Tundra Books celebrates its 50th Anniversary

tundra-new-300x300Canada’s oldest publisher of children’s books, Tundra Books, is excited to announce plans to mark its 50th anniversary in 2017, including the launch of an illustration award to honor Tundra’s trailblazing founder, May Cutler, and a dynamic new logo designed by award-winning Canadian branding and design agency Viva & Co.

The May Cutler Emerging Artist of the Year celebrates May Cutler’s mission to introduce children to art and artists. This annual honor will be given to a debut illustrator for his or her illustration work on a book published by Tundra. The book will receive an enhanced marketing plan, and the illustrator will be presented with a special edition. Tara Walker, Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, and Vice President, Penguin Random House Canada, says, “The May Cutler Emerging Artist of the Year acknowledges a new picture book illustrator who exemplifies all the things May valued so dearly: artistic talent, a unique approach to picture book illustration and a passion for children’s literature.” The inaugural recipient of the award is Prince George, BC-based artist Madeline Kloepper for Little Blue Chair, a picture book written by Cary Fagan (available January 24, 2017).

little-blue-chairWalker says, “We’re so delighted to be presenting Madeline with this honor. We were immediately drawn to the sweet, winsome faces of her characters in Little Blue Chair, full of quiet emotion and subtle expression, and the way she captures intimate everyday scenes and vast landscapes with equal beauty and curiosity. Her art is so assured and has such a classic feel, and she’s brought Cary’s wonderful story to life in such a sensitive and poignant way that it’s remarkable to think this is her very first picture book.”

As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, Tundra also unveils a new logo designed by Canadian design firm Viva & Co. and its founder and Managing Director, Frank Viva. The new logo marks the publisher’s first logo re-brand since its founding in 1967 and will first appear printed on books published in fall 2017.

Viva, who is also a distinguished author and illustrator of books for children and an artist known for his New Yorker covers, says, “We were really gratified that Tundra approached Viva & Co. to help them with a new identity system launching in time for their 50th anniversary (and Canada’s 150th). I have long admired this remarkable Canadian children’s book imprint. Having published two books with Tundra while working closely with the current team, I know that May Cutler would be proud of the astonishing renewal and reinvention going on there. Our goal was to create a fresh but timeless logo that was unmistakably Canadian – one that would last for the next 50 years.”

Walker says, “To have a logo designed by our beloved author and friend Frank and his team is truly the best birthday present we can give ourselves. From the moment we first considered a new logo for Tundra, we thought of Frank and Viva & Co. Frank’s great love of books, his artistry and his innovative design sense made him and his agency the obvious choice. We are honored to publish Frank Viva and consider him to be one of our country’s great tastemakers.”

Kristin Cochrane, President and Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, says, “Good publishers have a strong vision of the kind of books they want to send out into the world and great publishers have the strength and perseverance to see this come true. May Cutler was a great publisher, one who blazed a trail for children’s publishers to come.

I am sure that she would be as proud as I am of what Tundra has become and for all the accomplishments of its team. Tundra’s new logo is, in part, an homage to May. It is distinctive, playful and is a wonderful nod to our northern heritage. It’s everything we had hoped for … and more.”

Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers is home to three imprints: Tundra, Puffin and Penguin Teen. In addition to our successful Canadian and U.S. publishing programs, we are recognized internationally for our beautiful, award-winning books. Our list boasts a stellar roster of bestselling Canadian and international authors and illustrators, including Kelley Armstrong, Isabelle Arsenault, Jonathan Auxier, Linda Bailey, Cary Fagan, the Fan Brothers, Chris Hadfield, Rachel Hartman, Marthe Jocelyn, Susan Juby, Sophie Kinsella, Kyo Maclear, Julie Morstad, Susin Nielsen, Shane Peacock, Caroline Pignat, Lemony Snicket, Ashley Spires, Teresa Toten, Frank Viva, Nicola Yoon, Moira Young, Eric Walters, Mélanie Watt.

