50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

Fifty years ago on July 16, 1969 Apollo 11 launched to go to the moon! July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing and the first steps on the Moon. This event inspired a young boy on an Ontario corn farm to become the first Canadian to walk in space.

Celebrate this event with The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion, illustrated by the Fan Brothers.

the-darkest-dark

 

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Diane at Camp Penguin

camppenguin_logoEvery year, we get new camp counselors at Camp Penguin to help run the program. As a way to introduce them to you campers, we like to do a few ice breaker activities!

We asked camp counselor Diane Magras today to tell us 2 Truths and 1 Lie. Can you guess which one was the false statement?

  1. Unlike Drest, the hero of The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, I’m not all that good with seaside cliffs. I love wandering atop them, or below them, but climbing them is quite beyond my talents. And when I was young, I fell from a seaside cliff. I plunged into the waves, struck a dragon’s tooth (sharp rock), and yet somehow, miraculously, lived. Though that accident left a scar between my eyes that has lingered to this day and probably will stay there for the rest of my life.
  2. Like Drest, I love to run. I’ve practiced running in every place I’ve lived: Maine, Vermont, and the Borders, Scotland. When I was Drest’s age, I used to challenge myself to the toughest courses, up the mountain trails in Acadia National Park (the Beehive Trail was my favorite). As an adult, I’ve run nearly as hard up Killington Peak in Vermont’s Green Mountains and over Dun Rig in the Tweedsmuir Hills in the Scottish Borders. Each time I return to my beloved Scotland, a hill run is always in my plans.
  3. Like Drest, I grew up playing with swords and always wanted a real sword of my own. Imagine my delight when one day, rummaging in my basement, I discovered a box with a sword. This sword wasn’t sharp, but it was long, and it sent a feeling of majesty and power through my arm when I held it. I taught myself a few moves, though I could take no lessons; there was no one around who could teach me. Eventually, this sword made its way to a perch on two nails on the bedroom wall of my childhood home.

On the first night of camp, everyone is sitting around the camp fire playing Would You Rather? Here’s how our camp counselor Diane Magras responded:

Be stuck in a comic book or in a Where’s Waldo book?
Please stick me in a comic book, ideally one drawn in the style of medieval marginalia (the little pictures that scribes drew on the sides of manuscripts). Then I can joust with rabbit knights riding snails!

Choose to live underwater or on land your entire life?
I could live on the land near the water, couldn’t I? I’d pick that. I love the sea and ponds and streams, but I couldn’t live without the woods.

Be able to predict the future or have a talking ax?
It would be horrible to predict the future, and yet not be able to do anything about the awful things that I might see! So I’d go with the talking ax. I’d bet she’d have amazing stories. And I’d tell her about the battleaxes that make appearances in my books!

Live in a cardboard box or be always wear a costume?
This choice is easy, given that I used to wear a costume to high school almost every day! For today, I’d pick a medieval costume: hose, under tunic, kirtle (a long gown or outer tunic), with a belt and dagger, please. Oh, and a veil. Must be proper about things.

Ability to grow to a giant or shrink to a dwarf size?
If I could grow to be utterly enormous, as tall as a house, I’d feel as if I were always on the battlements of a castle. I might take on that size in places where a castle once stood and stand among the ruins looking over the land, imagining the fortress beneath my feet.

The Mad Wolf’s Daughter
By Diane Magras
304 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Puffin Books
ISBN 9780735229280
A Scottish medieval adventure about the youngest in a war-band who must free her family from a castle prison after knights attack her home–with all the excitement of Ranger’s Apprentice and perfect for fans of heroines like Alanna from The Song of the Lioness series.

Richard and Iain at Camp Penguin

camppenguin_logoEvery year, we get new camp counselors at Camp Penguin to help run the program. As a way to introduce them to you campers, we like to do a few ice breaker activities!

We asked camp counselor Richard Scrimger and Iain Lawrence today to tell us 2 Truths and 1 Lie. Use our drop-down menu to guess the false statement!  

On the first night of camp, everyone is sitting around the camp fire playing Would You Rather? Here’s how our camp counselors Richard Scrimger and Iain Lawrence responded:

Be stuck in a comic book or in a Where’s Waldo book?
Richard:
COMIC BOOKS offer way more scope than Waldos because they have action. I loved Archie and Jughead as a kid, but I’m older now, and I’d end up having to talk to Mr. Weatherbee or the lunch lady. Sigh. Maybe I could hang out with Wally from Dilbert, or Jeremy’s dad from Zits, or Calvin’ parents. They’re pretty funny. Probably funnier than Hobbes’ parents.
Iain: Be stuck in a comic book, because I’d be afraid of getting lost in the crowd. My first choice would be one of the old Classic Comics so that I could be on a never-ending adventure, sword-fighting across France with the three musketeers, or chasing whales with Captain Ahab.

