2018 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award Winner

IBBY Canada announced that Julie Morstad has won the 2018 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award for Bloom, written by Kyo Maclear. Tundra is happy to congratulate Julie and Kyo!

A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli

By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101918562
“Julie Morstad presents a riot of colour in Bloom, with flowers and fashion leaping from the page and bringing designer Elsa Schiaparelli and her talents to life. Morstad’s illustrations are as refined and creative as the subject of her book, and beautifully convey the message of empowerment from Kyo Maclear’s text. A dazzling and elegant work that is sure to enchant the imagination of young readers.” – Jury Comments

IBBY Canada’s Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award was established in 1985 and honours one of Canada’s pre-eminent book illustrators. The jury for the 2018 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award was comprised of jury chair Camilia Kahrizi, former Marketing and Website Coordinator for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre; Carol-Ann Hoyte, school librarian, children’s poet and editor; and Merle Harris, library technician, author, storyteller and literacy advocate. We thank the jury members for all their work.


Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Chicken Girl Blog Tour Recap

This week, we’ve been running a blog tour for Heather Smith’s poignant coming-of-age novel, Chicken Girl, and now all the reviews are in!

Monday, February 25

Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads gave us a guest post from Heather, as well as five reasons to read Chicken Girl
Lisa @ Remarkably Lisa loves Poppy’s gay twin brother, Cam
Jaaron @ Worn Pages and Ink called it one of the best YA novels she’s read in a long time

Tuesday, February 26

Malanie @ malanie loves fiction thinks a lot of people will enjoy it despite the heavy topics
Chelsea @ Twirling Pages wrote a love letter to the book, saying that she saw herself in almost every character
Alexa @ Like Literally Literary is especially fond of Poppy’s new friend, Miracle

Wednesday, February 27

Kaitlyn @ Midsummer Night’s Read really connected with Poppy’s character
Wendy @ A Cupcake and A Latte loves Heather’s “touching and emotionally uplifting writing”

Thursday, February 28

Summer @ Butter My Books is hoping for a sequel about Lewis (or Cam!)
Christine @ Padfoot’s Library posted a short piece about writing from Heather
Olivia @ The Candid Cover thinks the book has a great message about respect – both online and IRL

Friday, March 1

Kate @ Snarky Yet Satisfying fell in love with Poppy and her friends on the first page
Zuhra @ Venus Reads couldn’t put it down

Thanks so much to all the bloggers who participated – we hope they convince the rest of you that you need this book in your life. Look for it on shelves next week!

Don’t forget to add Chicken Girl to Goodreads!

Pocatellecott Award Winner

The Pocatellecott Award is run out of the Marshall Public Library in Pocatello, Idaho, and the children’s librarian sent a lovely and personal email to say about how much she loved Kelly Hill’s work:
I could go on and on about the exquisite stitches and zig-zags and careful needlework found on every page. What amazing work you did, and what beautiful embroidery and stitches you produced for us to admire and marvel over.

Anne's ColorsAnne’s Colors
By Kelly Hill
Board Book | 20 Pages | Ages 0-3
ISBN 9780735262843 | Tundra Books
Iconic moments from the beloved L.M. Montgomery classic are celebrated in this adorable concept book. Artist Kelly Hill creates vignettes of the most recognizable scenes from Anne of Green Gables, including Anne and Diana’s first meeting, Gilbert pulling Anne’s hair, Anne’s puffed-sleeve dress and even Anne and Diana sharing raspberry cordial! Each scene has its own color, with simple text and tactile, gorgeous works of art created from cut fabric and embroidery. Part of a series of Anne concept books, Anne’s Colors is a perfect way to introduce future fans to this winning character.

Putting the YA in FriYAY: Karen McManus on writing and TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET!

Nobody writes YA thrillers like Karen McManus.  One of Us is Lying was a runaway smash hit—think The Breakfast Club with a deadly twist—and her latest novel Two Can Keep a Secret is just as fun, with shocking reveals and twists that will keep you reading late into the night. Find out about Karen’s writing process and which character she relates to the most below!

Describe TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET in 5 words.

Homecoming turns deadly once again.

Which of your characters from your latest novel is most like you?

