Kirkus Reviews: Best Children’s Books of 2014

best_of_2014-CHILDRENS-BADGEKirkus Reviews compiles a great list of the best children’s and teen books annually. Congratulations to all of the amazing authors and illustrators for their achievement and for being included in the categories as well! We’re happy to share that two of our titles made the list this year!

Congratulations to Cybèle Young, Nancy Knows was selected as one of the Best Picture Books of 2014 to Start a Conversation:

Kirkus_Nancy Nancy KnowsNancy Knows
Written by Cybèle Young
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-482-4
“…the vehicle for a truly beautiful and unique visual tour de force. Young creates delicately worked, detailed illustrations of the things Nancy does remember and sorts them into a wide variety of categories shown within graphite-pencil outlines of Nancy’s elephantine body in front, back, overhead and sideways perspectives. She appears standing or rearing, sleeping or sitting. Things are remembered neatly or jumbled up; sights, sounds and smells are recalled, as well as places and objects, all in interesting juxtapositions. Each item is a tiny, intricate sculpture made with Japanese papers. Colorful shapes in abstract design and amazingly detailed, seemingly three-dimensional objects demand intense, close examination, and fingers will tingle with the wish to lift them off the page. It’s a work to be shared in wonderment and delight. Pure fascination.” – Starred Review, Kirkus

Congratulations to Dan Bar-el and Tatjana Mai-Wyss, Audrey (cow) was selected as one of the Best Middle-Grade Science Fiction, Fantasy & Adventure of 2014 AND Best Middle-Grade Books of 2014 for Readers Who Like Quirky:

Kirkus_Audrey2audreyAudrey (cow)
Written by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Hardcover | 240 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN: 978-1-77049-602-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-604-0
“Move aside Wilbur and Babe. There’s a new farmyard hero in town, and she has no desire to end up hamburger. Audrey isn’t like the other cows … the feisty Charolais concocts an elaborate escape for herself using the expertise and help of her barnyard friends…. In a multiple-perspective, documentary-like format, each animal tells its part of the story with terrific humor and personality … the many voices make the book an ideal read-aloud for a classroom and ideal fodder for readers’ theater…. Part Great Escape, part Hatchet, part Charlotte’s Web, all wonderful.” – Starred Review, Kirkus

Kirkus_Audrey

The Globe 100: The Best Books of 2014

We are so happy to see one of our titles selected for the Globe 100 under Favourite Middle Grade/Young Adult this year. Congratulations to Kate De Goldi and Gregory O’Brien!
Globe100
The ACB with Honora LeeThe ACB with Honora Lee
Written by Kate De Goldi
Illustrated by Gregory O’Brien
Hardcover | 128 Pages | Ages 10 and up
ISBN: 978-1-77049-722-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-723-8
“Kate de Goldi writes surprising and warmly hilarious books where sensitive children make imaginative sense of the world around them. Perry’s grandmother, Honora Lee, lives at Santa Lucia, a rest home, but never remembers Perry’s visits, let alone who she is or if she is a girl or a boy. What she does remember, though, are bits of poetry, sharp and cheeky quips, and how to steal mints from other residents’ rooms. Perry notices Honora’s interest in the alphabet, and the great fun and interest of the book is in the creation of ‘The ACB’ book as it follows the serpentine, sometimes broken logic of Honora and her roomies at Santa Lucia. For example, ‘S is for Sideways Geoffrey,’ who always seems to end up horizontal in his chair and has to watch the television the wrong way. Deceptively simply told for all its sophistication, and so smart, too.” – The Globe and Mail

2014 Holiday Showcase with Small Print Toronto

You’re invited to the 2014 Holiday Showcase with Small Print Toronto! Santa’s had his parade and we’ve had our first snowstorm, but the festive season begins for book-lovers aged 2-12 at our Holiday Showcase!

Date: Saturday, November 29, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Place: Lillian H. Smith Library
Address: 239 College Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1R5

HolidayShowcaseSchedule

Between 1:00-2:30 pm, award-winning creators Julie Kraulis, Kyo Maclear, and Cybéle Young will read and conduct cool crafts for readers aged 2-8.

Between 2:30-3:30 pm, acclaimed authors Natale Ghent, Marthe Jocelyn, and Richard Scrimger will deliver presentations and run activities for the 8-12 set.

Throughout the day, readers of all ages can draw, write and add their stamp to a giant, group comic book.

