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Hardcover Books

Worry’s For Another Day

Fans of Muppets and Really Good TV: Rejoice! There’s a new book out called Fraggle Rock: The Ultimate Visual History, edited by Noel Murray and Jody Revenson. “It’s been over thirty-five years since the irrepressible Fraggles first hit the screen in the beloved children’s television hit Fraggle Rock. Created by the legendary Jim Henson, along with Michael K. Frith, Jerry Juhl, Duncan Kenworthy, and Jocelyn Stevenson, Fraggle Rock remains a favorite of fans to this day. This delightful volume tells the incredible story of the bighearted show that helped instill open-minded values in a whole generation of viewers. Fraggle Rock: The Ultimate Visual History follows the show’s creation, from early concepts to the incredible puppetry that brought the unforgettable characters, such as Gobo, Red, and Mokey, to life. Exclusive interviews with Stevenson, Frith, Kenworthy, and several other major contributors reveal fascinating, exclusive insights that take the reader further into Jim Henson’s world than ever before.” It’s available later this month, in hardcover from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2021 Simon & Schuster

You Were Watching It For Them Anyway, Right?

When Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra were all the rage in TV animation circles, furry fans of course zeroed in on all of the interesting and strange wildlife to be found in that fantasy universe. Well soon Dark Horse Comics will be publishing a new compendium of creatures called Beasts of the Four Nations. “Part of what everyone loves about the Four Nations is all the strange and wonderful (and sometimes scary!) creatures that inhabit them! From the Air Nomads’ flying bison, to Kyoshi Island’s elephant koi, to the Earth Kingdom’s singing groundhogs and the little purple pentapus, look to this hardcover collection for images and information on Avatar and Korra’s creatures large and small, including many from the spirit world!” Different sources give different release dates for it, from this coming December to next February.

image c. 2021 Dark Horse Comics

Catching Up With Cottonwood

Remember quite a while ago when we talked about a new graphic novel (at the time in production) called Under The Cottonwood Tree? Turns out it’s available now from North Fourth Publications! Here’s what we said then: “One day, brothers Amadeo and Carlos Lucero walked into the deep, dark woods near their home in Algodones, New Mexico… and encountered a deep, dark magic. Attempting to flee, suddenly Carlos finds himself transformed into a black and white calf! That’s the set up for Under the Cottonwood Tree (El Susto de la Curandera), a new full-color ‘Latino fairy tale graphic novel’ by Paul Meyer, Carlos Meyer, and Margaret Hardy. Watch as our heroes encounter dangerous owls, talking rats, and magical spirits as they seek to un-bovine young Carlos.”

image c. 2021 North Fourth Publications

Don’t You Monkey with the Monkey

All right… We’re just going to let this new graphic novel from Random House Studio for young readers speak for itself: “It’s Wednesday! Which means it’s time for Jim Panzee’s weekly Wednesday walk. He wakes up, stretches a little, grabs his stress orange, and sets off. Jim’s favorite part of the walk is the blissful silence. When he’s alone, he can hear all the jungle sounds. Until . . . his best buddy, Norman, decides to join him. And before he knows it, Jim is followed by every animal in the jungle. It’s all just too much. Now Jim and his not-so-helpful friends are on a quest across the jungle to find another stress orange before it is too late!” Got all that? Turns out there’s a whole series of Grumpy Monkey books written by Suzanne Lang and illustrated by Max Lang. Grumpy Monkey: Freshly Squeezed is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2021 Random House Studio

Friendship is… Just off the Coast

Sheesh — The Epic! imprint from Andrews McMeel definitely manages to keep coming up with interesting Furry material for young readers. Unicorn Island is an illustrated novel written by Donna Galanti, with art by Bethany Stancliffe. “When Sam arrives in Foggy Harbor, population 3,230, all she can see is a small, boring town that’s way too far from home. And knowing that she’s stuck there all summer with her grumpy Uncle Mitch only makes things worse. But when Sam discovers a hidden trapdoor leading to a room full of strange artifacts, she realizes Foggy Harbor isn’t as sleepy as it seems. With the help of a new friend, Sam discovers an extraordinary secret beyond the fog: An island of unicorns whose fates are intertwined with hers.” It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2021 Andrews McMeel Publishing

You “Love” This Series

… or at least you’ve heard of it by now. Love is a series of hardcover graphic novels written by Frederic Brremaud and Federico Bertolucci. Each one is a wordless story of death and survival in the wilderness, following a particular animal. The latest is called Love: The Mastiff. “A loyal Australian hunting dog finds himself alone in the outback when his master is bitten by a poisonous snake. He must venture across the dangerous outback to find his way home alone.” The Magnetic Press web site has several preview pages and even a trailer.

image c. 2021 Magnetic Press

He Ain’t Heavy

Chunky is a new full-color graphic novel, written and illustrated by Yehudi Mercado. The publisher says this: “In this full-color middle grade graphic memoir… Yehudi Mercado draws inspiration from his childhood struggle with his weight while finding friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working class Mexican-Jewish family.” So what’s it about? “Hudi needs to lose weight, according to his doctors. Concerned about the serious medical issue Hudi had when he was younger, his parents push him to try out for sports. Hudi would rather do anything else, but then he meets Chunky, his imaginary friend and mascot. Together, they decide to give baseball a shot.” From there, things get more complicated. Take a look at the web site to find out just how much! It’s available in hardcover or trade paperback.

image c. 2021 Harper Collins

Friendship is Monstrous

A new full-color graphic novel for young folks, written and illustrated by Kaeti Vandorn: It’s called Monster Friends. “Two friends: one big, one little. One old, one young. One grumpy, one cheerful. Both: Monsters! Reggie’s plan is to spend the whole summer brooding over his latest adventure gone wrong. But his friendly and curious neighbor, Emily, won’t let him sit alone and unhappy in his house forever! Despite their differences, these two monsters make the perfect pair of explorers. And with a map to make, a beach party to plan, and a sea monster to find, Reggie will have to learn to talk about his feelings and let new friends in!” Find out how, now, in hardcover from Random House.

image c. 2021 Random House

Lonely Girl meets Helpful Dog

Sometimes the simplest and most true-to-life stories are the most interesting and educational. Such might well be the case with the new graphic novel from Remy Lai called Pawcasso. (Gotta love that title.) “Every Saturday, Pawcasso trots into town with a basket, a shopping list, and cash in paw to buy groceries for his family. One day, he passes eleven-year-old Jo, peering out the window of her house, bored and lonely. Astonished by the sight of an adorable basket-toting dog on his own, Jo follows Pawcasso, and when she’s seen alongside him by a group of kids from her school, they mistake her for Pawcasso’s owner. Excited to make new friends, Jo reluctantly hides the truth and agrees to let “her” dog model for an art class the kids attend. What could go wrong? But what starts as a Chihuahua-sized lie quickly grows Great Dane-sized when animal control receives complaints about a dog roaming the streets off-leash. With Pawcasso’s freedom at stake, is Jo willing to spill the truth and risk her new friendships?” There are preview pages over at the publisher’s web site.

image c. 2021 Henry Holt & Company