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Hardcover Books

Ravenous Rodents and Sugary Substances

Good grief, there’s been a lot of anthropomorphic content for young folks coming out of Penguin Random House lately! Now there’s Norma and Belly, Volume 1: Donut Feed The Squirrels (whew, another long title too) written and illustrated by animator Mika Song. From the publisher: “Norma and Belly plan to start the day with some pancakes, but when Norma accidentally burns them, these two best friends set out to find a new treat. Chestnuts might be nice . . . but what is that delicious smell in the distance? A new food truck has parked near their tree, and these two squirrels are going to figure out how to get their hands on these ‘donuts’ that it seems to be selling.” There are other graphic novels available in the Norma and Belly series as well.

image c. 2020 Penguin Random House

Teeth and Tech

…and more graphic novels for young readers, coming to us from Penguin Random House. Possibly the strangest yet for the current crop: Shark and Bot, written and illustrated by Brian Yanish. “Shark loves water. Bot short circuits if he goes near water! Shark recites poetry. Bot recites facts. Can these two really be friends? They’re both a little awkward… They both love comics… And just wait til you see their dance moves when they confront a playground bully.” It’s available now in hardcover. Fun fact: Mr. Yanish works for the Jim Henson Company.

image c. 2020 Penguin Random House

Snack Pets

We’ve talked before about the works of Paige Braddock, both as a writer and an illustrator. Now they’re back with a new full-color graphic novel, Peanut, Butter, and Crackers Volume 1: Puppy Problems. (Woof, what a title!) “Crackers is a rescue dog who’s a bit on the nervous side, but pretty comfy at home with Butter, a very plump cat who–like all cats–is all about himself. The two pets have a good life: big backyard, nice couch, good eats, and an owner who goes to work every day so they can pretty much do what they want. Enter Peanut, a brand-new puppy with big floppy ears, unabashed energy, and no appreciation for the quiet life. The little dog is a chowhound who dips into everybody’s food bowl. He drools, he chews up stuff, he doesn’t get how stairs work, and he’s afraid of the dark. Yowl! Not to mention he’s hogging their owner’s lap. Even the squirrels in the yard are laughing at this goofy little canine. Butter and Crackers have had it! This puppy has to go! But when the backyard gate is left open (the cat’s idea, of course!) and Peanut wanders out and gets lost, the older animals remember what it was like to be alone–and lonely. Butter and Crackers to the rescue!” It’s available now in hardcover from Penguin Random House.

image c. 2020 Penguin Random House

Find the Pig Wizard

Lightfall: The Girl and the Galdurian is the first graphic novel in the new Lightfall series, written and illustrated by Tim Probert. “Deep in the heart of the planet Irpa stands the Salty Pig’s House of Tonics & Tinctures, home of the wise Pig Wizard and his adopted granddaughter, Bea. As keepers of the Endless Flame, they live a quiet and peaceful life, crafting medicines and potions for the people of their once-prosperous world. All that changes one day when, while walking through the woods, Bea meets Cad, a member of the Galdurians, an ancient race thought to be long-extinct. Cad believes that if anyone can help him find his missing people, it’s the Pig Wizard. But when the two arrive home, the Pig Wizard is nowhere to be found—all that’s left is the Jar of Endless Flame and a mysterious note. Fearing for the Pig Wizard’s safety, Bea and Cad set out across Irpa to find him, while danger fights its way out of the shadows and into the light.” The book is available now in hardcover and softcover from Harper Collins.

image c. 2020 Harper Collins

Looking On In Awwww

And another “ridiculously cute” (to quote one critic) full-color graphic novel for young readers: Bunbun & Bonbon, Volume 1 — Fancy Friends, written and illustrated by Jess Keating. “Bunbun has it all: a delightful Bunbun nose, a winning Bunbun smile, a ridiculously cute Bunbun tail, and not one, but two adorable Bunbun ears. But Bunbun doesn’t have a friend — until Bunbun meets Bonbon. Learning how to be fancy and eating donuts for lunch are two of the duo’s many adventures in this irresistible young graphic novel by acclaimed author and illustrator Jess Keating. Hop hop hooray!” Previews has more.

image c. 2020 Scholastic

Dungeon Crawly Critters

And more new stuff from MacMillan Publishing. Dungeon Critters is a new full-color fantasy graphic novel written by Natalie Riess and illustrated by Sara Goetter. “Join the Dungeon Critters — a tight-knit squad of animal companions — on a wild adventure investigating a sinister botanical conspiracy among the furry nobility. As they risk their lives traveling through haunted dungeons, swamps, and high society balls — they also come closer together as friends. Motivated by rivalries, ideals, and a lust for adventure, these critters navigate not only perils and dangers of the natural world, but also perils and dangers…of the heart!” MacMillan has preview pages on line. Look for it later this month.

image c. 2020 First Second

Moose and… Owl?

“Brought to you by the New York Times bestselling author of the My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series!” Now there’s a fact you’re not going to hear very often, are you? It’s Agent Moose, a new full color graphic novel for young readers written by Mo O’Hara and illustrated by Jess Bradley. “Agent Moose, the best (worst) secret agent in the Big Forest, and his slightly-more-intelligent sidekick Owlfred are on the case in this new full color graphic novel chapter book series… Something fishy is going on at the South Shore. Folks just disappear and are never seen again. But when Agent Moose learns that a key witness has gone missing, he and Owlfred ride to the rescue. Will they find the missing turtle before time runs out?” Find out more over at MacMillan Publishers.

image c. 2020 Feiwel & Friends

Find Friends Where You Can

It’s not news that anthropomorphic characters don’t get to be the leads in many stories — but it’s those non-human secondary characters that make the story interesting. On that note, check out Timo the Adventurer.  It’s a new black & white graphic novel written by Jonathan Garnier, illustrated by Yohan Sacre, and imported by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “Having read every book in his tiny village, young Timo decides it is time to leave home and become a hero. And while that is easier said than done, Timo is determined to succeed. When he rescues an enchanted beast named Broof, Timo gains a gruff and reluctant ally. But little does good-hearted Timo suspect that Broof’s mysterious past will bring complications to his journey…. An engaging hero, surprising plot twists, and a host of fantastical creatures keep readers turning the pages of this spelling-binding fantasy.” It’s out now in hardcover and paperback versions.

image c. 2020 HMH Books

Once More, Join Us For Tea

We’re always excited when a new book by Katie O’Neill is coming down the road (as you may have noticed), and that’s especially true when it’s a new Tea Dragon book! For one last time, join the cast of The Tea Dragon Society in the final book of this magical graphic novel series, The Tea Dragon Tapestry. “It’s been over a year since she was entrusted with Ginseng’s care and Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.” Check out the review over at Comics Beat, and look for Tapestry this September from Oni Press.

image c. 2020 Oni Press