Since few gifts give as much long-lasting joy as a signed book, TYPE Books will make books available for purchase at the event.

For FREE Tickets, just click here. For more details, visit Small Print Toronto.

An Armadillo in Paris Julia Child Nancy Knows Millhouse Viminy Crowes Comic Book

Tuesdays with Tundra 44

Tuesdays with Tundra is a monthly post on our new releases. The following books are available today in stores and online!

Audrey-cowAudrey (cow)
Written by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Hardcover | 240 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN: 978-1-77049-602-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-604-0
“Move aside Wilbur and Babe. There’s a new farmyard hero in town, and she has no desire to end up hamburger. In a multiple-perspective, documentary-like format, each animal tells its part of the story with terrific humor and personality … the many voices make the book an ideal read-aloud for a classroom and ideal fodder for readers’ theatre. Bar-el is also unafraid to engage in truly lovely descriptive writing. Part Great Escape, part Hatchet, part Charlotte’s Web, all wonderful.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“…[a] cleverly constructed story…. Bar-el creates a humorous chorus of perspectives, temperaments, dialects, and cadences….. Thoroughly charming….” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“At its heart, Audrey (cow) encourages kids to think even as it entertains – the mark of wonderful children’s literature.” – Starred Review, Quill and Quire

The Hockey Sweater_30th AnniversaryThe Hockey Sweater, Anniversary Edition
Written by Roch Carrier
Illustrated by Sheldon Cohen
Translated by Sheila Fischman
Hardcover | 48 Pages | All Ages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-762-7
“It’s a classic … you can’t really be a Canadian and not read it. It’s become part of our cultural lexicon.” – Canadian Children’s Book News

TThe Green Man_paperbackhe Green Man
Written by Michael Bedard
Trade Paperback | 320 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-511-1
“Mystery, fantasy, romance, horror, and poetry come together in this classic outsider story with sometimes shocking twists and turns that reveal heartfelt connections…. [T]he action is fast, and the simple prose is pitch-perfect….” – Booklist

You know what else releases today? Our newly packaged L.M. Montgomery hardcover books!!!

Anne of Green Gables Anne of Avonlea Anne of the Island Anne of Windy Poplars Annes House of Dreams Anne of Ingleside Rainbow Valley Rilla of Ingleside Emily of New Moon Emily Climbs  Emilys Quest

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, please tell us which new November release of Tundra’s you would love to read and one lucky reader will receive their requested book! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, November 17, 2014!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Kris, you’ve won a copy of The Green Man!

Launch of: An Armadillo in Paris

What a lovely launch for An Armadillo in Paris! The event was held on Wednesday, November 5 at Café Plenty with Mabel’s Fables on hand to sell books. A fantastic turnout of friends, families, and fans came to congratulate Julie Kraulis on her second picture book publication. Here are some photos from the reception:
01_LaunchArloParisYes, a knitted armadillo was present at the launch. With an interchangeable scarf, wonder what the colours will be for Arlo’s next adventure in New York City?
02_LaunchArloParisJulie brought in the original art to display so everyone could see the amazing details in her work.
03_LaunchArloParisA Parisian-themed launch wouldn’t be complete with some treats, especially macarons!
04_LaunchArloParisGreat to see the support and love from friends and family! But … were they there to see Julie or Arlo?
05_LaunchArloParisEditor Samantha Swenson (right) saying a few words, she’s also the one who knitted the armadillo!
06_LaunchArloParisSo many kids came by to get their books signed!
07_LaunchArloParisIf you’re looking for Arlo prints and postcards, you can order them from Julie’s website here. Thank you to those who came out on the splendid Wednesday evening and many thanks to the team at Café Plenty and Mabel’s Fables!

14th Annual Writers’ Trust Awards

Last night, the 14th Annual Writers’ Trust Awards was held at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. The following award winners were announced:

  • Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
  • Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize
  • Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award
  • Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People
  • Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life
  • Writers’ Trust / McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize

Cary FaganCongratulations to Cary Fagan on being this year’s recipient of the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People. This award honours a Canadian author of children’s literature whose body of work is judged to demonstrate the highest literary standards.

Cary Fagan is an award-winning author for children. His kids’ books include the popular Kaspar Snit novels and the picture book Mr. Zinger’s Hat, for which he won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the IODE Jean Throop Award. He has won the Jewish Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Silver Birch Award (five times), the Rocky Mountain Book Award (twice), the Hackmatack Award (twice), the Norma Fleck Award, the Shining Willow Award, and others. Fagan is also the author of six novels and three short story collections for adults. He was born and raised in Toronto, where he lives with his family.

