Holiday Spotlight: DK 2023

Here at Penguin Random House Canada, we’re lucky to work with so many different publisher lists. This holiday season, we’ll be highlighting each one with a dedicated post to help you find the perfect gift (or your next read). Today’s post is all about DK.

An Anthology of Intriguing Animals
224 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781465477026 | DK Children
The animal kingdom is so much bigger than young minds can fathom and there is always more to learn. An Anthology of Intriguing Animals is a stunning animal encyclopedia for young readers to explore, with reference pages packed with fascinating information, little learners will be captivated as they discover the facts, stories and myths behind their favorite animals. Whether it’s where the slow-motion sloth lives, how the plodding pangolin protects itself from predators, or which animal the Ancient Egyptians thought rolled the Sun across the sky, children can learn all sorts of fun animal facts from the storybook descriptions.

An Anthology of Our Extraordinary Earth
By Cally Oldershaw
224 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780744083903 | DK Children
The world is so much more complex than young minds can fathom, from molten-hot rock and smoldering volcanoes to icy glaciers and bubbling springs. This book about the Earth for kids aged 7+ unlocks all the mysteries of our living, breathing planet. An Anthology of Our Extraordinary Earth looks at our constantly changing planet, with striking images and scientific ideas that are easy for children to understand. Starting at the center of the Earth, the book examines each layer in forensic detail: from Earth’s metallic core, drilling through Earth’s tough crust until emerging out onto the planet’s surface, with its lush green rainforests, sparkling oceans, and snow-capped mountains, before sailing up into Earth’s airy atmosphere.

Dear Rebel
By Rebel Girls
420 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781953424471 | Rebel Girls
More than 125 extraordinary teens and women share their advice, experiences, and the secrets of their success – in their own words. Through letters, poems, essays, self-portraits, and more, the authors tackle topics like overcoming obstacles, discovering your passion, and dreaming big. Learn how Ms. Marvel actor Iman Vellani connected with her roots through her character. Read about how March for our Lives co-founder Jaclyn Corin found her voice as an activist. Follow mountaineer Carla Pérez on the final 100 meters to the top of Mount Everest. This rich collection of first-person stories has something for everyone, inspiring young readers to try new things, face their fears, and be themselves.

Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Everything
400 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780744084702 | DK Children
Packed with striking photography and the topics kids love most, this is the fundamental guide to the world around you. The world’s greatest record-breakers, most remarkable animals, inspiring history-makers, and cutting-edge technology are all here, in one utterly unputdownable kid’s encyclopedia. Like the hugely successful Eyewitness series itself, Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Everything includes all the topics children want to read about. Each page is illustrated with vivid photography and filled with facts ideal for children aged 9+. 

LEGO Marvel Visual Dictionary
By Simon Hugo and Amy Richau
160 Pages | Ages 7-11 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780744084610 | DK Children
Jump into the action-packed LEGO Marvel multiverse with DK’s latest Visual Dictionary – with an exclusive LEGO Marvel Minifigure. Discover everything you need to know about the latest sets, vehicles, and minifigures. See every detail of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s spaceship, explore Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, examine the advanced vehicles of Wakanda, discover Spider-Man’s most dastardly villains, and find out about your favorite LEGO Marvel minifigures – from Black Panther to The Scarlet Witch. Meet all the iconic LEGO Marvel characters and learn about their allies, villains, skills, vehicles, and locations.

Pokémon Festive Calendar
48 Pages | Ages 5-7 | Paperback
ISBN 9780744097993 | DK Children
Count down to the festive season with this collection of 24 mini books, activities, and crafts! Packed with Pokémon story books, Alola-themed guides, fun puzzles, activities, riddles, and crafts, this is the perfect gift for fans of all ages. Create 3D Poké Balls, make your own decorations, and learn how to draw some of your favorite Pokémon. With 24 awesome surprises inside, there’s something for each December day leading up to the festive season, making this the perfect calendar treat for all Pokémon Masters in training!

Pop-Up Peekaboo! Marvel Spidey and his Amazing Friends
12 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780744090505 | DK Children
Help Spidey keep New York City safe and find his friends one by one, including your little one’s favorite characters: Miles, Ghost Spider, Iron Man, Black Panther, and Ms Marvel. Little hands can lift big flaps and see five peekaboo surprises pop up from the pages, and explore themes of friendship, teamwork, and bravery. The lively, read-aloud rhymes encourage literacy and early learning, while the surprise pop-up scenes will delight curious preschoolers. With the help of parents and caregivers, children will have fun turning the sturdy board book pages, guessing what’s hiding under each flap, and then lifting the flaps to reveal Spidey and his friends, and play peekaboo! Ideal for interactive preschool play, Pop-Up Peekaboo! Marvel Spidey and his Amazing Friends will appeal to both parents and children and is certain to keep little ones entertained time and time again!

The LEGO Holiday Games Book
80 Pages | Ages 7-11 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780744084658 | DK Children
Build in some time for festive fun with the whole family! With more than 50 all-new winter holiday themed games and activities, there is something to keep everyone entertained during the whole festive season. Grab this book and your LEGO bricks and get ready for a jolly time at ho-ho-home with your friends and family! Comes with 60 bricks to help you play the games in the book. 

