Dark Horse is publishing hardcover editions of four of Akiko Ikeda's Dayan novels.  Ms Ikeda has had more than 30 Dayan novels published in Japan, where her whimsical tales featuring the mischievous cat Dayan and set in an anthropomorphic universe where plants and animals speak words of wisdom, have found favor with both children and adults.


Dayan is an adventurous feline who, with the help of his friend the hard-drinking alligator Nbah, manages to outwit a coven of nasty witches, a devilish forest nymph, and even his own shadow in these stories, which borrow heavily from Japanese folklore traditions.  Ms. Ikeda's evocative illustrations provide a subtle counterpoint to the apparently simple (but actually quite profound) narratives.  The four 40-page hardcover volumes, Dayan's Birthday, Dayan: Thursday Rainy Party, Dayan: Chikiburo Party, and Dayan: White Eurocka will be available in April at a cover price of $9.95.