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Young Readers

Wolfcraft

Okay, follow us here — this has several layers. Stacy Hinojosa is a well-known YouTube personality who has created a popular series of fantasy Minecraft videos called “Dogcraft”, under the name Stacy Plays. Well now, under that same name, she has spun off one of those Minecraft stories into a new fantasy book series, Wild Rescuers, written under the same name. The first book in the series, Guardians of the Taiga, goes like this: “Stacy was raised by wolves. She’s never needed humans to survive and, from what she sees of humans, they’re dangerous and unpredictable. For as long as she can remember, Stacy’s pack of six powerful, playful wolves — Addison, Basil, Everest, Noah, Tucker and Wink — have been her only family.  Together, Stacy’s pack patrols the forest to keep other animals safe, relying on her wits and each wolf’s unique abilities to accomplish risky rescue missions. But as the forest changes and new dangers begin lurking, are Stacy and the wolves prepared for the perils that await them?” The book is available in hardcover now. Harper Collins has more information, as well as an interview video with the author.

image c. 2018 Harper Collins

Kung Fu Fighting. Well, Not Exactly.

Somehow we missed this when it came around last year. Team Taekwondo is a black & white graphic novel series for younger readers, published by Rodale Kids. The first volume is called Ara’s Rocky Road to White BeltIt goes like this: “Ara is the odd turtle out in his family, preferring his rock collection to new or wild adventures—until he meets Baeoh, a confident tiger who practices martial arts. Unsure if he has what it takes to join Baeoh’s taekwondo team, Ara must learn how to come out of his shell, persist through failure, and accept the help of his new friends to complete the Tiger Fitness Challenge.” They go on further to say, “The Team Taekwondo series combines the appeal of graphic novels and martial arts to deliver action-filled, character-building stories. Each book also includes one free lesson at any participating licensed ATA Martial Arts location.” Each book in the series is written by Master Taekwon Lee and Jeffrey Nodelman, and illustrated by Ethen Beavers. Now the second volume, Baeoh and the Bully, was just released to stores as well.

image c. 2018 Rodale Kids

Meet Him Next Tuesday

With a name like Taco, this rodent is gonna be different… maybe even difficult. “This is a squirrel . . . ‘Hey, I may be a squirrel, but my name is Taco! And I don’t eat nuts and tree bark — blech — I prefer tacos!’ The natural predator of squirrels is . . . ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa! Who is writing this book? I do not like where this is going.’ This hilarious send-up of a children’s nature primer teaches kids that the most important story is the one you write yourself.” This Is A Taco was written by Andrew Cangelose and illustrated by Josh Shipley. It’s available now from the Cubhouse imprint of Lion Forge. Check it out at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2018 Cubhouse

A Slow Friendship

Now there’s a new full-color graphic novel for young readers, written and illustrated by Graham Annable (director of The Box Trolls). Peter & Ernesto: A Tale Of Two Sloths — pretty straightforward, yes? “Peter and Ernesto are sloths. Peter and Ernesto are friends. But Peter and Ernesto are nothing alike. Peter loves their tree and never wants to leave, while Ernesto loves the sky and wants to see it from every place on Earth. When Ernesto leaves to have a grand adventure, Peter stays behind and frets. The two friends grow even closer in separation, as Peter the homebody expands his horizons and Ernesto the wanderer learns the value of home.” It’s available now from First Second.

image c. 2018 First Second

Bear and Butterfly

Jim Benton is a comic creator known for titles like Dear Dumb Diary, It’s Happy Bunny, and other titles for younger readers with a sense of humor. Now IDW is previewing his latest graphic novel, simply titled Clyde. According to Comics Beat: “Arriving in February from IDW / Yoe Book, Jim Benton’s Clyde is an original graphic novel that follow Clyde the Bear as he moves from Cubville to Grizzly City (with an ex-juvenile delinquent butterfly) to see if The Bad Life is for him”. It’s a ways off still, but look for it in paperback next February.

image c. 2018 IDW Publications

In the Wilds of Canada

Well here’s something different: Mythical Creatures is a full-color one-shot comic from Arcana Studios, written by Mark Poulton and Sean O’Reilly and illustrated by Munro Te Whata. “Eru lives for video games, but after an argument with his mother, he sets out on a real life adventure. Getting lost in the Canadian wilderness, Eru befriends Gwaii and a Patupaiarehe, who help him track down the mystical Raven to get back home. During their journey, they encounter some creatures from the rich mythology of Canada and New Zealand. Based on the upcoming animated pilot from Arcana Studio and Kiwa Digital.” Sounds like something we’d like to know more about! And oo, look: Here’s a video preview too.

image c. 2018 Arcana Studios

When the Teacher’s Away…

And look: Here’s a whole new series of novels for young readers by Bruce Hale. The first book in the Class Pets series is called Fuzzy’s Great Escape. “Fuzzy is the ambitious and unfortunately named guinea pig of class 5B. He has big plans for this year — namely, to be president of the Class Pets Club. Then the cutest, most charming new bunny shows up and spins Fuzzy’s plan like a hamster wheel. There’s only one way to topple the adorable new club president: Fuzzy is taking the pets on a field trip!” Follow up that fun with Fuzzy Takes Charge and Fuzzy Freaks Out. All of them are available now from Scholastic Press.

image c. 2018 Scholastic Press

The OTHER Reptile Into Pizza

We came across this: Pizzasaurus Rex, a new graphic novel for teens written and illustrated by Justin Wagner (with inks and colors by Warren Wucinich). “Meet Jeremy Duderman, the most extremely awesome scientific mind of his generation. Too bad everyone’s too busy bullying him or just generally disliking him to realize it. But that all ends today. Jeremy has invented the Reality Alternative Dimensionator (R.A.D. for short), a device that allows Rex Raditude, the Pizzasaurus, to enter our dimension. He’s a guitar-shredding, pizza-loving party animal with only one thing on his mind: BEING TOTALLY RAD, DUDE. But is that enough to stop Emperor Buzzkill and his horde of hapless minions who are bent on ending pizza parties, skateboarding, and all things rad? And can poor, pitiful Jeremy Duderman, quite possibly the dorkiest dude in the universe, help Rex in defeating them?” It’s all available now from Oni Press.

image c. 2018 Oni Press

One Ear, Many Adventures

Keiran Larwood is a kindergarten teacher on the Isle of Wight in the UK. In the free time that leaves him, he’s created a series of fantasy adventure novels for young readers called Larwood. (In the USA — in Europe it’s called The Five Realms.) The first book is Podkin One-Ear.  From Amazon: “In a classic fantasy world of anthropomorphic rabbits, three young siblings are on the run from the villainous Gorm tribe who have killed and enslaved their clan. Podkin, once destined to be clan leader, has always been spoiled, but now he must act bravely as he, his older sister, and baby brother flee for their lives. Facing pursuit and treachery, the three collect allies in their search for refuge, until at last they are ready to fight back against the Gorm…” All three books in the series are available in hardcover from Faber & Faber.

image c. 2018 Faber & Faber