The Minecraft Ideas Book
200 Pages | Ages 7-11 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780744084672 | DK Children
Spark your imagination with incredible build ideas inspired by the world around you. Explore landmarks, natural wonders, and inventions. From the Great Wall of China and the Great Barrier Reef, to steam trains and the International Space Station, get suggestions for how to build them all in Minecraft – and discover fascinating facts about them, too. The Minecraft Ideas Book is packed with all kinds of imaginative build ideas, including a cross-section of a volcano, a fabulously fun fairground, a Mount Everest base camp, a rainforest with canopy bridge, and much, much more. Why not step back in time to build the Titanic or a Roman chariot race or fast-forward to the future and build a sustainable city? Anything is possible! What will you build first? Find building techniques, hints, and tips throughout, such as block hacks, planning tips, and ideas for customizing. Meet the expert builders and discover where they get their ideas from. See the Minecraft world – and the real world – as you’ve never seen it before!

Weird and Wonderful Nature
By Ben Hoare
192 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780744085112 | DK Children
Why do Mexican jumping beans jump? How do sea cucumbers defend themselves? What causes the northern lights? This book is filled with facts about the most surprising and curious plants, animals, rocks, and phenomena in nature. Children aged 7-9 can read stories of more than one hundred unique animals, plants and phenomena and learn about the weird and wonderful side of the natural world. Weird and Wonderful Nature is the third installment of the DK Treasures series, exploring the many bizarre animals and plants that are uniquely adapted to their way of life.

Holiday Spotlight: Disney 2023

Here at Penguin Random House Canada, we’re lucky to work with so many different publisher lists. This holiday season, we’ll be highlighting each one with a dedicated post to help you find the perfect gift (or your next read). Today’s post is all about Disney.

All Is Found: A Frozen Anthology
Edited by Heather Knowles and Mari Mancusi
400 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781368092487 | Disney Press
Just in time to celebrate the first decade of the Frozen franchise, we join Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf as they embark on new adventures through the Frozen universe with friends new and old. This wide variety of original stories will share untold tales from Anna and Elsa’s childhood, memories with their parents, and mysterious creatures they encounter. These highly relatable, yet larger than life characters will appeal to young Frozen fans as well as the Frozen fan in all of us. In this exciting anthology, ten authors – for the ten years of Frozen – bring stories from this special kingdom to life.

Ellie Engle Saves Herself
By Leah Johnson
288 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781368085557 | Disney Hyperion
Ellie Engle doesn’t stand out. Not at home, where she’s alone with her pet fish since her dad moved away and her mom has to work around the clock . Not at the bakery, where she helps out old Mr. Walker on the weekends. And definitely not at school, where her best friend Abby—the coolest, boldest, most talented girl in the world—drags Ellie along on her never-ending quest to “make her mark.” To someone else, a life in the shadows might seem boring, or lonely. But not to Ellie. As long as she has Abby by her side and a comic book in her hand, she’s quite content. Too bad life didn’t bother checking in with Ellie. Because when a freak earthquake hits her small town, Ellie wakes up with fantastical powers that allow her to bring anything back to life with just her touch. And when a video of her using her powers suddenly goes viral, Ellie’s life goes somewhere she never imagined—or wanted: straight into the spotlight. Surviving middle school is hard enough. Surviving middle school when paparazzi are camped out on your front lawn and an international pop singer wants you to use your powers on live tv and you might be in love with your best friend but she doesn’t know it? Absolutely impossible.

Part of Your World: A Twisted Tale Graphic Novel
Adapted by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Illustrated by Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews
150 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781368064095 | Disney Hyperion
Five years ago, Ariel defied her father, King Triton, and traded her voice for the chance to meet Prince Eric. But when Ursula attacked and defeated Ariel, the sea witch took everything: the little mermaid’s voice, her prince, and her father’s life. Now, Ariel rules as the silent queen of Atlantica, while Ursula, disguised as a beautiful human woman, runs Prince Eric’s kingdom on land. But when Ariel discovers that her father might still be alive, she finds herself returning to a world – and a prince – she never imagined she would see again. On land, Ariel learns that Ursula has been making the most of her role as princess: plotting, scheming, and waging outright war with neighboring kingdoms. And after Ursula catches wind of Ariel’s resurfacing, she threatens to obliterate both land and sea. Will Ariel be able to overthrow the murderous villain bent on destroying her home – along with the world she once longed to be a part of?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Chalice of Gods
By Rick Riordan
288 Pages | Ages 8–12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781368098175 | Disney Hyperion
After saving the world multiple times, Percy Jackson is hoping to have a normal senior year. Unfortunately, the gods aren’t quite done with him. Percy will have to fulfill three quests in order to get the necessary three letters of recommendation from Mount Olympus for college. The first quest is to help Zeus’s cup-bearer retrieve his goblet before it falls into the wrong hands. Can Percy, Grover, and Annabeth find it in time? Readers new to Percy Jackson and fans who have been awaiting this reunion for more than a decade will delight equally in this latest hilarious take on Greek mythology.

