Giveaway: Nana’s Summer Surprise

June13_Nanas Summer SurpriseGiveaway: Happy first day of summer! In the comments below, tell us what your summers plans are. One lucky reader will win a copy of Nana’s Summer Surprise. One entry per person and please review our rules. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the United States and ends at midnight on Sunday, June 30, 2013. UPDATE: A winner has been selected!

Nanas Summer SurpriseNana’s Summer Surprise
Written by Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Georgia Graham
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 4-6
ISBN: 978-1-77049-324-7
In this third book of related titles, our hero must face one more hurdle in accepting his nana’s new “family.” Nana’s new husband, Bob, has a granddaughter named Hortense. They were friends last summer—but over the winter she’s changed and the tentative friendship they shared seems a thing of the past. In this charming picture book about growing up, there is also a message about getting along and finding common ground, even when it’s not at all obvious that that common ground will exist! A heartwarming picture book about blended families and overcoming the differences that children face when they mature at different paces.

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Tuesdays with Tundra 28

Tuesdays with Tundra is a monthly post on our new releases. The following books are available today in stores and online!

Nanas Summer SurpriseNana’s Summer Surprise
Written by Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Georgia Graham
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 4-6
ISBN: 978-1-77049-324-7
“…The artwork … is a lovely display of chalk pastel … the colors look like they are lit from within, giving a fairy-tale quality to the work.” – Kirkus Reviews

More first books for fledgling readers that offer the enjoyment of a good story with the thrill of accomplishment that comes from independent reading. Written in short, easy phrases with carefully selected vocabulary and plentiful illustrations, each book helps youngsters achieve success as they have fun.

The series follows three friends who love to share stories. In each book, one is reminded of a well-known story:
It’s Not About the Ball! is based on The Frog Prince;
It’ Not About the Tiny Girl! is based on Thumbelina;
It’s Not About the Diamonds! is based on the story of Diamonds and Toads;
It’s Not About the Straw! is based on Rumpelstiltskin and
It’s Not About the Beanstalk! is based on Jack and the Beanstalk.

Its Not About the Beanstalk Its Not About the Diamonds Its Not About the Straw Its Not About the Tiny Girl Its Not About the Ball
As one friend starts his story, the others are reminded of versions they know so each volume has three stories within one framework. The stories come from around the world, and Veronika Martenova Charles provides a note at the end of each book to describe the origins.

Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales are a great first step in developing a lifelong love of reading, and it makes a fine companion to Veronika Martenova Charles’s series, Easy-to-Read Spooky Tales.

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, please tell us which new April release of Tundra’s you would love to read (the Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales count as one entry) and one lucky reader will receive their requested book(s)! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, April 15, 2013!

Update: Congratulations to Laurie who will be getting the Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales!

2013 Willow Award Nominations

The Willow AwardsThe Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Award (SYRCA) has three awards—the Shining Willow Award, kindergarten to grade 3; the Diamond Willow Award, grades 4 to 6; and the Snow Willow Award, grades 7 to 9. Ten books written by Canadian authors are nominated at each level. We are happy to announce the following Tundra nominations for the 2013 Willow Awards:

Shining Willow:
Here Comes Hortense!Here Comes Hortense!
Written by Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Georgia Graham
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-221-9
What could be more fun for a six-year-old than having your nana and her new husband take you to a theme park? But Nana and Bob announce that they’ve planned a surprise: they are going to be joined by Bob’s granddaughter, Hortense. It turns out to be the worst surprise ever.

Diamond Willow:
A Tinfoil SkyA Tinfoil Sky
Written by Cyndi Sand-Eveland
Hardcover | 224 Pages
Pub Date: January 2012
ISBN: 978-1-77049-277-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-294-3
Twelve-year-old Mel and her mother Cecily live in poverty, and eventually end up homeless. When Cecily is jailed, Mel must live with her grandmother Gladys, who is very distrustful. Mel is determined to beat incredible odds and steer her own destiny, but she has some tough decisions to make.

