By James Kochalka
Publisher: Top Shelf
From the fertile mind of James Kochalka (Johnny Boo, Pinky & Stinky) comes an all-new fantasy adventure for all ages! Meet the Dragon Puncher, a cute but ruthless kitty in an armored battle suit, dedicated to defeating dangerous dragons wherever they may be. The Dragon Puncher and his would-be sidekick Spoony-E (a fuzzy little fellow armed with a wooden spoon) confront a gigantic, drooling dragon and have a ridiculous, hilarious brawl.
By Mac Barnett
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller, is the story of how a young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community.
With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic.
Extra Yarn is written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, who also won a Caldecott Medal for This Is Not My Hat.
Supports the Common Core State Standards.
By Romain Puértolas
Publisher: Random House Canada
For readers of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, a funny, charming, feel-good story about a fake fakir from India who arrives in France to shop at IKEA and unwittingly embarks on a European tour like no other. Meet Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod. One day a fakir leaves his small village in India and lands in Paris. A professional con artist, the fakir is on a pilgrimage to IKEA, where he intends to obtain an object he covets above all others: a brand-new bed of nails. Without adequate euros in the pockets of his silk trousers, the fakir is all the same confident that his counterfeit 100-Euro note (printed on one side only) and his usual bag of tricks will suffice. But when a swindled cab driver seeks his murderous revenge, the fakir accidentally embarks on a European tour, fatefully beginning in the wardrobe of the iconic Swedish retailer. As his journey progresses in the most unpredictable of ways, the fakir finds unlikely friends in even unlikelier places. To his surprise—and to a Bollywood beat—the stirrings of love well up in the heart of our turbaned hero, even as his adventures lead to profound and moving questions of the perils of emigration and the universal desire to seek a better life in an often dangerous world. The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe [pause for breath] is a hilarious tale that evokes the manic energy of a Marx Brothers romp and calls to mind the incisive social commentary of Candide. Pull up your Poang chair and take an unforgettable tour of Europe propelled by laughter, love and redemption. (Meatballs not included, but highly recommended.)
By Michael DeForge
Publisher: Space Face
Always important to keep the DeForge stock well-maintained. Here’s his newest (at time of writing 7/12/13). You ever notice how sick Mike’s text layout skills are? Always what hooks me in for these titles. And of course, the insides have characters the likes of which can’t be found in anyone else’s weirdest fever dreams.
This particular story is about two soldiers awaiting backup. As you can imagine, things escalate quickly. Hilarious.
By Michael Deforge
Publisher: Koyama Press
Spring 2013 will bring a double dose of DeForge starting with Very Casual. Culled from mini comics, online comics and anthology contributions, Very Casual collects notable short stories from DeForge’s prolific oeuvre. Included are stories about litter gangs, meat-filled snowmen, righteous cops, beagle/human hybrids, and forest-bound drag queens. Very Casual also collects Spotting Deer, which won the Pigskin Peters Award for best non-traditional, non-narrative or avant-garde work at the 2011 Doug Wright Awards.