For further information and high-resolution images, please contact:
Pamela Osti, Publicity & Marketing Manager
Tel: 647-788-3980
posti@penguinrandomhouse.com

The 2017 OLA Forest of Reading® Nominees

Forest of Reading BannerToday, the Ontario Library Association revealed the nominated titles for the 2017 Forest of Reading® program. Tundra Books would like to congratulate our nominated authors and illustrators!

2017 Blue Spruce Award™ Nominated Titles

The Good Little BookThe Good Little Book
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Marion Arbona
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN 9781770494510
While banished to a dusty study one day “to think things over”, a boy pulls a book off a shelf and with great reluctance begins to read. As the afternoon passes, the story nabs him and carries him away. Before long, this good little book becomes his loyal companion, accompanying him everywhere . . . until, one day, the book is lost. Will this bad little boy get back his good little book?

If I Had a GryphonIf I Had a Gryphon
Written by Vikki Vansickle
Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9781770498099
Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring . . . he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, gryphons scare the dogs at the dog-park, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet . . . or is he? If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about fantastical beasts in everyday situations – and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them.

InvisiBillInvisiBill
Written by Maureen Fergus
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN 9781770496132
Bill just wanted someone to pass him the potatoes. Unfortunately, no one even noticed – not his mother (a very busy woman with an important job), not his father (a very important man with a busy job), not his very intelligent older brother, not even his very athletic little sister. If someone had noticed, the wonderful, terrible thing that happened might never have happened. But it did. InvisiBill is the hilariously absurd, tongue-in-cheek story of an ordinary middle child who feels so overlooked by his busy, distracted family that he becomes invisible . . . or InvisiBill!

2017 Silver Birch Fiction Award® Nominated Titles

Heart of a ChampionHeart of a Champion
Written by Ellen Schwartz
Hardcover | 272 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN 9781770498808
eBook 9781770498822
Ten-year-old Kenny (Kenji in Japanese) worships his older brother, Mickey (Mitsuo), a baseball hero whose outstanding performance on the Asahi baseball team has given him fame and popularity. Despite Kenny’s suspected heart condition, he is determined to practice secretly with Mickey so he, too, can one day try out for the Asahi.

But world events soon overtake life in this quiet community. When Japan attacks Pearl Harbor in 1941, everything for Kenny and his family spirals out of control: schools are closed, businesses are confiscated, fathers are arrested and sent to work camps in the BC interior and mothers and children are relocated to internment camps. When Mickey is arrested for a small act of violence, Kenny manages to keep his family’s spirits up, despite the deplorable conditions in camp.

Coming across a “vacant” field covered with scrap wood, broken shakes and torn tar paper, Kenny gets permission to clear it and convert it into a baseball field. One by one, the boys in the camp pitch in, and the work gives purpose to their long days. Kenny’s persistence, hard work and big dreams shape the teen he is to become in this story of happiness found despite all odds.

Seven Dead PiratesSeven Dead Pirates
Written by Linda Bailey
Hardcover | 304 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9781770498150
eBook 9781770498174
Lewis Dearborn is a lonely, anxious, “terminally shy” boy of eleven when his great-grandfather passes away and leaves Lewis’s family with his decaying seaside mansion.

Lewis is initially delighted with his new bedroom, a secluded tower in a remote part of the house. Then he discovers that it’s already occupied – by the ghosts of seven dead pirates. Worse, the ghosts expect him to help them re-take their ship, now restored and on display in a local museum, so they can make their way to Libertalia, a legendary pirate utopia. The only problem is that this motley crew hasn’t left the house in almost two hundred years and is terrified of going outside.

As Lewis warily sets out to assist his new roommates – a raucous, unruly bunch who exhibit a strange delight in thrift-store fashions and a thirst for storybooks – he begins to open himself to the possibilities of friendship, passion and joie de vivre and finds the courage to speak up.

2017 Red Maple Fiction Award™ Nominated Titles

Sea ChangeSea Change
Written and Illustrated by Frank Viva
Hardcover | 120 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN 9781101918524
One summer can change your whole life. As soon as school lets out, Eliot’s parents send him to the very edge of the world: a fishing village in a remote part of Nova Scotia. And what does the small town of Point Aconi have to offer? Maggots, bullies, and grumpy old men. But along the way, Eliot discovers much more – a hidden library, starry nights, and a mysterious girl named Mary Beth.