Here are some of Cary Fagan’s publications with Tundra:
Mr. Zinger’s Hat (2012)
Ella May and the Wishing Stone (2011)
Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas (2009)
Thing-Thing (2008)
Ten Lessons for Kaspar Snit (2008)
Directed by Kaspar Snit (2007)
My New Shirt (2007)
Ten Old Men and a Mouse (2007)
The Fortress of Kaspar Snit (2004)
Beyond the Dance: A Ballerina’s Life (with Chan Hon Goh) (2002)
Daughter of the Great Zandini (2001)
The Market Wedding (2000)
Gogol’s Coat (1999)

Beyond the Dance Daughter of the Great Zandini Directed by Kaspar Snit Ella May and the Wishing Stone Gogol's Coat Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas Mr Zingers Hat My New Shirt Ten Lesson for Kaspar Snit Ten Old Men and a Mouse The Fortress of Kaspar Snit The Market Wedding Thing-Thing

“Organic prose and authentic dialogue are defining features of Cary Fagan’s prolific body of work, which covers the range of children’s genres from picture books to novels. With a kid’s eye-view Fagan navigates the ups and downs of life with genuine warmth and a wry sense of humour. His stories perambulate a landscape of small adventures, creating moments of epiphany for his characters that ultimately alter and shift their lens on the world. Magic animates his narratives and its transformative power is Fagan’s instrument for constructing a child’s imaginative space, allowing the reader to find themselves in the story. Nuanced and understated in both semantics and voice, Fagan’s stories are a perfect balance between the comic and the dramatic. Artfully rendered narratives and exquisite syntax make each of his tales pearls of meaningful simplicity. Fagan is a master storyteller.” – Jury Citation

The goal of the Metcalf Foundation is to enhance the effectiveness of people and organizations working together to help Canadians imagine and build a just, healthy and creative society. Vicky Metcalf created this award in 1963 to stimulate the writing of literature for Canadian children. She held a passion for storytelling and published several children’s books. The prize has been administered by the Writers’ Trust since 2002.

We would like to thank the jurors – Gwyneth Evans, Susan Perren, and Joanne Schwartz – for all their work. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and cheered for Cary Fagan. Finally, thank you to the Sponsors, Board of Directors, Authors’ Committee, and the staff at Writers’ Trust of Canada.

November 5th Events

We have not one, but TWO great events on November 5th, 2014. One in Toronto and one in Vancouver, so pick the city closest to you!

Arlo
You’re invited to the launch of An Armadillo in Paris by Julie Kraulis!
Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Where: Cafe Plenty
Address: 250 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5T 2Z5
Telephone: 416-585-7842
When: 6:00-8:00 PM
RSVP: rsvpcanada@randomhouse.com

See what readers are saying about An Armadillo in Paris:

“Lovely oil and graphite illustrations done in a muted color palette capture the famous landmarks and romantic ambiance of the city. Arlo’s adventure is delightful, and the story is told in both narration and excerpts from Augustin’s journal. A page of facts about the Iron Lady is appended. A good purchase for a library collection in need of picture books about various locations around the world.” – School Library Journal

“At first I thought I loved An Armadillo in Paris because I’m a Francophile. After a second read, I realized that the illustrations make you feel as though you’re walking along the banks of the Seine and viewing all of the famous Parisian landmarks alongside Arlo. Upon a third read, which is when I started ‘reading like a writer,’ I discovered the richness of the text: both the journal entries and the narrative…. This unique structure appealed to me as a reader and had me dipping back into the text for multiple reads.” – Two Writing Teachers

Edie
You’re invited to the launch of Edie’s Ensembles by Ashley Spires!
Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Where: Kidsbooks
Address: 3083 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2G9
Telephone: 604-738-5335
When: 7:00 PM
Tickets are being sold here!

See what readers are saying about Edie’s Ensembles:

“A heartwarming tale of self-discovery and friendship.” – Kirkus Reviews

“… a vibrant tale of friendship and self-esteem, brimming with outrageous outfits and earnest characters. Kids will love the detail in Spires’s digitally-rendered illustrations … Edie’s Ensembles is a tale that will resonate with kids who like to dress up, and those who—like Edie—seek true connections.” – Readerly