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Hardcover Books

You Knew It All Along, Didn’t You?

Tell us: Do you trust your housecat? Well along comes another book series looking to make you look askance perhaps. How can you miss a title like Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat? Well that’s the new series of science fiction novels by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth (featuring art by Robb Mommaerts). It starts like this: “Klawde had everything. Sharp claws. Fine fur. And, being the High Commander of the planet Lyttyrboks, an entire world of warlike cats at his command. But when he is stripped of his feline throne, he is sentenced to the worst possible punishment: exile to a small planet in a quiet corner of the universe… named Earth… Raj had everything. A cool apartment in Brooklyn. Three friends who lived in his building. And pizza and comics within walking distance. But when his mom gets a job in Elba, Oregon, and he is forced to move, all of that changes. It’s now the beginning of summer, he has no friends, and because of his mother’s urgings, he has joined a nature camp. It’s only when his doorbell rings and he meets a furball of a cat that Raj begins to think maybe his luck is turning around… ” Three books in the series are available now from Penguin Random House. Fft Fft!

image c. 2019 Penguin Random House

 

Enter the World of Cerulean

We literally came across this book on the shelf at a local coffee house! Never heard of it, but wow… Sunborn Rising is a new fantasy series for young folks by Aaron Safronoff, lavishly illustrated in both black & white and full color. “The Great Trees of Cerulean are dying. Infected with a mysterious blight, time is running out. Join Barra, a willful, resourceful and adventurous young Arboreal and her two friends, Plicks and Tory, as they journey down into the forgotten heart of their world in a desperate attempt to save it.” The first book in the series, Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall, is available now in several formats. The official web site has lots of background information and several videos about the making of the series. (Honestly, this looks like an animated movie waiting to happen!)

image c. 2019 Neoglyphic Entertainment Inc

They’re Not Toys

And another from the Festival of Books — in a similar vein, perhaps. This is the Isle of Misfits series of novels for young readers, written by Jamie May and illustrated by Freya Hartas. The first book, appropriately called First Class, goes like this: “Gibbon is a gargoyle who has been unable to sit still for hundreds of years. One day, he leaves his post from the castle he was meant to be guarding, and a person sees Gibbon, he panics and runs away. As Gibbon is sadly walking back, he meets three gargoyles who bring him to an island filled with other legendary creatures. There, he goes to a special academy that will train him to go on missions to protect all sorts of mythical creatures who are in trouble. Excited to go and happy that he won’t be lonely anymore, Gibbon is also nervous to go some place where he doesn’t know anyone. Will he be able to make friends in this new place? Find out in this new and exciting creature-filled series, complete with a hilarious cast of characters such as a clumsy dragon, an ill-tempered fairy, a griffin with poor flying skills, and a yeti with a manbun!” Four books in the series are available now from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2019 Simon & Schuster

Be Careful What You Wish For

At this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books we came across an illustrated children’s book called If I Had A Gryphon, written by Vikki Vansickle — and our eyes were caught by the colorful illustrations of Cale Atkinson. “Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring … he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, hippogriffs scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet … or is he?” You can find out more at Penguin Random House.

image c. 2019 Penguin Random House

They’re Binding Him With Science

Comic publisher Humanoids have a new all-ages imprint called BIG, and the first publication from it is called Bigby Bear. “A series of vignettes on imagination, science, mathematics, and the life of our planet…shared from the perspective of a curious bear and his furry, forest-dwelling friends! Bigby Bear lives peacefully in the lush mountains where he was born. Struggling to figure out nature and its elements, Bigby engages in silly experiments of all kinds. Accompanied by his loyal rabbit friend, he gives us the secret to living a happy, simple life: To follow your curiosity, and make friends along the way.” Written and illustrated by Philippe Coudray, Bigby Bear is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2019 BIG

This Guy’s Got Class

Here’s a new full-color graphic novel we discovered thanks to Previews: Mr. Wolf’s Class.From Eisner Award-–winning creator Aron Nels Steinke, a vibrant, funny new series that charmingly captures the everyday antics of a fourth–grade classroom! Mr. Wolf has just started teaching at Hazelwood Elementary. He wants the first day of school to go well, but he’s got his hands full with his new class. Some of his students include: Margot, who is new in town and is trying to make friends. Sampson, who brought something special to school for show-–and-–tell. Aziza, who just wants everyone to be quiet and do their work. And Penny, who is very sleepy because she has a new baby brother at home, goes missing!” Look for it in hardcover over at Scholastic. Oh,  and makes sure to check out the sequel, Mr. Wolf’s Class: Mystery Club.

image c. 2019 Graphix

 

Save the Hive — Save the World

We’ll admit we weren’t familiar with the works of comic creator Mary Fleener, but maybe we should have been: Check out her new graphic novel from Fantagraphics, Billie The Bee. “Meet Billie, an oversized honeybee with an even bigger personality! She’s bold, boisterous, and always singin’ up a storm. Billie lives a sweet life exploring the marshes of San Diego and making friends with Kay the kind Fox, Rayleen the rattlesnake, and Flo and Mo, the dirty joke-telling turtle sisters. But one day humans arrive and illegally release some rabid creatures into the marsh lands, upsetting the delicate ecological balance of the habitat. Can Billie and her woodland friends band together to repel these wild outsiders? And when a natural disaster strikes, does Billie have what it takes to lead the hive? Mary Fleener’s intricate crosshatching and signature mind-bending forays into cubist storytelling masterfully conjure up the world of her plucky honeybee protagonist. A deep dive into the secret life of bees, Billie’s story is by turns both charming and harrowing.” It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2019 Fantagraphics Books

Can’t Stop The Rock

Archaia has a special edition reprint you should know about — with a long title! See what’s happening down at Fraggle Rock… “It’s the annual ‘Splish-Splash Friend Bash’ at Fraggle Pond and all of Fraggle Rock is invited! But when a few bullies decide to crash the party, Gobo, Boober, and the other Fraggles will have to look out for one another and come up with a plan to help everyone get along. Written and illustrated  by Jay Fosgitt (Bodie Troll), Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock: The Rough Side of the Rock celebrates Jim Henson’s timeless television series with an inspiring story of acceptance and friendship for fans of all ages.” It’s issue #2 of Archaia’s Fraggle Rock comic, but now it’s in a premium hardcover picture book format. Check out the preview over at Graphic Policy. (Happy 4th!)

image c. 2019 Archaia

The Bug and the Bullies

The folks over at Previews magalog let us know about this new book. “From the visionary Shaun Tan, an inspirational story for older picture book readers and beyond. Cicada tells the story of a hardworking little cicada who is completely unappreciated for what he does. But in the end, just when you think he’s given up, he makes a transformation into something ineffably beautiful. A metaphor for growing up? A bit of inspiration for the unappreciated striver in all of us? Yes, yes, and more.” It’s available now from Arthur A. Levine Books.

image c. 2019 Arthur A. Levine Books