Snow Willow:
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K LarsenThe Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larson
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-372-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-373-5
Henry’s family is trying to put back the pieces of their lives, after the worst-case bully scenario leaves them each shattered in their own way. Henry tries to keep his past a secret, and his new group of oddball friends help him navigate the waters of life after “IT”.

Congratulations to our authors!

In 2011, over 13,000 children and young adults throughout the province voted for their favourite book. That same year, Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen won the Snow Willow Award.

Students are still in the process of voting for the 2012 awards. Award winners will be announced in April at the annual Gala. Tundra’s 2012 Shining Willow nominees include Ella May and the Wishing Stone by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Geneviève Côté and In the Bag! by Monica Kulling, illustrated by David Parkins.

For more information, please visit www.willowawards.ca.

The 2013 OLA Forest of Reading® Nominees


Today, the Ontario Library Association revealed the nominated titles for the 2013 Forest of Reading® program.

Tundra would like to congratulate the nominated authors and illustrators!

Blue Spruce™ Nominee:

Ella May and the Wishing Stone
By Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Geneviève Côte
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-225-7
One day, Ella May finds a stone that has a line going all-all-all the way around it. Surely a stone this special must grant wishes, she decides. Soon she is busy making wishes and bragging about them. When her friends want to share in the fun, Ella May objects. But she learns that keeping the stone to herself is a sure way to lose friends. By using her imagination – much more powerful than any stone – she is able to grant everybody’s wishes, including her own. Cary Fagan’s witty and sharply observed story will delight young readers who are beginning to explore the pleasures and challenges of sharing and friendship.

Here Comes Hortense!
By Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Georgia Graham
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-221-9
The feisty, irrepressible Nana we met in Nana’s Getting Married is back. And what could be more fun for a six-year-old than having your nana and her new husband take you to a theme park? But the fun is spoiled when Nana and Bob announce that they’ve planned a surprise: The three of them will be joined by Bob’s granddaughter, Hortense. It turns out to be the worst surprise ever. Nana shares her room with Hortense instead of her disgruntled little grandson. She sings her special good-night song to Hortense. She goes on all the scary rides with Hortense. And, worst of all, Hortense has a special name for Nana. A perceptive and hilarious exploration of rivalry, there’s a gentle lesson within this story, for readers, young and old alike.

JoJo the Giant
By Jane Barclay
Illustrated by Esperança Melo
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-976-4
Children are eager to grow bigger, and JoJo is no exception. He always asks his mother the same question: “How much did I grow today?” No matter how often his mother assures him that good things come in small packages, he is desperate to be bigger. After all, he wants to run in a race to win a pair of red Rocket Racer shoes. But how can he compete against bullies who are much bigger than he is? A delightful story with a surprise ending illustrates how true growth is not always measured in inches. Jane Barclay’s heart-warming story explores a theme that speaks to every child. Esperança Melo’s wonderful art complements the text to create a charming book that’s bound to become a favourite.

Splinters
Written and illustrated by Kevin Sylvester
Hardcover | 40 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-944-3
Cindy Winters loves to play hockey. When her family’s basement apartment is flooded and the floor freezes, she’s delighted to skate on the frozen concrete. Her parents are too poor to enroll her in a hockey league but Cindy’s resourceful and does odd jobs until she earns enough money to join a team. Armed with her mother’s old equipment, she is thrilled with the prospect of playing on a real life hockey team. But her happiness doesn’t last long. Among her teammates are the horrible “Blister Sisters.” They make Cindy’s life miserable. And worst of all, she’s sidelined by the coach, who just happens to be Mrs. Blister. It looks like she’ll be spending the season cleaning equipment, instead of on the ice. Cindy’s luck changes when her Fairy Goaltender appears and saves the day. With its great humour and hilarious illustrations, Kevin Sylvester’s Splinters is bound to become a favourite.