Critically acclaimed author and artist Frank Viva (Along a Long Road) brings us this warm, funny, and innovatively designed coming-of-age story. See Point Aconi through Eliot’s eyes, as he finds that this place he never wanted to visit is becoming a home he doesn’t want to leave.

2017 White Pine Award™ Nominated Titles

Fifteen LanesFifteen Lanes
Written by S.J. Laidlaw
Hardcover | 304 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN 9781101917800
eBook 9781101917824
Noor has lived all of her fourteen years in the fifteen lanes of Mumbai’s red light district. Born into a brothel, she is destined for the same fate as her mother: a desperate life trapped in the city’s sex trade. She must act soon to have any chance of escaping this grim future.

Across the sprawling city, fifteen-year-old Grace enjoys a life of privilege. Her father, the CEO of one of India’s largest international banks, has brought his family to Mumbai where they live in unparalleled luxury. But Grace’s seemingly perfect life is shattered when she becomes a victim of a cruel online attack.
When their paths intersect, Noor and Grace will be changed forever. Can two girls living in vastly different worlds find a common path?

Award-winning author S.J. Laidlaw masterfully weaves together their stories in a way that resonates across class and culture. Fifteen Lanes boldly explores the ties that bind us to places and people, and shows us that the strongest of bonds can be forged when hope is all but lost.

We  can’t wait to cheer on our authors and illustrators at The Festival of Trees™ next year!

Finalists for the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Awards

ggla2016Each year, the Canada Council for the Arts honours the best books in Canadian literature with the Governor General’s Literary Awards. This year, we have two finalists in the Young People’s Literature categories, one in text and one in illustrated books. Congratulations to Trilby Kent and Esmé Shapiro!

Young People’s Literature – Text

Once in a Town Called MothOnce, in a Town Called Moth
Written by Trilby Kent
Hardcover | 224 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 9781101918111
eBook: 9781101918135
“Kent writes with refreshing emotional sophistication.… As literary as it is smart, Kent’s novel reflects life beautifully in its rigorous denial of pat, easy answers.” 
– Starred review, Quill & Quire

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Mikaela Everett for The Unquiet, E.K. Johnston for A Thousand Nights, Martine Leavitt for Calvin, and Tim Wynne-Jones for The Emperor of Any Place.

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

OokoOoko
By Esmé Shapiro
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 9781101918449
eBook: 9781101918456
“Shapiro is onto something here: a hard to define ‘Ooko-ness,’ that is lovely, invigorating and pure.”
Quill & Quire

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Jo Ellen Bogart and Sydney Smith for The White Cat and the Monk, Lucy Ruth Cummins for A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals, Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka for Tokyo Digs a Garden, and Mireille Messier and Pierre Pratt for The Branch.

Go online to discover the year’s best books and their authors, illustrators and translators, on the new interactive GG website. Follow the conversation on Twitter through @CanadaCouncil and by using the hashtag #GGbooks. Like the GGs on Facebook for all the latest updates.

The winners of the 2016 Governor General Literary Awards will be announced on Tuesday, October 25, 2016.

Case Covers

A few weeks back, we featured an interview between the founders of the newly minted Undies award – Carter Higgins and Travis Jonker. Now, we’re excited to share our eligible titles for the inaugural Undies:

If I Had a Gryphon_Undies

Picture Book: If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle, illustrated by Cale Atkinson

Miss Moon_undies

Picture Book: Miss Moon, Wise Words from a Dog Governess by Janet Hill

Counting with Barefoot Critters

Picture Book: Counting with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White

The Darkest Dark_Undies

Picture Book: The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield, illustrated by the Fan Brothers

We also dipped into our back list titles to share some of the great jacket and case designs from the past few years:

This Is Sadie

Picture Book: This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad

Adventures with Barefoot Critters

Picture Book: Adventures with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White

Mos Mustache

Picture Book: Mo’s Mustache by Ben Clanton

Miss Petitfour.JPG

Middle Grade Novel: The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels, illustrated by Emma Block

Which ones are your favorite?

