Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Jason June on the release of his picture book Porcupine Cupid and the launch of his new chapter book series, Mermicorn Island!
Porcupine Cupid (released Dec. 1, 2020 by Margaret K. McElderry Books and illustrated by Lori Richmond) features a heartwarming porcupine who uses his prickly quills like Cupid’s arrows to try and bring his animal friends together for Valentine’s Day. “I’ve always been in love with love for as long as I can remember!” Jason June writes. “One of my favorite things about it is its unpredictability and how the emotion can spring up on us when we least expect it. So I explored that through Porcupine who literally springs up on his neighbors, just like love, and sets conversations in motion that lead to lasting bonds for characters of all genders and sexualities. I hope folks fall in love with this little matchmaker!”
The Mermicorn Island chapter book series from Scholastic launched on February 2nd with the release of the first two books, Search for the Sparkle and Narwhal Adventure! The stories follow the adventures of Lucky the Mermicorn (part mermaid, part unicorn) as he searches for his own special magic (his “sparkle”) and teams up with his friends in a baking competition. “The series has been such a learning experience in terms of how fast publishing can move,” Jason June says. “So often our industry can be ‘hurry up and wait’, but with these books, I wrote four in under a year. When I first saw the timeline, I was like, ‘Hold your seahorses!’, but I’m so thankful that I was given the opportunity to write these books. Writing the magical under-the-sea adventures has been such a welcome escape in this trying year, and I really hope that escapism translates to kids who need a little magic in their lives too.”
The third book in the Mermicorn Island series (Too Many Dolphins!) is slated for release on July 6, 2021.