Sakura continues to collect Clow cards with her fabulous outfits, only in this volume, she has a rival: Syaoran, a transfer student from Hong Kong who seems to hate Sakura right off the bat. Kero figures out that Syaoran is a descendant of Clow on his mother’s side, and thinks he has a claim over Clow’s cards and magic. However, since Sakura released the deck, Syaoran can’t collect the cards on her behalf. Some of the cards in this volume are more difficult to capture. Sakura runs into an entirely different card - one that she has to call by its name in order to capture. There’s also another thing about Syaoran - he also seems to like Yukito, making him Sakura’s rival for magic and love.
In the beginning, there was the World Flower, spouting planets and stars into existence like pollen. On one of these planets (Earth) is the hive in which we find ourselves. In it, Dvorah is capping the cell of young larva Nyuki, who is scared of metamorphosis and what the rest of life will mean for her. After metamorphosis, Nyuki emerges as an adult bee but is rather scared of the outside world. That is going to work out poorly because there is a new queen in the colony, which means the old queen must lead some of the colony away to a new site. Dvorah is going, and Nyuki must decide. It turns out, Nyuki loves flying, but there are many perils of the outside world, including praying mantis, spiders, and birds! As Nyuki grows up, she finds a special flower with the best nectar and helps cross-pollinate it with a flower across the field. Nyuki inspires a younger forager, Melissa, to become a great forager for the colony.
Hana is a precocious young girl who doesn’t usually do as she’s told and has many adventures with her friends. First, Hana prepares her emergency “rations” of choco-puffs, which she leaves at her school. When a typhoon hits her town, she takes her cat down to her school to retrieve the rations in the storm. In another adventure, Hana and her friend sit in an abandoned VW Bug, when a dam breaks and carries them downstream to the sea. Later, Hana gets stuck in a hammock and her friends have to get her out before a corporation, bent on reclaiming some derelict fields, torch the whole place and Hana along with it.
Illustrated by Drew Zucker
At the end of the first book, Canto’s people leave Arcana to make a New Arcana. The first chapter is a short side-story where Canto frees some fairies from being tortured by an evil witch. Then, we go into New Arcana and see Canto and his friends in their new home. The Shrouded Man hasn’t come after them, but that’s probably because he has cursed their clocks to slowly wind down. Canto and a few friends decide to travel back to the Tower and confront the Shrouded Man, hoping to beat their clocks and get the curse reversed. Along the way, they are attacked by The Furies, and Canto realizes that not all of his friends can come with him. He reaches his destination and hopes he has found a magic that can take down the Shrouded Man. Canto’s journey is definitely not over here, and the nice cliffhanger will have fans scrambling for the next volume.
Here's the latest series pulling on my nostalgia and purse strings alike. Kodansha has released an anniversary edition of Cardcaptor Sakura in hardback, and of course I need to get all of them.
Fourth-grader Sakura Kinomoto, with her latent magical ability, accidentally sets free a deck of magical cards, called Clow Cards, from inside a book in her father’s study. She’s also awakened “Cerberus,” nicknamed Kero-San, the Guardian of the Seal, who gives Sakura the key to the book and the ability to capture the cards again. These cards have gone out into the world and will wreck havoc in their own ways depending on their magical affinity. Sakura must capture the cards and use their abilities to capture even more cards.
Illustrated by Gianna Meola
Josephine, or J. B. to her friends, is your typical C-average student in high school who finishes in the middle of the pack in PE and gets Cs or high Ds on her French tests. One day, when accosted by agents demanding to know about her actions in France on a recent "business trip" with her mom, J. B. finds out she’s actually an operative for The Company, and she’s been brainwashed into not remembering her skills, training, or missions. What’s worse, is that this was all done to her by her mother, who wants J. B. to have job security within The Company! J. B. has never been in control of her full self, so it’s time to change all that and fight back against The Company and other forces that are trying to control and use her.
Lord Beldaruit tells Coco a story of Qifrey’s past and why he has such a strong prejudice against the Brimmed Caps. Because of this, Coco decides to break off from the group and go to the Tower of Tomes to seek answers for Qifrey’s struggles as well as seek a solution for her own mother. But getting to the Tower proves to be much more perilous than Coco believed it would be. The Tower is guarded by fierce water dragons that spring out of the lake and attack any movement they sense on the banks of the lake. Qifrey races after her to save her from the guardians of the Tower, but he's still not fully healed from his previous injuries, and he must rely on Coco's originality and ingenuity to save them both.
Mei and her father work in the kitchen for a logging camp in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the late 1800s, where they expertly make delicious meals for the loggers after a long day of hard work. Mei makes wonderful pies that everyone craves, and at night, she entertains the camp's chidlren by telling fanciful stories. One such stories is the legend of Po Pan Yin, an elderly Chinese woman logger who watches over the camp and works in the forest with her giant blue ox. The children accuse Mei of stealing the American legend of Paul Bunyan, but Mei makes Auntie Po into her own myth and a guardian spirit for the camp and herself. With the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act limiting the opportunities and safety for Chinese immigrants, Mei and her father must navigate an increasingly hostile community where violence against Chinese workers is not uncommon. On top of all of this, Mei must work out her feelings for her best friend Bee, which are becoming increasingly romantic, as well as plan for her future away from the logging camp.
This is another adventure of the lovable squirrels, Norma and Belly from Donut Feed the Squirrels. In it, the squirrels are enjoying some apple pie when Gramps falls into an Apple Truck and gets carted off. He thinks he's going to a picturesque farm where he'll be able to live out his life in peace, unlike the hustle and bustle of the city life. Turns out, the farm is really a factory for making apple pies, and Gramps is in danger! Norma and Belly mount a rescue mission to save Gramps from becoming someone's dessert.
Illustrated by Jen Wang
Anda gets invited by a guild runner to join up playing a MMORPG (Massive-multiplayer-online-roll-playing-game), Coarsegold Online, as a female avatar in an all female guild. She makes a friend in game and they take on missions that pay real money. Their missions are to exterminate gold farmers who sell in-game gold to players for real money. It’s a lucrative system that is a real part of most MMORPGs. Anda makes a friend with one of the gold farmers and finds out he’s a teen named Ah Duo (Raymond in English) from China. Raymond is the same age as her, but he's farming gold online as an actual paying job in China. He has health issues, and Anda convinces him that he needs to stand up for himself with his boss, but things don’t turn out well for Raymond. Anda discovers a darker side of world economics played out in her game, and struggles with how to really help her new friend.
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