Alcuin Awards

We are honored to announce that the Alcuin Society has chosen two of our titles to receive their Awards for Excellence in Book Design. The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada is the only national competition for book design in the country. Congratulations to our illustrators and designers!

2nd place in the children’s category:
Book design by Julie Morstad and C.S. Richardson

Julia ChildJulia, Child
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 32 Pages
Trim Size: 8-5/8 x 11-1/4
ISBN: 978-1-77049-449-7

3rd place in prose fiction:
Book design by Kelly Hill

LMM_Page_2Anne of Green Gables
Written by L.M. Montgomery
Hardcover | 400 Pages
Trim Size: 5-5/16 x 7-7/8
ISBN: 978-1-77049-730-6

Fashion Friday: Edie and Andrew

Hi everyone!

Sam here, one last time.

It’s been a while since we did a Fashion Friday post, but since this is my last hurrah as a Tundra intern, I thought it would be fun to go out with a stylish bang.

One of the first books I saw when I started my internship in November was the fabulous Edie’s Ensembles by Ashley Spires. A true fashion animal, Edie’s outrageous outfits are fascinating, but I also liked her more casual style. Here are some of my favourite looks.

cover girl edie

This real-life dress isn’t as feathery as Edie’s, but the colour is gorgeous and I secretly want an elaborate hat (even though I don’t have anywhere to wear it!).

edie at school

Purple and yellow is my favourite colour combination and you can never go wrong with a good denim jacket, especially in the fall!

edie's new look

This is one of Edie’s ensembles right before she lets her creative side loose, and I think she looks adorable. I’m pretty sure I have a similar outfit in my own closet.

andrew after school

We can’t ignore Andrew, Edie’s best friend! He shares Edie’s love for fashion, but he has a sassy style that’s all his own.

Make sure you check out Ashley’s own website, Drawn Out Wardrobe, for even more fashion fun! And look out for a new picture book starring the adorable Andrew next spring!

Edie's EnsemblesEdie’s Ensembles
Written by Ashley Spires
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN: 978-1-77049-490-9
eBook: 978-1-77049-491-6
“A budding fashion maven learns the hard way what defines personal style. Taking the metaphor of a fashion animal rather literally, Spires here concocts the tale of zany rodent-like Edie and her bird best friend, Andrew…. The more attention Edie’s ensembles earn, the more driven she becomes to outdo herself, much to the detriment of her friendship with Andrew and—quite unbeknownst to Edie—her reputation…. A heartwarming tale of self-discovery and friendship.” – Kirkus Reviews

If you like Sherlock, you’ll love Ellie Marney’s Every Breath!

Hi everyone!

Sam the intern here. I took over the blog again so that I could talk to you about two of my current obsessions: BBC’s Sherlock and Ellie Marney’s Every series. Conveniently enough, they complement each other perfectly.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Sherlock, it’s a modern retelling of some of Holmes’ famous cases, set in contemporary London. It stars:

    • Benedict Cumberbatch as the famous detective;

    • Martin Freeman (aka Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit!) as the faithful Dr. John Watson;

    • Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s older brother;

    • Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson, the landlady;

    • and an excellent Andrew Scott as Sherlock’s arch-nemesis, Moriarty.

If you haven’t already watched it, I highly recommend you give it a chance.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a Sherlock Holmes-esque book, then look no further than Every Breath, the first book in Ellie Marney’s Every series.

Every BreathWhen James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft’s numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft’s passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn’t right–and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he’s busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion’s den–literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again…

I picked this book up shortly after finishing the last episode of Sherlock, in an effort to tide me over until the next season (in 2016!). I finished it in a day. I was so hooked, I barely moved during the last quarter.

Like Sherlock, Marney’s novel is fast-paced and wonderfully detailed. The main mystery surrounding Homeless Dave is neatly wrapped up with no loose ends or random plot points thrown in at the last second. But there’s still enough of a mystery surrounding Mycroft himself that makes you – liEvery Wordke Rachel – want to know more.

