Anyone who’s a fan of DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians may be familiar with this name: William Joyce.
The film in particular is based on his Guardians of Childhood series of novels and picture books that tell the origin story of the titular guardians (the movie takes place roughly 300 years after the events of the books).
Now, if you’re already fans of the books and wondering when the next ones come out, wonder no more!
After having various rumored release dates bounced around for months on end, the fifth and final chapter book in the Guardians of Childhood saga has been scheduled for release on January 26, 2016.
Here’s the main description of the book:
The Guardians’ powers are given the ultimate test as they journey to the moon itself in this fifth and final chapter book adventure of an epic series from William Joyce.
The Guardians came together to protect the childhoods of all who dream, and they are a formidable team: Nicholas St. North, E. Aster Bunnymund, Toothiana, the Sandman, Nightlight, and Katherine have thus far prevented Pitch from fulfilling his nightmarish plans.
But Pitch and his nightmare men lurk on the fringes, gathering strength, stewing in hate, and the Guardians know their guard needs one more member if they are going to vanquish Pitch for all eternity. And once they find the last in their band, they’ll travel to the secret realm of the Man in the Moon, encounter armies of Moonbots, and face the greatest battle since the Golden Age—and that is just the beginning of this grand conclusion to a series most grand.
Now, at this point you might have a certain question on your mind: why so far away? Well, that could be for a varying amount of reasons. It may just turn out that this book will be the longest in the series (as is traditionally the case). Also consider that this is the last of the chapter books (before Rise of the Guardians picks up 300 years later), so Joyce would definitely need all the time he can get to wrap up four books worth of character arcs and storylines before the book can be released to the world. And let’s not forget that, as the co-founder of his Shreveport, Louisiana-based Moonbot Studios production company, it’s more than likely that he has to juggle various other projects all the while.
Asides from the chapter books, he also has a concurring series of picture books, each telling the individual origin stories of each of the guardians. And fans of a particularly popular character in Rise of the Guardians will be thrilled to know that the subject of his next picture book is…Jack Frost!
The existence of a Jack Frost picture book was confirmed by a post on William Joyce’s blog, where this piece of artwork (reportedly from the book) has been featured in a Society of Illustrators exhibit last summer:
As of current, there’s no plot description at the moment. If I had to take a guess, the book may explore the beginnings of Jack’s transformation from a confused and lonely spector into the fun-loving, snowball-slinging spirit of winter that fans know him as. It may even explore a mysterious connection to Nightlight, one of the original Guardians in the chapter books (a connection hinted at in the above painting).
The release date surrounding this one is a little more nebulous. While there are no sources confirming this, the Guardians Wiki page lists the book as being scheduled for a Fall 2015 release window. Again, no sources to back that up, but if that’s true then it should prove quite the wait for fans of Jack Frost.
Even as the idea of a Rise of the Guardians sequel is still being bounced around, that universe continues on in Joyce’s words and illustrations; expansive, exciting, and no less vibrant.