2020 BC Book Prize Winner

The BC and Yukon Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers. We would like to congratulate Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad whose beautiful book It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way won the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize!

It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
48 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918593 | Tundra Books
Growing up quiet and lonely at the beginning of the twentieth century, Gyo learned from her relatives the ways in which both women and Japanese people lacked opportunity. Her teachers and family believed in her and sent her to art school and later Japan, where her talent flourished. But while Gyo’s career grew and led her to work for Walt Disney Studios, World War II began, and with it, her family’s internment. But Gyo never stopped fighting — for herself, her vision, her family and her readers — and later wrote and illustrated the first children’s book to feature children of different races interacting together. This luminous new book beautifully and openly touches on Gyo’s difficult experiences and growth. Through Julie Morstad’s exquisite illustrations, alternating between striking black-and-white linework and lush colour, and Kyo Maclear’s artful and accessible writing, the story of this cherished figure is told at last.

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Ahoy me mateys! ‘Tis National Talk Like a Pirate Day and we have a treasure chest full of books that are perfect to share with all the wee pirates in yer life!

Ages 3-7

The Pirate’s Bed
By Nicola Winstanley
Illustrated by Matt James
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770496163 | Tundra Books
A pirate is sleeping snug in his bed, dreaming pirate dreams, when a great storm comes up at sea. The pirate sleeps on, but his bed is awake and scared of the thunder and the angry waves. Tossed this way and that, the ship finally crashes, sending the pirate to a tropical island and his bed off to sea.
At first, the bed is overjoyed. It’s free from smelly feet, snoring and scratchy wool. It floats in the now peaceful water, meeting friendly gulls and playful dolphins and basking in the sun. But soon the little bed begins to feel like something is missing…
This fanciful tale of a bed lost at sea will capture the hearts of little pirates everywhere and send them off to sleep with dreams of tropical birds, swooshing waves and chattering monkeys.

The Pirates Are Coming!
By James Condon
Illustrated by Matt Hunt
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212167 | Nosy Crow
A hilarious twist on The Boy Who Cried Wolf! When Tom rings his bell and shouts “PIRATES!” a few too many times — even though there’s no pirate ship — the villagers start to get tired of hiding. But what will happen when the pirates really do show up?
Tom has a very important job: every day he climbs to the top of the hill and watches for pirate ships. When he rings his bell and shouts “PIRATES!” a few too many times — even though there’s no pirate ship — the villagers start to get tired of hiding. But what will happen when the pirates really do show up?

Ages 8-12

Emily Windsnap and Pirate Prince
By Liz Kessler
Illustrated by Erin Farley
288 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536213126 | Candlewick
Traveling home by cruise ship should be a relaxing break after Emily’s latest adventure, but things take a turn when the ship is overtaken by a pirate king and his crew. After the pirates collect everyone’s riches, the pirate king’s eldest son steals something even more valuable: Aaron. So Emily dives into action and joins the younger son’s crew in hopes of saving her boyfriend. But Emily is surprised to find herself not only enjoying the pirate life, but actually bonding with the crew — especially Sam, the pirate king’s son. Between helping Sam unravel riddles to beat his brother to the legendary Trident’s Treasure and making sure that her friends are safe, Emily realizes that she needs to be true to herself. Will she cast aside her mermaid life to join her new friends, or will she find a way to follow her own path?

Peter Pan
By J. M. Barrie
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780147508652 | Puffin Books
One starry night, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland – the island where lost boys play, mermaids splash and fairies make mischief. But a villainous-looking gang of pirates lurk in the docks, led by the terrifying Captain James Hook. Magic and excitement are in the air, but if Captain Hook has his way, before long, someone will be walking the plank and swimming with the crocodiles…

Pirate Queen: The Legend of Grace O’Malley
By Tony Lee
Illustrated by Sam Hart
128 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781536200201 | Candlewick
A true daughter of the fearsome O’Malley clan, Grace spent her life wishing to join the fight to keep Henry VIII’s armies from invading her homeland of Ireland — only to be told again and again that the battlefield is no place for a woman. But after English conspirators brutally murder her husband, Grace can no longer stand idly by. Leading men into battle on the high seas, Grace O’Malley quickly gains a formidable reputation as the Pirate Queen of Ireland with her prowess as a sailor and skill with a sword. But her newfound notoriety puts the lives of Grace and her entire family in danger and eventually leads to a confrontation with the most powerful woman in England: Queen Elizabeth I. With a gripping narrative and vivid, action-packed illustrations, the fourth entry in Tony Lee and Sam Hart’s Heroes and Heroines series captures the intensity and passion of one of history’s fiercest female warriors.

