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Bear

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]

Bears On The Wing

Seems like every time we turn around we’re reviewing something new by Katherine Applegate — author of Crenshaw, The One and Only Ivan, and the Animorphs series, among many others. This time it’s Willodeen, and it’s very hard to explain… We’ll let the publisher try: “Eleven-year-old Willodeen adores creatures of all kinds, but her favorites are the most unlovable beasts in the land: strange beasts known as “screechers.” The villagers of Perchance call them pests, even monsters, but Willodeen believes the animals serve a vital role in the complicated web of nature. Lately, though, nature has seemed angry indeed. Perchance has been cursed with fires and mudslides, droughts and fevers, and even the annual migration of hummingbears, a source of local pride and income, has dwindled. For as long as anyone can remember, the tiny animals have overwintered in shimmering bubble nests perched atop blue willow trees, drawing tourists from far and wide. This year, however, not a single hummingbear has returned to Perchance, and no one knows why. When a handmade birthday gift brings unexpected magic to Willodeen and her new friend, Connor, she’s determined to speak up for the animals she loves, and perhaps even uncover the answer to the mystery of the missing hummingbears.” Find the book in hardcover at MacMillan Publishers and it should all make more sense.

image c. 2022 MacMillan Publishers

In His Young And Wild Days

Thanks to Animation World Network we’re learning more about the upcoming Ted TV series: “Peacock has announced the cast of Ted, Seth MacFarlane’s live-action comedy series based on his hit 2012 film of the same name and its 2015 sequel. In addition to serving as director, writer, co-showrunner, and executive producer, MacFarlane will reprise his role as the voice of the titular character — a foul-mouthed teddy bear who was first brought to life by a wish from his owner and best friend, John Bennett. In the films, John is played by Mark Wahlberg. In the new series, which serves as a prequel to the events of the first film, John appears a 16-year-old boy.” Here’s the official synopsis: “It’s 1993 and Ted the bear’s moment of fame has passed, leaving him living with his best friend, 16-year-old John Bennett, who lives in a working-class Boston home with his parents and cousin. Ted may not be the best influence on John, but when it comes right down to it, Ted’s willing to go out on a limb to help his friend and his family.” No word yet on a target release date for the show.

image c. 2022 Universal Pictures

Jack is Back in Black — and White

Animation World Network let us know: Dreamworks Animation have announced a new upcoming CGI animated TV series, Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight. And wouldn’t you know it, this new series features the return of none other than Jack Black as the voice of Po the panda. He’s been chatting about it on his socials. Here’s what Dreamworks says: “In the new series, when a mysterious pair of weasels set their sights on a collection of four powerful weapons, Po must leave his home to embark on a globe-trotting quest for redemption and justice that finds him partnered up with a no-nonsense English knight named Wandering Blade. Together, these two mismatched warriors set out on an epic adventure to find the magical weapons first and save the world from destruction — and they may even learn a thing or two from each other along the way.” No word yet from Dreamworks on a release date, but stay tooned.

image cl 2022 Dreamworks Animation

Big and Ready to Rumble

Things take a turn for the decidedly strange in Louie and Bear in the Land of Anything Goes, a new graphic novel written and illustrated by Brady Smith. “Welcome to the Land of Anything Goes! It’s a world filled with wild creatures, absurd chicken-boy hybrids, and oh, did we mention the giant, winged, kid-eating monster called a Cacapoop? When Louie and his pet hamster get sucked through a portal into a bizarre new land where truly anything can happen, they have no idea the adventure that’s waiting for them. Really, they’re less focused on adventure and more concerned about the fact that Louie has turned into a wrestler, Scooty the hamster has become Bear the giant bear, and they’re now being chased across a purple planet by a terrifying monster!” Told you! The book is available now in hardcover from Penguin Workshop.

image c. 2022 Penguin Workshop

All Species Advance

The things you find! We came across this series when we were looking up another book entirely. We’ll let the publisher describe it: “The Endangereds is the first book in a thrilling new adventure series by world-renowned environmentalist and Emmy-nominated host of Xploration Awesome Planet Philippe Cousteau and award-winning TURBO Racers author Austin Aslan. Innocent animals are in trouble: temperatures are climbing, tides are rising, and nature is suffering. Someone needs to step in to rescue animals from extinction. Someone needs to turn this mess around, before it’s too late. And that someone is . . . the Endangereds, the unlikeliest heroes you’ll ever meet—a super-strong polar bear, a pangolin with a genius for engineering, an extremely sarcastic narwhal, and an orangutan with a big dream. Together, these four daredevils are determined to save endangered species across the globe, no matter what the risk.” Book #2, Melting Point, is already out as well, and there’s more coming in the future. [And with that, we wish you all a happy and safe New Year!]

image c. 2021 Harper-Collins

We Cute Cubs

It was inevitable, most likely… The hugely popular Cartoon Network series We Bare Bears has been re-imagined as the new series We Baby Bears, coming in 2022. Turns out it’s actually been in development for a while now, according to the CN Wiki: “We Baby Bears is an upcoming spin-off series of We Bare Bears, which was confirmed for development by Cartoon Network on May 31, 2019. The series will focus on the baby bears and will explore fresh and fun stories with the show’s most beloved characters… Overloaded with the cuteness and humor that fans around the globe adore them for, the series tracks Baby Grizzly, Baby Panda, and Baby Ice Bear through a multitude of imaginative worlds, but this time via their magical box.” Check out the trailer on YouTube right now.

image c. 2021 Cartoon Network

He’s a Bear, Brother

Have you heard of the singer/songwriter known as Teddy Swims? We hadn’t either — but now it seems he’s made his own comic book. From the publisher: “Get ready to meet the Bear behind the band! In this all-ages graphic novel collaboration between Teddy Swims and Z2 Comics, Swimmy the Bear and his fun-loving friends get an opportunity to take their act from small-time to worldwide, but is a laid-back bunch of critters ready for the pressure that comes with big agents, big deals, and big dreams?” Swimmy and the Valley of the Last Song is written by Teddy Swims and Grace Freud, with art by Fred C. Stresing. Simon & Schuster has it available for order right now.

image c. 2021 Z2 Comics

Finnish, the Story

We should apologize for that… Mari Ahokoivu is a Finnish illustrator and a comic artist. Her magnum opus is a massive 400-page graphic novel called Oksi, illustrated in her striking artistic style. “Poorling is a little bear. She’s a bit different from her brothers. Mother keeps their family safe. For the Forest is full of dangers. It is there that Mana lives, with her Shadow children. And above them all, Emuu, the great Grandma in the Sky. From the heart of Finnish folklore comes a breathtaking tale of mothers, daughters, stars and legends, and the old gods and the new.” Now Chronicle Books have released Oksi in an English translation, available in hard or softcover. There’s a look inside at Bleeding Cool.

image c. 2021 Chronicle Books