The Little Mermaid: Against the Tide
By J. Elle
320 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781368077224 | Disney Press
After the death of Ariel’s mother, the queen of the sea, the seven daughters of King Triton have grown estranged at best. It’s been years since Ariel’s older sisters have visited home. But this year’s Coral Moon is fast approaching, and it’s a special one for Ariel. Finally fifteen, she will be dubbed the Protector of her very own ocean territory as is tradition, and her sisters have agreed to visit for the celebration. But the ceremony is halted when Mala, one of the most renowned daughters of Triton, is abducted. The only clue to where she might have been taken is a hastily scribbled seaweed note, which says, “What could have saved Mother could save me, too.” To rescue Mala, Ariel must work together with her siblings, traveling to various seas, outsmarting dangerous ocean creatures, and delving into forbidden waters to find the truth of what happened to their mother. But as Ariel and her sisters begin uncovering new secrets about their family and their kingdom, Ariel will have to face the loss of a mother she never had a chance to know and discover what it means to be both a good sister and a strong leader. And the clock is ticking, because on the day of the festival, when the moon turns a true shade of coral, her sister will be lost, like her mother, forever.

The Sun and the Star
By Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro
480 Pages | Ages 10–14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781368081153 | Disney Hyperion
As the son of Hades, Nico di Angelo has been through so much, from the premature deaths of his mother and sister, to being outed against his will, to losing his friend Jason during the trials of Apollo. But there is a ray of sunshine in his life – literally: his boyfriend, Will Solace, the son of Apollo. Together the two demigods can overcome any obstacle or foe. At least, that’s been the case so far . . . Now Nico is being plagued by a voice calling out to him from Tartarus, the lowest part of the Underworld. He thinks he knows who it is: a reformed Titan named Bob whom Percy and Annabeth had to leave behind when they escaped Hades’s realm. Nico’s dreams and Rachel Dare’s latest prophecy leave little doubt in Nico’s mind that Bob is in some kind of trouble. Nico has to go on this quest, whether Mr. D and Chiron like it or not. And of course Will insists on coming with. But can a being made of light survive in the darkest part of the world? and what does the prophecy mean that Nico will have to “leave something of equal value behind?” 

The (Super Secret) Octagon Valley Society
By Melissa de la Cruz
320 Pages | Ages 8–12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781368083744 | Disney Hyperion
After passing an intense exam, Edwin Edgefield becomes one of the lucky few to attend an exclusive weekend at the mysterious high-tech institute of the uber-famous-ultrabazillionaire-genius-recluse Onasander Octagon. Edwin hopes he’ll meet other kids like him – kids who will accept him even though he’s got a photographic memory, genius-level math skills, and some very specific personality quirks. But when he meets the other misfits (um, students), he starts to wonder if they’re all in the right place. There’s amateur rapper Li’l Kimmy, violin prodigy Julie, video game–obsessed Anton, teacher’s pet Ting-Ting, mean girl Maureen, and surfer dude Dilip. And we’re not even going to talk about Harold. Are you sitting down? Because this is when things get really weird. Octagon’s weekend events include an escape-room challenge, a zero-gravity chamber, a river full of piranhas, and . . . some ninjas? Surviving Octagon Valley may require these outcasts to embrace their inner weird and become greater together than they ever could separately. Those who rise to the wacky occasion will be treated to the biggest, most spectacular surprise of their lives – a chance to be truly EXTRAordinary!

The Wicked Ones
By Robin Benway
320 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781368078627 | Disney Press
Drizella and Anastasia only know one thing for certain: they will never end up like their mother, Lady Tremaine. When their father left them as young girls, he took what was left of their family’s fortune and their mother’s dignity with him. A few years and one deceased stepfather later, the only version of Lady Tremaine that Drizella and Anastasia know is a bitter and cruel head of house. Anastasia and Drizella have promised themselves-and each other-that they’ll be different. They’ll find love, see the world, and never let their hearts go cold. But both sisters are all too aware of what it can mean when cast into disfavor with their mother, and fueled by Lady Tremaine’s tendencies to pit the daughters against one another, Drizella and Anastasia are locked into a complicated waltz of tenuous sisterhood. On the cusp of the royal debut party-their one chance to impress the Prince and live up to their mother’s expectations-the sisters at last get a glimpse of what life could be like outside of Lady Tremaine’s intentions: Drizella discovering a love of science and Anastasia sparking a secret romance. But never underestimate the power a mother whose greatest talents lie in manipulation, and the sisters may learn that even the cruelest of hearts can spill blood.

We Don’t Lose Our Class Goldfish
By Ryan T. Higgins
48 Pages | Ages 3–5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781368076982 | Disney Hyperion
Penelope Rex has one fear: Walter, the class goldfish. So when Mrs. Noodleman tells the kids that they’ll be taking turns bringing Walter home, Penelope gets carried away by her anxious imagination. The weekend has a rocky start – from Walter ominously licking his lips to a sleepless night where the fish’s bowl appears to move closer and closer to Penelope’s bed. But then Walter goes missing! Penelope must face her fear to find him and realizes along the way that there’s more to Walter than his chomping jaws. 

When You Wish Upon a Star
By Elizabeth Lim
480 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781368077545 | Disney Hyperion
“Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight . . . ” So begins the wish that changes everything – for Geppetto, for the Blue Fairy, and for a little puppet named Pinocchio. The Blue Fairy isn’t supposed to grant wishes in the small village of Pariva, but something about this one awakens some long-buried flicker within. Perhaps it’s the hope she senses beneath the old man’s loneliness. Or maybe it’s the fact that long ago, before she was the Blue Fairy, she was a young woman named Chiara from this very village, one with a simple wish: to help others find happiness. Her sister, Ilaria, always teased her for this, for Ilaria had big dreams to leave their sleepy village and become a world-renowned opera singer. The two were close, despite their differences. While Ilaria would have given anything to have a fairy grant her wish, Chiara didn’t believe in the lore for which their village was famous. Forty years later, Chiara, now the Blue Fairy, defies the rules of magic to help an old friend. But she’s discovered by the Scarlet Fairy, formerly Ilaria, who, amid a decades-long grudge, holds the transgression against her sister. They decide to settle things through a good old-fashioned bet, with Pinocchio and Geppetto’s fate hanging in the balance. Will the sisters find a way back to one another? Or is this, like many matters of the heart, a gamble that comes with strings?

Holiday Spotlight: Random House Children’s Books 2023

Here at Penguin Random House Canada, we’re lucky to work with so many different publisher lists. This holiday season, we’ll be highlighting each one with a dedicated post to help you find the perfect gift (or your next read). Today’s post is all about Random House Children’s Books.

15 Secrets to Survival
By Natalie D. Richards
384 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593644126 | Delacorte Press
When classmates Baxter, Abigail, Turner and Emerson break a school rule, they’re forced to travel to the middle of nowhere for an extra credit project. They think things can’t get much worse. After all, how will learning to survive in the wilderness help them stay out of trouble in school? What starts off as a weekend of team building takes a scary turn when their instructor goes missing and they are given nothing but pages of a survival guide to complete a series of challenges. They soon learn the woods around them have unexpected surprises. Will they discover a way to work together to find their teacher and overcome the dangers of winter in the mountains?

Eight Dates and Nights
By Betsy Aldredge
384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593710333 | Underlined
Two teens with two very different ideas of how to spend Hanukkah learn to work together to save the last Jewish remnant in small town Texas in this cozy holiday romance! New Yorker Hannah Levin is allergic to exactly two things, horses and tinsel. Unfortunately, she’s surrounded by both when she’s snowed in at her grandmother’s home in a small Texas town. Super lonely, missing latkes and reliable Wi-Fi, Hannah wanders into an old deli where she meets the only other Jewish teen around, Noah, who happens to be equal parts adorable and full of annoying, over the top festival of lights spirit that he’s determined to share with Hannah one itchy Hanukkah sweater at a time. As the days pass – and a spectacularly memorable kiss following Noah’s made up game of truth or dare dreidel takes place – Hannah begins to wonder if maybe there’s more to Hanukkah than she thought . . .

Her Radiant Curse
By Elizabeth Lim
432 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593300992 | Knopf BFYR
One sister must fall for the other to rise. Channi was not born a monster. But when her own father offers her in sacrifice to the Demon Witch, she is forever changed. Cursed with a serpent’s face, Channi is the exact opposite of her beautiful sister, Vanna – the only person in the village who looks at Channi and doesn’t see a monster. The only person she loves and trusts. Now at seventeen, Vanna is to be married off in a vulgar contest that will enrich the coffers of the village leaders. Only Channi, who’s had to rely on her strength and cunning all these years, can defend her sister against the cruelest of the suitors. But in doing so, she becomes the target of his wrath – launching a grisly battle royale, a quest over land and sea, a romance between sworn enemies, and a choice that will strain Channi’s heart to its breaking point. Weaving together elements of The Selection and Ember in the Ashes with classic tales like Beauty and the Beast, Helen of Troy, and Asian folklore, Elizabeth Lim is at the absolute top of her game in this thrilling yet heart-wrenching fantasy that explores the dark side of beauty and the deepest bonds of sisterhood.

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Lost Christmas!
By Alastair Heim
Illustrated by Aristides Ruiz
40 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593563168 | Random House BFYR
The Grinch had been patiently waiting all year,
To celebrate Christmas and bring the Whos cheer,
And to show every Who he was DIFFERENT now.                         
“I’ve changed!” thought the Grinch,                                           
“And I’ll prove it! But HOW?” 
A year has passed since the Grinch stole Christmas from Who-ville. Now eager to prove to the Whos that his heart has grown to LOVE the holiday, the Grinch devises a plan to win Who-ville’s Christmas Crown by making the largest, most spectacular Christmas tree the Whos have ever seen! But when things don’t go as planned, the Grinch’s heart turns ice cold, and he threatens to leave Who-ville for good . . . until one small, special Who reminds him that Christmas is NOT about winning. Grow your heart three sizes MORE with this sequel to the timeless picture book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Featuring a foil-enhanced jacket and full-color illustrations rendered in the iconic style of the original, this new story makes a splendid gift and a must-have addition to the libraries of Grinch fans of all ages!

