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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Finalists for the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Awards

ggla2016Each year, the Canada Council for the Arts honours the best books in Canadian literature with the Governor General’s Literary Awards. This year, we have two finalists in the Young People’s Literature categories, one in text and one in illustrated books. Congratulations to Trilby Kent and Esmé Shapiro!

Young People’s Literature – Text

Once in a Town Called MothOnce, in a Town Called Moth
Written by Trilby Kent
Hardcover | 224 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 9781101918111
eBook: 9781101918135
“Kent writes with refreshing emotional sophistication.… As literary as it is smart, Kent’s novel reflects life beautifully in its rigorous denial of pat, easy answers.” 
– Starred review, Quill & Quire

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Mikaela Everett for The Unquiet, E.K. Johnston for A Thousand Nights, Martine Leavitt for Calvin, and Tim Wynne-Jones for The Emperor of Any Place.

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

OokoOoko
By Esmé Shapiro
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 9781101918449
eBook: 9781101918456
“Shapiro is onto something here: a hard to define ‘Ooko-ness,’ that is lovely, invigorating and pure.”
Quill & Quire

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Jo Ellen Bogart and Sydney Smith for The White Cat and the Monk, Lucy Ruth Cummins for A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals, Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka for Tokyo Digs a Garden, and Mireille Messier and Pierre Pratt for The Branch.

Go online to discover the year’s best books and their authors, illustrators and translators, on the new interactive GG website. Follow the conversation on Twitter through @CanadaCouncil and by using the hashtag #GGbooks. Like the GGs on Facebook for all the latest updates.

The winners of the 2016 Governor General Literary Awards will be announced on Tuesday, October 25, 2016.

You’re Invited to the Launch of Ooko

OokoLaunch

Please join Esmé Shapiro in celebrating the launch of her debut book, Ooko. The party includes a story time, book signing, activities, and treats. We hope that every Debbie can attend!

When: Sunday, July 10, 2016
Time: 11:00 am
Where: Community Bookstore
Address: 143 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, United States

OokoOoko
Esmé Shapiro
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 978-1-10191-844-9

“Playful, joyous, and hip.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Stories about wanting a friend abound, but newcomer Shapiro’s unfolds in a gloriously distinctive world. Ooko, an orange fox shaped a bit like a beanbag, lives in a forest full of prehistoric-looking foliage and anemone-tentacled flowers.” – Publishers Weekly

Click HERE for your Ooko story time kit!

Waiting On Wednesday 8

It’s been a long time since we’ve done one of these! “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This event spotlights upcoming releases that readers are anticipating. We’re joining in on the fun to share an upcoming book we’re all excited about!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-hold-and-read” selection is:

OokoOoko
Esmé Shapiro
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 978-1-10191-844-9
Ooko has everything a fox could want: a stick, a leaf and a rock. Well, almost everything . . . Ooko wants someone to play with too! The foxes in town always seem to be playing with their two-legged friends, the Debbies. Maybe if he tries to look like the other foxes, one of the Debbies will play with him too. But when Ooko finally finds his very own Debbie, things don’t turn out quite as he had expected!

A quirky, funny, charmingly illustrated story about finding friendship and being true to yourself.

What others are saying:

“Playful, joyous, and hip.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Stories about wanting a friend abound, but newcomer Shapiro’s unfolds in a gloriously distinctive world. Ooko, an orange fox shaped a bit like a beanbag, lives in a forest full of prehistoric-looking foliage and anemone-tentacled flowers.” – Publishers Weekly

“Beautifully illustrated, sweet and funny, it will be my Debbie forever.” – The Little Book Collector

“As Ooko tries to change for the sake of finding a friend, she learns the best kind of playmate is one who loves you for you.” – Help! We’ve Got Kids

“A charming and funny story about being true to yourself.” – JLibrary

What are you “waiting on?” Want to participate? Grab the logo from Breaking the Spine, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave a link in the comments section on Jill’s blog or on her Linky!

#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!