cover image ParaNorthern: And the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse

ParaNorthern: And the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse

Stephanie Cooke, illus. by Mari Costa. Etch, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-358-16899-7

In the magical town of North Haven, fledgling witch Abby Morgan, who is Black, finds her sister being bullied in an alley outside their family’s coffee shop, and her attempt at comforting accidentally opens a portal leading into a realm with red-eyed, sharp-toothed “chaos bunnies.” Abby and her friends face the task of quickly closing the portal themselves, risking the Magical Authority’s ire in order to avoid putting additional stress on Abby’s single mother. An ominous foretelling ups the stakes, warning that, due to their unnatural hunger, the bunnies could destroy “everything in their wake.” Full of untapped and unstable magic, Abby must learn to channel and accept her inner strength. Cooke’s (Oh My Gods!) pleasingly multifaceted characters—including pumpkin-headed Silas, who holds grievances against pumpkin spice lattes; Hannah, an interdimensional hijabi ghost; and Gita, an introspective wolf-girl—navigate internal struggles and engage in amusing rapport as they work to achieve their shared goal. In rich autumnal hues, illustrator Costa’s visuals reinforce a Halloweeny vibe in this supernatural story with an inclusive cast. Deeper messages include themes of belonging, close friend and family bonds, and learning to trust oneself. Ages 8–12. [em]Author’s agent: Maria Vicente, P.S. Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Peter Ryan, Stimola Literary Studio. (July) [/em]