It’s Not Easy Being Santa Claus
By Marilyn Sadler
Illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593702871 | Random House BFYR
Santa is feeling grumpy! He has too many letters to read. His reindeer are quarreling. Someone’s taken his slippers. And Mrs. Claus wants him to eat more vegetables. When Santa decides to try something new (working in a department store, bakery, toy store, and delivering mail), he discovers that nothing is as rewarding as just being himself. Featuring a comical cast of animal characters – plus a small mouse with BIG attitude for readers to find hidden on every page – this hardcover picture book about self-acceptance and overcoming obstacles makes a great holiday gift for kids 3-7!

Like a Charm
By Elle McNicoll
320 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593649138 | Random House BFYR
After the death of her grandfather, neurodivergent tween Ramya uncovers a world of mystery and magic – and she’s the only one who can see it! From the award-winning author of A Kind of Spark. “Ramya, you have something this city needs. And it’s something that’s going to change everything.” Ramya Knox always knew she was different. Her dyspraxia makes her clumsy and prone to attracting the disapproval of her teachers. Ramya didn’t know she can see magic! But when a dog statue comes to life, Ramya follows the pup and discovers a world she thought existed only in fairy tales. Trolls, witches, kelpies, vampires, and more lurk in the shadows of Edinburgh, hiding from the most dangerous creature of all: sirens. These beautiful monsters use their persuasive voice to convince those around them to do their bidding – for better or worse. As the sirens rise in power, it’s up to Ramya to save the day – or the Hidden and mortal worlds might both be at risk.

Project F
By Jeanne DuPrau
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593643808 | Random House BFYR
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE. There are no cars, planes, television, or smart phones. Climate change wreaked havoc on Earth hundreds of years ago, and now people live a simpler life.
Then thirteen-year-old Keith uncovers a secret. It’s a mysterious mission known only as Project F. It’s advanced, it’s scientific, and it’s going to change the world. It’s exactly the kind of adventure Keith has always longed to be a part of. And what is adventure without a little danger, right? But how much danger is Keith willing to risk? For himself? For his family? For his community? For the entire world . . . ? Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember was an instant hit when it arrived on bookshelves. It has become a modern classic beloved by readers selling hundreds of thousands of copies a year! In her latest novel, she explores timely questions about the Earth and our use of its resources. A bold novel, Project F asks how much you are willing to risk to save the future.

Sinner’s Isle
By Angela Montoya
384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593643334 | Joy Revolution
Rosalinda is trapped on Sinner’s Isle, an island filled with young women like her – Majestics, beautiful witches loathed by society for their dangerous magic yet revered by powerful men who want to use them. For years, she has been kept under the watchful, calculating eye of Doña Lucia. Now eighteen, Rosa will be the prized commodity at this year’s Offering, a fiesta for the wealthy to engage in drink, damsels, and debauchery. That is why she must flee – before someone forces the vicious phantoms within her to destroy everything she touches. Handsome, swashbuckling Mariano has long sailed the high seas as the Prince of Pirates. Then the king’s fleet attacks his father’s infamous ship, leaving him marooned on Sinner’s Isle with only an enchanted chain meant to lead him to his heart’s desire. Instead, he falls into the hands of a brazen (although) bewitching headache – Rosa.

The Revenge Game
By Jordyn Taylor
320 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593563649 | Delacorte Press
Alyson is a romantic, and sometimes it gets her into trouble. Like last summer, she thought her co-worker was into her, when in reality he found her flirting pathetic. Then she meets Brenton Riggs Jr., and right away she knows that their connection isn’t just in her head. When he swoops in to save her one night from a less than savory party encounter, she falls head-over-heels. Finally, someone Alyson likes who likes her back! But when she finds out about the King’s Cup – a competition the guys at their boarding school started to see who has the most sexual prowess – she’s put on edge. Does Brenton really want to be with her, or is he just trying to win? Then Alyson and the other girls at the school start a competition of their own: The Queen’s Cup. It’s all about reclaiming their power. But as the competition heats up, Alyson’s relationship begins to fall apart – and it isn’t long before the cracks in her perfect love story start to show through.

Wonderful Seasons
By Emily Winfield Martin
26 Pages | Ages 0 – 3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780593376355 | Random House BFYR
Celebrate the seasons with this original board book by Emily Winfield Martin – perfect for baby showers and fans of the New York Times Bestseller, The Wonderful Things You Will Be! From Springtime fun to cozy Winter, this book captures the adorableness of a diverse cast of babies in the beauty of all four seaons. With simple text and irresistable art, this lighthearted book will bring a smile to parents and the youngest readers alike.

Holiday Spotlight: Penguin Young Readers 2023

Here at Penguin Random House Canada, we’re lucky to work with so many different publisher lists. This holiday season, we’ll be highlighting each one with a dedicated post to help you find the perfect gift (or your next read). Today’s post is all about Penguin Young Readers.

