The 12 Days of Halloween

These spooky tunes are best sung out loud! Give it a try. Then visit our #12DaysOfHalloween page every day to see if it’s a trick day (no book giveaway) or treat day (book giveaway):

On the first day of Halloween my true love gave to me, a Mary Shelley biography!
Oct 20
On the second day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one silly story
Oct 21
On the third day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one family curse
Oct 22

On the fourth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one YA horror
Oct 23

On the fifth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one evil tree
Oct 24

On the sixth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one spooky painting
Oct 25

On the seventh day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one historical fable
Oct 26

On the eighth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one guide to ghost care
Oct 27

On the ninth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, Victorian monster hunters
Oct 28

On the tenth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, four demon slayers
Oct 29

On the eleventh day of Halloween my true love gave to me one magical painter
Oct 30

On the twelfth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one epic quest
Oct 31

We hope you enjoyed singing along. Now go enter our contest on the days there are giveaways!

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The 2019 OLA Forest of Reading® Nominees

2019ForestOfReading
The Forest of Reading® is Canada’s largest recreational reading program. This initiative of the Ontario Library Association offers seven reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors, and illustrators. More than 270,000 readers participate annually from their school and/or public library! Here at Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, we’d like to congratulate our nominated authors and illustrators.

2019 Blue Spruce Award™ Nominees:

The Magician's SecretThe Magician’s Secret
Written by Zachary Hyman
Illustrated by Joe Bluhm
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“The conversational tone draws the reader through the story. The remarkable art work by Joe Bluhm showcases the relationship between Charlie and his grandpa and transports the reader into each adventure, providing glimpses of how the imagination can make a dream a reality . . . this book is best shared as a read-aloud. Any adult will be equally thrilled by the story, its rich language and the wonderful illustrations.” – CM Magazine

Where Oliver FitsWhere Oliver Fits
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“Find room on the shelves for this picture book, because feeling like you don’t belong is universal. . . . A solid choice for discussion, and one-on-one or small group sharing.” – School Library Journal

2019 Silver Birch Award® Fiction Nominees:

Chase - paperbackChase
Written by Linwood Barclay
Published by Puffin Canada
Paperback
“The action in Chase begins on the first page and doesn’t let up in this new thriller from Linwood Barclay  . . . readers will enjoy the twists and turns of the action and will relate to all three main characters.” – CM Magazine

Elephant SecretElephant Secret
Written by Eric Walters
Published by Puffin Canada
Hardcover
“Walters interweaves his beautiful family story with a thorough description of elephant behavior—their intellect, compassion, and loyalty—and factual scientific possibilities of cloning an extinct species…A must-read for anyone with an interest in elephants and their welfare.” – Booklist

2019 Silver Birch Award® Express Nominees:

BloomBloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“Julie Morstad’s delicate art brings the vibrancy of flowers and 1920s and 1930s frock fashions alive. . . . Bloom takes a contemplative step back from the purely biographical and becomes a gentle ode to self-expression.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

2019 Red Maple Award™ Fiction Nominees:

Fourth DimensionFourth Dimension
Written by Eric Walters
Hardcover
Published by Penguin Teen Canada
“I recommend Fourth Dimension to fans of The Rule of 3 series as well as those readers who enjoy action/adventure, realistic, or post-apocalyptic stories. Emma and her mother are strong female characters who are great role models for teenage girls. . . . Recommended.” – CM Magazine

The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony GrayThe Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray
Written by E. Latimer
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“An action-packed adventure that is lightly laced with horror, there is a little something for everyone in this middle grade debut. Recommended.” – CM Magazine

2019 Red Maple Award™ Non-Fiction Nominees:

Innovation NationInnovation Nation: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, Happier
Written by David Johnston and Tom Jenkins
Illustrated by Josh Holinaty
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“[R]eminds us just how ingenious Canadians are, despite our golly-gosh-shucks tendency to downplay our accomplishments… Bright illustrations by Josh Holinaty swirl around each page of text to evoke the brilliance of fun and curiosity.” – Quill & Quire

2019 White Pine Award™ Nominees:

The Agony of Bun O'KeefeThe Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather T. Smith
Hardcover
Published by Penguin Teen Canada
“Although Bun is 14, she possesses the endearing naiveté and honesty of a child, but her first-person narration isn’t sappy or immature. . . . Bun O’Keefe will settle comfortably at home in readers’ hearts.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Sir Simon and 10 Haunted Easter Eggs You May Have Missed

Hello ghouls, goblins, witches, and readers!

This is Cale, taking over Talking with Tundra and bringing you a ghostly guest post! You may know me from such Tundra books as Where Oliver FitsIf I Had a Gryphon, and The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold.

I’m here today to talk about my latest picture book Sir Simon: Super Scarer and fill you in on some haunted trivia!

For those of you in the dark and unaware of what this book is about, here is a fancy lil’ write-up to fill you in:

Meet Sir Simon, Super Scarer. He’s a professional ghost who has been transferred to his first house. And just in time! He was getting tired of haunting bus stops and forests and potatoes. And to top it off, this house is occupied by an old lady— they’re the easiest to haunt!

But things don’t go as planned when it turns out a KID comes with this old lady. Chester spots Simon immediately and peppers him with questions. Simon is exasperated. . . until he realizes he can trick Chester into doing his ghost chores. Spooky sounds, footsteps in the attic, creaks on the stairs— these things don’t happen on their own, you know!

After a long night of haunting, it seems that maybe Chester isn’t cut out to be a ghost, so Simon decides to help with Chester’s human chores. Turns out Simon isn’t cut out for human chores either.

But maybe they’re both cut out to be friends . . .

Now that you’re up to speed:

In many of my books, I love sneaking in little details that most readers miss on their first read. As a kid, I always loved finding little details in books, and now, as a pseudo-adult, I have just as much fun drawing in my own.

Since Sir Simon is a ghost story, I felt this would be the perfect opportunity to sneak in my love of classic scary movies in the form of hidden Easter eggs.

Within the pages of Sir Simon: Super Scarer there are over 50 little hidden Easter eggs referencing all kinds of classic scary movies! Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Exorcist, Beetlejuice, The Shining… If you can think of a classic, there’s a fairly good chance it’s somewhere in the book.

For any of you taken aback and thinking: “Cale! You monster! How dareth you put these frightening films in a children’s book?! Have thou gone mad!? To answer yee olde English question, rest assured that all these references are so slight that most kids, and adults alike, will never notice them, nor know what they are referencing.

In this post I am going to point out 10 such Easter eggs, and then leave the rest for you to hunt out yourselves.

Time to double-check your house is secured from zombie invasion, restock your anti-vampire garlic, and grab some popcorn, ’cause here we go!

#1 Sweater on Elm Street
You may notice Chester’s finely striped sweater bears a striking resemblance to a certain fella who likes to hang out on Elm street.

(Nightmare on Elm Street)

#2 We’re gonna need a bigger boat

Simon’s haunted many a things in his past! He once haunted a boat with a Quint-essential captain.

(Quint from Jaws)

#3 Only Simon floats down here.

In my opinion any clown costume is too scary, but when it’s Pennywise’s duds, no wonder Simon is not a fan.

(Pennywise from IT)

#4 TV Reception from another dimension

A relic of TV past! The TV fuzz may not be seen as much these days in entertainment viewing, but once upon a time it was common place to not only see it, but wonder if you’ll start hearing a voice speak through it.

(Poltergeist)

#5 Amityville, population Simon

I wanted to base the design of Simon’s house on something, and always loved the eerie, iconic windows of this haunted house.

(Amityville Horror)

#6 The Pumpkin King

Among various paintings and portraits, you may spot Halloween’s top haunter and his seamstress companion.

(The Nightmare before Christmas)

#7 Slimer-y Cross stitch

Who are you gonna call? Well if you want a rad cross stitch of everyone’s favourite hungry green ghost, you better call Simon.

(Slimer from Ghostbusters)

#8 Big wheeling, forever, and ever, and ever.

It’s a proven fact that there is no better vehicle to escape two terrifying identical twins than a Big Wheel.

(The Shining)

#9 Feed me, Simon

Grandma has all sorts of plants in her sewing room. This particular plant is always hungry…

(Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors)

#10 Ghost Melody

What’s a ghost book without a Ghost reference!? Now while we don’t get to see Simon or Chester make beautiful pottery in this story, I’m sure in the film adaptation we’ll have our own Righteous Brothers scene.

(Ghost)

A bonus *Eleven*

Leggo my Eggo!

(Stranger Things)

Well that’s it for me, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading my guest post and seeing some of the spooky secrets hidden within Sir Simon: Super Scarer!
If you have a chance, please check out Sir Simon and be sure to let me know what you think! Don’t forget to give a little extra look at details.

Until next time! Have a ghoulishly great October!

BOO!

-Cale Atkinson

Twitter: @2dcale
Instagram: @2dcale

Instagram Stories to Read Bedtime Stories to Kids

IG storiestimeInnovative new series uses Instagram to help parents engage kids in storytime by reading picture books on Instagram Stories.

Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, has teamed up with advertising agency Rethink Canada to develop and produce the reading series “StoriesTime” launching September 10th, 2018. The new initiative designed to encourage families to read together, shares celebrated children’s books on Instagram through a series of bedtime Instagram Stories.

