At Katie O’Neill‘s spotlight panel at San Diego Comic-Con, she and her editor Ari Yarwood announced her next project, an early readers original graphic novel called Dewdrop, published by Oni Press.

Oni’s description of the comic reads, “Dewdrop is an easygoing, gentle axolotl who enjoys naps, worm pie and cheerleading. When the yearly fair nears, he and his friends – Mia the weightlifting turtle, Newman the musical newt, and three minnows who love to cook – get ready to showcase their skills to the whole pond! However, as the day of the fair gets closer, Dewdrop’s friends can’t help putting pressure on themselves to be the best. It’s up to Dewdrop to remind them how to be mindful, go at their own pace, and find joy in their own achievements.”

This sounds like such a wholesome story that adults would likely find a lot of value in. In a work-driven culture where high productivity can be a goal that ends up doing more harm than good, it’s always helpful to remember that everyone has their own pace and there’s no shame in admitting it.

“I’m so happy to be creating a book for younger readers, especially one with themes of mindfulness and self-fulfillment,” said O’Neill.

O’Neill is a New Zealand-based artist known for her comics The Tea Dragon Society and Princess Princess Ever After. On writing for a young reader audience, she said, “I hope the ideas in Dewdrop will sew seeds that may stay with children in some small way, and eventually grow when they need them most. It’s also a real honor to help with starting kids reading in any way I can, so I am very excited for them to meet Dewdrop and his friends!”

Yarwood talked about her working relationship with O’Neill, saying, “It’s been an absolute honor to work with Katie O’Neill for the last four years, and I’m so excited for readers to experience her first early reader book in Dewdrop! It’s such a sweet and thoughtful story, and I think children will relate to the adorable characters Katie has created.”

Oni describes the story as a book that “teaches the values of friendship, teamwork, healthy competition, and community in a sweet story for parents and children to enjoy together.”

O’Neill’s graphic novel will hit stores in April 2020 with a price tag of $12.99. Check out the cover below.

Dewdrop by O'Neill

Disclosure: The Beat is owned by Polarity, which also owns Oni Press.