The Mandalorian Is Getting a Series of Books and Comics

Star Wars The Mandalorian Books
(Star Wars)

They say the universe never stops expanding, and we believe that’s also the case for the Star Wars universe. From novelizations to lackluster Christmas specials to game shows to high-end furniture to BBQ grills, there will never be a shortage of ways to get your Star Wars fix.

One of the most popular expansions to the Star Wars media empire has been The Mandalorian on Disney+, which is loads of fun and jam-packed with some truly dazzling production design. The series even launched a whole subgenre of memes in the form of Baby Yoda.

Earlier this summer, the official Star Wars website announced that it would continue Mandalorian world-building with a new series of published titles. One of those titles is The Art of The Mandalorian, and the cover art by Lucasfilm illustrator Doug Chiang alone makes it a worthy addition to any fan’s coffee table.

(Disney)

The series is also getting its own Marvel comic, as well as a coloring and activity book, magazine, and children’s storybook. Fans of Star Wars can expect The Art of the Mandalorian to hit shelves this December, with more releases slated for winter and spring 2021. Here’s what to look forward to:

  • The Art of The Mandalorian (Season One) by Phil Szostak; cover by Doug Chiang (Pre-order for 36.00 for delivery on December 1)
  • The Mandalorian: Original Novel (adult novel, Del Rey) by Adam Christopher
  • The Mandalorian: The Ultimate Visual Guide (DK) by Pablo Hidalgo
  • The Mandalorian: Allies & Enemies – Level Two Reader (DLP) by Brooke Vitale
  • The Mandalorian: 8×8 Storybook (title to be revealed later) by Brooke Vitale
  • The Mandalorian: Junior Novelization by Joe Schreiber

And for no reason, here’s Baby Yoda again.

We have spoken.

Teacher Creates a Community Library in Her Garage Amid COVID

teacher creates garage library
(Facebook/MissMartin's Neighborhood Library)

An elementary school teacher in Texas had basically accumulated a personal library for her classroom over the years. Then earlier this year COVID-19 caused her school to move to remote learning. With the closest public library inaccessible for most of the community, she wanted to help fill that void and keep kids interested in reading. And that’s why she started a community library, with more than 2,000 books, in her own garage.

Teachers are amazing people. We see reminders of this constantly, as they go above and beyond for their kids. We see it in the teacher that carried a student confined to a wheelchair on a field trip. We saw it when teachers all over the state of Alabama donated sick days to a colleague caring for his infant with cancer. And we see it in the everyday actions teachers take to help kids learn.

In this case, Jennifer Martin had witnessed reluctant and nonreaders blossom into avid readers after having a positive experience with books, so that’s why she got to work on her garage library. A friend built the shelves and Martin moved in her massive collection of books for kids of all ages.

Since opening the library, they have had more than 60 kids check out books (they can get two at a time, on the honor system). More importantly, it’s a chance for her to connect with her students, and for kids to connect with each other (with masks and social distancing rules in place).

“During this challenging time, it’s even more important to provide opportunities for connection,” she told The Dad. “And there’s really nothing like seeing a student’s excitement about getting a new book!”

Martin has run into some hurdles, such as figuring out the best way to sort the books, but she has been blown away by the support from friends, colleagues, parents, and community members. She said she’s had students she taught 10 or 20 years ago who have been donating books through Amazon or even visited the library to make a donation. Some have even come back to help volunteer at the library.

The library continues to add new titles to the mix, including more Spanish books and continues to thrive. 2020 has brought unique challenges, but it’s also seen more than a few people rise to meet the challenge and help other people.

“Reading provides an adventure for the reader, and now, more than ever, we need adventures,” Martin said.

GoT Creators Adapting ‘The Three-Body Problem’ Sci-Fi Novels for Netflix

The Three-Body Problem Netflix
(Chongqing Press)

It’s been approximately 300 years since the much-maligned final season of Game of Thrones, and since then, Benioff and Weiss, the duo behind the HBO juggernaut, have been busy taking on, and hopping off, projects.