Choose to live underwater or on land your entire life?
Richard: ABOVE GROUND is better because it lets you eat. How can you enjoy a sandwich with your mouth full of water? And your coffee would always be cold. I hate cold coffee.
Iain: Choose to live on land, because I never learned to swim. While I would like the chance to explore the underwater world and visit famous shipwrecks, I would miss the trees and the mountains and the sky far too much to stay there forever.

Be able to predict the future or have a talking ax?
Richard: I could never come up with a story like Hatchet. I admire people like Gary Paulsen, who write white-knuckle survival stories. I just can’t do it. BUT if the ax could talk! That’s a story I could have a lot of fun with. What do you want to do today, Sandra? I’d ask my ax, and she’d say, Chop down a tree! Chop up some furniture! Chop! Chop! Chop! Then I’d ask why she enjoyed destroying things. Who are you angry at? I’d ask her. Is it your mom and dad? Was there a bad person in your life? Poor Sandra. She’d question her whole existence. Maybe she’d end up in counselling. Or maybe she’d come after ME!
Iain: Predict the future, because I imagine that a talking ax would get rather boring after a while. How many times would I have to hear the story about how he split a round into five pieces in one blow?

Live in a cardboard box or be always wear a costume?
Richard:
My costume would BE a cardboard box. There. I’d be a real superhero: The Man From Amazon! Here to deliver your world to your front door. I’d have towels inside, or books, or watches, or car parts, or appliances. Or a $33,000.00 chandelier (I just checked. You can buy one) As Amazon Prime I could sneak into the trunk of your car. I’d drop by drone into your backyard. Woo hoo! I’d be more popular than Santa Claus!
Iain: My first reaction is that I’d rather live in a cardboard box, because going around in a costume would be well outside my comfort zone. But when I think of the missed opportunities and all the things I’d never see, I would definitely force myself to choose the costume.

Ability to grow to a giant or shrink to a dwarf size?
Richard:
Uhhhhh, let’s go with DWARF. First, giants have a bad rep. Throwing rocks and shouting Fe Fi Fo Fum. Bad guys. Dwarves are good guys, with happy songs and careers in mining. On a more practical level, giants have to duck under doorways and bump into chandeliers. What a pain. By contrast, dwarves fit everywhere. They find coach seats roomy, travel happily by uber pool, and buy cheap clothes from the kids’ section. The only downside (ha ha ha) to being a dwarf is not being able to reach things from a top shelf, or dunk a basketball. And – hey – I can’t dunk a basketball now.
Iain: 
That’s a tough choice. Dwarf size, I could sneak around without being seen, exploring all the mysterious places that I’ve only glimpsed through fissures and cracks. But as a giant I could travel such long distances so easily that I would have to choose that option. Plus, I’d get more respect.

Viminy Crowes Comic BookViminy Crowe’s Comic Book
By Marthe Jocelyn and Richard Scrimger
Illustrated by Claudia Dávila
336 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101918937
When Wylder Wallace spills lunch on Addy Crowe at Toronto’s Comicon, she dashes to the bathroom, leaving behind the latest issue of her uncle’s steampunk comic hit: Flynn Goster in God Rush Train. Wylder, a fan of the comics, opens this new one eagerly, astounded to see the girl who was just yelling at him inside the comic.

The Skeleton TreeThe Skeleton Tree
By Iain Lawrence
288 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101918371
Less than 48 hours after twelve-year-old Chris casts off on a trip to sail down the Alaskan coast with his uncle, their boat sinks. The only survivors are Chris and a boy named Frank, who hates Chris immediately. Chris and Frank have no radio, no flares, no food. Suddenly, they’ve got to find a way to forage, fish and scavenge supplies from the shore. Chris likes the company of a curious friendly raven more than he likes the prickly Frank. But the boys have to get along if they want to survive.

Marthe and Chad at Camp Penguin

camppenguin_logoEvery year, we get new camp counselors at Camp Penguin to help run the program. As a way to introduce them to you campers, we like to do a few ice breaker activities!

We asked camp counselor Marthe Jocelyn today to tell us 2 Truths and 1 Lie. Use our drop-down menu to guess the false statement!  

On the first night of camp, everyone is sitting around the camp fire playing Would You Rather? Here’s how our camp counselor Chad Sell responded:

Be stuck in a comic book or in a Where’s Waldo book?
Chad: As a life-long reader of comic books, I would absolutely love to live in a comic book – as long as I got cool superpowers and a colorful costume!