Ellery’s twin brother, Ezra. He’s the observer of the story, along for the ride as Ellery starts poking around in their mother’s past and the mysteries of Echo Ridge. Ezra’s running commentary is pretty much exactly what I’d say in the same situation. Also, we like the same music 🙂

Recommend a book for Ellery.  

Ellery is a true crime buff, so she’d love something like The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas. The main character in that book was a key witness in the years-old prosecution of a serial killer, but now that she’s older she’s starting to question whether her memories are real.

There are so many twists in this story. How do you keep track of them while writing?

I would love to tell you that I have an extremely clever system, but I use a basic Excel spreadsheet as a chapter guide. I sketch out key beats for plot and characters, and then write in 3-4 chapter bursts. I do a lot of revising of those chapters before I move on, making sure I’m satisfied with how the story is progressing. Then I go back through the larger outline to see if what I’ve written requires any changes to the structure as a whole.

What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?

I wish I could remember who said this, because I’d credit them if I did: that characters should be doing something in the last chapter that would have seemed impossible in the first. I love that, because it’s the perfect litmus test as to whether your characters have undertaken enough of a journey to grow and change.

In the Toronto area? Meet Karen McManus at Indigo Yorkdale on Thursday, February 28th at 7pm. Details here!

Olivia Chin Mueller’s #TundraCats

Minnow01We’ve asked our #TundraCats authors and illustrators to tell us a little bit more about their favorite felines. Today, we’re meeting Olivia Chin Mueller’s puffy cat.

What is your cat’s name?
Her real name is Minoku, but now she just goes by Minnow!

How old is your cat?
Minnow is 6 years old! I got her when she was only 3 days old!

Which #TundraCats book is your cat’s favorite?
Her favorite is of course Princess Puffybottom … and Darryl because her picture is in it! She’s famous!


What is your cats greatest strength?
Minnow is very good at eating bugs, keeping me warm, and covering my clothes with fur!

What is your cats favorite thing to eat?
Minnow likes to eat any treats that are round and can roll around on the floor! This way she can chase them around before she eats them. But she also enjoys eating house centipedes!

What is your cats weakness?
She is not smart at all! But I love her that way, she is perfect!


Be sure to check out Olivia Chin Mueller’s newest book:

princess puffybottom and darrylPrincess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl
By Susin Nielsen
Illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
ISBN 9781101919255 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
Olivia Chin Mueller is the human best friend of Minnow “The Big Chin” Mueller. They live together in Providence, Rhode Island, where Olivia illustrates children’s books, including A Bedtime Yarn by Nicola Winstanley and the Little Golden Books I am a Kitten and I am a Puppy by Ole Risom. Minnow is the C.O.S.L.W. (Chief Olivia Supervisor and Lap Warmer). She also keeps Olivia from working too hard by asking for brushings and treats every hour. Minnow is doing a great job and is due for a promotion very soon.

OLA Best Bets 2018

The OLA Best Bets committee is comprised of librarians and library technicians who are OLA members, work in public libraries and are committed to children’s and young adult services and eager to evaluate and promote Canadian books. Members discuss and evaluate recent publications by Canadian authors and illustrators. The books evaluated are suitable for children and young adults from birth to nineteen years old. From these discussions, the Committee produces “Best Bets” lists, annual annotated lists of recommended titles.

Here are the Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers titles on the list:

Clara VoyantClara Voyant
By Rachelle Delaney
Hardcover | 224 Pages | Puffin Canada
ISBN 9780143198536
A wannabe journalist and reluctant astrologer turns out to be clairvoyant in this charming middle-grade coming-of-age novel; for fans of Rebecca Stead’s novels.

Go Show the WorldGo Show the World
By Wab Kinew
Illustrated by Joe Morse
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9780735262928
“We are a people who matter.” Inspired by President Barack Obama’s Of Thee I Sing, Go Show the World is a tribute to historic and modern-day Indigenous heroes, featuring important figures such as Tecumseh, Sacagawea and former NASA astronaut John Herrington.

No Fixed AddressNo Fixed Address
By Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 288 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9780735262751
From beloved Governor General Literary Award-winning author Susin Nielsen comes a touching and funny middle-grade story about family, friendship and growing up when you’re one step away from homelessness.

owls are good at keeping secretsOwls Are Good at Keeping Secrets
By Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Jacob Grant
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101919118
From the author of the beloved This Is Sadie comes a delightful book of curious, little-known stories about animals – one for each letter of the alphabet!

SweepSweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
By Jonathan Auxier
Hardcover | 368 Pages | Puffin Canada
ISBN 9780735264359
A brand-new novel by one of today’s most powerful storytellers, Sweep is a heart-rending adventure about the everlasting gifts of friendship and hope.

The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony GrayThe Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray
By E. Latimer
Hardcover | 336 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101919286
Lemony Snicket meets Oscar Wilde meets Edgar Allan Poe in this exciting and scary middle-grade novel inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray – a family curse is unleashed!

The OLA also included some Honourable Mentions:

Blood Will OutBlood Will Out
By Jo Treggiari
Hardcover | 288 Pages | Penguin Teen
ISBN 9780735262959
Silence of the Lambs for young adults — Blood Will Out is a gripping YA thriller readers won’t be able to put down.

the game of hopeThe Game of Hope
By Sandra Gulland
Hardcover | 384 Pages | Penguin Teen
ISBN 9780670067022
Inspired by Hortense’s real-life autobiography with charming glimpses of teen life long ago, this is the story of a girl chosen by fate to play a role she didn’t choose.

Congratulations to our authors and illustrators for recognized titles! And thank you to the OLA Best Bets committee for their hard work.

Susin Nielsen’s #TundraCats

susin nielsen_cats

We’ve asked our #TundraCats authors and illustrators to tell us a little bit more about their favorite felines. Today, we’re meeting Susin Nielsen’s two mischievous cats.

What are your cats’ names?
I have two cats: Erwin Schrodinger and Emily Brontë. One of my protagonists in We Are All Made of Molecules had a cat named Schrodinger; and Emily Brontë was absolutely the inspiration for my new fictional cat, Princess Puffybottom, because she is a total princess (and yes, she has a puffy bottom).

How old are your cats?
They are brother and sister, rescues from the Vancouver Orphaned Kitten Rescue Association, or VOKRA. They are turning 7 in 2019.

erwin schrodinger (1)

Which #TundraCats book are your cats’ favorite?
Miss Mink by Janet Hill. I adore this book. I’m not big on self-help books, but this one is like my own little self-help book, wrapped in the prettiest, warmest of packages. So many words to live by!

Can you describe your cats using only three words?
Purring Furballs of Love. (Technically that is four words.)

emily bronte (1)

Have your cats destroyed any books before?
Yes. Emily is a terrible scratcher, and she destroyed an entire shelf of my own books (ie, author copies of ones I’d written), by scratching the spines to shreds.

What do you consider to be your cat’s weaknesses?
No offence to Erwin, but I believe his brain is about the size of half a Tic Tac.

erwin schrodinger (2)

Complete this sentence: If my cats are staring out the window, it’s because . . .
They are longing for me to come home. (Hey. A girl can dream.)

What’s the most expensive thing your cats have broken?
A beautiful art deco lamp that my mom gave my husband and I on our wedding day, almost thirty years ago. It was very heavy-weight, but they were chasing each other, and brought it down. We also had to get rid of a lovely Persian rug because one or both of them decided it was the perfect litter box. (I scooped a lot of poop off that rug.)

emily bronte (2)

If yours cat could suddenly talk, what would their first sentence be?
“I love you, Susin, you are the best human in the world.” (Again – a girl can dream.)

Be sure to check out Susin Nielsen’s newest book:

princess puffybottom and darrylPrincess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl
By Susin Nielsen
Illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
ISBN 9781101919255 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
“This is the first day I’ve written in a diary. The reason I am, is ’cos I love writing stories, and if I do grow up to be a famous writer, and later die, and they want to get a story of my life, I guess I should keep a diary.” Susin Nielsen wrote this poorly constructed sentence when she was eleven. And while she isn’t exactly famous, she did predict her future occupation. She got her start writing for the hit TV series Degrassi Junior High and went on to write for more than twenty Canadian shows. Nielsen is the author of five critically acclaimed and award-winning novels, including Optimists Die First, We Are All Made of Molecules, and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen. Nielsen has been called the John Green of Canada. She once had a dream that John Green had been called the Susin Nielsen of the United States. She lives in Vancouver with her family and two naughty cats.