Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and we encourage you to visit your local bookstore or library to learn more. In the meantime, we’ve compiled our reading recommendations for you (click on the covers for more information). You can also check out our previous list too!

9781770493018-450My Name Is Blessing
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages |Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-301-8
“This expressive picture book, based on a real family, lovingly tells a hard story with a twist. It’s difficult to broach poverty, disability and custody issues in so few pages without sounding maudlin, but Walters manages by speaking simply…. With dignity and quiet acceptance, this story illustrates that blessings, like family, can take unexpected forms.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

9781770495302-450Hope Springs
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-530-2
“Based on actual events, this story is one of strength and kindness in the face of fear. …the art is expressively large. A series of spreads gives readers a view of Boniface’s world, adding rich colors and patterns of folk art. With the addition of the author’s ‘Story Behind the Story,’ the facts of the origin of Hope Springs allow a retelling of the story through a personal narrative with the aid of photography, a map, and additional explanation.” – School Library Journal

today is the dayToday Is the Day
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
Available for Pre-order: October 2015
ISBN: 978-1-77049-648-4
Based on real children in an orphanage in Kenya, this lovely story shows how something as simple as a birthday, something most of us take for granted, can mean so much in another part of the world.

All Aboard!All Aboard!
Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
32 Pages | Ages 5-8
HC ISBN: 978-0-88776-945-0
PB ISBN: 978-1-77049-514-2
“An engaging biography of the African-American inventor…. The narrative includes fictionalized dialogue and clear explanations about how the machinery works and concludes with an inspiring message …” — School Library Journal

When I Get OlderWhen I Get Older
The Story behind “Wavin’ Flag”

Written by K’naan and Sol Guy
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-302-5
“Internationally known musician K’naan, whose song ‘Wavin’ Flag’ was the official anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, recounts his struggle as a young immigrant from Somalia to fit in and how he was bullied for looking and dressing differently from his classmates.” – Publishers Weekly

Oscar PetersonOscar Peterson
The Man and His Jazz

Written by Jack Batten
Hardcover | 192 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-269-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-362-9
“If you are looking for a solid biography for middle schoolers of the man who was arguably the top jazz pianist for over twenty years and among the best for the rest of his life, then look no further than this book. Though it is only briefly referenced, the author met Peterson back in 1965, and his clear respect for the man, as well as Peterson’s formidable jazz skills, shows throughout this book…. Still inexorably leading you through Peterson’s life, Batten makes the reader unfamiliar with songs run to the web to listen for the first time….” – VOYA Magazine

Legends Icons and RebelsLegends, Icons & Rebels
Music That Changed the World

Written by Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson and Jared Levine
Hardcover with 2 CDs | 128 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-571-5
“Wow, just wow! This book is big in every way…. The book’s art is hard to resist … it’s a treat that the words grab as much as the pictures.” — Starred Review, Booklist

9780887769146-450Five Thousand Years of Slavery
Written by Marjorie Gann and Janet Willen
Hardcover | 176 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-0-88776-914-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-151-9
“This well-researched global survey introduces readers to slavery practices, customs, suffering, uprisings, and revolts as well as antislavery efforts from ancient Greece and Rome to today’s world…. The authors promote global awareness and issue a call to action…. Informative documentary photos and factually rich sidebars enhance the text. A timeline lists pivotal moments from the rise of Sumerian cities to the 2001 Cocoa Protocol denouncing child labor on African cocoa plantations. This groundbreaking title brings the disturbing subject into historical and contemporary focus.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

9781770496514-450Speak a Word for Freedom
Women against Slavery
Written by Janet Willen and Marjorie Gann
Hardcover | 216 Pages | Ages 12+
Available for Pre-order: September 2015
ISBN: 978-1-77049-651-4
eBook: 978-1-77049-653-8
A fascinating non-fiction account of the lives of fourteen female abolitionists, some of whom were slaves themselves, from the early days of the antislavery movement to the present.

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Information Book Award

Six of Tundra’s titles have made it onto the Preliminary List for the 2013 Information Book Award! Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

Going Up - Elisha Otis Trip to the TopGoing Up!
Elisha Otis’s Trip to the Top

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN: 978-1-77049-240-0
eBook: 978-1-77049-367-4
“…Kulling gives lesser-known inventor Elisha Otis a lift in this latest entry into the Great Idea series…. [T]his picture-book biography gives a lively account of Otis’ world-changing invention. Caricatured expressions set against detailed backdrops add playfulness to the informative text.” — Booklist

Who Needs a Jungle? Who Needs a Swamp? Who Needs an Iceberg
Ecosystem Series
Written by Karen Patkau
Hardcover | 32 Pages Each | Ages 7-10
Who Needs a Jungle? ISBN: 978-0-88776-992-4
Who Needs a Swamp? ISBN: 978-0-88776-991-7
Who Needs an Iceberg? ISBN: 978-0-88776-993-1