Silver Birch® Fiction Nominee:

A Tinfoil Sky
By Cyndi Sand-Eveland
Hardcover | 224 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-277-6
Mel and her mother, Cecily, know what it’s like to live rough, whether it’s on the streets or in an abusive man’s apartment. One day, Cecily announces that they’ve had enough and that they are going to go home to her mother’s house. Mel begins to dream of security, a comfortable bed, and a grandmother’s love, and these dreams seem to be about to come true. But some mistakes cannot be easily forgiven or erased. Her grandmother is not what Mel expects, and though the local library offers sanctuary, a real home seems to be beyond her grasp. However Mel’s determination to rise above what fate has dealt her is about to change that. Cyndi Sand-Eveland’s work with homeless youth gives her characters an authenticity no reader will forget. Ultimately, a story of hope and acceptance, A Tinfoil Sky is a powerful and captivating novel.

Silver Birch® Express Nominees:

In The Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-239-4
Tundra’s Great Idea Series is comprised of biographies of inventors for early readers. The third book in the series introduces the fascinating Margaret Knight. Known as Mattie, she was different from most American girls living in 1850. She loved to make things with wood and made the best kites and sleds in town. Her father died when she was only three, and by the time she was twelve, she was working at the local cotton mill alongside her two older brothers. One day, she saw a worker get injured by a shuttle that had come loose from the giant loom, and the accident inspired her to invent a stop-motion device. It was the first of her many inventions. Margaret Knight devoted her life to inventing, and is best known for the clever, practical, paper bag. When she died in 1914, she had ninety inventions to her name and over twenty patents, astounding accomplishments for a woman of her day. Monica Kulling’s easy-to-read text, peppered with lots of dialogue, brings an amazing, inspiring woman to life.

Who Needs a Swamp?
Written and illustrated by Karen Patkau
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-991-7
Tundra introduces the first three books in its important new ecosystems series. Each title celebrates the world’s diversity by presenting a different ecosystem: its land and water, its animals and plants. The art is brimming with creatures and ecological features, described in fact-filled notes at the end of each book and in a useful glossary and map. Swamps are often seen as a dangerous and useless. They are often drained to create farmland or to reduce diseases. But such measures can be disastrous. Who Needs a Swamp? explores wetlands and their importance in the food chain and in preserving our soil and clean water. Not only is each book informative and beautiful, but it is a call to action for everybody who cares about the world in which we live.

Red Maple™ Fiction Nominees

The Dragon Turn: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His 5th Case
By Shane Peacock
Hardcover | 240 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-231-8
Summer 1869, and Sherlock Holmes and his friend Irene celebrate her sixteenth birthday by attending the theater to watch a celebrated magician make a real dragon appear on stage. It is the London sensation. Sherlock and Irene meet the magician, Alistair Hemsworth – just as he is arrested for the murder of his rival, The Wizard of Nottingham. It seems that traces of the missing Wizard’s blood and his spectacles were found in Hemsworth’s secret studio. Hemsworth has a motive: not only is the Wizard his rival, but he also caused a scandal when he lured Hemsworth’s wife away. But is Hemsworth guilty? Sherlock has his doubts, and soon, so does the reader. With humor and plot turns as dizzying as a narrow London lane, Shane Peacock invites his readers into a fascinating world, and a fresh adventure with one of literature’s favorite characters. The Boy Sherlock Holmes series is an international success with readers and reviewers alike.

First Descent
By Pam Withers
Hardcover | 272 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-257-8
Montana-born Rex loves nothing more than to take his kayak out on a river, the faster and more powerful the better. When he gets the opportunity to tackle the well-named El Furioso in southwest Colombia, he is thrilled. He anticipates the river’s challenges, but finds himself in a situation where the real danger is human. In Colombia, he meets Myriam Calambás, an indígena, who has lived along the El Furioso all her life. Though she loves its rushing waters, she dreams of leaving to get an education so that she can help her people. Her dreams, and her very survival, are in the balance when she and Rex are caught up in the clash between paramilitaries, working for rich landowners, and guerrillas  who are supposed to be protecting the poor. Pam Withers’ skill at writing about extreme adventures combines with a compelling story about an endangered world and a people struggling for their very right to exist.