Choose to live underwater or on land your entire life?
Chad: I would definitely choose to live on land my entire life. Although the ocean is a vast and amazing underwater world … it also has lots of sharks.

Be able to predict the future or have a talking ax?
Chad: Wow! What a tough question! I feel like being able to predict the future sounds cool, but it would take a lot of the spontaneity out of life – so I would go with the talking ax. As long as it chooses pleasant conversational topics.

Live in a cardboard box or be always wear a costume?
Chad: Both. As anyone who reads The Cardboard Kingdom would know, you can make a really cool costume out of a cardboard box!

Ability to grow to a giant or shrink to a dwarf size?
Chad: See, this is another really tricky question – growing into a giant sounds cool, but I’m kind of clumsy, so I would probably knock buildings over and feel bad about stepping on cars. So it’s better for everyone if I just shrink down to a more manageable size!

The Cardboard KingdomThe Cardboard Kingdom
By Chad Sell
288 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Knopf Books For Young Readers
ISBN 9781524719388
Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters–and their own inner demons–on one last quest before school starts again.

Viminy Crowes Comic BookViminy Crowe’s Comic Book
By Marthe Jocelyn and Richard Scrimger
Illustrated by Claudia Dávila
336 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101918937
When Wylder Wallace spills lunch on Addy Crowe at Toronto’s Comicon, she dashes to the bathroom, leaving behind the latest issue of her uncle’s steampunk comic hit: Flynn Goster in God Rush Train. Wylder, a fan of the comics, opens this new one eagerly, astounded to see the girl who was just yelling at him inside the comic.

Window Wednesday

#WindowWednesday: We are incredibly fortunate to have stores create window features of our books. We want to highlight their amazing work here on our blog for you to see (and perhaps you’ll discover a new local bookstore).

Book City Yonge & St. Clair
1430 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4T 1Y6
Photography: Norman Nehmetallah

Camp Penguin-Book City St Clair

Get #Ready2Camp

As lifestyles becomes increasingly urban and suburban, many are seeking a break from concrete and screen time by exploring the great outdoors. From a simple walk, to hiking,  or camping, it’s never been a better time to escape the urban jungle and feel the grass beneath your feet! What better way to prepare the concept of camping to little ones than a read aloud before you go?

The Not-So Great OutdoorsThe Not-So Great Outdoors
By Madeline Kloepper
40 Page | Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
ISBN 9780735264175
What’s so great about the “great outdoors”? A grumpy urban kid begrudgingly accompanies her family on a summer camping trip, missing all the sublime sights right under her nose as she longs for the lights and stimulation of the city. But as she explores forests, lakes and mountains, and encounters bears, beavers and caribou, she slowly comes to realize that the simpler things are just as sparkly, that the sky is its own majestic light show, and the symphony is all around. The Not-So Great Outdoors is a humorous and richly imagined reminder of the beauty and magic that can be found away from the city and our screens.

Now Not YetNow? Not Yet!
By Gina Perry
32 Page | Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101919521
Peanut and Moe are back, this time on a camping trip. Peanut wants to swim NOW, Moe says NOT YET! A sweet and cheerful book about overcoming differences.

Peanut says let’s swim
Moe says time to hike
Peanut says let’s swim now
Moe says time to eat a snack
Peanut says now!
Moe says time to put up the tent
Peanut says NOW!
Moe says NOT YET!

Can these two friends come together in time to save their camping trip?

Are you looking for more books about nature? We also recommend these:

Red Sky at NightRed Sky at Night
By Elly Mackay
40 Page | Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101917831
Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. And, the next morning, when the dew is on the grass, no rain will come to pass. These are the perfect conditions for a grandfather to take his grandchildren out on a fishing trip. Especially since, as the saying goes, when the wind is from the West, then the fishes bite the best. The family takes a boat out on the lake, fishing and swimming and eventually camping out on a nearby island, taking full advantage of the gorgeous weather. But the next day . . . red sky in the morning, sailors take warning! The family ventures back home just in time to avoid a rainstorm. But not to worry — the more rain, the more rest. Fair weather’s not always best.

The FogThe Fog
By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Kenard Pak
48 Page | Ages 4-8 | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781770494923
Warble is a small yellow warbler who lives on the beautiful island of Icyland, where he pursues his hobby of human watching. But on a warm day, a deep fog rolls in and obscures his view. The rest of the birds don’t seem to notice the fog or the other changes Warble observes on the island. The more the fog is ignored, the more it spreads. When a Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile) appears, Warble discovers that he’s not the only one who notices the fog. Will they be able to find others who can see it too? And is the fog here to stay?