Check & Mate
By Ali Hazelwood
368 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593619919 | G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Mallory Greenleaf is done with chess. Every move counts nowadays; after the sport led to the destruction of her family four years earlier, Mallory’s focus is on her mom, her sisters, and the dead-end job that keeps the lights on. That is, until she begrudgingly agrees to play in one last charity tournament and inadvertently wipes the board with notorious “Kingkiller” Nolan Sawyer: current world champion and reigning Bad Boy of chess. Nolan’s loss to an unknown rook-ie shocks everyone. What’s even more confusing? His desire to cross pawns again. What kind of gambit is Nolan playing? The smart move would be to walk away. Resign. Game over. But Mallory’s victory opens the door to sorely needed cash-prizes and despite everything, she can’t help feeling drawn to the enigmatic strategist . . . As she rockets up the ranks, Mallory struggles to keep her family safely separated from the game that wrecked it in the first place. And as her love for the sport she so desperately wanted to hate begins to rekindle, Mallory quickly realizes that the games aren’t only on the board, the spotlight is brighter than she imagined, and the competition can be fierce (-ly attractive. And intelligent . . . and infuriating . . . )

Dragon’s First Taco
By Adam Rubin
Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
16 Pages | Ages 1-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780593533178 | Dial Books
Let the New York Times bestselling team behind Dragons Love Tacos introduce the joy of dragons to the youngest of readers in this original board book shaped like a taco! What do you get when you take a tortilla, fold it in half, and fill it with all sorts of delicious things? A taco, of course! This little dragon’s first taco will surely not be their last in this lively, funny board book that introduces the magic of tacos and dragons.

House of Marionne
By J. Elle
432 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593527702 | Razorbill
BURY YOUR SECRET OR DIE FOR IT. 17 year-old Quell has lived her entire life on the run. She and her mother have fled from city to city, in order to hide the deadly magic that flows through Quell’s veins. Until someone discovers her dark secret. To hide from the assassin hunting her, and keep her mother out of harm’s way, Quell reluctantly inducts into a debutante society of magical social elites called the Order that she never knew existed. If she can pass their three rites of membership, mastering their proper form of magic, she’ll be able to secretly bury her forbidden magic forever. If caught, she will be killed. But becoming the perfect debutante is a lot harder than Quell imagined, especially when there’s more than tutoring happening with Jordan, her brooding mentor and – assassin in training. When Quell uncovers the deadly lengths the Order will go to defend its wealth and power, she’s forced to choose: embrace the dark magic she’s been running from her entire life or risk losing everything, and everyone, she’s grown to love. Still, she fears the most formidable monster she’ll have to face is the one inside.

Just Because
By Matthew McConaughey
Illustrated by Renée Kurilla
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593622032 | Viking BFYR
The debut picture book by Academy Award-winning actor and #1 New York Times bestselling author Matthew McConaughey
Just because I’m in the race,
doesn’t mean I’m fully ready.
Just because I’m shaking,
doesn’t mean that I’m not steady.
Have you ever felt worried and excited at the same time? Have you ever had your feelings hurt but forgiven someone anyway? Have you ever thought there was more than one right answer to a question? That’s because contradictions are all around us. And they make us who we are. Filled with his trademark humor and wisdom, Academy Award–winning actor and #1 New York Times bestselling author Matthew McConaughey has crafted a soulful and irreverent collection of life lessons that empowers readers, big and small, to celebrate how we are all full of possibility. Why? Just because.

Rosie Frost and the Falcon Queen
By Geri Halliwell-Horner
464 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593623343 | Philomel Books
It’s time to find your power. Suddenly orphaned and alone, Rosie Frost is sent to the mysterious Bloodstone Island – home not only to a school for extraordinary teens, but also a sanctuary for endangered species. There, Rosie confronts a menacing deputy headmaster, a group of mean girls intent on destroying her, and shocking family secrets. She also discovers that history can come to life in ways she never could have imagined. When the island itself comes under threat, Rosie knows she must enter and win the Falcon Queen Games in a desperate bid to save it. But Rosie can’t do it alone. She finds that believing in herself – and her friends – is the first step to finding the power she never knew she had.

Something, Someday
By Amanda Gorman
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593203255 | Viking BFYR
The stunning new picture book by presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Christian Robinson.
You’re told that
This won’t work,
But how will you know
If you never try?
Presidential inaugural poet and #1 New York Times bestselling author Amanda Gorman and Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor winner Christian Robinson have created a timeless message of hope. Sometimes the world feels broken. And problems seem too big to fix. But somehow, we all have the power to make a difference. With a little faith, and maybe the help of a friend, together we can find beauty and create change. With intimate and inspiring text and powerfully stunning illustrations, Something, Someday reveals how even the smallest gesture can have a lasting impact.

