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Dog Man returns with an unexpected announcement of a second book in 2024, just weeks before the movie

Big Jim Begins will hit shelves this December

Dog Man
Image credit: Dav Pilkey/Scholastic

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Good news, Dog Man fans: The Scarlet Shedder isn’t the only Dog Man release of 2024. In a surprise announcement, Scholastic has revealed that the 13th book in Dav Pilkey’s best-selling series is coming this December, in the form of Dog Man: Big Jim Begins.

In a statement accompanying the news, Pilkey said, “With this new book, I wanted to share the origin story of my characters, as readers get to know more about Big Jim — a character who is playful, kind, overly optimistic and often misunderstood, and who sometimes gets into trouble despite having the best intentions. Since the pandemic, I’ve been writing and illustrating books in the Dog Man and Cat Kid Comic Club series which has been a satisfying yet solitary experience. I’m grateful to all my readers — kids and their families as well as educators — who have sent me letters and messages of encouragement. Their support and enthusiasm have inspired me to keep making books. I am truly humbled and honored.”

Big Jim Begins comes hot on the heels of the March release of Dog Man: The Scarlet Shedder, which became the best-selling book in the country for five straight weeks upon hitting shelves. That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, of course; Dog Man is a genuine publishing phenomenon, with more than 60 million copies sold in more than 47 languages since the series’ debuted in 2016. (We have a reading guide for those who want to catch up.)

The release of Big Jim Begins comes just weeks before Dog Man goes from publishing phenomenon to movie star; Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s Dog Man movie, directed by Peter Hastings, is set to hit theaters in January 2025,.

“For nearly four decades, Dav Pilkey has been delighting kids with books that ignited their passion for reading,” Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic trade, said in her own statement. “With Dog Man, Dav has created a vast universe featuring characters that kids can relate to and stories that make them laugh and clamor for more. There isn’t anything in the industry that has reached this level of success and fandom that Dog Man has achieved in seven short years. The massive impact of Dav Pilkey’s books cannot be overstated, and we couldn’t be more proud to be his publisher and help bring these books to the hands of kids everywhere.”

Dog Man: Big Jim Begins will be released December 3.

We're big Dog Man fans here at Popverse; catch up on all our coverage right here.

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