New stories featured on @tundrabooks Instagram each Monday and Thursday showcase beautifully illustrated children’s books from a collection of best sellers and new favourites, including Almost a Full Moon, written by Juno Award-winning musician Hawksley Workman. The stories, shot against a cozy home-like setting, and charmingly read, are designed to create an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

IG storiestime titles

“Bedtime reading is a wonderful way for parents to bond with their children, and we are excited to introduce our books to families in this new Instagram approach,” said Vikki VanSickle Associate Director, Marketing & Publicity, Young Readers at Penguin Random House Canada, and also a children’s book author herself.

The idea was inspired by a desire to promote an important childhood ritual, bedtime reading. “Every child should get that experience of bedtime stories. Using Instagram Stories we can use technology to give every kid that chance.” said Mike Dubrick, Partner, Creative Director at Rethink Canada in Toronto. “We see this as a way to encourage greater participation in an essential part of childhood.”

Tundra Books will host two different stories on their Instagram (@tundrabooks) each week over a four week period, the first having debuted September 10th. Each Story will remain active for a 24 hour period.

For more information or for high-resolution photographs please contact Vikki VanSickle at 416.928.2419 or vvansickle@penguinrandomhouse.com.

A Very Tundra Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, some of you may be scrambling for last minute gifts. Have no fear, we’ve got something for everyone on your list – even if you don’t celebrate Christmas!

Tundra Illustrator Gift Guide

We were inspired by Travis Jonker’s The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide 2017 over at 100 Scope Notes and decided to show this year’s Tundra illustrators the love. Whether you’re a kid lit fan yourself or just shopping for that art enthusiast in your life, we have something for everyone from some of the best children’s books illustrators out there. Your friends and family will love receiving a book and a piece of art under the tree this year!

Colette’s Lost Pet
Shop Isabelle Arsenault: sur ton mur

Colette is exploring her new neighborhood and wants to make friends. But when she encounters someone her age she’s never met before, she doesn’t know what to say—so she hastily invents a lost pet! Things spiral a bit out of control as a neighborhood-wide search party is assembled and Colette makes her pet bird more amazing with each telling. Will the neighborhood kids catch on to her ever-growing fib?

This charming story both clearly identifies the struggle of navigating a different experience and demonstrates to kids a lovely and welcoming way to treat someone new in their community.

Where Oliver Fits
Shop Cale Atkinson: etsy

Oliver has always dreamed about where he will fit. Will he be in the mane of a unicorn? The tentacle of a pirate squid? The helmet of an astronaut? When he finally goes in search of his perfect place, he finds that trying to fit in is a lot harder than he thought. But like any puzzle, a little trial and error leads to a solution, and Oliver figures out exactly where he belongs.

Where Oliver Fits is a sweet and funny story that explores all the highs and lows of learning to be yourself and shows that fitting in isn’t always the best fit.

 

The Bad Mood and the Stick
Shop Matthew Forsythe: personal store

New York Times bestselling author Lemony Snicket sheds light on the way bad moods come and go.

Once there was a bad mood and a stick.
The stick appeared when a tree dropped it.
Where did the bad mood come from?
Who picked up the stick?
And where is the bad mood off to now?
You never know what is going to happen.

 

When Santa Was a Baby
Shop Genevieve Godbout: bigcartel, surtonmur

Santa’s parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby’s gurgle, loves to stand in front of the refrigerator, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbox sleigh … and has an unusual interest in chimneys. The adorably funny portrait of an oddball kid who fulfills his destiny – and two very proud parents.

 

 

How to Make Friends with a Ghost
Shop Rebecca Green: personal store

What do you do when you meet a ghost? One: Provide the ghost with some of its favorite snacks, like mud tarts and earwax truffles. Two: Tell your ghost bedtime stories (ghosts love to be read to). Three: Make sure no one mistakes your ghost for whipped cream or a marshmallow when you aren’t looking! If you follow these few simple steps and the rest of the essential tips in How to Make Friends with a Ghost, you’ll see how a ghost friend will lovingly grow up and grow old with you.

A whimsical story about ghost care, Rebecca Green’s debut picture book is a perfect combination of offbeat humor, quirky and sweet illustrations, and the timeless theme of friendship.

When the Moon Comes
Shop Matt James: true north gallery

The beaver flood has finally frozen–perfect ice, without a bump or a ripple. For the kids in town, it’s Christmas in November. They wait, impatiently, for the right moment.

Finally, it arrives: the full moon.
They huff and puff through logging trails, farms, back roads and tamarack swamps, the powdery snow soaking pant legs and boots, till they see it–their perfect ice, waiting.
And the game is on.