Also like Sherlock, the characters are so well rounded, you almost believe they’re real (I, for one, wish I knew Mycroft in real life). You get into their heads and slowly start to see what makes them tick and that journey is almost as fascinating as the mystery itself. Plus, the chemistry between Mycroft and Watts – aka”Wattscroft” – is palpable.

Trust me when I say their relationship gets even more explosive in the sequel, Every Word (out September 2015) and I can’t wait to find out what happens to them next! If you’re going to BEA this year, make sure you pick up an ARC – this is a series you don’t want to miss!

#Wattscroft forever!

Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards Shortlist

We are very excited to announce that two of our titles have been nominated for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards! Congratulations to Cybèle Young, Dan Bar-el and Tatjana Mai-Wyss!

Picture Book Category:

Nancy KnowsNancy Knows
Written by Cybèle Young
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-482-4
Nancy Knows is a great example of the power and charm of simple storytelling. Young’s prose is clear; each brief sentence is composed of carefully chosen words that inspire readers to take their time and savour the story (a fitting approach for a book about memory). But it is Young’s artwork that elevates the narrative to extraordinary heights…. Young once again works her magic, combining intricately detailed miniature paper sculptures (which represent memories) with soft, pencil-sketched outlines of Nancy and her surroundings. The effect is utterly mesmerizing.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

Middle Reader Category:

audreyAudrey (cow)
Written by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Hardcover | 240 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN: 978-1-77049-602-6
Animal Farm meets The Great Escape…. The back-and-forth among the characters is over the top … but Bar-el pulls it off with great charm. The result is purely delightful, as are Tatjana Mai-Wyss’s appropriately vintage-looking spot illustrations. The short first-person passages help move the story along, ending with a comedy-of-errors that culminates in Audrey happily living out her days at an animal sanctuary. Bar-el manages to gently and thoughtfully introduce kids to the concept of the abattoir while also underscoring that a farm’s very purpose is producing food. At its heart, Audrey (Cow) encourages kids to think even as it entertains – the mark of wonderful children’s literature.” – Starred Review, Quill and Quire

About the Award
The award, made possible by the Ruth Schwartz Foundation, is presented annually to the authors/illustrators of two outstanding works of Canadian children’s literature – a picture book and a young-adult/middle-reader title.

Ruth Schwartz was a respected Toronto bookseller who ran a bookstore in the Park Plaza Hotel. She made a special effort to promote Canadian-authored children’s books. In 1976, after Ruth Schwartz’s death, her sister, Sylvia, established an award in her name. In honour of the late Sylvia Schwartz, the family recently added her name to the award.

The award is administered jointly – the Ontario Arts Council oversees the jury process and publicizes the award and the Ontario Arts Foundation publicizes the award.

The winners are selected by two juries of young readers, which this year are students at Alexander Muir / Gladstone Avenue Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto and will be announced there on Friday, May 15, 2015.

CCBC Choices 2015

Congratulations to Charis Cotter and Kate De Goldi! The Swallow: A Ghost Story and The ACB with Honora Lee, are included in CCBC Choices 2015, the annual best-of-the-year list of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC).

The SwallowThe Swallow: A Ghost Story
Written by Charis Cotter
Hardcover | 320 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-591-3
“Spooky tension, friendship and compassion permeate this exquisitely plotted middle-grade ghost story. …the story structure weaves its way in and out—riveting and tumbling with tension but never obvious, leaving the readers wondering if anything is really as it seems. …readers will seesaw between chills and snorts of laughter. When Cotter delivers the final twist, it is a denouement that becomes a springboard for greater revelations that lead to even greater reader satisfaction. Middle-grade storytelling at its very best—extraordinary.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The ACB with Honora LeeThe ACB with Honora Lee
Written by Kate De Goldi
Illustrated by Gregory O’Brien
Hardcover | 128 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-722-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-723-8
“De Goldi’s story of an only child’s determined efforts to know and love her grandmother deserves a place in the pantheon of quiet, word-of-mouth classics . . . Perry is funny and bewitching, and all of the other characters, even the walk-ons, are equally engaging. O’Brien’s curious diagram-illustrations pay appropriate tribute to Perry’s admiration for the unconventional.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly