Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards Shortlist

We are very excited to announce that two of our titles have been nominated for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards! Congratulations to Cybèle Young, Dan Bar-el and Tatjana Mai-Wyss!

Picture Book Category:

Nancy KnowsNancy Knows
Written by Cybèle Young
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-482-4
Nancy Knows is a great example of the power and charm of simple storytelling. Young’s prose is clear; each brief sentence is composed of carefully chosen words that inspire readers to take their time and savour the story (a fitting approach for a book about memory). But it is Young’s artwork that elevates the narrative to extraordinary heights…. Young once again works her magic, combining intricately detailed miniature paper sculptures (which represent memories) with soft, pencil-sketched outlines of Nancy and her surroundings. The effect is utterly mesmerizing.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

Middle Reader Category:

audreyAudrey (cow)
Written by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Hardcover | 240 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN: 978-1-77049-602-6
Animal Farm meets The Great Escape…. The back-and-forth among the characters is over the top … but Bar-el pulls it off with great charm. The result is purely delightful, as are Tatjana Mai-Wyss’s appropriately vintage-looking spot illustrations. The short first-person passages help move the story along, ending with a comedy-of-errors that culminates in Audrey happily living out her days at an animal sanctuary. Bar-el manages to gently and thoughtfully introduce kids to the concept of the abattoir while also underscoring that a farm’s very purpose is producing food. 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

About the Award
The award, made possible by the Ruth Schwartz Foundation, is presented annually to the authors/illustrators of two outstanding works of Canadian children’s literature – a picture book and a young-adult/middle-reader title.

Ruth Schwartz was a respected Toronto bookseller who ran a bookstore in the Park Plaza Hotel. She made a special effort to promote Canadian-authored children’s books. In 1976, after Ruth Schwartz’s death, her sister, Sylvia, established an award in her name. In honour of the late Sylvia Schwartz, the family recently added her name to the award.

The award is administered jointly – the Ontario Arts Council oversees the jury process and publicizes the award and the Ontario Arts Foundation publicizes the award.

The winners are selected by two juries of young readers, which this year are students at Alexander Muir / Gladstone Avenue Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto and will be announced there on Friday, May 15, 2015.

Help stop Frankenstink this Earth Day!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015 is Earth Day and we have some helpful discussions and activities to help you stop Frankenstink from crawling into your life:

  1. What are some objects around your home or the classroom that might “stink”?
  2. Do you have anything accumulating under your bed? Describe the “garbage” you might find there.
  3. Do you know where your community recycling center is located? Or your community garbage dump? Have you ever visited either of these locations?
  4. What do you know about Earth Day? Find out more here: and
  5. Collect different materials around your home or classroom that are unwanted and ready to be disposed of. Create your very own Frankenstink sculpture out of these found materials. Describe your monster orally or in writing. Alternatively, use scrap pieces of paper and material, markers, crayons and paint to create a two dimensional Frankenstink.
  6. Share a picture of your Frankenstink to – and tell us how you will dispose of its different parts responsibly.
  7. Consider your own home or classroom. Where might a Frankenstink grow? From what?
  8. Design a poster warning of the dangers of slobby behavior and how it may lead to the creation of a dreaded Frankenstink!
  9. Download and print this Frankenstink! draw-and-color booklet on recycled paper.
  10. Hang this Frankenstink! poster in your home or classroom to remind you to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Garbage Gone Bad
Written by Ron Lightburn
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN: 978-1-77049-694-1
“This fantastic tale of what could happen if we don’t clean up our garbage…. The rhyming text, which should be read aloud to achieve the full effect of the story, provides an opportunity for early readers to have fun playing with juicy words … guaranteed to garner a giggle. Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad will appeal to children who hate to clean up as well as those who love all things disgusting. The comic book style illustrations do a good job at punctuating the horrific fun of the story, and a glow in the dark cover is a bonus available in the print version of the book.” – Recommended, CM Magazine

RonLightburnComicAuthor and illustrator RON LIGHTBURN began his artistic career in elementary school with his handmade comic books, like the one featured on the right. He has since won many awards and honors, including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration. He has created artwork for book covers, magazines, calendars, posters and advertisements across North America and has become internationally renowned for his range of illustration styles and his storytelling skills. Ron lives in Coldbrook, Nova Scotia, and his picture books have been published in nine countries. Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad harkens back to the monster movies and comics of his youth. Visit his website at

EVENT REMINDER: Ron Lightburn will be at Wolfville Memorial Library on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at 2:00 pm!

