Sunday, May 12, 2024

The Buddy System by Matthew Cody

Happy Mother's Day! 

Time Buddies Book 1
by Matthew Cody,
Colleen A.F. Venable
Illustrated by Chad Thomas
Epic! Creations, Inc.
Middle Grade Science Fiction  /   Graphic Novel
ages 8 to 12


Buckle up your chrono-belt and get ready to explore another dimension of the Cat Ninja story! Time Buddies is a history-smashing, humor-packed new graphic novel from Epic Originals!

When Hoot, an adorable, impulsive owlet from the future, meets Bentley, a studious, rule-following kid from the present, neither one quite fits into their own time. But with the accidental click of a sparkly button (or is it a snazzy one?), the two are off on an adventure that winds through ancient Egypt, the Wild West, and even the Renaissance!

Will the history-hopping duo make it back to when they belong, or are these buddies officially out of time?



Time travel mixes facts with fun twists to create a humorous and adventurous ride.

Hoot is ready to travel with his classmates for a field trip back in time to witness one of Cat Ninja's famous battles, but something goes wrong. Instead, Hoot finds himself landing a day or two after the event and runs into Bentley, a kid who never seeks adventure of any kind. Hoot wants to find his classmates and zips back through time again, but this time accidentally takes Bentley with him. From dinosaurs to Egypt to the Wild West and more, the two hit one adventure after the other, and it doesn't seem they'll ever get back to where they're supposed to be.

While this tale branches off of the popular Cat Ninja series, it's not necessary to have visited the Cat Ninja books before diving into this new series, since it swings off in a very independent direction. 

Hoot is a cute owl, who strongly believes in his abilities and doesn't quite live up to his own expectations. It makes him easy to connect with and root for as he steers through sticky situations, while never giving up and shaking his mistakes off to immediately try again. His self-assurance clashes against Bentley's tendency to be overly careful. This not only leads to fun back-and-forth dialogue and humor but helps each to learn from the other and form an interesting friendship.

The tale enjoyably weaves historic fact with silly fiction to create one grabbing moment after the other. But to make sure the reader learns a bit of history along the way, each historical moment is revisited at the end of the book to point out where facts end and fiction begins. All of this is done in an exciting manner, keeping the adventure and humor front and center.

It's an easy read and the graphics bring every moment to life. The moments run by pretty quickly, keeping the pace high and boredom away. It's especially good for those middle grade readers, who might still need a bit more reading practice before diving into larger novels.

And here they are...

Matthew Cody is the author of several popular books, including the award-winning Supers of Noble’s Green trilogy: PowerlessSuper, and Villainous. He is also the author of Will in Scarlet and The Dead Gentleman, as well as the graphic novels Zatanna and the House of Secrets from DC Comics and The Bright Family from Epic/Andrews McMeel. He lives in Manhattan, New York, with his wife and son.

Colleen AF Venable is the author of the National Book Award long-listed Kiss Number 8, a graphic novel co-created with Ellen T. Crenshaw. Her other books include Mervin the Sloth is About to Do the Best Thing in The World with Ruth Chan, The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom with Lian Cho, and the Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series, illustrated by Stephanie Yue and nominated for the Best Publication for Kids Eisner.
When not bingeing old Twilight Zone episodes, Marcie Colleen is busy writing children's books. She is the author of numerous titles, among them Love, Triangle, Penguinaut!, The Bear's Garden, and the Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series. She lives in San Diego, California. Visit her at
Chad Thomas is an illustrator and cartoonist living with his family in McKinney, Texas. He’s worked on books such as TMNTStar Wars Adventures, and Mega Man and also illustrates activity and educational titles. He loves his family, comic books, and Star Wars and will let his children beat him in checkers, but never in Mario Kart.

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