Next week First Second Books will release Reynard’s Tale. The illustrated prose book comes from celebrated cartoonist Ben Hatke, who offers his unique take on the iconic trickster fox of medieval folklore. Ahead of the book’s release, The Beat is excited to offer an exclusive excerpt from the text, as well as a look at a number of Hatke’s lush illustrations for the story.

Here’s how First Second describes Reynard’s Tale:

Inspired by the 12th century tales of the indomitable trickster fox Reynard, this offbeat tribute to the archetypal rogue has a satisfyingly old-fashioned feeling to it. Although this Reynard adventure is entirely the creation of modern fairytale master Ben Hatke (Mighty Jack), it fits seamlessly into the body of Reynard tales still beloved in Europe to this day.

Featuring evocative, charming black-and-white illustrations and a swiftly moving narrative, Reynard’s Tale follows our hero through a series of encounters with other classic figures from this body of folklore to piece together a headlong journey through a perilous landscape filled with murderers, kings, ex-lovers, mermaids, and even Death herself.

Cartoonist Ben Hatke is best known for the Zita the Spacegirl series of graphic novels, and for the Mighty Jack series, all of which are published by First Second. Hatke won an Eisner Award in 2016 in the Best Publication for Early Readers category for his all-ages graphic novel Little Robot.

Check out the exclusive excerpt of Reynard’s Tale, featuring five pages of prose and five illustrations, below. The 80-page hardcover is due out in bookstores on Tuesday, April 18th.