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Badgers, Foxes, and Guinea Pigs!

New for very young readers, from Lerner Publishing Group: Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye is a full-color trade paperback series for kids, created by Colleen Venable and Stephanie Yue. Sasspants the guinea pig P.I. attempts to solve the mystery of the missing sandwich with the help of her sidekick, Hamisher the hamster, and a menagerie of pet-store suspects. Each book in this series is peppered with clues, and features a collection of animal facts at the end. Then there’s Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox, a new series (also in full color) by Brittie Luciani and Eve Tharlet. In Volume 1: The Meeting, Mrs. Fox and her daughter Ginger are chased out of their home by a vicious hunter’s dog. They end up seeking shelter in the home of Mr. Badger, his two squabbling sons, and his toddler daughter. It’s a series about making friends and getting along in families of different backgrounds. Both new series are coming this March.

We Are Mongrels

It’s a new puppet TV show coming to British television called We Are Mongrels, and it’s being marketed by the BBC as “Avenue Q meets Family Guy“. This is from Furtean Times ( “British digital TV channel BBC Three has commissioned an adult puppet series featuring anthropomorphic animals. We Are Mongrels follows the exploits of a country fox who decides to discover ‘the real wild life’ in the city. He therefore travels to the Isle of Dogs and meets up with a range of different characters including a ‘sexy’ Afghan hound whom he falls in love with, a street cat, and a sarcastic pigeon from Blackburn. The series is the creation of Adam Miller, who is one of the directors on Taking the Flak, the currently broadcast BBC Two comedy drama set in an African war zone, and the ITV2 sketch series Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show. Miller will also act as the director of We Are Mongrels. Stephen McCrumb will be executive producer. McCrumb told Broadcast magazine that he and Miller had ‘a shared love of puppets and the desire to do something ambitious in British comedy, outside of live action’. The series will be broadcast next year [2010] and will be written by Jon Brown. In a unbroadcast pilot for the show, the voice of the fox was played by Rufus Hound, Lucy Montgomery played the Afghan, and Katy Brand played the pigeon. While it is hoped that the actors will return to play their roles, it has not yet been confirmed if they will.”