InFurNation Rotating Header Image

June, 2022:

And He Sings, Too

You may have heard about the upcoming movie adaptation of Bernard Waber‘s bestselling and beloved book Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. Well now Sony Pictures has dropped the first teaser trailer for the film, directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck (both of whom recently worked on Hit Monkey). Turns out that star Javier Bardem does not voice Lyle, the crocodile from New York — that honor goes to singer Shawn Mendes. Bardem instead plays the impresario who is trying to make Lyle into a star — if the big reptile can avoid New York Animal Control, that is. Lyle, Lyle comes to theaters this October.

image c. 2022 Sony Pictures

Seal The Connection

Some time ago, writer and illustrator Molly Knox Ostertag gave us The Witch Boy, a coming-of-age graphic novel about a young werewolf boy with… different preferences. We’ll tell you all about that one soon. Right now we want to point you at her latest comic work, The Girl From The Sea. “This sweet graphic novel follows Morgan, a 15-year-old girl living on a small island in Canada, who one day meets a mysterious selkie named Keltie. At first, Morgan is annoyed by Keltie, but as they spend more time together, she realizes her feelings may be stronger than she anticipated.” It’s available now in paperback from Scholastic.

image c. 2022 Scholastic

One Little Ape with a Big Responsibility

Recently at the Annecy animation festival, GCI Film gave a first glimpse of their new feature film Ozi: Voice of the Forest, directed by Tim Harper. “The independently financed feature follows the journey of a teenage orangutan, Ozi, and her friends, who set out on a voyage of discovery across the rainforest in a quest to find her parents in a land that has fallen victim to deforestation. Supported by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions, and Academy Award-winning producer, Mike Medavoy, the feature brings to light critical issues as the world’s rainforests face ever-growing levels of deforestation and its impact on the ecosystems within. The voice cast includes Amandla Stenberg as Ozi, Laura Dern, RuPaul, Donald Sutherland, and Djimon Hounsou. Harper helms the project alongside creators Keith Chapman (Paw Patrol, Bob the Builder) and Rodrigo Blaas (Pixar’s Wall-E, Finding Nemo). Emmy Award-winning Ricky Roxburgh (Tangled, Spy Kids) wrote the original screenplay.” The film is currently in production. Stay tooned.

image c. 2022 GCI Film

Prehistoric Pups

Formerly a Wall Street investor, currently a teacher and storyteller, Mystery Mike McHale has created a new illustrated book for kids, Dino Dogz, with the help of artist Mike Goldstein. “The DinoDogz (half Dogz/half Dinosaurs) are on a Mission to rescue five StegoPup eggs that have been stolen by the evil Dr. D. Stroy (their creator) before the doctor uses them to create an army of DinoDogz to take over the world!!!! Along the way, the Dogz must face off against enemies controlled by the doctor to collect their DinoDNA to transform into their true DinoDogz selves.” The official web site includes the on-line Dino Dogz game. Mystery Mike says there’s a mascot costume on the way too!

image c. 2022 Mystery Mike’s Funhouse

The Bard and the Barnyard

The things we find. Ham-Let: A Shakespearean Mash-Up is a new full-color graphic novel for young readers, brought to us in hardcover by Dark Horse Press. “The eponymous Pig Prince himself returns home from college to find that his uncle Claude betrayed and murdered his father to seize the throne! But this familiar fable veers into the zany and adventurous when Ham-let calls upon his best friend Horatio and a troupe of rowdy, self-centered actors to aid him in halting his uncle’s evil plans.” Ham-Let is written by Jim Burnstein, Garrett Schiff, and Andrew Cosby, with illustrations by Elisa Ferrari. Go check out the preview pages over at the Dark Horse web site.

image c. 2022 Dark Horse Press

They Leap Right Off the Page!

[Back from Biggest Little Fur Con, and there’s still more to catch up with…] At the L.A. Times Festival of Books this year we discovered Creative Creature Catcher — an “augmented reality children’s book”, to use the publisher’s phrase for it. “Welcome to the Society of Creative Creature Catchers! Your mission is simple: Find and learn about a variety of fantastical animals who have ended up lost in our world and then it’s your job to send them home to their families! Some hide in the curtains. Others hide under the bed. Don’t worry. They won’t hurt you. They’re scared, and their parents are worried about them.” Sounds like an interesting story, but then it goes further… “But this is just half the story. Creative Creature Catcher isn’t just about reading. It’s about doing. Anyone can read about these unfortunate animals, but Malcolm will teach you how to get personally involved. Grab your Apple or Android device (phone or tablet), and even stubborn readers will want to know more about the shifty Grumbaloo or the quick-footed Eeking Sfifter as 3D characters leap to life with Augmented Reality.” Visit their official web site to see more of what they’re talking about.

image c. 2022 Anomaly Productions

Bear With Her

Sorry. The Girl Who Speaks Bear is a recent novel for young readers written by Sophie Anderson. “Discovered in a bear cave as a baby, 12-year-old Yanka dreams of knowing who she really is. Although Yanka is happy at home with her loving foster mother, she feels out of place in the village where the other children mock her for her unusual size and strength. So when Yanka wakes up one morning to find that her legs have become bear legs, she knows she has no choice but to leave her village. She has to find somewhere she truly belongs, so she ventures into the Snow Forest with her pet weasel, Mousetrap, in search of the truth about her past. But deep in the forest there are many dangers, and Yanka discovers that even the most fantastic stories she grew up hearing are true. And just as she draws close to discovering who she really is, something terrifying happens that could trap her in the forest…forever.” Published by Scholastic, it’s available now in hardcover. [And with that, we’ll see you all again after a trip to Biggest Little Fur Con! — ye ed-otter]

Hump-Day Reading

Once Upon A Camel is the fairy-tale sounding title of a new illustrated novel by Kathi Appelt. “Zada is a camel with a treasure trove of stories to tell. She’s won camel races for the royal Pasha of Smyrna, crossed treacherous oceans to new land, led army missions with her best camel friend by her side, and outsmarted a far too pompous mountain lion. But those stories were from before. Now, Zada wanders the desert as the last camel in Texas. She’s not, however, alone. Two tiny kestrel chicks are nestled in the fluff of fur between her ears — kee-killy-keeing for their missing parents — and a dust storm the size of a mountain is taking Zada on one more grand adventure. And it could lead to this achy old camel’s most brilliant story yet.” That story is illustrated by Eric Rohmann and available now in hardcover from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2022 Simon & Schuster