First, they announced and then bailed on a series about an alternate history of the United States in which the South won the Civil War (dodged that bullet!), then they signed on with Disney to develop a new Star Wars movie before leaving that behind as well. Despite the way that GoT ended, and their dilly-dallying with projects, the creative duo remains in demand, especially as TV looks to replicate their previous success and find the next new blockbuster. Now they’re looking to China and Netflix.

Benioff and Weiss have signed on with Netflix to develop a new series based on a Chinese sci-fi epic.

‘The Three-Body Problem’ is a science-fiction epic from novelist Liu Cixin.

“Liu Cixin’s trilogy is the most ambitious science-fiction series we’ve read, taking readers on a journey from the 1960s until the end of time, from life on our pale blue dot to the distant fringes of the universe,” Benioff and Weiss said in a news release for the announcement. “We look forward to spending the next years of our lives bringing this to life for audiences around the world.”

The three-book story is definitely ambitious, but if Benioff and Weiss proved anything with Game of Thrones, it’s that they’re know how to adapt an ambitious and sprawling series of novels. It’s when they no longer have the novels to adapt that things go awry!

According to Polygon, they’ll have some help, too, with Alexander Woo (The Terror: Infamy, True Blood) joining the pair to assist in adapting the book and its two sequels, The Dark Forest and Death’s End.

“It’s a privilege to be adapting one of the great masterpieces of Chinese science-fiction,” Woo said in a statement. “The Three-Body Problem trilogy combines so many things I love: rich, multi-layered characters and true existential stakes — all told as an elegant and deeply human allegory. I’m thrilled to kick off my partnership with Netflix with this accomplished creative team.”

Netflix seems excited too, with Netflix VP of Original Series, Peter Friedlander explaining what led him to the project.

“Although it may seem like a familiar premise — the story of humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization — Chinese author Liu Cixin’s ability to interweave science with fiction made his vision of the future and extra-terrestrial contact feel more realistic than any other science fiction I’ve read. At the same time, I was also drawn in by the story of all of humanity vulnerable to the same external threat and how this both unifies and divides humans,” Friedlander said.

It sounds pretty cool, and Netflix seems like the perfect place to develop an expensive sci-fi series. Especially one that needs extra time to finish up so that fans don’t revolt and start a petition!

LeBron James Is Now a Children’s Book Author

LeBron James Kids Book
(Harper Collins Children's Books)

LeBron James is getting ready to lead the Lakers through the NBA playoffs, but he’s also making news off the court as …a children’s book author. That’s right, James is continuing the outreach and work he’s done for America’s youth by promoting his message of positivity and hard work in a new book for kids called “I Promise.”

LeBron has been a great role model for kids on the court, but he’s also got a softer side, as we’ve seen him loving the sports dad life watching his own kids play. And more than that, he’s been a strong proponent of giving back and investing in his community, as evidenced through the creation of his I, Promise school in Akron, which is paying the college tuition for its graduating students.

LeBron’s kids’ book, which was illustrated by Nina Mata, is a picture book that focuses on the types of promises the students at his school make every day.

In a promo video, James said the school was inspired by the big dreams of kids in his hometown and around the world.

“At the start of every school year, and repeated each morning, all students make a set of promises to themselves, just like those in this book,” he said. “Setting goals, working hard and holding yourself accountable are the first steps to success.”

In the original press release announcing the upcoming book, James said books have the ability to inspire and bring people together, and he wanted to bring this story to parents reading with their kids. He’s also working on a novel aimed for older kids (middle-schoolers, basically).

“Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in,” he said.

It’s a cool move from the NBA great. He doesn’t have to do this. He is making plenty of money on the court, but he’s working to have a greater impact in his community and to be a positive role model for kids everywhere.