Golden Oak™ Nominees

In The Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-239-4
Tundra’s Great Idea Series is comprised of biographies of inventors for early readers. The third book in the series introduces the fascinating Margaret Knight. Known as Mattie, she was different from most American girls living in 1850. She loved to make things with wood and made the best kites and sleds in town. Her father died when she was only three, and by the time she was twelve, she was working at the local cotton mill alongside her two older brothers. One day, she saw a worker get injured by a shuttle that had come loose from the giant loom, and the accident inspired her to invent a stop-motion device. It was the first of her many inventions. Margaret Knight devoted her life to inventing, and is best known for the clever, practical, paper bag. When she died in 1914, she had ninety inventions to her name and over twenty patents, astounding accomplishments for a woman of her day. Monica Kulling’s easy-to-read text, peppered with lots of dialogue, brings an amazing, inspiring woman to life.

The Festival of Trees™ will be taking place on May 15-16, 2013 at the Harbourfront Centre. We will be there to cheer on our authors and illustrators!

THIN AIR 2012


Each year in September, Winnipeg welcomes writers from Canada and around the world for a week of readings, lectures, interviews, conversations, book launches, and other events. That week of literary feasting is known as THIN AIR, the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. With programming for adults and children, in English and French, THIN AIR is an infusion of energy into the thriving literary culture of this city. This year’s festival dates are September 21 – 29! The following Tundra authors will be busy visiting young readers in the area, click on their names for a list of their events:

Shane Peacock
Shane Peacock is an award-winning novelist, biographer, journalist, screenwriter, and playwright. He has made his most dramatic impact on readers and critics with his wildly popular Boy Sherlock Holmes series, which mixes brilliant storytelling with fascinating historical detail about turn-of-the-century London. The long list of honours for the first five books include the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz and Geoffrey Bilson Awards; all five are Premier Selections for the Junior Library Guild of America. Three titles have hit the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award lists, including The Dragon Turn for 2012. The final installment in the series, Becoming Holmes, appears this fall. Peacock lives near Cobourg, ON.

Susin Nielsen
Gemini Award-winner Susin Nielsen is an acclaimed television writer, with sixteen episodes of Degrassi Junior High and an adaptation of Susan Juby’s Alice, I Think to her credit. She is also gifted at reaching the young adult audience with her fiction. Word Nerd and Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom have generated an impressive list of awards and nominations. Both titles have won the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award, and Nielsen will receive her honour this fall in Winnipeg. Her new title, The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen, presents another resilient adolescent dealing with extraordinary challenges. Nielsen lives in Vancouver, BC.

Heather Hartt-Sussman
Heather Hartt-Sussman has had a lively career as a print and broadcast journalist and Hollywood columnist. She hit the book world with Nana’s Getting Married, which introduced young readers to a grandmother with attitude, and a grandson who struggles to deal with his jealousy of her new boyfriend. Nana and the boy deal with other competitions for attention in Here Comes Hortense!. Hartt-Sussman’s illustrator, Georgia Graham, captures the rollicking energy of the grandparents and the delicate sensibilities of the child. Hartt-Sussman was born in Montreal, lived and worked in LA for nearly fifteen years, and lives now in Toronto.

Georgia Graham
Georgia Graham has illustrated numerous children’s books, including the Wanda books by Barbara Azore, and her own The Lime Green Secret. One of her recent collaborations is with Heather Hartt-Sussman. Their first book, Nana’s Getting Married, introduced young readers to a somewhat possessive boy and his wonderfully unconventional grandmother. Nana is back, and the boy has to deal with Nana’s new husband’s granddaughter in Here Comes Hortense!. Graham’s vivid colours and expressive characters are a big part of the story. Graham grew up in Calgary and now lives on a tree farm in central Alberta.