Interview with The Undies founders

Undie-Awards-Logo_605TundiesHey it’s the Tundies (the most adorable nickname bestowed on us by Carter) here after the glorious long weekend. Ever since we found out about The Undies, there has been a buzz of excitement in the office. We submitted our 2016 case cover contenders and even searched through our back list to share some older case designs online. Our joy that such an award has surfaced made us reach out to the founders themselves – Carter from Design of the Picture Book and Travis from 100 Scope Notes – for an interview. These two creative librarians sat down, took off their jackets, and gave us a closer look at what The Undies are all about:

Carter HigginsCarter: Travis! The fine folks at Tundra are abuzz with Undies fever. We did it! We made people talk about underthings on the internet in a clean kind of way. This thing can only get more fun.

Was there a moment that inspired The Undies? Do you remember its origin story?

Travis JonkerTravis: I’m glad you asked because, in the words of Big Boi “I can remember that damn thang like it was yesterday.”

Way back in 2015 there was some good Twitter conversation going on about endpapers in picture books – as happens on Twitter – when author Julie Falatko came up with the idea of an award just for endpapers. Author/illustrator Greg Pizzoli named it: The Endies.
Twitter1

Julie tweeted out her nominees for the award. Then illustrator Carolyn Fisher joined the discussion and another idea was born.
Twitter2

This was all fun, but when I see a blog idea I grab on and death-grip that sucker until it becomes real. So a few months later, I sent you an email to turn The Undies into a thing.

Is this how you remember it? Do you remember our first email exchange about it?

Carter HigginsCarter: Oh wow, Twitter is some time capsule, huh? Leave it to Pizzoli to be so perfectly quippy. No wonder he won a Geisel.

I had forgotten about The Endies, though – so, what’s your 2017 looking like?

When you emailed a few months ago (subject line: Case Cover Awards), I was on board before I even opened the message. You threw out some ideas for names (The Casies! The Undies!), and I will quote my own email back to you:

“If it’s not called The Undies I quit everything about books.”

Although I’m pretty grateful that you said to limit how much searching on Twitter I did with that kind of hashtag. ALT+J, people. Always listen to Jonker.

What’s your history with case covers? Do you remember the first time you peeked under the jacket?

Travis JonkerTravis: Don’t search “The Undies”, people. Just don’t.

I’ve always loved case covers, but I didn’t become obsessive until 2013. That was the year I was on the Caldecott committee. It was also a year with some great case covers. My favorite from that year was Bob Staake’s Bluebird. With its excellent use of perspective and sense of story, that one was unforgettable. Let’s see – almost all the books our committee chose that year had cases that deviated from the cover image: Journey, Mr Wuffles!, and our winner, Locomotive.

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I feel like you can do a better job than I on explaining what exactly is appealing about a unique case cover. You’re good at that.

Carter HigginsCarter: You guys did a really great job in 2013. That’s a solid Caldecott legacy.

Locomotive is such a great example of why case covers are so appealing. That is one beefy book, and the illustration of the bison underneath the jacket added another smack of story that the pages themselves couldn’t hold. Using every square inch of surface area for storytelling is something that is so dazzling and magical and feels like you’ve stumbled on a secret. It’s a great experience as a reader, one that only holds up in print.

The same goes for endpapers that further the story, or even tell a different one. And have you noticed this – lately, I’m seeing a bunch of stories that start before the book’s title page, so that the title lands as text itself. These book openings are super resonant of films in that way, and I’m into it.

I don’t think it was until I worked in graphics that I understood the picture book as a physical piece of art itself, and now I’m making up for lots of lost time studying books and celebrating them on my blog.

As far as story time goes, I think I’ve ruined hundreds of kids who are bummed when the jacket and the case are the same. And it feels extra hidden and Easter-egg-y when you have to work around the book having already been processed and taped up. Kids love that. Instant scavenger hunt.

Are you surprised at the response we’ve gotten to The Undies? How do you think this thing will grow?

Travis JonkerTravis: I’m glad you mentioned story time, because a case cover reveal does make a great “Oh, you liked that book? Well here’s one more cool thing about it.” I still remember taking the jacket off Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown and seeing the delight on everyone’s face. That case cover, by the way, had the added bonus of having texture as well. Good work all around on that one.

Side note: Something we’ve tried in my library to keep the cases viewable (including that Locomotive case) is wrapping the jacket in mylar but not taping the jacket to the book. Not for the faint-hearted librarian, but so far so good in my school library.

The reaction to the award was really cool to see. To be honest, it was more enthusiastic than I expected. It will be fun to make the shortlists come November and get the vote going. I will let everyone know now: IF YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO VOTE IN ONE ELECTION COME NOVEMBER, MAKE IT THE UNDIES.

One thing that I see growing out of this process is an Undies Hall of Fame. Soon, I see us working with developers to break ground on a state of the art facility to properly honor and display the best case covers of all time. What city, though. What city?!

Wait, I glossed over the shortlist/voting thing – can you help me out with that?

Carter HigginsCarter: The great thing about starting an award is that you get to make up all the rules, right? Which we may or may not still be doing. But we are professionals with a plan, so here’s what the people can expect. Travis and I will do the really great homework of looking at all the submissions we’ve received over the year. Picture Randy, Paula, and Simon spreading out Polaroids of wannabe-Idol-faces and sending some to their glory.

We’ll create some categories for cool things we notice, and lump cases into shortlists. We might have a Best Use of Photography or Most Surprising Feature or Shiniest Foil or Hey, What Are the Caldecott Winners Up to Now?

Then: the people vote. And Wolf Blitzer can call it a win for the books.

Sound good, boss?

Travis JonkerTravis: I like to think I’m Simon, but I’m probably really more Randy. You’re (and I mean this with a lot of love and admiration) definitely Paula. Paula before season 5, when we all started to worry about her.

That’s how I envision things going down in the fall as well. And I like how everyone can get involved by voting for the final winners.

So keep sending in those case cover pics, people! But check the gallery first to see if your nomination has already been nominated – that could save you some time.

TundiesTundies: Thank you Carter and Travis for taking the time to chat Undies with us! Everyone else, stay tuned as we share our Undies contenders for 2016 and some from our backlist!

Western Canada Jewish Book Award Winner

Winners of the first-ever Western Canada Jewish Book Awards were announced on June 19, 2016. This initiative is designed to celebrate excellence in writing on Jewish themes / subject and showcase the achievements of authors who reside in Western Canada. The Awards aim to recognize the contribution to Jewish culture by these writers. Tundra would like to congratulate Glenda Leznoff for winning the Children & Youth category – the Jonathan & Heather Berkowitz Prize!

Heartache and Other Natural ShocksHeartache and Other Natural Shocks
Written by Glenda Leznoff
Hardcover | 384 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN 978-1-77049-836-5
eBook 978-1-77049-837-2
“Full of unexpected twists and turns, Heartache and Other Natural Shocks is a unique exploration of teen rivalry, marking an important new voice in young-adult fiction.” – Western Canada Jewish Book Awards Jury

Glenda attended the ceremony and sent us a few photos too!

We would like to thank the 2016 Western Canada Jewish Book Awards jury for all their hard work.

2016 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award Winner

We are very happy to announce that one of our titles has won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards! Congratulations to Susin Nielsen (who is also made of awesome molecules)!

Young Adult / Middle Reader Award Category

We Are All Made of MoleculesWe Are All Made of Molecules
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-779-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-781-8
“This book is funny, powerful and inspirational… The characters dealt with a lot of complicated issues in a believable way that we could relate to…. I can imagine myself reading this book a million more times. It has the best ending ever!” – Student jurors in grades 7 and 8

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Schwartz Children’s Book Awards – the only Canadian literary award where student juries work together to choose the winning books. The Ontario Arts Council and Ontario Arts Foundation took a look back at 40 years of winners with this online countdown.

This year’s winners were chosen by student juries from Toronto’s Scarborough Village Alternative Public School. Each student read the books individually and then worked together with their group to reach consensus and decide on a winner. The announcement took place during a school assembly on Wednesday, June 22.