Tuesdays with Tundra 47

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

Andreos RaceAndreo’s Race
Written by Pam Withers
Trade Paperback | 224 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-767-2
eBook: 978-1-77049-766-5
“This action-packed book revolves around the topics of adventure races and illegal adoptions…. The experience of adventure racing is brought to life in the story, with readers experiencing the intensity of training and competition through Andreo. The excitement of the sport is mirrored by his emotional hunt for clues leading to his birth family, and his discoveries and achievements are well paced…. The simple, straightforward language, surprise twist, and nonstop action will appeal to reluctant readers looking for a thrilling novel.” – School Library Journal

Outstanding in the RainOutstanding in the Rain
A Whole Story with Holes

Written by Frank Viva
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-101-91768-8
“Creator Viva hints on the cover that this is not your ordinary picture book by segmenting the first word of the title into two parts via color: out in gold, and standing in turquoise … Viva takes readers on a wild trip to an amusement park with the city skyline behind…. The excitement of the story is enhanced by changing perspectives; sometimes the illustrations are close-ups, and other times they are broad abstracts…. A must have because of the originality of the concept, the unusual palette, and the thrill of the reading experience.” – Starred Review, Booklist

Peter Puck and the Stolen Stanley CupPeter Puck and the Stolen Stanley Cup
Written by Brian Mcfarlane
Illustrated by Geri Storey
Hardcover | 64 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-581-4
In Peter Puck and the Stolen Stanley Cup, Peter is caught up in the rivalry between two teams vying for the Stanley Cup. The night before the final game, someone sets a fire set to distract the guard and steals the Stanley Cup. Rescued from the flames in the nick of time, Peter sets off in pursuit of the thief. Will his powers of observation and sleuthing skills help him to unmask the thief? And will the Cup be recovered in time for the game?

Snow White and the 77 DwarfsSnow White and the 77 Dwarfs
Written by Davide Cali
Illustrated by Raphaëlle Barbanègre
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-763-4
“What’ll it be, Snow White? A poisoned apple or keeping house for 77 hyperactive little men? … A must-read for all offspring … or so their parents and other caregivers are likely to feel.” – Kirkus Reviews

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, please tell us which new April 2015 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, April 20, 2015!

Manitoba Book Award Shortlist 2015

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild and the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers have announced the Manitoba Book Awards shortlists. We would like to congratulate Eva Wiseman, The World Outside has been shortlisted for the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award!

The World OutsideThe World Outside
Written by Eva Wiseman
Hardcover | 240 Pages | Ages 12 and up
ISBN: 978-0-88776-981-8
eBook: 978-0-88776-982-5
“Wiseman is known for choosing unique time periods in Jewish history for her books. She authentically portrays a young woman torn between two worlds. Readers of all backgrounds will be able to empathize with Chanie…. Recommended for libraries looking to enhance their collections about cultural groups and self-identity.” — School Library Journal

Eva Wiseman won the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award for Puppet in 2010 and My Canary Yellow Star in 2001 and was shortlisted for the award in 2013 for The Last Song. Fingers crossed for another win!


CCBC Choices 2015

Congratulations to Charis Cotter and Kate De Goldi! The Swallow: A Ghost Story and The ACB with Honora Lee, are included in CCBC Choices 2015, the annual best-of-the-year list of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC).

