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.

Celebrate Tundra’s 50th Anniversary at the Penguin Shop!

tundra-takeover-19Celebrate Tundra’s 50th Anniversary at the Penguin Shop!

One of Toronto’s littlest bookstore is now dedicated to the littlest readers. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Canada’s oldest children’s publisher, Tundra Books, we have transformed the shop to feature Tundra’s classic and new children’s books.

The Tundra takeover is taking place from May 15th through June 9th, 2017. Plan your visit to see Tundra’s latest books, check out some staff picks and enjoy story time and crafts in the shop.

Weekly Activities

All activities take place from 1pm – 2pm on the days specified below.

STORYTIME

CRAFTS & ACTIVITIES

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tundra*Receive a limited edition Tundra Tote Bag with a purchase of $20 or more

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!

The 2016 BC Book Prizes Finalists

The West Coast Book Prize Society is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2016 BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to our finalists: Linda Bailey, Susin Nielsen, Sara O’Leary, and Julie Morstad! Winners will be announced on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Seven Dead PiratesSeven Dead Pirates
Written by Linda Bailey
Hardcover | 304 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-815-0
Lewis is initially delighted with his new bedroom, a secluded tower in a remote part of a decaying seaside mansion. Then he discovers that it’s already occupied—by the ghosts of seven dead pirates. Worse, the ghosts expect him to help them re-take their ship. The only problem is that this motley crew hasn’t left the house in almost two hundred years and is terrified of going outside. As Lewis warily sets out to assist his new roommates, he begins to open himself to the possibilities of friendship, passion, and joie de vivre and finds the courage to speak up. Linda Bailey has won awards across North America, including the California Young Readers’ Medal, the Georgia Storybook Award, the Ontario Blue Spruce and Silver Birch Awards, and the Oregon SMART Award.

We Are All Made of MoleculesWe Are All Made of Molecules
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-779-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-781-8
Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but “ungifted” socially. Ashley Anderson is the undisputed “It” girl of grade nine, but her marks stink. Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9% happy about it, but Ashley is 110% horrified. She already has to hide the truth behind her parents’ divorce; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, no matter their differences, they share one thing in common: they are all made of molecules. Susin Nielsen has received two Canadian Screenwriter Awards and a Gemini Award. She is the author of award-winning novels Word NerdDear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom; and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen.

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

This Is SadieThis Is Sadie
Written by Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-532-6
Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but that always bring her home again. She likes to make things—boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. Sara O’Leary is the author of the award-winning series of Henry books: When You Were Small, Where You Came From, and When I Was Small. Julie Morstad‘s book How To was a 2013 Governor General’s Award finalist.

Indigo’s Best Books of 2015 for Kids and Teens

IndigoBestKidsBooks
IndigoLights
Indigo shared their best books of 2015 for kids and teens on the weekend and we are thrilled to see our titles on these lists. Congratulations to our talented and hardworking authors and illustrators!

Best Kids’ Books of 2015 | Ages 3 to 5

This Is SadieThis Is Sadie
Written by Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-532-6
Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. For Sadie, the world is so full of wonderful possibilities … This is Sadie, and this is her story

The Good Little BookThe Good Little Book
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Marion Arbona
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-451-0
While banished to a dusty study one day “to think things over”, a boy pulls a book off a shelf and with great reluctance begins to read. As the afternoon passes, the story nabs him and carries him away. Before long, this good little book becomes his loyal companion, accompanying him everywhere … until, one day, the book is lost. Will this bad little boy get back his good little book?

Bug in a VacuumBug in a Vacuum
Written by Mélanie Watt
Hardcover | 96 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-645-3
A bug flies through an open door into a house, through a bathroom, across a kitchen and bedroom and into a living room … where its entire life changes with the switch of a button. Sucked into the void of a vacuum bag, this one little bug moves through denial, bargaining, anger, despair and eventually acceptance – the five stages of grief – as it comes to terms with its fate. Will there be a light at the end of the tunnel?

Outstanding in the RainOutstanding in the Rain
Written by Frank Viva
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-101-91768-8
Step right up! Step right up to the amusing amusement park! It’s a whole story, and the pages have holes! Watch the holes make pictures! Frank Viva’s tale of a boy spending his birthday at the amusement park will amaze readers big and small with astounding die-cuts that transform both words and pictures in delightful ways.