Oscar PetersonOscar Peterson
The Man and His Jazz

Written by Jack Batten
Hardcover | 192 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-269-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-362-9
“If you are looking for a solid biography for middle schoolers of the man who was arguably the top jazz pianist for over twenty years and among the best for the rest of his life, then look no further than this book…. Batten makes the reader unfamiliar with songs run to the web to listen for the first time….” – VOYA Magazine

Rescuing the ChildrenRescuing the Children
The Story of the Kindertransport

Written by Deborah Hodge
Hardcover | 64 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-256-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-366-7
“…Neither melodramatic nor sentimental, the simple, accessible prose reveals the historical realities of how ‘non-Jewish children [were] taught to love Hitler and to hate Jews,’ along with the heartbreak of saying good-bye and the fact that most of the rescued would never see their parents again…. Even with all the books out there about the Kindertransport, readers will grab this exemplary title for historical research and for personal reading.” — Starred Review, Booklist

The Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award is given to a book that arouses interest, stimulates curiosity, captures the imagination, and fosters concern for the world around us. The award’s aim is to recognize excellence in Canadian publishing of non-fiction for children. The criteria include accuracy, clarity, imaginative approach, appropriateness of organization and format, and sensitivity to ethnocentric and gender biases.

Tuesdays with Tundra 22

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

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | Ages 11-14 | 256 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-372-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-373-5
“…With a quirky cast of characters and a thought-provoking storyline, Susin Nielsen’s latest novel is a gem you don’t want to miss. If you have ever been bullied in your life, The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen will especially strike a chord within your heart. I was completely touched and moved to tears at times, yet smiling like crazy at other moments, a feat I’m not sure how Susin Nielsen manages, but she truly does! I laughed. I cried. Susin Nielsen’s The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is an absolute must-read for everyone.” – Midnight Bloom Reads

Oscar Peterson
The Man and His Jazz

Written by Jack Batten
Hardcover | Ages 10+ | 192 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-269-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-362-9
Called the “Maharaja of the keyboard” by Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson released over 200 recordings, won seven Grammy Awards, received the Order of Canada and is considered to have been one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. This new biography from award-winning author Jack Batten, promises to tell Oscar Peterson’s story in a complete, compelling and sympathetic way.

Watching Jimmy
Written by Nancy Hartry
Trade Paperback | Ages 9+ | 160 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-360-5
“A short, but powerful coming-of-age novel… Hartry has created memorable characters, carefully weaving family relationships tinged by fear and guilt… This is a moving – and fast-moving – story, alive with the fears and uncertainties of life in Canada soon after the Second World War…. A thoughtful read.” – Jury Comments, Finalist for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People

Winter Shadows
Written by Margaret Buffie
Trade Paperback | Age: 11+ | 336 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-358-2
“…the well-drawn characters will eventually capture readers’ attention. The details of daily life and racial politics in 1856 Manitoba, Canada, add weight to the story and the chaste romance between Beatrice and her two suitors will further draw in fans of historical fiction.” – School Library Journal

These books are available on September 25, but we’re going to include them on this roundup!

It’s Our Nature
Written by Rebeca Orozco
Illustrated by Menena Cottin
Hardcover | Ages 5-8 | 24 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-283-7
An elegant look at similarities between animals and humans. Believe it or not, animals have a strong resemblance to humans. Rebeca Orozco’s informative text and Menena Cottin’s brilliant images show us how animals can live together in harmony.

When I Get Older
The Story behind “Wavin’ Flag”
Written by K’naan
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Hardcover | Ages 7-10 | 32 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-302-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-303-2
In his first book for children, When I Get Older, Somali-Canadian poet, rapper, singer, and songwriter K’naan tells his own story. “Wavin’ Flag” has become an international anthem. Its powerful words of hope have crossed generations and borders, and have made K’naan an international star.

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, tell us which new September release of Tundra’s you would love and one lucky reader will receive their requested book! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, September 17, 2012!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Mary-Esther, who will be getting a copy of Susin Nielsen’s The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen.

National Aboriginal Day

Monday, June 21, 2010 is National Aboriginal Day.

