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.

#GetBehindPictureBooks

During the past month of April 2016, Penguin Random House Canada got behind Tundra picture books! This all started out as an innocent e-mail linked to the campaign from the Eric Carle Museum. For more information, visit their website here.

We hope this inspires you to get behind picture books, don’t forget to use the hashtag #GetBehindPictureBooks and share it with us too!

Books on Bloor 2015

ReadingLine PosterSingle

The second annual Books on Bloor Bike Ride is taking place on Saturday, May 30, 2015 along Bloor Street in Toronto. Created by The Reading Line, the ride brings book and bike lovers together to promote literacy in the city and raise awareness of routes in need of infrastructure improvements.

This year, three of our authors are participating alongside some other talented Canadians!

Matt James/The Pirate's Bed
Matt James (illustrator of The Pirate’s Bed) 

Julie Kraulis/An Armadillo in Paris
Julie Kraulis (author and illustrator of An Armadillo in Paris and Whimsy’s Heavy Things)

Frank Viva/Outstanding in the Rain
Frank Viva (author and illustrator of Outstanding in the Rain)

If you love cycling and books – check out the schedule and come out for a great ride!

Tundra Reading Club: An Armadillo in Paris Reviews

Hi everyone!

Happy Monday!

I’m thrilled to share our five reader reviews for our February reading club pick, Julie Kraulis’ An Armadillo in Paris.

TundraReadingClub

An Armadillo in Paris

An Armadillo in Paris
Written and illustrated by Julie Kraulis
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-526-5
“…Julie Kraulis’s sophisticated oil-and-graphite artwork is chic, with elegant lines and a muted palette…Informative and charming, An Armadillo in Paris is sure to please armchair travelers who will eagerly await more of Arlo’s globe-trotting adventures.” – Quill & Quire

  • Danielle at This Picture Book Life loves the “unexpected choice of an armadillo as [a] main character” and comments on Arlo’s “sweet, shiny eyes.” She’s also hosting a giveaway!
  • Tanya at Pass the Damn Ham, Please thinks this is a book “meant to be pored over again and again.”
  • Jules at curtains for the windows says that “this story is for anyone who longs for adventure and finds wonder in everything.”
  •  Emilie at Not So Impossible Things suggests that “reading the book felt like a mini-adventure prelude to the real thing.”
  • Jo Ann at The Book Faerie calls it a “charming tale” and a “grand tour.”

If you read the book as well, please let us know what you thought about it in the comments below! Did you guess the Iron Lady’s identity before Arlo? Did the book bring back memories of a Parisian trip? Or maybe it reminded you to add Paris to your bucket list!

I’m also very excited to announce our March reading club book: The Highest Number in the World by Roy MacGregor and illustrated by Geneviève Després. Make sure you check back here next Monday to sign up for your chance to win a review copy.

Thanks for participating and see you next week!

Thursday Travels: Paris

Bonjour!

For our first Thursday Travels segment, we’re taking you to Paris! And our guide is none other than Arlo, the adorable armadillo from Julie Kraulis‘ picture book, An Armadillo in Paris! He was kind enough to share some of his favourite photos from his recent trip.

ARLO_ParisPostcard_ParisJeTaime2

The first monument Arlo saw was the Arc de Triomphe, at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle. He was surprised at how fast the cars drove, but he was still able to catch a ride. Before he did, he made sure he visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the vault.
arlo and the arc

It wouldn’t be a trip to Paris without stopping at a French cafe! Cafe Gustave is on a street corner, so Arlo was able to observe the locals while eating a croissant fresh from the oven. This cafe is named after Gustave Eiffel, the architect who designed the – you guessed it – Eiffel Tower.
arlo and the cafe

Even though macarons are considered a French delicacy, they get their name from the Italian word for meringue. The most famous place to get macarons in Paris is Ladurée, which was created in 1862. The recipe for Paris macarons dates from 1930, but it has its roots in a recipe that can be traced back as far as 791!
arlo and laduree

Arlo had to stand really far away to take a picture of Notre Dame de Paris – the towers are 226 ft tall! The entire cathedral took over 180 years to officially complete, but it was worth it: it’s one of the most well-known churches in the world.
arlo and the church

Like all of us here, Arlo loves to read, so he popped into Shakespeare and Company. The original Shakespeare and Company bookstore was opened in 1919 and served as a gathering place for writers including Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce. It closed down in 1940 during the German occupation and it never re-opened. This “newer” store has been around since 1951 and it specializes in English-language books.
arlo and his books

Thanks for joining us on our Thursday Travels trip to Paris! You can read more about Arlo’s adventures in his book, An Armadillo in Paris, out now. It’s also our February pick for our Reading Club!

Thanks Arlo (and Julie) for the photos! Make sure you visit Julie’s website for more pictures and amazing art.

Tundra Reading Club: February 2015

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all ready for this month’s reading club!

Just to remind you:

Each month, we’ll post a book and a sign-up form for bloggers. Then we’ll randomly choose the lucky five who will receive a copy (in some cases, an advance copy) in exchange for a review on their blog!

Of course, everyone is free to participate via tweets (@TundraBooks) or in the comment section on the monthly post.

To make it easy to work into your busy schedules, we’ve chosen picture books so it shouldn’t take you too long to read the book of the month (or like me, you might pore over it for hours and be distracted by the illustrations).

TundraReadingClub

As we announced last week, our February pick is Julie Kraulis’ gorgeous An Armadillo in Paris. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, what better way to celebrate than with a stroll through Paris, the city of love?

An Armadillo in ParisA winsome armadillo from Brazil takes a trip to Paris in this delightful picture book from Julie Kraulis. Arlo is an armadillo who is always up for adventure. His grandfather, Augustin, loved adventure too. When Arlo was born, Augustin wrote travel journals about his favorite places for Arlo to use when he was hold enough to go exploring on his own. When Arlo reads about Paris and the one the French call La Dame de Fer, or Iron Lady, he decides it’s time to strike out on his first adventure. He travels to France and, guided by Augustin’s journal, discovers the joys of Paris: eating a flakey croissant at a café, visiting the Louvre, walking along the Seine and, of course, meeting the Iron Lady… But who is she? Each spread has a clue about her identity, and kids will see hints of her scattered throughout the book.

Visit your local library or bookstore to get reading! If you’re interested, fill in the form below and we’ll randomly select five bloggers to read and review a copy of An Armadillo in Paris and join our discussion.

SIGN-UP FORM CLOSED!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Tanya, Jo Ann, Danielle, Emilie, and Jules! We look forward to your reviews!

Check back in on Monday, February 23, 2015 for our book club’s first meeting to discuss An Armadillo in Paris!