Ben Hatke, author and illustrator of the Zita the Spacegirl comics series, is publishing his first picture book this fall. My daughters and I are fans of the Zita series, both because of the spunky heroine and Hatke’s wonderful creatures. So I’m looking forward to this picture book, Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, which is sure to be full of more bizarre animals in Hatke’s signature style.
Here’s the publisher’s description:
When Julia and her walking house come to town, she likes everything about her new neighborhood except how quiet it is! So Julia puts a sign up: “Julia’s House for Lost Creatures.” Soon she’s hosting goblins, mermaids, fairies, and even a dragon. Quiet isn’t a problem anymore for Julia…but getting her housemates to behave themselves is!
The first ever picture book by Zita the Spacegirl author/illustrator Ben Hatke is painted in his charming, detailed, immersive watercolors.
Hatke says: “Julia’s House for Lost Creatures is my very first picture book, and jumping into Julia’s little world has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever worked on. It was also a wonderful learning experience.
“I found that creating a picture book was in many ways a mirror image of creating a graphic novel. The writing was quiet, delicate work, with every phrase and comma considered and reconsidered. The illustrations, on the other hand, were big splashy fun —throwing ink and color onto big sheets of watercolor paper while the music in my studio played loud.
“I like making picture books very much and I hope Julia’s House for Lost Creatures is the first of many.”
We’ve got a bit of a wait, though: the release date is October 14th, 2014. Until then, you’ll just have to content yourself with the above cover image. (Fortunately, the third volume in the Zita series comes out a little sooner, in May!)