“Established in 1996, National Aboriginal Day encourages Canadians to recognize the diverse cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and highlights their contributions to the development of Canada.” – Government of Canada

Share in the celebration by checking out these books:

Spirits, Fairies, and Merpeople: Native Stories of Other Worlds
Written by C.J. Taylor
Hardcover | 40 pages
Ages 8+
ISBN 978-0-88776-872-9
“Taylor’s retellings are crisp and lend themselves well to reading aloud. Each story is accompanied by a lushly hued, surrealistic painting. The powerful images featuring fearsome creatures and tiny human figures balance the taut economy of the text. …this well-crafted collection is an accessible and thoughtful supplement to Native American culture studies.” – School Library Journal

Lord of the Sky
Written by Linda Zeman-Spaleny
Illustrated by Ludmila Zeman
Hardcover | 32 pages
Ages 8+
ISBN 978-0-88776-896-5
“This story is based on an animated film of the same name … and is purportedly derived from the folklore of the North Pacific Coast…. The artwork, done by one of the original filmmakers, attempts to convey a movie in book form.… The award-winning film was done in puppet animation and may be well worth adding to library collections. The book version gropes for a beginning but includes some blood and thunder that might grab fans of graphic novels.” – School Library Journal

Stones, Bones, and Stitches: Storytelling through Inuit Art
Written by Shelley Falconer and Shawna White
Hardcover | 48 pages
All Ages
ISBN 978-0-88776-854-5
“This handsome introduction to Inuit art…. A Canadian map, onto which the art is superimposed, is a helpful device for orienting non-Native audiences…. the current title’s approach of contextualizing the images within a biographical and social framework sets it apart and adds value for researchers.” – School Library Journal

The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone: The Story of Tom Longboat
Written by Jack Batten
Paperback | 112 pages
Ages 10+
ISBN 978-0-88776-507-0
Winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction
“[T]his book is a superb narrative – and a revelatory one – about a largely unknown if not quite unsung Canadian icon.” – The Globe and Mail

All the Stars in the Sky: Native Stories from the Heavens
Written by C.J. Taylor
Hardcover | 40 pages
Ages 8+
ISBN 978-0-88776-759-3
“C.J. Taylor is, of course, an artist as well as a storyteller, and the complex, brilliantly coloured paintings that accompany each story help to unify the book.” – Quill & Quire

Peace Walker: The Legends of Hiawatha and Tekanawita
Written by C.J. Taylor
Hardcover | 48 pages
Ages 8+
ISBN 978-0-88776-547-6
“In a style reminiscent of oral storytelling, the author weaves the legend of the Confederacy of the Five Nations.” – The Horn Book Guide

A Northern Alphabet
Written and illustrated by Ted Harrison
Paperback | 32 pages
Ages 6+
ISBN: 978-0-88776-960-3
“Harrison’s long association in the Yukon makes him an excellent choice to represent this region. …use of bright colours, fluid shapes and the simplicity of the central figures are evocative of the art of this region…. Harrison’s beautiful paintings are reason alone to purchase this book.… The simplicity of the art and text allows A Northern Alphabet to be accessible to the young reader as a read-a-loud primer.… Further, the art and region specific content will make this a ‘must have’ book for the upper elementary grades studying the North. Finally, this book provides an inexpensive example of Ted Harrison’s work for art programs with a focus on Canadian artists. … It is definitely a “keeper” in my library. Highly Recommended” – CM Magazine

Each One Remembered – On se souvient de chacun

Award-winning author Linda Granfield, has been very involved in a school poppy program, Each One RememberedOn se souvient de chacun, for Vimy Ridge Day. On Friday, April 9, Canadians are invited to make poppies to pay tribute to all of those who served in the First World War. To participate in this program and for more information, please click on the links for English and French.

We applaud Linda Granfield for her heroic efforts on acknowledging our beloved veterans!

Teachers, librarians, and parents may also want share these books:

Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion
By Jane Barclay
Illustrated by Renné Benoit
ISBN 978-0-88776-951-1
Ages 4-7

“…beautifully modulated picture book about war and remembrance…. Renné Benoit’s subtle gouache and watercolour illustrations are perfectly attuned to Jane Barclay’s story.” – The Globe and Mail

The War to End All Wars: The Story of World War I
By Jack Batten
ISBN 978-0-88776-879-8
Ages 10+

“…Batten’s account is a model of lucidity, a good place for a young reader to start. Batten’s clean, intelligent prose makes this highly readable and comprehensible….” – The Toronto Star

March is Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month! Learn about these amazing women:

The Matchless Six
The Story of Canada’s First Women’s Olympic Team
Written by Ron Hotchkiss
ISBN 978-0-88776-738-8
Paperback
200 Pages
Ages 11+

  • Chosen by Quill & Quire as one of the 2006 Best Children’s Books of the Year
  • Selected as one of the best books of 2006 by CANSCAIP

Silent in an Evil Time
The Brave War of Edith Cavell
Written by Jack Batten
ISBN 978-0-88776-737-1
Paperback
144 Pages
Ages 10+

  • Included in the 2008 Amelia Bloomer Project list for recommended reading

Laura Secord
A story of Courage
Written by Janet Lunn
Illustrated by Maxwell Newhouse
ISBN 978-0-88776-538-4
32 Pages
Ages 8+

  • Selected for the Children’s Literature Choice List 2002
  • Selected for the Our Choice 2002 List by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Heart and Soul
The Story of Florence Nightingale