The SwallowThe Swallow: A Ghost Story
Written by Charis Cotter
Hardcover | 320 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-591-3
“Spooky tension, friendship and compassion permeate this exquisitely plotted middle-grade ghost story. …the story structure weaves its way in and out—riveting and tumbling with tension but never obvious, leaving the readers wondering if anything is really as it seems. …readers will seesaw between chills and snorts of laughter. When Cotter delivers the final twist, it is a denouement that becomes a springboard for greater revelations that lead to even greater reader satisfaction. Middle-grade storytelling at its very best—extraordinary.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The ACB with Honora LeeThe ACB with Honora Lee
Written by Kate De Goldi
Illustrated by Gregory O’Brien
Hardcover | 128 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-722-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-723-8
“De Goldi’s story of an only child’s determined efforts to know and love her grandmother deserves a place in the pantheon of quiet, word-of-mouth classics . . . Perry is funny and bewitching, and all of the other characters, even the walk-ons, are equally engaging. O’Brien’s curious diagram-illustrations pay appropriate tribute to Perry’s admiration for the unconventional.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

2015 Willow Awards Nominations

The Willow AwardsThe Willow Awards have been announced! We are very happy to see that three of our titles have been nominated for the Shining Willow Award and one for the Diamond Willow. Congratulations to Roy MacGregor, Geneviève Després, Eric Walters, Eugenie Fernandes, Elise Gravel, and Charis Cotter for their fantastic work!

Click here for a bookmark checklist for the Shining Willow nominees and click here for the Diamond Willow bookmark.

Shining Willow Nominees:

The Highest Number in the WorldThe Highest Number in the World
Written by Roy MacGregor
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-5753
“MacGregor’s writing packs an emotional punch without relying on sentimentality (‘Gabe’s heart felt as if a skate had just run across it’). Expressive pencil drawings, brightened with color washes, perfectly capture the characters’ feelings. From the moment Grandma begins to share her past and her passion for hockey, the story’s context becomes broader, more complex, and more meaningful. A memorable, intergenerational picture book perfect for sharing.” – Starred Review, Booklist

My Name Is BlessingMy Name Is Blessing
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages |Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-301-8
“This expressive picture book, based on a real family, lovingly tells a hard story with a twist. It’s difficult to broach poverty, disability and custody issues in so few pages without sounding maudlin, but Walters manages by speaking simply…. With dignity and quiet acceptance, this story illustrates that blessings, like family, can take unexpected forms.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The WormThe Worm
Written by Elise Gravel
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-633-0
“Gravel covers basics like worm anatomy and diet with simple text and bold, hand-lettered typography. But it’s the earthworm protagonist, sporting a beret and greeting readers with a worldly ‘Énchanté!’, that helps make the book so entertaining. It has a witty quip for every wormy fact…. But even the book’s more aesthetically challenged creatures—tapeworms, I’m looking at you—can’t help but woo with their cute dot-eyes and expressive mouths. The Worm is gross, silly, and informative—the perfect combo for maximum kid appeal.” – Science Friday

Diamond Willow Nominee:

The SwallowThe Swallow
A Ghost Story
Written by Charis Cotter
Hardcover | 320 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-591-3
“The novel alternates between Polly’s and Rose’s first-person points of view, and Cotter ably creates their two distinct voices, each of which is appealing in its own way. This is a novel about loneliness and friendship, feeling invisible, finding your voice, and long-buried secrets. But The Swallow is never heavy-handed, and, best of all, it’s genuinely spooky. Cotter builds suspense without artificially withholding information from the reader. And for bibliophiles, the author’s subtle hat tips to favourite books are a joy. Like all the best ghost stories, The Swallow tells us more about the living than the dead. It is a fantastic addition to Toronto literature, with all the makings of a classic.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

2015 Gourmand Award Winner

The Gourmand Awards has been announced and we’re honored to see that Julia, Child is the winner in the Best Illustrations category for Canada – English! Congratulations to Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad!

Julia ChildJulia, Child
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 32 Pages | All Ages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-449-7
“Morstad’s lively art uses Photoshop, ink and gouache, telegraphing a suggestion of the ink-and-watercolor work of mid-20th-century artists like Sasek and Bemelmans … there’s a dollop of sentimentality in the way that the two young cooks bring ‘all sorts of big, busy people’ to a remembrance of childhood pleasures…. Intriguing for an adult familiar with the real Julia and perhaps for the perceptive child who will understand that it’s not about how old you are, or about what you cook, but about what you bring to the table.” – Kirkus Reviews

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau and celebrates global cookbook and wine book publishing and feature many world renowned chefs each year.