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Funny Animal

How Slow Can You Go?

Here’s something we missed: The Giggle and Learn series, written and illustrated by Kevin McCloskey. The latest book is called Snails Are Just My Speed. Here’s what Toon Books has to say about it: “Did you know snails build roads like engineers and go undercover in camouflage like spies? Did you know they can be smaller than a seed or bigger than a grown-up’s hand? Kevin McCloskey mixes snail science, art, and hilarity for the newest book in his Giggle and Learn series, praised by The New York Times as ‘a winning combination of facts and gross-out fun.'” Looks like a little Science goes a long way… eventually…

image c. 2018 Toon Books

For Your Fashionable Feet

Sara Varon is a comic creator whom we’ve talked about before several times as both a writer and an artist. (Seriously: Look her up!) Now she’s back as both again with her latest hardcover book, New Shoes, published by First Second. They describe it as “… a heartwarming graphic novel about a donkey on a quest to make the perfect pair of shoes.” Really now? “Francis the donkey is the best shoemaker in the village. He uses only the finest materials: coconut wood for the soles, goat’s wool for the insoles, and wild tiger grass for the uppers. One day he receives a special order from his favorite singer: Miss Manatee, the queen of calypso. But he’s all out of tiger grass! To make the perfect pair of shoes, Francis must journey deep into the jungle . . . and that means leaving his village for the first time.” Find it now over at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2018 First Second

Lonely Girl Meets Only Bird

Dodo is a new full-color graphic novel written and illustrated by Felipe Nunes. Ostensibly for young readers, it actually has more on its mind… “Laila is six years old and she’s been taken out of school following her parents’ divorce. She doesn’t understand why she can’t go to school with the rest of her friends or why her dad never comes by anymore. Laila comes across a mysterious bird, a dodo named Ralph, and befriends the creature that has been living in the part near her house. Through her friendship with Ralph, Laila starts to notice things, things she never wanted to understand.” Check it out at Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2018 Boom! Studios

The Scales and the Tails

If you haven’t found it yet, The Dragget Show is a furry fandom podcast created by Xander the Blue (dragon) and Alkali Bismuth (the ferret). Lately though, they’ve been expanding their reach beyond their original podcast.  Here, we’ll let them tell you about it: “The Dragget Show started as a furry comedy podcast with Xander the Blue & Alkali Bismuth (which we still do!), but we also do a bunch more things too, like Dungeons & Draggets, Cooking With Alkali, Dragget News Network, Xan Rants, & a monthly livestream FIRECAST. We also do live podcasts at Furry conventions!” So in other words: Look for them on line, and near you!

image c. 2018 The Dragget Show

Teddies Follow the Clues

Well look what showed up in our news-feed… Animation magazine talking about a new series for young viewers. “Upcoming Netflix Original animated series Treehouse Detectives is ready to introduce itself to worldwide viewers this year. The preschool series will debut June 8 in over 190 countries/territories… Treehouse Detectives is created by Seoul-based animation studio Enpop and co-produced with Saban Brands… Aimed at children ages 3-6, the series follows brother and sister detective team Toby and Teri as they ‘use the clues’ and ‘follow the facts’ to solve everything from backyard mysteries to the bigger puzzles of the natural world.” Looks like another season is already in the works, too.

image c. 2018 Enpop

More Adventures with the Illiop from Rillonia

We’re going to lift this one wholesale from Animation World Network, because it’s cool! “Alchemy II has teamed up with The Jim Henson Company to develop an animated fantasy adventure series for kids ages 3-7 based on the popular Teddy Ruxpin property. The new Teddy Ruxpin series will have an all-star team, including showrunner John Tartaglia (Splash and Bubbles, Johnny and the Sprites); producer Russell Hicks, the original head illustrator for Alchemy II during Teddy Ruxpin’s initial launch; global master toy partner Wicked Cool Toys; and The Jim Henson Company led by executive producers Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford. World-renowned Jim Henson’s Creature Shop will bring the series to life with its Emmy Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio (Sid the Science Kid, Word Party), which allows performers to puppeteer animated characters in real time allowing for more organic and natural movement. The new series will focus on important themes and skills like fostering self-esteem, empathy, and individuality.” Good stuff all, that.

image c. 2018 Alchemy II

Play Is Serious Business

More illustrated books for young folks, this time from a well-known writer in Hollywood. Toy Academy is a new series from Scholastic Books, written by Brian Lynch and illustrated by Edwardian Taylor. “Welcome to Toy Academy: Where toys learn to play. This is where action figures train to battle, stuffed animals study the art of the hug, and collectibles practice standing very, very still. Though Grumbolt isn’t really any of those things, he’s determined to fit in. But when the Evil Toy Academy threatens to bring down his school, it’s up to Grumbolt to go where no good toy has gone before and prove he’s truly a great toy after all. This laugh-out-loud chapter book by the writer of Minions and a writer of The Secret Life of Pets is a classic in the making.” You heard it here!

image c. 2018 Scholastic Books

Anyone Can Be Anything

And another self-published book we found through Xlibris, this one geared more toward young readers. What I Want to Be from A To Z is written and illustrated by Janis Arnold. We’ll let her describe it: “‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ At some point in their young lives, this question is heard by most children. My poetry book, What I Want to Be from A–Z, is a fun way to learn about a variety of careers. Each poem contains vocabulary that will help children learn about a career. When children become familiar with a rhyming book, they begin to make predictions, which is an important part of early reading skills. My two main characters are foxes—a female English red fox named Fiona and an American gray fox named Fernando. While reading through the book, the reader will view, on some of the poems, one of the foxes dressed up for that career.” It’s interesting (and rather heartening) to note that the pictures do not always conform to older ideals of what jobs are best for a man or a woman. Both these foxes seem equally capable of doing whatever they want!

image c. 2018 Xlibris

Nick & Judy, Back in the Day

Many thanks to our friend KeiFox for pointing this one out to us. Here’s what we learned over at the Hollywood Reporter: “Fans of Disney’s animated 2016 hit Zootopia should prepare for a return to the animal metropolis this summer, with Dark Horse Comics releasing a brand-new graphic novel based on the movie as part of its new deal with Disney. Aimed at younger readers, Disney Zootopia: Friends to the Rescue will feature two stories spotlighting young versions of both Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde and taking place before the events of the movie. Judy has to save the day — and her friend Dinah — at the Bunnyburrow County Fair, while Nick has to put his (questionable) talents to good use to give his friend Hedy the best birthday party imaginable. Both stories are written by Jimmy Gownley, with art by Leandro Ricardo da Silva, colors by Wes Dzioba, and lettering from Chris Dickey. The 48-page title will also feature special features and story-related activities.” Look for it on September 12th.

image c. 2018 Dark Horse Publishing