InvisiBillInvisiBill
Written by Maureen Fergus
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-613-2
InvisiBill is the hilariously absurd, tongue-in-cheek story of an ordinary middle child who feels so overlooked by his busy, distracted family that he becomes invisible … or InvisiBill!

Snow White and the 77 DwarfsSnow White and the 77 Dwarfs
Written by Davide Cali
Illustrated by Raphaëlle Barbanègre
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-763-4
Snow White is on the run from an evil witch when she comes across some dwarfs in the forest. They agree to take her in and keep her safe if she will help them with their chores. She soon realizes she’s taking on a lot more than she bargained for. 77 breakfasts to make, 77 lunches to pack (don’t forget the juice boxes!), 77 pairs of pants to mend and a whole lot of dishes. This is a hilarious retelling of the classic tale, with bright, energetic illustrations featuring busy dwarfs, and the even busier Snow White.

IndigoLights

Best Kids’ Books of 2015 | Ages 6 to 8

The Adventures of Miss PetitfourThe Adventures of Miss Petitfour
Written by Anne Michaels
Illustrated by Emma Block
Hardcover | 144 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-500-5
Miss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are “just the right size – fitting into a single, magical day.” She is an expert at baking and eating fancy iced cakes, and her favorite mode of travel is par avion. Join Miss Petitfour and her equally eccentric felines on five magical outings – a search for marmalade, to a spring jumble sale, on a quest for “birthday cheddar”, the retrieval of a lost rare stamp and as they compete in the village’s annual Festooning Festival. A whimsical, beautifully illustrated collection of tales that celebrates language, storytelling and small pleasures, especially the edible kind!

IndigoLights

Best Kids’ Books of 2015 | Ages 9 to 12

Seven Dead PiratesSeven Dead Pirates
Written by Linda Bailey
Hardcover | 304 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-815-0
Lewis Dearborn is a lonely, anxious, “terminally shy” boy of eleven when his great-grandfather passes away and leaves Lewis’s family with his decaying seaside mansion. Lewis is initially delighted with his new bedroom, a secluded tower in a remote part of the house. Then he discovers that it’s already occupied – by the ghosts of seven dead pirates. Worse, the ghosts expect him to help them re-take their ship, now restored and on display in a local museum, so they can make their way to Libertalia, a legendary pirate utopia. The only problem is that this motley crew hasn’t left the house in almost two hundred years and is terrified of going outside. As Lewis warily sets out to assist his new roommates – a raucous, unruly bunch who exhibit a strange delight in thrift-store fashions and a thirst for storybooks – he begins to open himself to the possibilities of friendship, passion and joie de vivre and finds the courage to speak up.

Tuesdays with Tundra 48

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

This Is SadieThis Is Sadie
Written by Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-532-6
“This award-winning duo beautifully convey the magic that is to be found in reading or listening to a story…. With its leisurely pace and verdant illustrations, this book is a delight for bedtime as well as an excellent story time choice…. A wonderful purchase for all collections.” — STARRED REVIEW, School Library Journal

“Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad … celebrate the joy of creativity and the beautiful chaos of imaginative play … [they] invite kids to see beyond what’s presented on the page – to see past the box, the tree, and their own physical limitations and join Sadie on her adventures…. With something new to discover upon each encounter, This Is Sadie is sure to become a favourite bedtime read.” — STARRED REVIEW, Quill & Quire

We Are All Made of MoleculesWe Are All Made of Molecules
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-779-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-781-8
“The psychodrama is narrated by the two kids in alternating chapters, leavened with constant, wry humor that should keep readers chuckling even as the story grapples with serious emotional issues. Stewart comes across as absolutely adorable. He knows he’s a complete geek with imperfect social skills. His disarming honesty about his intelligence and especially about his weaknesses holds the entire book together, allowing readers to take self-absorbed Ashley with a grain of salt as she goes through what her mother terms the ‘demon seed’ stage. This savvy, insightful take on the modern family makes for nearly nonstop laughs.” – STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, please tell us which new May 2015 release of Tundra’s you would love to read and one lucky reader will receive their requested book (Canada only for We Are All Made of Molecules)! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, May 18, 2015!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Nicole, winner of We Are All Made of Molecules.