InFurNation Rotating Header Image

Young Readers

Run, Rodents, Run!

We had not heard about the Hammy and Gerbee series, but now the first volume is out, and apparently more are coming soon. Written and illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee, the first story of this graphic novel series for young readers is called Hammy and Gerbee: Mummies at the Museum. “Things are looking up for best friends Hammy and Gerbee—a hamster and a gerbil—when they find out they’re both in Miss Capybara’s class. But it’s not long before school becomes a battle between the good (Hammy and Gerbee), the bad (spelling bees and pop quizzes), and the evil (mice twins Anna and Hanna). Can things get any worse? Or mischievous? Yep! They’re going on a field trip to the science museum. What are two rodent friends to do but find their own fun (and trouble)?” It’s available now over at Barnes & Noble, from Henry Holt.

image c. 2018 Henry Holt

The World of Dragons — Now a Comic

Tui T. Sutherland is one of the authors who created the Warriors and Seekers series of cat-fantasy novels under the collective pseudonym of Erin Hunter. You may recall we reviewed her novel series Wings of Fire previously. Well recently Scholastic requested the author to help in adapting that series into a graphic novel, which has been released by Graphix. “Not every dragonet wants a destiny . . . Clay has grown up under the mountain, chosen along with four other dragonets to fulfill a mysterious prophecy and end the war between the dragon tribes of Pyrrhia. He’s not so sure about the prophecy part, but Clay can’t imagine not living with the other dragonets; they’re his best friends. So when one of the dragonets is threatened, all five spring into action. Together, they will choose freedom over fate — on their own terms.” With full-color art by Mike Holmes, Wings of Fire: The Graphic Novel is available now.

image c. 2018 Graphix

Bushido With A Bushy Tail

The well-known funny animal cartoonist Scoot McMahon has returned with a new full-color comic book series for kids: Sami the Samurai Squirrel, published by Action Labs through their Aw Yeah Comics imprint. “When the critters of Woodbriar are under attack, Sami the samurai squirrel is there to protect them! Join Sami and friends as they battle Ninjas, Pirates and a Cyber-Yeti (that’s right, CYBER-YETI)!! This action-packed first issue also features artwork and stories from famous cartoonists Art Baltazar, Franco, and many more!” In fact they’re already up to issue #4 by now.

image c. 2018 Action Labs

Adventures Between Night and Day

The Lost Rainforest is a new fantasy novel series for young readers, written by Eliot Schrefer (author of the Spirit Animals book series). The first book in the series is called Mez’s Magic — and here’s what the publisher, Harper Collins, says it’s about: “Caldera has forever been divided into those animals who walk by night and those who walk by day. Nightwalker panthers, like young Mez and her beloved sister, have always feared daywalkers as creatures of myth and legend. Until the eclipse. Now Mez has discovered that she can cross the Veil and enter the daylight world. Her magical power has unknown depths, but she must rush to discover it after a mysterious stranger arrives at her family’s den, bearing warnings of a reawakened evil. Saving Caldera means Mez must leave her sister behind and unite an unlikely group of animal friends to unravel an ancient mystery and protect their rainforest home.” With interior illustrations by Emilia Dziubak, The Lost Rainforest: Mez’s Magic is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Harper Collins

She Makes A Big Splash

Benson Shum is an illustrator and animation artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation. (He worked on Moana, Zootopia, Big Hero 6, and other films.) As part of their Artist Showcase series, Disney-Hyperion published his illustrated children’s book, Holly’s Day at the Pool, which is available on Amazon. “Holly the hippo imagines the worst: Icebergs and icy water, penguins and seals! Her imagination bursts at every turn, making it harder and harder for her to step foot in the pool… Until she get the chance to be a hero. Holly may be scared, but she is a very brave girl.” Now on his web site Mr. Shum announced that he will be illustrating a new book, Go To Sheep, written by Jennifer Sattler. That one’s set to be published by Little Simon later this spring.

image c. 2018 Disney-Hyperion

Fantastic Art from FC

[And we’re back from Further Confusion with lots to talk about…!] Kea Swartz is an artist who works under the name Talenshi, creating colorful works of fantasy that often feature anthropomorphic animals — and other just plain strange and interesting creatures. The front page of her web site shows you a lot of what we’re talking about. She also illustrated a children’s book called The Little Orange Man which you ought to check out.

image c. 2018 by Talenshi

Jurassic Teens

Well this came out of nowhere… Manosaurs Volume 1: Walk Like A Manosaur is a new full-color graphic novel for kids that’s available now from Papercutz. “Leo ‘the Doc’ Jeffries is down on his luck with his run down Dynamic Dino Display until he unearths a box of bonafide dinosaur eggs! The eggs hatch four talking dinosaurs who rapidly adapt and grow into their new environment… the twenty-first century! Now, Tri, Rex, Ptor, and Pterry must navigate life after extinction and defend their new family from forces of the dreaded Armaggedon who would like to make sure these powerful reptiles stay extinct.” Got that? It’s written by Stefan Petrucha and available in trade paperback or hardcover editions.

image c. 2017 Papercutz

Little Bird Lost

Pete Oswald is a very busy production designer and illustrator. Recently he and his team were responsible for lighting and set design on The Angry Birds Movie. And from his web site: “As a character designer and concept artist, Pete has helped to uplift many of the most successful animated franchises. Among other projects, Pete has worked on Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 1 & 2; Hotel Transylvania; and the Oscar® nominated ParaNorman, for which he earned an Annie Award nomination.” Even with all that going on, Mr. Oswald finds the time to illustrate books for children as well.  Recently he completed one called Mingo the Flamingo (written by Justin K. Thompson and published by Harper Collins). “A hilarious picture book about a flamingo named Mingo who is ready to fly but gets lost from the rest of the flock during a terrible storm. To make matters worse, when he crashes, he completely forgets who he is and where he belongs. With the help and training from some new friends, he must find the strength to make it back home and reunite with his family.” Pete also worked with writers Laura Lyn DeSiena and Hannah Eliot to create a series of “Did You Know?” books — Hippos Can’t Swim and Other Fun Facts being one of them. Also available at his web site.

image c. 2017 Harper Collins

Kitten Wanna Play

Victoria Ying is an author and illustrator. Her web site has this to say: “She started her career in the arts by falling in love with comic books, this eventually turned into a career working in Animation… Her film credits include Tangled, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, Paperman, Big Hero 6, and Moana.” Recent she completed Meow!, her first children’s book. “Meow! is a charming, mostly wordless picture book about a feisty young kitten who gets frustrated when her family is too busy to play. Featuring expressive art and sparse text, this fun read-aloud will allow parents and kids to creatively tell the story by expressing just one word in lots of different ways. This sweet and clever picture book is sure to charm readers through to the final purr.” Ms. Ying also illustrated Not Quite Black and White, written by her brother Jonathan Ying. “Silly animals star in this lively picture book that introduces colors in a unique and catchy way. Have you ever seen a zebra wearing pink polka dots? Or a penguin with bright-yellow boots?” Both of these are available on her web site.

image c. 2017 by Victoria Ying