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Penguin: Young Readers Group Summer 2022

Your Pal Fred
By (author): Michael Rex
Michael Rex


Viking Books for Young Readers



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


Children: Age (years) 7 - 10, Grade (US) 2 - 5
May 31, 2022
$17.99 CAD


8.19in x 5.63 x 0.84 in | 1.1 lb

Page Count:

272 pages
Viking Children's Books
Viking Books for Young Readers
JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Humorous
From the author/illustrator of Fangbone! and Goodnight Goon comes a zany and hilarious graphic novel that shines a light on the humanity inside all of us—-even if you’re a robot.

He’s a super-nice kid in an ultra-mean world.

He believes even the worst people are good inside.

He’ll always be there for you…even if you boot him out of your castle, pit him against a mechanical giant, put him on top of a pole in a lightning storm, and trap him in a booming dance party that lasts all night long.

He’s Your Pal Fred.

In a brutal world far in the future where only the savage survive, a life-size toy suddenly activates. Fred was built to be a best buddy, and his relentless kindness never fades, even when everyone else is rude. Determined to make the world a better place, he has the bright idea to talk the two most powerful and battle-hungry warlords, Lord Bonkers and Papa Mayhem, into being friends. It’s a mission doomed to fail, unless Fred can find a way to inspire everyone to play nice! 

Series Overview:

Three books signed up:

Summer 2022: Your Pal Fred

Summer 2023: Book 2

Summer 2024: Book 3

#1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR: Mike’s parody Goodnight Goon has sold over 700,000 copies alone, and has written/illustrated many other books for PRH.

GRAPHIC NOVEL SUCCESS: His popular Fangbone! graphic novel series was adapted into a Disney XD series.

GROWING MARKET: in 2020, the children’s graphic novel market grew 15% from the previous year and continues to build.

Michael Rex has written and/or illustrated over forty children’s books, including Eat Pete,With Any Luck, I’ll Drive a Truck (by David Friend), the #1 New York Times bestseller Goodnight GoonThe Runaway MummyTruck Duck, and the Fangbone series (which has also been turned into an animated TV series). He has a master’s degree in visual arts education (K-12) and worked as a New York City art teacher for four years. He lives in Leonia, New Jersey, with his wife and their two sons.

Author Residence: Edgewater, NJ

Marketing: National media campaign 

Consumer advertising campaign 

Online promotion and social media outreach 

Librarian and educator outreach 

★ “In Rex’s big-hearted comic…Fred’s gentleness proves healing in this humorous volume about the power of kindness.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Fred weathers scorn, slime, and worse to make friends, reunite long-separated siblings, and show even fierce rivals a way to peace and forgiveness. A winning exhortation, earnest in its underpinnings at least, to be the change.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In a world of chaos and carnage, this robot carries a secret weapon…reward stickers! Another genius idea from one of my favorite graphic novelists.”
 —Tom Angleberger, bestselling author of Geronimo Stilton and Origami Yoda

“Michael Rex mixes Spielberg’s AI with George Miller’s Mad Max and translates it through the lens of a Sunday comic strip. Your Pal Fred is a fun spectacle that’s worth the journey. It’s impossible not to smile as we follow a naively sweet robot armed only with his relentless optimism.”
 —Rich Moyer, creator of Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter

“Action, adventure, a beautifully illustrated post-apocalyptic wasteland, and a cute little robot named Fred who just wants you to “be kind.” This story has EVERYTHING! Michael Rex has a knack for balancing heart-pounding danger with a deep sentimentality, and with Your Pal Fred he does it again!”
 —Michael Sweater, creator of The Wizerd

“Exciting, funny, and well-told…Your Pal Fred is just a joy to read.”
 —Forces of Geek

“Rex combines a silly, adventurous romp with a message about love and kindness. The illustrations capture the story’s energy; the action-packed spreads and jagged panels make for quick transitions during action sequences, and the cartoonish visual style turns mean characters into harmless goofballs. Perfect for fans of Judd Winick’s Hilo series.”

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