Q&A with the PRHC Young Readers team

This is the last week for which the Penguin Shop will feature the Tundra takeover for our 50th anniversary. We hope you get a chance to visit (we’re giving away lots of goodies and hosting a contest in-store). Don’t forget, we have story time and crafts on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm.

While we wait for Thursday to arrive, we thought you’d like this little Q&A we did with some of our team members!

TARA, VP AND PUBLISHER, PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE CANADA YOUNG READERS
Tara WalkerInstagram: @tarawalker19

1. What is your favourite thing about your job?
Reading stories, looking at art and working with incredibly talented and devoted writers and illustrators.

2. Tell us about your favourite book as a child.
I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books with all my heart. I read and reread them all. I drew pictures of the characters: the clothes they wore, the food they ate, their meager belongings. I pretended my Barbies were Laura and her family. There was something so comforting and appealing to me about the little world they occupied, the simplicity of their lives and their close family ties, especially Laura’s relationship with her Pa. And Garth Williams drawings … perfection.

3. Which Tundra character(s) would you want to have dinner with and why?
Winifred Liszt: because she makes lists of her favorite cheeses and favorite Bowie songs.
Narwhal: because he has great banter and loves a good waffle.
Ooko: because I think he’d be my best Debbie.

LYNNE, PUBLISHING DIRECTOR, FICTION, PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE CANADA YOUNG READERS
Lynne MissenTwitter: @LynneMissen1

1. What is your favourite thing about your job?
Working with people who love books as much as I do, especially children’s books.

2. Tell us about your favourite book as a child.
One that I remember vividly is A Fish Out of Water, which (I’ve just discovered) was written by Helen Palmer, a children’s book author and editor, whose husband was Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr Seuss). For some reason this story of a boy who fed a goldfish too much and it kept growing and growing, moving from a bathtub to a pool until help arrives and it goes back to a normal size remains vividly in my mind. I had a series of goldfish around then but they didn’t get bigger, they just died.

3. Which Tundra character(s) would you want to have dinner with and why?
I would love to have Annie Magruder and her dog Carson (Carson Crosses Canada) over — as long as they brought some delicious food from their travels across Canada! I want to drive across Canada myself and would love to hear more about their adventures.

LIZ, SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR

Elizabeth Kribs1. What is your favourite thing about your job?
Working with a great group of people who love kids books; reading them, talking about them, creating them.

2. Tell us about your favourite book as a child.
Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends was a wonderfully silly book and seemed to be written just for me!

3. Which Tundra character(s) would you want to have dinner with and why?
I think Narwhal from Narwhal and Jelly would be the life of the party (and he would be more than alright with waffles served for dinner). The Dixie Chicks from Count Your Chickens would be great to have around for musical entertainment. And I’d love to see what Pepper from A Pattern for Pepper would wear to a dinner party!

SAMANTHA, EDITOR
Samantha SwensonInstagram: @Twinkiethekidd
Twitter: @Twinkiethekidd
Tumblr: @Twinkiethekidd

1. What is your favourite thing about your job?
Getting to work with writers and illustrators is such a wonderful thing! I love being able to help creators shape and perfect their work, whether it’s working with an artist on a composition for a picture book or a novelist on a particularly tricky plot point. It’s also nice to know that the work I’m doing helps get books into the hands of children. I loved reading as a kid, and so many books really stuck with me – I’m glad I get to help create that experience for kids reading today.

2. Tell us about your favourite book as a child.
My favourite was definitely Ferdinand the Bull. The black and white illustrations are so fantastic, and the writing is funny and kind of weird. I was also really fond of The Olden Days Coat by Margaret Laurence and The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier.

3. Which Tundra character(s) would you want to have dinner with and why?
Arlo the Armadillo, so that he could tell me about his travels. The bed from The Pirate’s Bed because he seems like a nice guy and I could take a nap at dinner that way. And the dinosaur from Adventures with Barefoot Critters because I think we have a lot in common (we are both very clumsy).

JESSICA, ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Jessica Burgess1. What is your favourite thing about your job?
The hope that a book I’ve worked on will help a kid out there feel less alone, find out something they needed to know about themselves or the world, or just make them laugh a little.

2. Tell us about your favourite book as a child.
One of my favourite books was The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes – there was something delicious about how he really didn’t learn his lesson (the rain cleaned the dishes so he didn’t have to) and that he drank out of a flower vase and an ashtray rather than wash any dishes!

3. Which Tundra character(s) would you want to have dinner with and why?
I think I’d like to have dinner with the Fitzgerald-Trouts and Mr. Knuckles. Maybe we could have a picnic at his laundromat (and shake down the vending machine for dessert).

LIZA, SALES DIRECTOR
Liza MorrisonInstagram: @Lizamo67
Twitter: @Lizamo67

1. What is your favourite thing about your job?
Talking about kids books all day!

2. Tell us about your favourite book as a child.
Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman

3. Which Tundra character(s) would you want to have dinner with and why?
Miss Moon so we could talk about our dogs!
Lydia Blankenship from The Serpent King so she could take me shopping and we’d hang out and talk about our lives.
Miss Petitfour – we would have a picnic dinner of pastries and cheese surrounded by adorable cats!

PAMELA, PUBLICITY & MARKETING MANAGER
Pamela OstiInstagram: @pamelaosti
Twitter: @pamelaosti

1. What is your favourite thing about your job?
Meeting our readers and seeing their faces when they meet their favourite author. It’s incredibly moving and rewarding.

2. Tell us about your favourite book as a child.
Bread and Jam for Frances.

3. Which Tundra character(s) would you want to have dinner with and why?
Miss Mousie because she rocks, Sadie because she is my childhood spirit animal.

SYLVIA, MARKETING & PUBLICITY COORDINATOR
Sylvia ChanInstagram: @sincerely.syl
Twitter: @sincerelysyl

1. What is your favourite thing about your job?
The rare chance I get to see sketches or final art when it comes in. We have so many talented illustrators!

2. Tell us about your favourite book as a child.
A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban, I wanted my own tea set so badly! I showed signs of wanting to host dinner parties at a very early age.

3. Which Tundra character(s) would you want to have dinner with and why?
Colette because she would tell me fabulous stories about the Mile End. Narwhal and Jelly because they also love to eat waffles for dinner.

Celebrate Tundra’s 50th Anniversary at the Penguin Shop!

tundra-takeover-19Celebrate Tundra’s 50th Anniversary at the Penguin Shop!

One of Toronto’s littlest bookstore is now dedicated to the littlest readers. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Canada’s oldest children’s publisher, Tundra Books, we have transformed the shop to feature Tundra’s classic and new children’s books.

The Tundra takeover is taking place from May 15th through June 9th, 2017. Plan your visit to see Tundra’s latest books, check out some staff picks and enjoy story time and crafts in the shop.

Weekly Activities

All activities take place from 1pm – 2pm on the days specified below.

STORYTIME

CRAFTS & ACTIVITIES

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tundra-takeover-5b

tundra-takeover-14

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tundra*Receive a limited edition Tundra Tote Bag with a purchase of $20 or more

You’re Invited to the Launch of Colette’s Lost Pet

Launch Invitation

Please join Tundra Books in welcoming Isabelle Arsenault to Toronto for the launch of Colette’s Lost Pet.

When: Friday, May 12, 2017
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Where: Type Books
Address: 883 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON
Telephone: 416-366-8973

Download our activity kit here.

Colette's Lost PetColette’s Lost Pet
By Isabelle Arsenault
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Ages 4 to 8
ISBN 9781101917596

“Arsenault crafts a story rooted in themes of understanding, empathy, and the way imagination can be used to silently conspire and inspire.” – Starred review, Quill & Quire

“Arsenault’s beautiful, smudgy, scratchy scenes, rendered in soft grays with pops of bright yellow and pale blue, feature big-eyed, adorable kids earnestly searching for the imaginary bird, which is rendered relatively realistically, even as it grows to gargantuan proportions in Colette’s story. With a graphic-novel-like format, arresting artwork, and a story that will ring true to many little kids with big imaginations of their own, this warm, funny picture book hits all the right notes.” – Starred review, Booklist

“It’s impossible not to love little Colette in her bright yellow hooded jacket…. Arsenault manages to make sure everyone in Colette’s Lost Pet lives happily ever after, while also reminding readers that when it comes to sharing imaginary worlds, it’s more fun when everyone plays along.” – Montreal Review of Books

“Arsenault’s story has the feel of a campfire song, increasingly fun and outrageous until the joyful end and its promise of new friendships.” – Kirkus Reviews

“It’s not Colette’s behavior that Arsenault holds up as exemplary, but that of her new friends. They welcome Colette and don’t shame her for making up stories that they understand come from nervousness. Most fibbing stories end with an abashed moment of coming clean; this one ends with a request for more make-believe.” – Publishers Weekly

“This charming tale demonstrates to kids a lovely and welcoming way to treat someone new in their community.” – City Parent

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 award to honor debut illustrators, and a dynamic new logo designed by award-winning Canadian branding and design agency Viva & Co.

The Tundra Books Emerging Artist of the Year celebrates our 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 Tundra Books Emerging Artist of the Year acknowledges a new picture book illustrator who exemplifies all the things we value 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. 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. 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

You’re Invited to a Festive Launch

type-books-fall-2016-launch
‘Tis the season to be merry and bright, so please join Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers in celebrating those who draw and write. Here are the details of our festive night:

When: Monday, November 14, 2016
Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Type Books
Address: 883 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON

Authors and Illustrators attending:

solutions-for-cold-feetSolutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems
Written and illustrated by Carey Sookocheff
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN: 9781770498730
Solutions for Cold Feet is a rich, engaging book. It will appeal to teachers, as the assignment is evident: students can name their own problems and propose solutions. With many easy entry points for discussion, it’s also excellent for one-on-one reading.” – Starred review, Quill & Quire

the-darkest-darkThe Darkest Dark
Illustrated by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 9781101918623
The Darkest Dark soars as an inspiration for children trying to overcome a fear as well as dreamers wondering if they will triumph. Of course, the lesson here is ageless. The book is beautifully and thoughtfully illustrated by brothers Terry and Eric Fan….” – London Free Press

hurry-up-henryHurry Up, Henry
Written by Jennifer Lanthier
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 9780670068371
“Author Lanthier’s quiet text sets a patient tone for this familiar situation that frustrates many young families. The repetition of clock motifs, fanciful flora and fauna, and changes in scale add a touch of magical realism that furthers the book’s emotional themes. This empathetic tale ends with a question all would do well to contemplate: ‘Can we do this again tomorrow?’” – Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

the-lisztsThe Liszts
Written by Kyo Maclear
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN: 9781770494961
“A family of list aficionados gets an unexpected guest in this offbeat tale…. Reminiscent of the best nonsense children’s books, Maclear’s wry tale oozes pure whimsy. The text revels in offbeat sincerity, wringing chuckles out of juxtapositions and amusing dialogue…. Simply enchanting in all its quirks.” – Kirkus Reviews

greatGreat
Written by Lauri Holomis
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN: 9780670069903
“If you have a hankering for hockey, when the Gretzky family weighs in, sit up and listen. This is a sports story about attitude, which can rarely be emphasized enough, because it rarely sinks in deep enough to leave its lasting mark…. Fun and effort trump commercialization and competitiveness every time in sports, and this book tells a plain truth that Gretzky learned early.” – Kirkus Reviews

yitzi-and-the-giant-menorahYitzi and the Giant Menorah
Written and illustrated by Richard Ungar
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN: 9781770498129
“The text, written in a buoyant and playful manner, reflects a whimsical, folktale quality that reveals some of the actual traditions associated with the holiday of Chanukkah. The writing is vivid and engaging. This talented author is also the illustrator of the tale, and the bold, lively colours used add drama, texture and vibrancy to the story but also reflect a time and place long ago.” – Highly Recommended, CM Magazine

Once in a Town Called MothOnce, in a Town Called Moth
Written by Trilby Kent
Hardcover | 224 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 9781101918111
“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

Please RSVP to rsvpcanada@penguinrandomhouse.com.

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.

The Word on the Street 2016

wots-2016
Hello friends! The Word on the Street is back in Toronto on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at Harbourfront Centre. Come on down for a day of fun and to meet our authors and illustrators. We will be selling books at the Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers tent on Kidstreet (KS11).

yitzi-and-the-giant-menorahYitzi and the Giant Menorah
By Richard Ungar
For ages 5 to 9
Kindergarten to grade 4
1:00 PM to 1:30 PM – Richard will be at the First Book Canada tent to sign copies of Yitzi and the Giant Menorah.

 

who-broke-the-teapotWho Broke the Teapot?!
By Bill Slavin
For ages 3 to 7
Preschool to grade 2
3:00 PM to 3:20 PM – Bill will be at the TD Children’s Literature Stage for a reading and drawing demonstration.

 

Once in a Town Called MothOnce, in a Town Called Moth
By Trilby Kent
For ages 12 and up
Grades 7 and up
3:30 PM to 4:15 PM – Trilby will be at the Teen Spirit Stage for a panel on New Starts for Outcasts.

 

Noni Speaks UpNoni Speaks Up
By Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Geneviève Côté
For ages 3 to 7
Preschool to grade 2
3:40 PM to 4:00 PM – Heather will be at the TD Children’s Literature Stage for a reading.

 

Solutions for Cold FeetSolutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems
By Carey Sookocheff
For ages 4 to 8
Preschool to grade 3
4:15 PM to 5:00 PM – Carey will be at the Sago Mini Children’s Activity Tent making sock puppies with everyone!

 

downside-upDownside Up
By Richard Scrimger
For ages 10 and up
Grades 5 and up
4:15 PM to 5:00 PM – Richard will be at the Teen Spirit Stage for a panel on Ordinary Teens, Extraordinary Stories.