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Hardcover Books

The Bird Pays Him Back

The King of Birds is a new hardcover graphic novel, written and illustrated in full color by Alexander Utkin. It’s published by Nobrow Press: “The King of Birds has victoriously defeated the King of Animals, but he is left gravely injured. He promises a merchant a great reward if he can nurse him back to health. Upon his recovery, they travel far across the land to the domains of the King’s three sisters to claim the merchant’s prize… but can his sisters overcome their greed and give up that which is most precious to them?” This is the first story in the new Gamayun Tales series of Russian folk tales — hosted by the titular Gamayun, a human-faced bird who tells stories. Check out the review over at Broken Frontier. The book is available now.

image c. 2018 Nobrow Press

Meet Him Next Tuesday

With a name like Taco, this rodent is gonna be different… maybe even difficult. “This is a squirrel . . . ‘Hey, I may be a squirrel, but my name is Taco! And I don’t eat nuts and tree bark — blech — I prefer tacos!’ The natural predator of squirrels is . . . ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa! Who is writing this book? I do not like where this is going.’ This hilarious send-up of a children’s nature primer teaches kids that the most important story is the one you write yourself.” This Is A Taco was written by Andrew Cangelose and illustrated by Josh Shipley. It’s available now from the Cubhouse imprint of Lion Forge. Check it out at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2018 Cubhouse

A Slow Friendship

Now there’s a new full-color graphic novel for young readers, written and illustrated by Graham Annable (director of The Box Trolls). Peter & Ernesto: A Tale Of Two Sloths — pretty straightforward, yes? “Peter and Ernesto are sloths. Peter and Ernesto are friends. But Peter and Ernesto are nothing alike. Peter loves their tree and never wants to leave, while Ernesto loves the sky and wants to see it from every place on Earth. When Ernesto leaves to have a grand adventure, Peter stays behind and frets. The two friends grow even closer in separation, as Peter the homebody expands his horizons and Ernesto the wanderer learns the value of home.” It’s available now from First Second.

image c. 2018 First Second

A World Far Away… As Seen By Others

The re-discovery of Jim Henson’s masterpiece film continues with Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Artist Tribute, new from Boom! Studios. “Return to the world of The Dark Crystal and see the vivid locations, life-like creatures, and beloved heroes as realized by a collection of uniquely original artistic voices in celebration of one of Jim Henson’s most enduring creations. The Dark Crystal Artist Tribute features illustrations from artist luminaries and newcomers alike, including Jae Lee, David Petersen, Mark Buckingham, Cory Godbey, Jeff Stokely, Benjamin Dewey, Sana Takeda, and the film’s original concept artist, Brian Froud.” It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Boom! Studios

One Ear, Many Adventures

Keiran Larwood is a kindergarten teacher on the Isle of Wight in the UK. In the free time that leaves him, he’s created a series of fantasy adventure novels for young readers called Larwood. (In the USA — in Europe it’s called The Five Realms.) The first book is Podkin One-Ear.  From Amazon: “In a classic fantasy world of anthropomorphic rabbits, three young siblings are on the run from the villainous Gorm tribe who have killed and enslaved their clan. Podkin, once destined to be clan leader, has always been spoiled, but now he must act bravely as he, his older sister, and baby brother flee for their lives. Facing pursuit and treachery, the three collect allies in their search for refuge, until at last they are ready to fight back against the Gorm…” All three books in the series are available in hardcover from Faber & Faber.

image c. 2018 Faber & Faber

Itty-Bitty Bat, Mega Personality

Sometimes we just let the publishers provide our tag line! Megabat is a new hardcover book for young readers by Anna Humphrey (illustrated by Kass Reich and published by Tundra Books). “Daniel Misumi has just moved to a new house. It’s big and old and far away from his friends and his life before. AND it’s haunted . . . or is it? Megabat was just napping on a papaya one day when he was stuffed in a box and shipped halfway across the world. Now he’s living in an old house far from home, feeling sorry for himself and accidentally scaring the people who live there. Daniel realizes it’s not a ghost in his new house. It’s a bat. And he can talk. And he’s actually kind of cute. Megabat realizes that not every human wants to whack him with a broom. This one shares his smooshfruit. Add some buttermelon, juice boxes, a light-saber and a common enemy and you’ve got a new friendship in the making!” Again, find out more over at PRH.

image c. 2018 Tundra Books

Little Squirrel Asks Big Questions

Came across a new children’s book from award-winning author Cynthia Voigt. Toaff’s Way is illustrated by Sydney Hanson, and it’s available now in hardcover from Knopf Books. “Toaff is a small squirrel full of big questions. Why must I stay away from the human’s house? Why shouldn’t I go beyond the pine trees? Why do we fight with the red squirrels across the drive? His sister shrugs–that’s just the way things are. His brother bullies–because I said so. And the older squirrels scold–too many questions! Can Toaff really be the only one to wonder why? When a winter storm separates him from his family, Toaff must make his own way in the world.” Check it out over at Penguin Random House.

image c. 2018 Knopf Books

These Rabbits are Dynamite!

Here’s another project we found out about through Animation World Network: “Fox Family is prepping children’s book The Royal Rabbits of London as a hybrid CG-animation/live-action feature film, Variety reports. Screenwriter Will Davies, whose credits include Flushed Away, Puss and Boots, How to Train Your Dragon, and the forthcoming Abominable, has been hired to write the script. The Royal Rabbits of London is based on the 2016 children’s book written by husband-and-wife team Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore… There’s no word yet on where the animation will be produced. The story introduces the Royal Rabbits of London, who have secretly protected England’s Royal Family for centuries. When a small country rabbit uncovers an devious plot against the royals, he travels to London to warn the protective order.” Not to leave it out: The book was illustrated by Kate Hindley and it’s available at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2018 Aladdin Publishers

Art for the Endangered

Here’s what we learned at Comic Con: “Expedition Art is a team of artists who have joined together to raise awareness for wildlife and nature conservation initiatives through art.” To that end they have created the book In Danger, a collection of art designed to raise awareness (and funds!) for endangered species the world over. And what a collection! Black & white and color works from no less than 51 artists, including among them: Aaron Blaise, Bobby Chiu, Iain McCaig, Joe Weatherly, Terryl Whitlatch, and many many more. Visit their web site to find out how to order your own copy.

image c. 2018 Expedition Art