When the Moon Comes is steeped in tradition and nostalgia: for hockey, for childhood, for a simpler time. The beauty of the text is matched by the brilliant, rich illustrations that wonderfully capture the magic of a moonlit night in winter.

Little Blue Chair
Shop Madeline Kloepper: tictail

Boo’s favorite chair is little and blue. He sits in it, reads in it and makes a tent around it…until the day he grows too big for it. His mother puts the little blue chair out on the lawn where a truck driver picks it up. The truck driver sells it to a lady in a junk store where it sits for many years until it’s sold and put to use as a plant stand. In the years that follow, the little blue chair is used in many other ways — on an elephant ride, in a contest, on a Ferris wheel, in a tree…until the day it flies away, borne aloft by balloons, and lands in a garden of daffodils where a familiar face finds it.

A charming, beautifully illustrated read-aloud that follows the adventures of a little chair, beginning as the seat of a small child who loves books and circling back to that child’s child many years (and bottoms) later.

A Bedtime Yarn
Shop Olivia Chin Mueller: etsy, society6

Frankie is a little bear who has a hard time falling asleep. The dark is scary, and he hates to be alone. So his mother gives him a ball of yarn to hold when he goes to bed, and she keeps the other end in the next room, working it into a surprise for Frankie.

Every few nights the yarn color changes, and Frankie dreams in all the colors that he and his mother pick out. One night he’s swimming in turquoise water, another night he’s in a cool gray fog. He plays with a marmalade kitten and eats delicious chocolate cake. Eventually Frankie and his mother create something special–and Frankie learns that he’s always connected to those he loves, even when he’s alone in the dark.

A beautiful story of love and crafting, A Bedtime Yarn will appeal to knitters, sleepy little bears and any parents dealing with their child’s fear of the dark.

Dog Night at the Story Zoo
Shop Vicki Nerino: etsysociety6

At the Story Zoo, you get to tell any story you want in front of the live audience, as long as it’s about you. And tonight is dog night. So sit back, relax, and let these dogs tell their tales. We’ve got some hilarious but quite touching stories from dogs of all kinds, including a bulldog who doesn’t wanted to be judged by his looks; a bloodhound who loses her power of scent and turns to a dog called Surelick Holmes for help; an energetic poodle who saves the day with her yapping; and a stray who takes fetching to a whole new level.

These stories will make you laugh, make you cry and maybe even make you howl at the moon. Whether you’re looking for smart, funny, sweet, sharp, silly or just plain fuzzy, The Story Zoo is going to be your new favorite haunt.

The Fog
Shop Kenard Pak: gallery nucleus, inprnt

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? Kyo Maclear’s witty story, brought to life with the delicate, misty artwork of Kenard Pak, is a poignant yet humorous reminder of the importance of environmental awareness.

It’s Great Being a Dad
Shop Gina Perry: society6

A gang of mythical creatures is roaming around a magical land having a great time, until Bigfoot gets his foot stuck in a tree trunk and Unicorn gets her horn impaled on a table and Robot’s saw-arm gets rusted into position. But have no fear! Dad is there to fix things–even when a Sneaky Flying Alligator Pirate steals the Fairy Queen Ballerina Doctor’s wand.

A hilarious story about imagination, play and the best parts about being a dad.

Carson Crosses Canada
Shop Kass Reich: etsy

Feisty Annie Magruder and her dog, Carson, live in British Columbia, Canada, and they’re setting out to visit her sister, Elsie, in Newfoundland. In their little rattlebang car, packed with Carson’s favorite toy, Squeaky Chicken, and plenty of baloney sandwiches, Annie and Carson hit the road! They travel province by province, taking in each unique landscape and experiencing something special to that particular part of this vast, grand country. For example, they marvel at the beauty of the big, open sky — and grasshoppers! — in Saskatchewan and discover the gorgeous red earth and delicious lobster rolls in PEI, before finally being greeted by Elsie — and a surprise for Carson!

Wolfie and Fly
Shop Zoe Si: etsy

Our heroine, Renata Wolfman (Wolfie) does everything by herself. Friends just get in the way, and she only has time for facts and reading. But friendship finds her in the form of Livingston Flott (Fly), the slightly weird and wordy boy from next door. Before she knows it, Wolfie is motoring through deep water with Fly as her second in command in a submarine made from a cardboard box.

Out on a solo swim to retrieve a baseball vital to the mission, Wolfie is finally by herself again, but for the first time, she finds it a little lonely. Maybe there is something to this friend thing…

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).

Mosaic Books
411 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6N8
Window design: Cale Atkinson
Photography: Cale Atkinson

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