You can grab a copy right now for $14 on Amazon.

Students Raise $12k for Charity With a COVID Coloring Book

Covid Coloring Book
(Instagram/Be The Change Coloring Co)

Talking to your kids about COVID-19 can be tough. None of us have lived through a global pandemic before, so there’s not exactly a playbook for this. Four high school students in California are trying to make it easier, as they created a COVID Coloring Book to help kids understand the basics of the coronavirus.

The four students, Lauryn Hong, Ella Matlock, Sofia Migliazza, and Erin Rogers, created a business plan for a hypothetical book as part of an economics class project. After some encouragement from their teachers, they turned it into a real thing.

“We knew we wanted to do something for kids,” said Lauryn Hong said to the Washington Post. “We also knew we wanted to give back to the community. We considered doing a mask-decorating kit, but we decided on a coloring book because we wanted the kids to learn something. Covid is really confusing, even for us, and the coloring book is a way to keep them entertained and help them learn.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Thank you for all of the orders! Your books will be delivered sometime next week. 🐊💚💛 #SomeGoodNews

A post shared by Al E. Gator 🐊 (@bethechangecoloringco) on

They started ‘Be The Change Coloring Co.’ to create and sell the book. They expected to sell a couple of dozen to friends and family and planned to donate 40% of the proceeds to charities. They have since sold more than 7,000(!) books and donated more than $12,000 to charities including the CDC Coronavirus relief fund and local hospitals.

“I never thought that we would be at this stage in the business. I didn’t really think we would really have a business at all because it was supposed to be just a school project,” Rogers told a local news outlet. ”It’s really amazing to know that we’ve gotten to reach out to so many people.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

We created a little video with a summary of what our business is about, please watch! 💛 + Erin’s editing with Sofia’s nonexistent feet

A post shared by Al E. Gator 🐊 (@bethechangecoloringco) on

According to their website, their main goals for the project are to educate young kids on the extreme issues of today and to give back to the community. The characters Al E. Gator, Wally the Narwhal, and Sam the Snail help kids entertained and informed about what’s going on.

You can buy a COVID Coloring Book for your kids at bethechangecoloringco.com

Fans Want George R.R. Martin Imprisoned for Missing ‘Winds of Winter’ Deadline

George RR Martin Says GOT Unfaithful
(Getty/Rich Polk/Stringer)

Game of Thrones has been off the air for over a year. Since the much-maligned final season, HBO has scrapped one potential prequel series and is making steady progress on another. Meanwhile, a pandemic hit, forcing everyone to stay inside, including the Song of Ice and Fire saga’s author, George R.R. Martin. You’d think being quarantined would force the man to finally finish his long-delayed sixth book, The Winds of Winter.

But you’d be wrong. Not even the threat of jail – a threat he put upon himself – has been motivation enough!

Last March, Martin wrote on his blog that if The Winds of Winter wasn’t out by July 29th, 2019 – TODAY – then fans had permission to imprison him. Welp, I hope you guys have your handcuffs ready because my man didn’t make his own deadline.

From his blog entry in May of last year:

But I tell you this — if I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done.

Before you go get him, he backtracked on that just last month on the aforementioned blog. Martin gave an update on his progress and some insight into what quarantine has been like. He was forced to cancel a trip to New Zealand, but even that hasn’t sped things along. Not when the book is this huge.

If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write. I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go. Please do not give any credence to any of the click-bait websites that like to parse every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals to divine hidden meanings.

Maybe he forgot about his own deadline, or maybe he didn’t think anyone would take it seriously. Maybe no one did. But the internet doesn’t forget.

It’s frustrating for fans everywhere, but I can’t really blame the guy. I haven’t exactly spent the quarantine lighting the world on fire. I barely turn the lights on at all! These GoT books are huge, sprawling works with tons of characters, and my man became a celebrity in the midst of writing them. Cut the guy some slack.

Besides, the more space there is between his books and the TV show, the better the books are likely to be received. The man may know what he’s doing!

Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Sandman’ Gets Audiobook Treatment and Trailer

The Sandman Audiobook
(YouTube/DC)

COVID has disrupted every aspect of our lives, from work and school to restaurants and bars to concerts and sports and entertainment of all kinds. Movies and TV have all but stopped making new things, and the things that are already made are stuck in a holding pattern as everyone waits for the pandemic to disappear.

As such, there haven’t been many new trailers to share and get excited about. At least, not for movies.

There is a new trailer out now, and it’s for a book. An audiobook. An audio-comic book series, technically, since that’s how Sandman, Neil Gaiman’s landmark story, was originally conceived.

The property has been rumored for adaptations of all sorts for years, and, apparently, this audiobook version is three decades in the making.

“Almost 30 years ago, Dirk Maggs approached DC about adapting The Sandman into audio form,” Gaiman said in a statement. “I’m glad it didn’t happen, because we are in a Golden Age of audio drama right now, and Dirk and I are much better at what we are doing. This is a rich audio adaptation of The Sandman graphic novels, brilliantly crafted by Dirk Maggs, with an all-star cast.”

James McAvoy “stars” as Morpheus, the immortal king of dreams, who escapes imprisonment and eventually confronts Lucifer (Michael Sheen), crossing paths “with an array of characters from DC comic books, ancient myths, and real-world history, including Inmates of Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum, Doctor Destiny, the muse Calliope, the three Fates, William Shakespeare (Arthur Darvill), and many more.”

Also in the cast are Kat Dennings as Death, Taran Egerton, Andy Serkis, and more.

The audiobook is available now and the reviews are excellent.

Check out the trailer:

Jon Hamm in Talks to Play ‘Fletch’ in Long-Awaited Reboot

John Hamm as Fletch
(Universal Pictures)

Rumors of a new Fletch movie have been circulating for years. Back in the 80s, Chevy Chase starred in Fletch and Fletch Lives, playing the titular reporter/private eye in Los Angels, based on a series of novels by Gregory McDonald.

A third movie with Chase never materialized, but the books offer plenty of potential storylines via which to revisit the character.

At one point Jason Sudeikis, Jason Lee, and Zach Braff were both supposed to take a shot at the laconically sarcastic Fletch, but those vehicles never launched. Ryan Reynolds seems to have the right mix of charm and snark to play the part, but his attempt never metabolized either.

The latest name attached to the later potential Fletch movie is the erstwhile Don Draper. Mad Men star Jon Hamm is supposedly in talks to headline Mirmax’s reboot of the movies, this time with the storyline actually sticking more closely to the books.

The Jon Hamm movie will be an adaptation of the second Fletch book, Confess Fletch, and which Variety summarizes thusly:

“In a mysterious chain of events, Fletch finds himself in the middle of multiple murders — one of which pins him as a prime suspect. While on a quest to prove his innocence, Fletch is tasked with finding his fiancée’s stolen art collection, acquired after her father goes missing and is presumed dead.”

“Fletch’s duration over audiences — whether told on paper or the big screen — entertains all and we could not be more thrilled to see what twenty-first century twist these artists create,” said Miramax CEO Bill Block.

This adaptation will take place in the modern-day, some 30 years after the first two movies. Hamm has been trying to transition from TV to movies for years, we’ll see if he’ll finally make it happen as Fletch.

One thing’s for sure: it’s all about the ball bearings.

The Dad Law: The Definitive Rule Book for All Things Dad

The Dad Law Book
(The Dad)

Fatherhood comes with it a plethora of guidelines. If your kid hands you a toy phone, you answer that toy phone. If your kid is thirsty, you are Friday. For thousands of years, these rules have been unwritten. Until now.

Introducing: THE DAD LAW.

