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.

2015 ALA Midwinter

MW15_WereExhibitingWe’re back from the Windy City! It was a whirlwind weekend as Editorial Director Tara and Publishing Coordinator Sylvia flew in to set up booth #4829. We met many librarians, all excited and passionate about the books. Then, we survived the fifth-largest blizzard to ever come down on Chicago, but luckily none of our flights were canceled! Of course, that didn’t overshadow the highlight of every Midwinter, the Youth Media Awards! Congratulations to all the deserving authors, illustrators, and publishers!

01ALAMW15We heard many praises for our beautiful bunting hanging on the front table. Most of the flags on the bunting feature the end papers from our books!

02ALAMW15Thanks to Samantha Devotta, we had lots of sneaky dwarfs hanging around our booth!

03ALAMW15There’s another one, sleeping on the job! They’re from Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs by Davide Cali and illustrated by Raphaëlle Barbanègre.

04ALAMW15Not letting the dwarfs run the whole show were the disgusting critters. Creeping out of our nonfiction section were spiders and head lice.

05ALAMW15On the other end, our middle grade and young adult novels. Such stunning covers!

06ALAMW15It felt like Sadie came and decorated this spot with paper dolls and fox masks. Which, by the way, you can learn how to make from this activity kit!

07ALAMW15Giveaway table! ARCs for Best Friends through Eternity, Heartache and Other Natural Shocks, and Every Word. We had beautiful art cards for This Is Sadie and Adventures with Barefoot Critterspostcards for An Armadillo in Paris, bookmarks for Audrey (cow), Every Breath, and If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur. Memory card activity sheets for Nancy Knows, recipe cards for Julia, Child and a door hanger for Bob’s Hungry Ghost. Lots and lots of posters too!

08ALAMW15We spotted Mister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity in our neighbor’s booth.

09ALAMW15We also went to check out our publishing partners in the US, Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi is with Algonquin Young Readers.

10ALAMW15Our US publishing partner for Outstanding in the Rain by Frank Viva is Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Such a great show, we can’t wait for ALA Annual in San Francisco! If you’d like a look at our 2015 books, please click here for our brochure. For MORE photos from ALA Midwinter, you can see the full album here on facebook.

Whoopie Pies

The cool crisp air in November makes visiting a bakery or baking in your own home feel really nice and cozy. This weekend, turn on your oven and treat yourself to some chocolate and marshmallow whoopie pies:

Whoopie Pies
Recipe reprinted from Winterberries and Apple Blossoms: Reflections and Flavors of a Mennonite Year by Nan Forler, paintings by Peter Etril Snyder

Ingredients:
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups cocoa
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Filling:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon milk
2 cups marshmallow cream

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Gradually melt the chocolate. Let it cool slightly.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, cream butter and brown sugar together.
  4. Add egg, vanilla extract, cooled chocolate, and buttermilk. Beat well, scraping sides and bottom of bowl.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture gradually, mixing well.
  7. Using a small scoop, drop batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the pies.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until tops crack slightly and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Let the pies cool completely before adding filling.
  10. Using a wooden spoon or mixer, cream butter and sugar together.
  11. Add vanilla extract and milk, blend in.
  12. Add marshmallow cream and beat well.
  13. Spread filling generously on the flat side of a whoopie pie. Place another half on top and gently press together.


Recipe excerpted from Winterberries and Apple Blossoms by Nan Forler. Copyright © 2011 by Nan Forler. Photographs Copyright © 2011 by Sylvia Chan. Excerpted by permission of Tundra Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Chocolate Cinnamon Sparkle Cookies

Trick-or-Treat? Here at Tundra, we always prefer treats. To celebrate Halloween, I made some chocolate cinnamon sparkles cookies for my colleagues. The recipe is from The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz, a culinary mystery for ages 8-11.

Take a dash of colorful characters, a pinch of danger, and generous scoops of adventure and you have a terrific culinary mystery for young readers. Ellen Schwartz introduces her young readers to a delicious genre. She even provides easy-to-follow and yummy to eat recipes. Here is one of them:

Chocolate Cinnamon Sparkle Cookies
Star light, star bright, can you see the sparkle tonight?
Recipe reprinted from The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz

Ingredients:
9 ounces (approximately 1¾ cups) bittersweet chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 eggs
1½ cup granulated sugar, plus 1 cup more for rolling
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup finely ground almonds or almond meal
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Chop chocolate, then set aside ¼ cup. Fill a small pot halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Transfer remaining chocolate to a heat-proof bowl, then place bowl on top of simmering water. Stir the chocolate gently until it melts. Add cubes of butter and stir until they melt, set the mixture aside to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Beat the eggs, sugar, and honey until the mixture thickens. The eggs are ready when you can lift the whisk and the mixture holds a ribbon-like shape when you dribble it back on itself.
  3. Gently stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then add the ground almonds, cocoa, salt, ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the chocolate you set aside earlier.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill it until it is firm enough to roll, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  6. Prepare a bowl with 1 cup of granulated sugar and the other ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Roll the chilled dough between your palms into 1¼” balls, and drop the balls into the sugar.
  7. Gently shake the bowl to coat cookie balls with sugar, then place on a lined or buttered baking tray 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake cookies until the tops are dry but the centers are still soft, about 12 minutes.
  9. Remove cookies from oven and cool 15 minutes, then gently drop the cookies (round side down) into the remaining sugar to add more sparkle.


Enjoy!


Recipe excerpted from The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz. Copyright © 2011 by Ellen Schwartz. Photographs Copyright © 2011 by Sylvia Chan. Excerpted by permission of Tundra Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

National Conference 2010 in Portland

Will you be attending the 2010 National Conference? The conference will be taking place on March 23-27, 2010 in the Oregon Convention Center.

Tundra’s very own, Pamela and Sylvia, will be at booth #1011 to tell you about our new and upcoming books! You can also come by to pick up our catalogues, posters, postcards, chapbooks, and bookmarks.