Robot 6

Thin Wallets, Fat Bookshelves: Candlewick Press’ fall/winter catalog

Sticky Burr

Sticky Burr

The children’s book publisher Candlewick Press has released their fall/winter catalog and it appears they’re stepping up their entry into the land of graphic novels with a slew of interesting titles. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Vermonia: Quest for the Silver Tiger by YoYo. 208 pages, $9.99 paperback. No, it’s not the late 80s-era rapper (though how cool would that be?) but a Japanese manga studio spinning a yarn about a group of friends who find themselves adrift in an alternate magical dimension. Hmmm, where have I heard that scenario before?

September

Sticky Burr the Prickly Peril by John Lechner. 56 pages, $15.99 hardcover and $6.99 paperback. I wouldn’t have thought the adventures of a prickly seed pod would be entertaining, but the first Sticky Burr book has been a big hit in our house. This is the sequel, and finds Sticky trying to thwart the evil Scurvy’s plans to ruin the harvest fair. I’m actually kind of excited about this one.

Outlaw

Outlaw

Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood by Tony Lee. Illustrated by Sam Hart and colorist Artur Fujita. 160 pages, $21.99 hardcover, $11.99 paperback. A retelling of the classic tale of derring-do, archery and men in green tights.

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan. 208 pages. $24.99 hardcover. Phelan’s debut graphic novel tells of a boy growing up in the Dust Bowl in 1937, who comes across a sinister figure in an abandoned barn.

October

King Lear, adapted by Gareth Hinds. 128 pages, $22.99 hardcover, $11.99 paperback. Having already tried his hand at the Merchant of Venice, Hinds tries to tackle what is one of Shakespeare’s most formidible and darkest plays. I’m curious to see how he adapts the story for an all-age audience.

November

Red Ted and the Lost Things by Michael Rosen. Illustrated by Joel Stewart. 40 pages, $16.99 hardcover, $8.99 paperback. Candlewick is billing this as a “graphic storybook” which suggests that comics are involved in some fashion. It’s about a toy bear who ends up in a lost and found and tries to make his way back to the little girl he belongs to. Rosen is the author of Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, one of the finest children’s books of the past decade, so this may well be worth checking out.

Robot City Adventures: City in Peril and Rust Attack! by Paul Collicutt. 48 pages each, $8.99 each. Two graphic novels for middle schoolers about, well, a city full of robots. Lots of retro art, which is sure to appeal to many dads out there.

King Lear

King Lear

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Candlewick is reprinting Hinds’ self-published King Lear, which I already own. He uses a different painting technique for this than he did for Merchant of Venice. It’s not really an all-ages title, and Candlewick is aiming this title more at the upper middle/high school audience, not at elementary school. King Lear is a little more challenging, I think, with a main character who isn’t very likable to begin with. Hinds did a great job with scratchy art that helps to convey the increasing madness of Lear. I’ll be looking at it to check the text. Hinds’ Beowulf used a poetic translation in his self-published edition, but an easier-to-read prose text in the Candlewick edition that came out a couple of years ago.

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