacuzzi. )

Thanks, Mr. Pig!
See you real soon, and happy Halloween!

Photo Credit: Leo Moreton/ Makeup: Joshua Quick
Samantha Berger writes and writes and writes (she even wrote *this*).

She has written picture books like CRANKENSTEIN! illustrated by Dan Santat (Little, Brown, 2013), A CRANKENSTEIN VALENTINE (Little, Brown December, 2014), BOO-LA-LA WITCH SPA illustrated by Isabel Roxas (Dial, August 2015), and SNOOZEFEST illustrated by Kristyna Litten (Dial, January 2015).

She also has written picture books like SANTA'S REINDEER GAMES illustrated by John Manders (Cartwheel, 2011),MARTHA DOESN'T SHARE, and MARTHA DOESN'T SAY SORRY illustrated by Bruce Whatley (Little, Brown 2010, 2009), which won a Parent's Choice Award Honor.

She has written cartoons and promos for Nickelodeon and other networks. She has written comic books and commercials.

She has written movie trailers, theme songs, slogans, magazine articles, poems, TV-books, sticker books and professional books.
You name it, Sam writes it. 

And when she ISN'T WRITING.... She's doing voice-overs, traveling the world, and helping rescue dogs. 

she writes about that, too! 

Samantha splits her time between New York City and sunny California. 

Song Performed by Chubb Rock
Song Produced by DJ Mighty Mi


by Samantha Berger
illustrated by Isabel Roxas
(Dial Books, 2015)

"The flawless rhyming text doesn’t skimp on content and seamlessly weaves in satisfying similes and puns...Witch Spa will have year-round appeal." —School Library Journal

by Samantha Berger
illustrated by Kristyna Litten
(Dial Books, 2015)

"This knowing, affectionate spoof of music festivals is fresh and timely..." —Publishers Weekly

"No snoozefest here—great fun." —Kirkus Reviews

by Samantha Berger
illustrated by Dan Santat
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013)

"Expect many re-read requests from Crankensteins who may (or may not) recognize themselves."
―Publishers Weekly

"Will the creature ever turn from "MEHHRRRR!" to merry? Youngsters will roar along with Crankenstein through this silly and sympathetic story of grumpy-grouchies."―School Library Journal




  1. I LOVE, LOVE Halloween books! So many great ones! A few of my most favorite favorites (besides Boo-La-La Witch Spa) include: Ammi-Joan Paquette's GHOST IN THE HOUSE, Alison Paul's THE CROW and Linda Williams's THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO WASN'T AFRAID OF ANYTHING. I think my fave spa treatment is a hot stone massage... but hold the trolls and snail drool.

  2. I absolutely love going to get a pedicure, especially when they wrap my legs and feet in hot, moist towels! Ooh-la-la!

  3. I'm with you, Anika! I love Halloween books! Boo-la-la Witch Spa was a big hit with my kids. Our regular Halloween repertoire of books includes: CRANKENSTEIN (but we read that one year round 'cause it's so funny), WHERE'S MY MUMMY? by Carolyn Crimi, ROOM ON THE BROOM by Julia Donaldson, and THE SPIDER AND THE FLY by Tony DiTerlizzi. PEANUT BUTTER AND BRAINS by Joe McGee is another new fav.

  4. I love THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK by Jon Stone, GHOSTS IN THE HOUSE by Kazuno Kohara, and CREEPY CARROTS by Aaron Reynolds and I love everything that Samantha Berger writes!!!

  5. My favorite as a kid was The Blue-Nosed Witch by Margaret Embry, it was my mom's copy from when she was little! I love Linda Williams's The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything too, and (granted not necessarily Halloween) the Gus the Ghost books by Jane Thayer!

  6. Congratulations, Joyce Wan! You won a SIGNED COPY of BOO-LA-LA WITCH SPA from Samantha Berger! Please email a mailing address to

    Thanks to everyone here and on twitter for naming your favorite spooky boo-ks!