(The Dad)

From road trip etiquette to pun regulations, this gorgeous leather-bound book is the most thorough briefing on every do, don’t, and duh pertaining to fatherhood. Is it okay to let your kid win in Mario Kart? When to use cool your jets vs hold your horses? It’s all in this bad boy.

Here are a few choice excerpts:

It’s the authority on language…

healthy road rage…

less healthy eating habits…

workplace motivation…

light goofing…

and facilitating a sense of community.

There are also plenty of cool illustrations within, including tong diagrams…

(The Dad)

and visual aids for embarrassing puns.

(The Dad)

Click right here to snag a copy for a measly $22 (because we know “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “you’re not made of money,” etc) and explore 202 whole pages of these silly, sweet, and painful universal truths about fatherhood with your very own copy of THE DAD LAW!

Pizza Hut Brings Back ‘BOOK-IT!’ and Now Parents Call the Shots

Pizza Hut / BOOK-IT!
(pizzahut.com)

There was a time, say the mid-1990s, when childhood literacy was being fueled mainly by personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut. The Book It! program was the gold at the end of the tunnel for many a 2nd-grade reader. Finishing a book was met with the delicious reward of your own pizza, which is the height of luxury to a child.

And now, you can bring the Book It! program back into your life. Sadly, not as an adult, although it would be pretty badass if you could still get some za for reading a Goosebumps book. But, the program is back for kids and is taking a new shape this summer; a digital version where parents keep track of their kids’ progress.

Camp Book It! allows parents to enroll kids in grades K-6 in the summer reading program and set the goals. Unlike the glory days, these pizzas aren’t tied to finishing a book, they are tied to hitting a certain reading goal for the month (usually minutes per week), with the pizza reward coming at the end of the month.

But, in a move that rules, you can now redeem the codes digitally as well, so you don’t even have to risk catching COVID just to cash in that sweet voucher. Kids can ring up one pizza per month, so summer reading has never been more important. Parents get pizza for their kids all the time, it’s about time kids use whatever means available (in this case, through life-enriching reading) to return the favor.

I don’t think it’s asking too much for your pre-teen to kick up a personal pan pizza to you as thanks for the endless support and love you shower them with daily.

More details here.

7-Year-Old Creates “Bryan’s Book Corner” and Reads to Kids Who Miss Story Time

7-Year-Old Creates “Bryan’s Book Corner”, Reads to Kids Who Miss Story Time
(Youtube/Bryan's Book Corner)

School closings due to the coronavirus have left kids isolated from their friends, grandparents, and far-removed from their daily routines. Schools not only provided kids with days packed with learning opportunities, but they were designated places where kids could just be kids. There’s a lot to miss about the school day routine – playing games at recess, doing science projects, trading names with your best friend to see if the sub notices – it’s tough not knowing when we’ll experience that again.

7-Year-old Bryan Rumfelt of Bay Ridge, New York wasn’t going to let the coronavirus stop him from participating in one of his favorite school activities, reading. Anyone can read at home, of course, but this big-hearted kid realized that younger students may not be able to read to themselves. So, Bryan decided, he’d read to them.

Bryan has always loved reading (especially out loud, to anyone within earshot), and one day while talking to his grandma, she asked if she could record him reading. Bryan’s grandma posted the video to Facebook, and “Bryan’s Book Corner” was born.

“I love reading books and I wanted to help kids that couldn’t read or wanted to hear stories while they are stuck at home,” Rumfelt told the Brooklyn Reporter.

The Facebook group already has over 1,000 members, most of whom are parents of kids who can’t get enough of Bryan’s stories. Bryan reads classics like “There is a Bird on my Head” and “Dragons Love Tacos” with enthusiasm and passion that bring the stories to life.

This isn’t the first time Bryan has stepped up to help people in need. According to Bryan’s Facebook page, after seeing news of devastating floods in Huston in 2017, Bryan raised over $3,000 for Huston charities. Now, Bryan is stepping up once again to bring a little brightness to the world during a not-so-bright time. Not only is Bryan helping kids fall in love with reading, but he’s also setting a pretty great example for them as well. Honestly, we could all stand to take a page out of Bryan’s book.

