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Young Readers

Mommy is Always Watching. Thank Goodness.

So here we are in April — Let’s talk about rabbits! Specifically The Runaway Bunny. We got this from Animation World Network: “First published in 1942, The Runaway Bunny is one of the many iconic children’s books by famous Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown; its poetry tells the story of a young bunny anxious to leave home and adventure out into the world beyond his rabbit hole, while also discovering the unending reach of his mother’s protection and love… Amy Schatz, documentary and short film producer and director, has spent the last year working with animator Maciek Albrecht to reimagine the classic 48-page tale into a 25-minute, 2D-animated musical, which premiered yesterday, March 25, on HBO Max.” Read the article to find out more.

image c. 2021 HBO Max

Big Birthday for the Little Blue Blur

We got this announcement directly from IDW Publishing: It’s a big birthday celebration for Sonic the Hedgehog! “Timed to the speedster’s 30th trip around the sun this June, IDW will release the Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special, a super-sized 80-page comic book featuring three tales of colorful heroes and dastardly villains, sure to tug at the heartstrings of fans of all ages! For this spectacular tribute comic, IDW has tapped Gale Galligan, known for her illustration work on The Babysitters Club, along with Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy, podcasters recognizable from The Adventure Zone and the wildly popular My Brother, My Brother, and Me. This group of newcomers will be contributing their first-ever Sonic adventures alongside fan-favorite and longtime scribe Ian Flynn and artists Mauro Fonseca, Reggie Graham, Aaron Hammerstrom, and Thomas Rothlisberger.” Find out more at the web site — and look for the special trade paperback in stores this summer. Shop safely!

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Aesop It Ain’t

Stone Arch Books have a new line of graphic novels for young readers called Far Out Fables. And like all the best fables, they involve animal characters! With names like Chicken Little Saves The Moon Base (by Benjamin Harper and Omar Lozano), Punk Rock Mouse and Country Mouse (Brandon Terrell and Alex Lopez), and The Wolf in Unicorn’s Clothing (Katie Schenkel and Jimena Sanchez), you can kind of see how this is going. Visit their web site to see all their new titles. They’re published by Capstone.

image c. 2021 Capstone

A Trio for Snowy Days

We just found out about three upcoming animated specials — all of which have some definite Furry interest in them. “Entertainment company TeamTO has acquired the TV, film, and licensing rights to three popular children’s books: Snowman (Snowy and the Snowman), by Jacques Duquennoy; Fox’s Garden (The Winter I Met the Fox), by Camille Garoche; and Something’s Fishy  (Penguin’s Ice Time) by Jean Gouronas. The three winter-themed stories will be produced as individual specials for the 2022/2023 holiday season… In The Winter I Met The Fox, directed by Emma Carré, a fox finds refuge from a cold and snowy evening in a greenhouse. Shy little Sacha overcomes his fears and comes to the rescue with Chickpea, a pet chicken. He is amazed to find that the Fox had babies and learns that friendship is about reaching out. Directed by Lois Espuche, Penguin’s Ice Time follows Penguin as he is ice fishing, but the fish aren’t biting. But why? A comedic cast of polar characters gather, chatter, wager guess and generally, aggravate Penguin until…they hear something below the ice! Snowy and The Snowman, directed by Sif Perlt Savery, stars Snowy, a young snowgirl living in Snowland with her elf parents. On her first day of hockey practice Snowy’s dream of flying like a superhero Snowman comes true as she rescues a little rabbit from a mighty Yeti.” Once again we have Animation World Network to thank for the news. Keep an ear open for release dates next year.

image c. 2021 TeamTO

Ally and Her Allies

Another graphic novel for young readers, this one written and illustrated by Norm Feuti. “Ally the alligator is perfectly happy being alone . . . until one day a noisy bird named Beak lands on her snout. Beak thinks Ally is lonely and needs a friend. He has all sorts of friendship goals in mind, like riding bikes together, going to the movies together, and even solving mysteries together! But when a Long-Billed Party Pooper crashes Beak’s nest-warming party, Ally decides to show Beak something important to her: Sticking up for what’s right.” Beak & Ally Volume 1: Unlikely Friends is available now in hardcover from Harper Collins.

image c. 2021 Harper Collins

Dogged Determination

Hound Heroes is a new superhero graphic novel series for some of the youngest readers, available now from Scholastic. “Meet the Hound Heroes: Fearless Captain Chihuahua, the big-hearted Great, Great Dane, super-speedy Poodle Girl, cyborg pup Power Pug, and the loveable yet irritating Super Sheep Dog. Together they make up earth’s furriest heroes! In this first adventure, the Hound Heroes’ origin story is revealed when a spaceship crashes in their backyard, giving them super powers! But they aren’t the only ones who benefit — neighborhood alleycat The Claw also gains powers, and she only wants one thing: To destory the Hound Heroes!” Okay, so it’s more for “dog people” than it is for “cat people” — unless you’re into super-villains perhaps! Hound Heroes Volume 1: Beware The Claw is written and illustrated by Todd Goldman.

image c. 2021 Scholastic

Got a Snail of Tale to Tell Ya, Lads

Max Lang and Magic Light Pictures made a name for themselves more than ten years ago with an animated adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s picture book The Gruffalo. (Soon after, we and everyone else were talking about the film!) Well nothing breeds success like success, so now Magic Light is back with a new stop-motion/CGI adaptation of the author’s 2003 book The Snail and the Whale. “The film’s remarkably realistic and vibrant animation begins with a tiny peach-colored snail who longs to journey outside the confines of her seaport-adjacent rock home and see the depths of the sea and vastness of the wide world. Writing a note on her rock in glistening snail slime that she’s looking to hitch a ride around the world, the snail is visited by a large humpback whale who offers her a ride on his tail for the adventure of a lifetime. As the snail and the whale encounter warm beachside sunsets, brisk mountain ranges, rainbow reefs as well as dangerous storms and sinister sharks, the snail has an existential awakening about her place in the world and wonders what her purpose could be as a small creature on such a large planet.” Animation World Network has a whole lot more, including previews and a look behind the scenes.

image c. 2021 Magic Light Pictures

Yip Yip, Yip Yip, Yip Yip Yip

It’s nice to see James Kochalka back around — though perhaps in a bit less of an adult vein than the last time we heard from him! Banana Fox #1: The Secret Sour Society is a new full-color graphic novel from Scholastic: “The great detective Banana Fox is called back to duty to find a missing turtle. But the deeper he digs, the more he discovers, and it’s worse than he thought! The Secret Sour Society is back, and they’re mixing up a bunch of trouble. Can Banana Fox and his sidekick, Flashlight, put an end to the Secret Sour Society once and for all?” Find out in hardcover or paperback.

image c. 2021 Scholastic

Move, Canine. Move!

Continuing on the doggie train… Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman is a cherished book from our childhood for many of us. Well now Dreamworks Animation (along with WildBrain) have created a brand new animated series based on the book, and brought it to Netflix. (Neat trick, given that the book had nothing resembling a plot…) It goes like this: “Go, Dog. Go!  follows 6-year-old Tag Barker on her adventures in the city of Pawston, a fun-loving community of dogs on the go. Tag is a skilled mechanic and loves anything that goes. With her ingenuity and creativity, Tag can go as far as any plan will take her with her best friend Scooch Pooch by her side.” Animation World Network has more information, plus you can check out the official web site from Dreamworks.

image c. 2021 Dreamworks Animation