And you’ll probably want to watch this, the THIN AIR volunteer coordinator has been taking the picture books home for her son to read and review. She’s managed to do a video for the each of the ones he’s read so far!

Go Carter!

Tuesdays with Tundra 20

Tuesdays with Tundra is a monthly post on our new releases. The following books are available today in stores and online!

The French Fry King
By Rogé
Hardcover | 32 pages | Ages 4-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-350-6
“…Both the story and the illustrations are appealingly fantastical, with tall-tale exaggerations and witty interactions with satisfied customers…. Roger’s story conveys the subtle and salutary message that material achievement and fame does not necessarily include love and companionship, and a shared venture may be sweeter than solitary success.”
Kirkus Reviews

Hey Canada!
By Vivien Bowers
Illustrated by Milan Pavlovic
Hardcover | 72 pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN: 978-1-77049-255-4
“Arrays of small color photos, cartoons and occasional comic-book pages provide visuals for a young traveler….”
Kirkus Reviews

The Rumor
By Anushka Ravishankar
Illustrated by Kanyika Kini
Hardcover | 32 pages | Ages 4-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-280-6
“…The Rumor is a brilliantly written tale of the village of Baddbaddpur where people tell tales ‘so tall … they would reach the stars’ …. Combining elements of humour and nonsense into an Indian tale, along with Anushka Ravishankar’s wonderful verse writing, this cautionary tale of rumours is a fun and enjoyable read for any child or parent….”
– Highly Recommended, CM Magazine

Spot the Difference
By Tak Bui
Paperback | 48 pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN: 978-1-77049-279-0
“In a challenging workout for Where’s Waldo? fans a Canadian cartoonist offers 82 teeming scenes in pairs that are identical only at first glance … the figures and action are depicted with fine-lined exactitude, and there’s plenty of stage business and visual humor to keep even browsers uninterested in playing the intended game amused.”
Kirkus Reviews

Wanda and the Frogs
By Barbara Azore
Illustrated by Georgia Graham
Paperback | 32 pages | Ages 4-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-307-0
Blue-eyed, freckle-faced Wanda is back, and with her comes spring, puddles, and wriggling black tadpoles. Wanda is enchanted. On the way to school one morning, Wanda scoops some tadpoles into her sand pail. When she presents them to her teacher, the teacher agrees to let the class take care of them until they become frogs. But what will happen to the tadpoles once they grow legs and their tails begin to shrink?

Wanda and the Wild Hair
By Barbara Azore
Illustrated by Georgia Graham
Paperback | 32 pages | Ages 3-6
ISBN: 978-1-77049-306-3
Blue-eyed freckle-faced Wanda has a problem: she loves her wild hair dearly, but it drives all the adults in her life to distraction. She loves the way it feels when she touches it. She loves the way it looks when she pats it in front of the mirror. But her mother always nags her to wash it, her father wants to take her to the poodle parlor for a trim, and her teacher threatens to ask the principal to cut it off. What can poor Wanda do?

Wanda’s Freckles
By Barbara Azore
Illustrated by Georgia Graham
Paperback | 24 pages | 3-7 Ages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-308-7
Wanda has freckles. Lots and lots of freckles. They make her feel special, until the day in the park when a group of boys point, laugh, and tease her for having spots. All of a sudden, the freckles she’d liked become a problem. What can she do? Wanda decides that there’s only one thing: make her freckles disappear altogether!

Pub Date Giveaway: Tell us which new release of ours you would love to read in the comments below and one lucky reader will receive their requested book!

One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday, May 10, 2012!

UPDATE: Lucky number 8, congratulations to kittiepride! A copy of Wanda and the Wild Hair will be sent to you. Thank you to everyone who entered!