Written by Gena K. Gorrell
ISBN 978-0-88776-703-6
Paperback
152 Pages
Ages 10+

  • Winner of the 2001 Norma Fleck Award
  • Nominated for the 2002 Torgi Literary Award

Emily Carr
At the Edge of the World

Written by Jo Ellen Bogart
Illustrated by Maxwell Newhouse
ISBN 978-0-88776-640-4
40 Pages
Ages 10+

  • Nominated for the 2006-2007 Red Cedar Book Awards
  • 2004 Honor Book by the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award

Capturing Joy
The Story of Maud Lewis

Written by Jo Ellen Bogart
Illustrated by Mark Lang
ISBN 978-0-88776-568-1
32 Pages
Ages 8-12

  • Shortlisted for the 2004 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award
  • Finalist for the 2003 Information Book Award – Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada

Remembering Our Veterans

Introduce the very young to Remembrance Day and Veterans’ Day and what it means:

Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a LionProud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion
Written by Jane Barclay
Illustrated by Renné Benoit
ISBN 978-0-88776-951-1
Ages 4-7 | 24 Pages | Hardcover

A gentle, lyrical, new book about war and remembrance. Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion is a special book that will put very young readers on the path to remembrance and lasting appreciation for those who sacrificed and risked their lives in service to their country.

“… a perfect choice for read alouds on Veteran’s Day. It explains why we honor veterans very succinctly and makes perfect sense – a serious but easily understood title.” – Chasing Ray

“… a quiet, loving dialogue between the generations punctuated with vividly realized war scenes. …makes a statement about heroism. …a tight narrative, rich language, a strong story arc….” – Feature Review, Quill & Quire

“…meaningful and engaging…. Barclay has taken on an important topic in an effective and touching way.… There is a lovely rhythm to the prose that would make this a perfect choice by parents and teachers to read-aloud. The text is complemented beautifully with Benoit’s artwork rendered in watercolours and gouache…. Highly Recommended.” – CM Magazine

“Small photos in sepia shades evoke the past in images… the lively animal images in the words are also part of the pictures. …The blend of grim reality, heroic battle, and playful fantasy will speak to kids.” – Booklist

For older readers, a concise history of World War I:

The War to End All Wars - The Story of World War IThe War to End All Wars: The Story of World War I
Written by Jack Batten
ISBN 978-0-88776-879-8
Ages 10+ | 160 Pages | Hardcover

Meet the soldiers who fought the deadly battles on the Western Front. Follow the trail of flying ace Billy Bishop as he tangles in the air with the Red Baron. The War to End All Wars evokes the heroism and suffering of the men from every country, whose stories changed the face of the world forever.

“…Batten’s account is a model of lucidity, a good place for a young reader to start. Batten’s clean, intelligent prose makes this highly readable and comprehensible….” – The Toronto Star

“This superb book – with its high production values and a multitude of archival photographs, it’s as handsome as it is informative – belongs in every school library and on every family bookshelf. [Jack Batten] makes history vivid, almost palpable, for readers of any age…. Batten’s elegant prose tracks the broad sweep of the war…. The quality that makes this book the outstanding achievement that it is, though, it Batten’s detail-rich delineation of the particular, the depth of his reach into a character, an incident or a battle….” – The Globe and Mail

For middle-grade readers, a novel of danger, warmth, and dark humour:

Watching JimmyWatching Jimmy
By Nancy Hartry
ISBN 978-0-88776-871-2
Ages 9+ | 160 Pages | Hardcover

A novel of danger, warmth, and dark humour – set in 1958, Watching Jimmy is a brilliant portrait of a time past, a family of strong women, and a resourceful young girl who exudes character, resilience, and most of all, love.

“Like a steady beat that pulses louder and louder, the story unfolds against a backdrop of postwar social and political concerns and Remembrance Day. Carolyn is a passionate and feisty character, delineated with love and precision, and readers will be drawn to her. A compelling and satisfying novel.” – School Library Journal

“…this short tale of a Canadian preteen whose life centers around protecting her brain-damaged friend recalls … it’s not until she falls in with some wise and savvy adults at a new church that she gains the confidence she needs to blow the whistle—which she does in the course of a passionate Remembrance Day speech arguing for universal health care. … [an] absorbing read.” – Booklist

“…lyrical language…. The book gives a picture of what it was like living in the post-World War II Canada. Readers will be drawn into the gripping story and will worry about the safely of both Jimmy and Carolyn.” – VOYA

“Hartry… has perfectly captured this determined child’s voice and vividly recreates the setting of Toronto in 1958. It’s not hard to connect the dots … which brings the story home to modern readers. As Carolyn encounters one nearly overwhelming challenge after another, they will find her ultimately optimistic tale impossible to put down.” – Kirkus Reviews

Please take time to remember today.