For more of Byran’s videos, you can also visit his Youtube channel.

There’s a Live-Action ‘Animorphs’ Movie Taking Form

Animorphs Movie
(Scholastic)

As Hollywood continues to churn out remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, and even legacyquels, it’s easy to forget that the studios don’t just repurpose movies, sometimes they even adapt books!

It’s actually kind of surprising there are any books left that haven’t been made into movies or TV shows or both, but there are a few left. 90s kids have to be excited about their latest efforts: the Animorphs!

After a short-lived TV series in 1998, the classic 90s sci-fi book series by K.A. Applegate is finally getting the big-screen treatment. The books are about five humans and an alien who can transform into any animal they touch and who use their powers to fight against an alien invasion, and the movie is being shepherded by Scholastic and Picturestart, which is headed by Eric Feig, who produced the Hunger Games.

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Scholastic to adapt Animorphs, an iconic book series with a wildly unique combination of exciting, witty, outlandish and grounded elements that feel all too relevant for our times,” Feig said. “We know these books have a deservedly deep bench of passionate fans, ourselves included, and we hope to make Katherine Applegate and her co-author, Michael Grant, proud as we bring Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel, and Tobias to life for a new generation.”

No word yet on who will be writing or directing it, but Scholastic’s Iole Lucchese is confident the decades-old book series will remain relevant to today’s audiences.

“The central themes of Animorphs have resonated strongly with kids for more than two decades, and the time is right for a feature film that takes this captivating sci-fi adventure to another level for audiences today. Picturestart has an incredible track record of success, and Erik and his team are the perfect partners to help bring this exciting new series based on the adventure-packed books to movie screens.”

There is also a graphic novel version of the series set to be released on October 6th.

J.K. Rowling Unveils Free Book for Kids, Asks Them to Illustrate

J.K. Rowling Releases Free Book for Kids
(Twitter/jk_rowling)

Set your wands and robes aside for now, J.K. Rowling is gracing our computers, tablets, smartphones, and Devices That Shall Not Be Named with something brand new. No, she won’t be compiling the ridiculously entertaining predictive text generated chapters of Harry Potter into a standalone book titled, “Hermione Has Forgotten How To Dance” (and yet I hold out hope).

Early on in quarantine, Rowling announced an open license for all seven Harry Potter books so they could be shared by educators over Zoom, or read in weekly videos by stars such as Daniel Radcliffe, the OG Harry Potter. Rowling knows just how much her books have helped children and adults alike cope with quarantine, and as her fans often do, we wanted more.

On May 26th, J.K. Rowling heard our pleas and delivered something to keep our kids entertained (and who are we kidding, it’ll keep us entertained too – looking at you, person who sees their Hogwarts house as a central part of their identity) for months to come. Starting today and continuing through July, Rowling will release a chapter of her new book, The Ickabog, on the book’s website daily at 3 PM GMT.

Rowling describes the endearing origins of the book on her website, recalling how she read chapters to her children nightly as she wrote them. The time spent immersed in the world of The Ickabog became a time for bonding between Rowling and her two children, and for a while, it would stay that way. After Harry Potter, Rowling decided to step away from writing children’s books, and The Ickabog was put aside for the time being.

Nearly a decade later, Rowling decided that releasing the book for kids in quarantine was the perfect way to get this beloved story out into the world. Even more special, Rowling is asking kids to submit illustrations that will be published in the print and e-book versions of The Ickabog.

Illustrations have already started pouring in from around the world.

There’s King Fred,

A map,

And the Ickabog himself.

Read along each day, and don’t forget to submit your kid’s illustrations! It’s never too early to start building up their resume. The full version of the book, including some submitted illustrations, will be available to purchase in November.