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.

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Case Covers

A few weeks back, we featured an interview between the founders of the newly minted Undies award – Carter Higgins and Travis Jonker. Now, we’re excited to share our eligible titles for the inaugural Undies:

If I Had a Gryphon_Undies

Picture Book: If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle, illustrated by Cale Atkinson

Miss Moon_undies

Picture Book: Miss Moon, Wise Words from a Dog Governess by Janet Hill

Counting with Barefoot Critters

Picture Book: Counting with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White

The Darkest Dark_Undies

Picture Book: The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield, illustrated by the Fan Brothers

We also dipped into our back list titles to share some of the great jacket and case designs from the past few years:

This Is Sadie

Picture Book: This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad

Adventures with Barefoot Critters

Picture Book: Adventures with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White

Mos Mustache

Picture Book: Mo’s Mustache by Ben Clanton

Miss Petitfour.JPG

Middle Grade Novel: The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels, illustrated by Emma Block

Which ones are your favorite?

#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!

Tuesdays with Tundra 52

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

Miss MoonMiss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess
by Janet Hill
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN: 9781101917930
eBook: 9781101917954
“Twenty succinct bits of advice for living are accompanied by whimsical oil paintings of an English governess and her canine charges. A wide variety of dog breeds are accurately portrayed in a post-impressionist style—except for the anthropomorphic details that cannot help but charm viewers…. And what a talent Hill has for that mea culpa doggy look! The fair, red-haired governess—impeccable in her long, white-collared dress—always appears kind, unflappable, and dignified … every picture is indeed worth a thousand words. Enchanting for dog lovers.” – Kirkus Review

Over-Scheduled AndrewOver-Scheduled Andrew
by Ashley Spires
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN: 9781770494848
eBook: 9781770494855
“Spires makes it her own, bringing a playful touch to her writing and artwork. In fact, insofar as this is a message book, the real takeaway is less ‘know your limits’ than ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ By book’s end, Andrew has returned to his love of acting and cleared his schedule, but he’s also become a cinephile—something he might never have discovered without a stint in French film club.” – Publishers Weekly

Heart of a ChampionHeart of a Champion
Written by Ellen Schwartz
Hardcover | 272 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 9781770498808
eBook: 9781770498822
Ten-year-old Kenny (Kenji in Japanese) worships his older brother, Mickey (Mitsuo), a baseball hero whose outstanding performance on the Asahi baseball team has given him fame and popularity. Despite Kenny’s suspected heart condition, he is determined to practice secretly with Mickey so he, too, can one day try out for the Asahi. But world events soon overtake life in this quiet community. When Japan attacks Pearl Harbor in 1941, everything for Kenny and his family spirals out of control: schools are closed, businesses are confiscated, fathers are arrested and sent to work camps in the BC interior and mothers and children are relocated to internment camps.

The Skeleton TreeThe Skeleton Tree
Written by Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | 288 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN: 9781101918357
eBook: 9781101918364
“Fans of Hatchet and Lord of the Flies will be drawn to this harrowing survival story from Lawrence (The Winter Pony), which offers psychological suspense and action in equal measure.” – Publishers Weekly
“The immense forest; its wolves, ravens, bears; the night’s shimmering aurora and myriad stars—all of these are majestic but not friendly. Against this vividly realized backdrop, the boys’ connection is tested. However fragile, fractious, flawed, it’s their lifeline. Unsettling and compelling, a gripping, evocative read.” – Kirkus Reviews

To the RescueTo the Rescue! Garrett Morgan Underground
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN: 9781770495203
eBook: 9781770495210
“This addition to the invention-focused Great Ideas series focuses on Garrett Morgan, a son of freed slaves who pursued a life beyond tilling Kentucky fields…. Parkins’s handsomely detailed illustrations offer occasional moments of subtle humor, as when Morgan tries out his hair-straightening cream on a neighbor’s pet Airedale—with success! Kulling conveys the impact of racial prejudice on Morgan while celebrating his achievements: when workers digging a tunnel under Lake Erie became trapped after an explosion, the safety hood enabled their rescue. Available simultaneously: Clean Sweep! Frank Zamboni’s Ice Machine.” – Publishers Weekly

Clean SweepClean Sweep! Frank Zamboni’s Ice Machine
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Renné Benoit
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN: 9781770497955
eBook: 9781770497979
When Frank Zamboni, along with his brother and cousin, opened their own skating rink in 1940 in Paramount, California, it could take an hour and a half for a crew to resurface the ice. They had to level the surface by shaving down the pits and grooves with a tractor, remove the shavings, wash the ice and find a way to give the rink its shining finish. Skaters became exasperated with the wait, so Frank was determined to do something about it. Could he turn a ninety-minute job for five men into a ten-minute task for only one? Working in the shed behind his ice rink, Frank drew designs and built models of machines he hoped would do the job. For nine years, he worked on his invention, each model an improvement on the one before. Finally, in 1949, Frank tested the Model A, which ‘cleaned the ice in one sweep around the rink.’ The rest is history.

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, please tell us which new January 2016 release of Tundra’s you would love to read 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, January 18, 2016!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Rebecca who will be getting a copy of Clean Sweep!