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Young Readers

A Sour Relationship

Another from the where-have-we-BEEN department… Everybody Loves Cats vs. Pickles is a new hardcover illustrated book and comic by Darren Farrel and Gabriele Tafuni. Evidently, it’s based on a best-selling series of plush toys. “To what lengths will the Pickles go to cultivate a furry friendship? Will our Cats pay them any attention at all? Which Cats will totally freak out (hint: all of them)? Find out in Everybody Loves Cats vs. Pickles, the debut title, featuring three hilarious stories that will keep you coming back for more. Everybody Loves Cats vs. Pickles includes 2 sticker sheets and collectible postcards.” And it’s available now from Dynamite Publishing. Strong enough to open the jar?

image c. 2023 Dynamite Publishing

Multi-Species Messaging

Somehow we missed The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and the Horse when it was an illustrated book sensation three years ago. But now it’s been made into a new 2D-animated film, directed by the book’s author Charlie Mackesy with the help of animator Peter Baynton (The Tiger Who Came To Tea). “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse features traditional hand-drawn animation to tell a heartwarming tale of the unlikely friendship between the title characters as they journey in search of the boy’s home. Yet, as simple as the story is, the film, like the book, contains deep and profound insights into the things that matter most in life, offering a sorely needed message of hope in a troubled time.” Animation World Network has a detailed article about the film, which premiered on Apple TV+ at Christmas. Interesting to note: Idris Elba, Chief Bogo himself, voices the Fox.

image c. 2022 Apple Original Films

For Once, Yes to the Anchovies

Sheesh, what have we been missing on line? Things like this, apparently: “New York Times bestselling Mac Barnett and Caldecott Honor award-winning illustrator Shawn Harris turn their massively popular The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza live cartoon into an action-packed and hysterical graphic novel series… Something terrible is happening in the skies! Rats are eating the moon! There’s only one hero for the job, a bold and fearsome beast bioengineered in a secret lab to be the moon’s savior and Earth’s last hope! And that hero is . . . a cat. A cat who will be blasted into space! Accompanied by the imperious Moon Queen and LOZ 4000, a toenail clipping robot, the First Cat in Space journeys across a fantastic lunar landscape in a quest to save the world. Will these unlikely heroes save the moon in time?” Find out now, courtesy of Harper Collins.

image c. 2022 Harper Collins

The Chicken Go Book Book Book

And yet more animated book adaptations. We got this from Animation World Network: “Apple TV+ just released a trailer for its newest animated series, Interrupting Chicken, based on the 2011 Caldecott Honor-winning book series written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein. The preschool series introduces children to the joy of creative writing – starting with a little young chicken named Piper, who has a habit of interrupting story time! Every time Piper hears a story, she can’t help but jump in, ask questions, and let her imagination run wild.” The new series premiers on November 18th, and the trailer is up on line.

image c. 2022 Apple TV+

Same Canada?

The Oates & The Elphyne is the interesting title of a new full-color graphic novel written and illustrated by Michael Walsh (Comeback). The description goes like this: “The Oates family moves to their ancestral home in Newfoundland following a pair of tragedies.They arrive at their Grandmother’s house, where they reunite with their orphaned cousin. Shortly after arriving, Beth, the youngest sibling, is kidnapped by a dark creature. Her older siblings set out to find her and bring her back, finding themselves in the Elphyne—a magical world that exists between the ordinary world and the afterlife. In the Elphyne, the imagination of children has the power to shape everything around them. The children, along with some new allies, must travel through the Elphyne to confront The Dark King, a mysterious being whose arrival has started to corrupt the Elphyne in frightening and unexpected ways. It is up to Beth’s siblings to rescue her from his clutches.” Not mentioned in that description is the fact those “new allies” include an anthro bear and a winged fairy. It’s available now in hardcover from Humanoids.

image c. 2022 Humanoids

Female Flame-Breathers to the Fore

The Sparkle Dragons is a new full-color graphic novel written by Emma Carlson Berne and illustrated by Luke Flowers. “Meet the Sparkle Dragons: The spunkiest crew in all of Princess Puff’s queendom! Trixie is fierce with brains and beauty. Rue is tough as nails with a heart of shimmering gold. And, last but not least, Glinda, who often has her head in the clouds, but her out-of-the-box problem-solving can be her strongest asset. With their unique powers combined, they are an unstoppable force! And let’s be honest: Fighting off bad guys with glitter beams can be pretty hilarious . . . and sticky!” Do tell. It’s available now in hardcover or trade paperback from Harper-Collins.

image c. Clarion Books

Pony Progress

So Netflix brings us a new generation of My Little Pony? Then IDW is sure to bring us a new generation of My Little Pony comic book — with an easy title too: My Little Pony. “Join Sunny, Izzy, Zipp, Pipp, Hitch, and their trusty sidekick Cloudpuff as they explore a brand-new Equestria following the magical events of the hit Netflix movie! With magic returned to Equestria, the ponies are more united than ever — at least until one of the Unity Crystals is stolen! Can the Mane 5 find the culprit before magic is gone for good? And where’s Cloudpuff leading them, anyway? Is this . . . Canterlot?!” Written by Celeste Bronfman, and illustrated by fan-favorite artist Amy Mebberson.

image c. 2022 IDW Comics

Where The Scaled Things Are

Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon has done a fine job in the past of providing us with many fine and furry animated movies. (Wolfwalkers, anyone?) Now they’re back with a brand new project that’s coming soon to Netflix. And the first trailer just dropped: “Netflix has shared a trailer and key art for its highly anticipated upcoming 2D animated feature, My Father’s Dragon, inspired by Ruth Stiles Gannett’s Newbery-honored children’s book of the same name, and directed by Academy Award-nominated director Nora Twomey (The Breadwinner)… In the film a young boy, Elmer, struggling to cope after a move to the city with his mother, runs away in search of Wild Island and a young dragon who waits to be rescued. Elmer’s adventures introduce him to ferocious beasts, a mysterious island, and the friendship of a lifetime.” Coming to Netflix on November 11.

image c. 2022 Cartoon Saloon

Bringing Adventure Back From The Brink

We love that tag! So much that we stole it! The Extincts: Quest for the Unicorn Horn is a new hardcover graphic novel. “A team of genetically-enhanced extinct animals embark on top-secret missions around the world in this new graphic novel series. Meet Scratch, Martie, Lug, and Quito, members of a secret organization called R.O.A.R., or the Rescue Ops Acquisition Rangers. When their boss, Dr. Z, finally calls on them for their first big mission, the team heads to Siberia to retrieve an ancient unicorn horn from the thawing permafrost. Scratch is thrilled at the chance to prove his worth to Dr. Z — but as soon as they land, the team runs into a mysterious enemy determined to take them down. With exciting missions, plenty of humor, and an environmental angle, this series starter from New York Times bestselling illustrator Scott Magoon is an action-packed adventure from start to finish.” The publisher has a lot more information.

image c. 2022 Abrams Books