Pirateology
By Captain William Lubber
Edited by Dugald A. Steer
32 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763631437 | Candlewick
Step lively, pirate foes and fanciers! Mysterious booty found inside a long-lost sea chest, hidden for hundreds of years off the coast of Newfoundland, has just been uncovered for your enjoyment. Within these covers is the fascinating eighteenth-century journal of Captain William Lubber, an earnest soul who sailed the seas in search of the vicious female pirate Arabella Drummond. Prepare for a mesmerizing tale of the golden age of piracy — from storm-tossed sailing ships to tantalizing treasure islands, from pirates’ flags and fashions to their wily weapons and wicked ways. An extraordinary find for pirateologists, here is a true and complete companion for the dedicated pirate hunter.

Race to the Bottom of the Sea
By Lindsay Eager
432 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780763698775 | Candlewick
When her parents, the great marine scientists Dr. and Dr. Quail, are killed in a tragic accident, eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is racked by grief — and guilt. It was a submarine of Fidelia’s invention that her parents were in when they died, and it was she who pressed them to stay out longer when the raging Undertow was looming. But Fidelia is forced out of her mourning when she’s kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate whose list of treasons stretches longer than a ribbon eel. Her task? Use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure, lost on the ocean floor. But as Fidelia and the pirates close in on the prize, with the navy hot on their heels, she realizes that Merrick doesn’t expect to live long enough to enjoy his loot. Could something other than black-hearted greed be driving him? Will Fidelia be able to master the perils of the ocean without her parents — and piece together the mystery of Merrick the Monstrous before it’s too late?

Sea Sirens
By Amy Chu
Illustrated by Janet K. Lee
144 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780451480163 | Viking BFYR
Trot, a Vietnamese American surfer girl, and Cap’n Bill, her cranky one-eyed cat, catch too big a wave and wipe out, sucked down into a magical underwater kingdom where an ancient deep-sea battle rages. The beautiful Sea Siren mermaids are under attack from the Serpent King and his slithery minions–and Trot and her feline become dangerously entangled in this war of tails and fins. This beautiful graphic novel was inspired by The Sea Fairies, L. Frank Baum’s “underwater Wizard of Oz.” It weaves Vietnamese mythology, fantastical ocean creatures, a deep-sea setting, quirky but sympathetic main characters, and fast-paced adventure into an imaginative, world-building story.

Seven Dead Pirates
By Linda Bailey
304 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9781770498167 | Tundra Books
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.

Treasure Island
By Robert Louis Stevenson
336 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780141321004 | Puffin Books
Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash of gold. Not to mention the most infamous pirate ever to sail the high seas . . . With a wonderfully funny introduction by award-winning author Eoin Colfer, Treasure Island is one of the twenty brilliant classic stories being reissued in Puffin Classics in March 2015.

Ages 12+

Seafire
By Natalie C. Parker
400 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451478825 | Razorbill
After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet. But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
By Maggie Tokuda-Hall
368 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536204315 | Candlewick
The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers.
Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.
Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy debut, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.

Window Wednesday

#WindowWednesday: We are incredibly fortunate to have stores create window features of our books. We want to highlight their amazing work here on our blog for you to see (and perhaps you’ll discover a new local bookstore).

Mosaic Books
411 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6N8

Monsters 101 window reveal 1
Cale Atkinson on standby for the window display reveal!

Monsters 101 window reveal 2
Look at all those monsters!

Monsters 101 window reveal 3
Puppy approved!

Monsters 101 window reveal 4
Visit Mosaic Books to pick up Cale Atkinson’s newest picture book: Monsters 101! Signed copies are available!

2020 Red Cedar Book Award

The Red Cedar is British Columbia’s Young Reader’s Choice book award. Every year, thousands of children between grades 4 and 7 from across the province are invited to read books from the nominated lists of non-fiction and fiction titles and vote for their favourite. We would like to congratulate Jonathan Auxier whose Sweep won this year’s award.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
By Jonathan Auxier
368 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264359 | Puffin Canada
Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived–and a girl. With her wits and will, she’s managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature–a golem–made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire.

Virtual Tour: If I Couldn’t Be Anne

You are cordially invited to attend the virtual book tour for If I Couldn’t Be Anne! This new picture book from Kallie George and Genevieve Godbout features Anne Shirley – the beloved heroine of L. M . Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables – as she imagines all the different things she could be if she wasn’t a girl. Kallie George will be virtually visiting a series of bookstores via Instagram Live this week to do story times and talks about her Anne-inspired books, please join us if you can!

If I Couldn’t Be Anne
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout
40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9781770499287 | Tundra Books

In this whimsical and magical picture book, Anne’s boundless imagination takes flight! She imagines being all the things she loves so dearly. If I Couldn’t Be Anne, Anne with an e, what would I be . . . Anne wonders what it would be like to be the wind dancing round the treetops. A tightrope walker, breathless and brave. A princess in a palace made of apple blossoms. A magical frost fairy or a plain little wood elf. . . . But even as Anne’s imagination soars far and wide, she comes back down to earth, recognizing that some things – like friendship! – are even better than the imagination.