The Davenports
By Krystal Marquis
384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593463338 | Dial Books
The Davenports are one of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in a changing United States, their fortune made through the entrepreneurship of William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who founded the Davenport Carriage Company years ago. Now it’s 1910, and the Davenports live surrounded by servants, crystal chandeliers, and endless parties, finding their way and finding love – even where they’re not supposed to. There is Olivia, the beautiful elder Davenport daughter, ready to do her duty by getting married . . . until she meets the charismatic civil rights leader Washington DeWight and sparks fly. The younger daughter, Helen, is more interested in fixing cars than falling in love – unless it’s with her sister’s suitor. Amy-Rose, the childhood friend turned maid to the Davenport sisters, dreams of opening her own business – and marrying the one man she could never be with, Olivia and Helen’s brother, John. But Olivia’s best friend, Ruby, also has her sights set on John Davenport, though she can’t seem to keep his interest . . . until family pressure has her scheming to win his heart, just as someone else wins hers.

The Last Kids on Earth and the Monster Dimension
By Max Brallier
Illustrated by Douglas Holgate
288 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593405253 | Viking BFYR
The highly-anticipated ninth book in the #1 New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling series, with over ten million copies in print! The last kids may have escaped the forbidden fortress by the skin of their teeth, but there isn’t much to celebrate. Thrull has what he needs to complete the Tower, Rezzoch will most certainly come to Earth, and the world as they know it will cease to exist. Except Jack’s Cosmic Hand is now even more powerful than he realized, and it might just be able to stop the inevitable from happening. To get the answers he seeks, he’ll need to travel farther than he’s ever been. He must go . . . to the monster dimension!

The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels
By Beth Lincoln
Illustrated by Claire Powell
352 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593533239 | Dutton BFYR
On the day they are born, every Swift child is brought before the sacred Family Dictionary. They are given a name, and a definition. A definition it is assumed they will grow up to match. Meet Shenanigan Swift: Little sister. Risk-taker. Mischief-maker. Shenanigan is getting ready for the big Swift Family Reunion and plotting her next great scheme: hunting for Grand-Uncle Vile’s long-lost treasure. She’s excited to finally meet her arriving relatives – until one of them gives Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude a deadly shove down the stairs. So what if everyone thinks she’ll never be more than a troublemaker, just because of her name? Shenanigan knows she can become whatever she wants, even a detective. And she’s determined to follow the twisty clues and catch the killer.

By Roald Dahl
Adapted by Sibéal Pounder
Created by Simon Farnaby and Paul King
304 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593528686 | Viking BFYR
Based on the major motion picture – an intoxicating mix of magic and music, mayhem and emotion, all told with fabulous heart and humor – Wonka introduces readers to a young Willy Wonka, chock-full of ideas and determined to change the world one delectable bite at a time . . . proving that the best things in life begin with a dream, and if you’re lucky enough to meet Willy Wonka, anything is possible.

Cover Reveal: Viewfinder

Tundra is very excited to be publishing Viewfinder on February 13, 2024! Illustrated by Christine D.U. Chung and Salwa Majoka, Viewfinder is a wordless graphic novel that follows a young space traveler who happens upon Earth in the future.

Scroll down for the full cover plus a Q&A with Christine D.U. Chung and Salwa Majoka!

Cover Art: Christine D.U. Chung and Salwa Majoka
Cover Design: John Martz and Gigi Lau

By Christine D.U. Chung and Salwa Majoka
144 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268753 | Tundra Books
Release Date: February 13, 2024
A young space traveler visits Earth on a whim and finds a planet empty of people. She happens upon a strange contraption that contains images of what the planet used to be like, and using this viewfinder, she sees Earth as it was, juxtaposed against Earth as it is: abandoned, but still full of amazing things.

Her adventure takes her to a museum full of hints about the planet’s past and the strange glowing mushrooms that grow everywhere, a library that has become home to a variety of zoo animals, and a beautiful but crumbling space station from which she makes a daring escape. As she wanders, though, she sees signs that perhaps there is still someone here. A time capsule, a friendly cat and a makeshift railcar all add to the mystery . . . is she really alone?

The lush and captivating art and subtle nod to stewardship in this wordless graphic novel will draw readers in and leave them with a renewed sense of wonder for the resilient and extraordinary place we call home.

Q&A with Christine D.U. Chung and Salwa Majoka

Where did the initial inspiration for Viewfinder come from?

Both: Having known each other since middle school and having had a shared love for art, we first started working together on some short, animated film projects in high school. When we entered post-secondary, though, we were excited to try out a new medium with a book as our next collaborative project! The central theme of Viewfinder was something we settled on surprisingly quickly. At the time, we had been seeing many photographs of real-life abandoned places with buildings overgrown with amazing greenery and vegetation on social media. While some locations felt desolate, others were beautiful and mysterious, prompting questions about their past histories and when humans once occupied them. This was the seed that inspired us for Viewfinder’s premise; a desire to show a comparison of past and present, with an emphasis on how living things can occupy a place at different times and in different ways. Building around this central idea about who would explore these abandoned places and how they came about helped us round out the rest of the story.

Why did you choose to do a wordless graphic novel?

Both: When we had decided we wanted to work on a book together, we knew almost immediately (and even before thinking of the story) that we wanted it to be wordless. We had both been such fans of The Arrival by Shaun Tan while we were growing up, with its timeless, gorgeous, and endlessly enchanting illustrations that narrated a powerful story of hope. We fell in love with the wordless format, in how quiet, yet whimsical it could be, and how there was always something new to find or notice even after multiple reads. Wordless pictures books/graphic novels have this quality of not only pulling audiences through the story with the sequential action of each panel, but by enticing readers to look closely at the details and let their eyes play across the page to form their own ideas. With Viewfinder, we wanted our locations to be the highlight of the book and the wordlessness sort of adds to the quiet beauty and vastness of them.

What do you hope readers take away from Viewfinder?

Salwa: I hope the reader can feel the same sense of wonder and curiosity that the little astronaut character feels as she’s exploring the beautiful and fascinating place that is planet Earth. In our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to forget that our world is abundant with marvels to admire and appreciate. Just take a look at the lovely colors of something as simple as a changing sky! We’re so lucky to call Earth our home, and I hope Viewfinder can be a reminder to not only take care of it but take the time to cherish all that it has to offer. After all, every home is special.

Christine: I hope Viewfinder nurtures a fascination with change and encourages a sense of agency to explore it; especially for the changes that may not seemingly be worth our curiosity. I’ve always hoped our book could be a timeless piece that would grow with its young readers and renew their sense of wonder with each revisit. The changes to our planet right now are scary and overwhelming; however, transformation itself is proof that nothing is in a fixed state. I have great optimism in that sense, and I would like for our readers to recognize hope there as well.

How many cover drafts did you have to do before this one was finalized?

Both: Coming up with the cover for Viewfinder was quite a challenge. The book features a lot of different locations, and we weren’t sure at first if we wanted to show any of them specifically on the cover or try to encompass the feeling of them through a different place entirely. We sent around 8 distinct cover ideas (not including additional variations of certain ones sometimes), but the amount of covers that we both brainstormed amongst ourselves before presenting them to the team goes far into the double digits!

How did you create the cover? What tools or programs do you use?

Both: We knew early on that we preferred the cover to have an element of “framing” around the title in some way, and we wanted to integrate some of the recurring aspects of our book, such as the bioluminescent mushrooms, optical toy, and animals, into all of our sketches. Our process involved us coming up with drawings individually first, chatting about them together, and then sharing the files with each other to tinker with. The sketches being digital meant it was easy to move and play around with the elements, so we often piggybacked off of each others’ initial ideas for further revisions and variations. When we both liked the outcomes of certain ones, we would then share them with our editor, Sam, to hear the team’s feedback. There was a lot of back and forth, brainstorming and revisiting to come up with the final, but we’re glad we got there in the end! The final cover was digitally drawn (by Christine) and painted (by Salwa) in Photoshop.

Do you have any advice for aspiring illustrators?

Salwa: Illustrators that are starting out or are early into their careers may grapple with worries about having a notable “personal style” attached to their work (I definitely have), which can make the permanency of a project like a book feel daunting. I’ve personally always felt the desire to continuously learn more and develop myself further, until I’m “ready” to work on something, but that “readiness” is rarely found. Even while midway through an illustration or a bigger project (like a book), you might wonder how it may have looked if you had approached it differently. There are infinite possibilities of what it could have looked like, but you can really only see one of those possibilities through at the end of the day. There truly isn’t a right or wrong way to do it, so let it be what it is! Your style may naturally change and develop with time according to your perception and inclinations, but the important part is how you communicate with images and the story you want to tell with them. That’s the “you-ness” that will shine through in your work.

Christine: My advice isn’t limited to illustrators; more so, it’s general advice for any aspiring artist. Pay extra attention to what draws you in. To me, is more than just looking at art of your preferred field (though it is very important to know the artists and their pieces that you admire because it helps you set a “benchmark”). It’s more about making note of the small and big things that fuel your curiosity, provide joy, or spark new ideas. I think as artists, inspiration cycles through us and meets us through execution. The more we are aware of what is fueling us, the more we can better understand the storytellers we are. Don’t be afraid to dive into your work and play! Experiment lots! Don’t take it so seriously. Take charge, enrich your one life, and let your art be its witness.

What books have you been reading lately?

Salwa: It was very refreshing for me to read lots of other children’s books after working on Viewfinder. I loved going back and reading some titles I had missed out on in the past such as Hot Dog by Doug Salati. The illustrations are full of so much energy and everything is communicated so aptly with such few words. It’s such a fun read! I also enjoyed Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe. It’s equal parts lovely, humorous, and charming all wrapped into one book.

Christine: I’m so happy to be making the time to read again. Right now, I’m enjoying this book called El Anatsui: Life and Art by Susan Vogel. Anatsui is a Ghanaian sculptor who works on huge installation pieces that appear like shiny drapery at first, but on closer inspection, are made of used bottle caps. Another book I’ve been enjoying is Stages of Rot by Linnea Sterte. It’s a beautiful graphic novel that is reminiscent of the late artist Moebius. The story is centered around a dying whale and highlights the life that grows from the aftermath. I find myself revisiting this comic a lot.