The Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award recognizes non-fiction for children by choosing a book that captures the imagination and encourages readers to take a second look at the world around us. We would like to congratulate Linda Bailey and Júlia Sardà whose beautiful picture book Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein won this year’s award.
Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN 9781770495593 | Tundra Books
How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of sixteen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. Two years later, they travel to Switzerland where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to life. A year and a half later, Mary Shelley’s terrifying tale, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, is published – a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever and one of the most popular legends of all time.
Summer is coming to an end and it’s time to think about those new notebooks and take out the backpack again. Perhaps we can interest you in that new book smell? Here are four great titles to get back into the swing of things:
Alis the Aviator
By Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail
Illustrated by Kalpna Patel
ISBN 9781101919057 | Tundra Books
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
Come along on an aviation journey with Alis! This spunky female guide will take you through an ABC of planes featuring gorgeous cut-paper art. An A to Z of planes past and present, this book has stunning cut-paper art and a cute-as-a-button guide named Alis. Named for Dr. Alis Kennedy, likely one of the first Indigenous women to obtain a commercial pilot licence in Canada, Alis will take you on an aviation tour from the Avro Arrow to the Zeppelin and everything in between. Meticulously researched and uniquely crafted, this is a one-of-a-kind book that will delight aviation fans big and little.
Count on Me
By Miguel Tanco
ISBN 9780735265752 | Tundra Books
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
Everyone has a passion. For some, it’s music. For others, it’s art. For our heroine, it’s math. When she looks around the world, she sees math in all the beautiful things: the concentric circles a stone makes in a lake, the curve of a slide, the geometric shapes in the playground. Others don’t understand her passion, but she doesn’t mind. There are infinite ways to see the world. And through math is one of them. This book is a gorgeous ode to something vital but rarely celebrated. In the eyes of this little girl, math takes its place alongside painting, drawing and song as a way to ponder the beauty of the world.
Go Show the World A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes
By Wab Kinew
Illustrated by Joe Morse
ISBN 9780735262928 | Tundra Books
40 Pages | Ages 5-9| Hardcover
Celebrating the stories of Indigenous people throughout time, Wab Kinew has created a powerful rap song, the lyrics of which are the basis for the text in this beautiful picture book, illustrated by the acclaimed Joe Morse. Including figures such as Crazy Horse, Net-no-kwa, former NASA astronaut John Herrington and Canadian NHL goalie Carey Price, Go Show the World showcases a diverse group of Indigenous people in the US and Canada, both the more well known and the not- so-widely recognized. Individually, their stories, though briefly touched on, are inspiring; collectively, they empower the reader with this message: “We are people who matter, yes, it’s true; now let’s show the world what people who matter can do.”
Your First Day of Circus School
By Tara Lazar
Illustrated by Melissa Crowton
ISBN 9780735263710 | Tundra Books
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages! It’s the most amazing day on earth: the first day of school! It can be a daunting prospect, but don’t worry – your big brother can show you the ropes. Join a nervous boy and his enthusiastic older brother as they navigate the highs and lows of a first day at school . . . except this school is a big top, and the teacher is named Miss Stupendous, and the cafeteria can be a zoo, literally! It turns out, school isn’t so scary when you can let off steam during recess (on a steam train) and walk on stilts to all of your classes. With a bit of help from family and some new friends, you’ll make it to the top of the class in no time! This charming take on school readiness will delight new school-goers and take a bit of the fear out of those first-day jitters.
The Joan Betty Stuchner— Oy Vey! —Funniest Children’s Book Award was created in memory of a beloved children’s author and teacher. The biannual award honours Joan’s life-affirming humour and encourages other children’s writers to laugh it up on the page the way she did. We would like to congratulate Cary Fagan, Mort Ziff is Not Dead won this year’s award!
Pride month might be almost over but that doesn’t mean you have to stop celebrating! We’ve made a list of some of our recent titles featuring LGBTQ+ characters – check them out below and let us know which ones you’ve read!
The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 – each year, two awards are presented to recognize artistic excellence in writing and illustration in English-language Canadian children’s literature. The winners are selected by juries at dedicated schools. Tundra Books would like to congratulate Wab Kinew and Joe Morse! Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes was awarded this year’s Children’s Picture Book award.
This year’s school, Scarborough’s Eastview Public School, has a large Indigenous community, offering Ojibwa language instruction and other Indigenous programming.
What the students said: “This was my favourite book because it showed how to be positive and how to be a hero.”
“I loved the message of the book.”
“I liked that the first part of the book is a poem, and that the second part has information about the heroes’ lives.”
“The illustrations are beautiful. The artist made all the people in the story look like heroes!”
Joe Morse with the jurors of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award picture book category.