The Golden GlowThe Golden Glow
By Benjamin Flouw
48 Page | Ages 4-8 | Tundra Books
ISBN 9780735264120
Fox loves nature. There’s nothing he enjoys more than reading about and picking flowers. One evening, he comes across a rare specimen in his old botany book — the golden glow, a plant from the Wellhidden family, found only in the mountains . . . a plant that has yet to be described. Fascinated, Fox decides to set off on a quest in search of the mysterious golden glow. He packs his knapsack, a map, a compass, a flashlight, a sleeping bag and other items for his hike. Along the way, Fox observes many different kinds of trees and plants. He also encounters woodland friends who help him make it to the summit of the mountain. But when Fox eventually stumbles upon the object of his quest, he makes a surprising decision.

We also have a fun activity for kids to participate in. Click on the BINGO card image below to download and print. Throughout the summer, they can mark off everything they managed to do on the BINGO card. As for prizes when completing a row, column, or diagonal? We hear ice cream is pretty good. 🍦

READy2Camp-Bingo Card

Chris and Claudia at Camp Penguin

camppenguin_logoEvery year, we get new camp counselors at Camp Penguin to help run the program. As a way to introduce them to you campers, we like to do a few ice breaker activities!

We asked camp counselor Chris Rylander and Claudia Dávila today to tell us 2 Truths and 1 Lie. Use our drop-down menu to guess the false statement!  

On the first night of camp, everyone is sitting around the camp fire playing Would You Rather? Here’s how our camp counselors responded:

Be stuck in a comic book or in a Where’s Waldo book?
Chris: Definitely Where’s Waldo. They’re relatively a lot safer, but still incredibly interesting. You’d never run out of stuff to see or do and the explosions would be kept to a minimum.
Claudia: I hate big, busy, noisy crowds so I’ll take a comic book any day … especially if there are no zombies.

Choose to live underwater or on land your entire life?
Chris: Underwater! In fact, I already wish this was true. I’d agree to a Reverse Little Mermaid in a heartbeat!
Claudia: I hate getting wet so I’m 100% a land lover!

Be able to predict the future or have a talking ax?
Chris: Definitely predict the future. Talking axes come with curses. And violence. Whereas predicting the future allows you to do almost anything you want in this world.
Claudia: I think if I had a talking ax it would just complain about a headache every time I used it! I’d rather predict the future — who wouldn’t want to know the winning lottery numbers?

Live in a cardboard box or be always wear a costume?
Chris: I’ve grown pretty fond of my bookshelves and video games, and so I’d have to choose the costume. But do I get to choose which one? I already sort of look like Hagrid from Harry Potter, so then there’d really be no change for me, anyway.
Claudia: I’ve made many cardboard houses in my life and they’re always fun to decorate, but I think I’d be pretty squished having to sleep curled up all the time, so I’ll say wearing a costume, especially if it could be something super comfortable like a Jedi costume (Rey is pretty cool)!

Ability to grow to a giant or shrink to a dwarf size?
Chris:
Though this world is easier for smaller things, a lifelong dream (I’ve long given up on) to play professional sports could finally be made possible as a giant. It’d sort of be cheating, I suppose, but hey, that hasn’t stopped the New England Patriots!
Claudia: I’d love to be as big as a giant, so I could walk around the country side and get amazing views of mountains and forests.

The Legend of GregThe Legend of Greg
By Chris Rylander
368 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Puffin Books
ISBN 9781524739744
Risk-averse Greg Belmont is content with being ordinary. He’s got a friend–that’s right, just one–at his fancy prep school, and a pretty cool dad. The problem is, Greg isn’t ordinary . . . he’s actually an honest-to-goodness, fantastical Dwarf!

Viminy Crowes Comic BookViminy Crowe’s Comic Book
By Marthe Jocelyn and Richard Scrimger
Illustrated by Claudia Dávila
336 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101918937
When Wylder Wallace spills lunch on Addy Crowe at Toronto’s Comicon, she dashes to the bathroom, leaving behind the latest issue of her uncle’s steampunk comic hit: Flynn Goster in God Rush Train. Wylder, a fan of the comics, opens this new one eagerly, astounded to see the girl who was just yelling at him inside the comic.

Win Your Kid’s Summer Reading List with #CampPenguin Contest of Chance
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between June 6, 2019 and June 20, 2019. Open to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory of residence at time of entry. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Click here to enter for your chance to win a Camp Penguin prize pack – featuring a special bookmark, and your choice of three books from our list of recommended reads for summer camp! Click here for the full official rules.