Tundra Top Ten: December 2021

Want to know what everyone else has been reading and loving lately? Every month we will share our list of top ten bestselling kids’ books that we publish into North America. Here are the Tundra and Puffin Canada titles for the month of December 2021 – how many have you read?

narwhal unincorn of the sea1. Narwhal and Jelly Series
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

By Ben Clanton
64 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918265 | Tundra Books
Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together. A wonderfully silly early graphic novel series featuring three stories. In the first, Jelly learns that Narwhal is a really good friend. Then Narwhal and Jelly form their own pod of awesomeness with their ocean friends. And finally, Narwhal and Jelly read the best book ever – even though it doesn’t have any words . . . or pictures!

The Barren Grounds2. The Barren Grounds
By David A. Robertson
256 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266100 | Puffin Canada
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home – until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything – including them.

The Barnabus Project3. The Barnabus Project
By The Fan Brothers
72 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263260 | Tundra Books
Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered “perfect” creatures, there is a secret lab. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars. But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects . . . and Barnabus doesn’t want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes. He just wants to be himself. So he decides it’s time for he and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom – and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are. This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends.

4. Time Is a Flower
By Julie Morstad
56 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267541 | Tundra Books
What is time? Is it the tick tick tock of a clock, numbers and words on a calendar? It’s that, but so much more. Time is a seed waiting to grow, a flower blooming, a sunbeam moving across a room. Time is slow like a spider spinning her web or fast like a wave at the beach. Time is a wiggly tooth, or waiting for the school bell to ring, or reading a story . . . or three! But time is also morning for some and night for others, a fading sunset and a memory captured in a photo taken long ago. In this magical meditation on the nature of time, Julie Morstad shines a joyful light on a difficult-to-grasp concept for young readers and reminds older readers to see the wonders of our world, including children themselves, through the lens of time.

5. The Darkest Dark
By Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion
Illustrated by The Fan Brothers
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918623 | Tundra Books
Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he’s a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem – at night, Chris doesn’t feel so brave. He’s afraid of the dark. But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is – and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company. Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield and brought to life by Terry and Eric Fan’s lush, evocative illustrations, The Darkest Dark will encourage readers to dream the impossible.

6. On the Trapline
By David A. Robertson
Illustrated by Julie Flett
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266681  | Tundra Books
A boy and Moshom, his grandpa, take a trip together to visit a place of great meaning to Moshom. A trapline is where people hunt and live off the land, and it was where Moshom grew up. As they embark on their northern journey, the child repeatedly asks his grandfather, “Is this your trapline?” Along the way, the boy finds himself imagining what life was like two generations ago – a life that appears to be both different from and similar to his life now. This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination, and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child’s wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning for his family.

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt7. The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt
By Riel Nason
Illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264472 | Tundra Books
Ghosts are supposed to be sheets, light as air and able to whirl and twirl and float and soar. But the little ghost who is a quilt can’t whirl or twirl at all, and when he flies, he gets very hot. He doesn’t know why he’s a quilt. His parents are both sheets, and so are all of his friends. (His great-grandmother was a lace curtain, but that doesn’t really help cheer him up.) He feels sad and left out when his friends are zooming around and he can’t keep up. But one Halloween, everything changes. The little ghost who was a quilt has an experience that no other ghost could have, an experience that only happens because he’s a quilt . . . and he realizes that it’s OK to be different.

8. Count On Me
By Miguel Tanco
ISBN 9780735265752 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
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.

9. If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Colin Jack
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495685 | Tundra Books
If you happen to have a dinosaur, lying around your living room, and you don’t know what to do with it . . . why don’t you use it as a can opener? It will make a terrific nutcracker too! There are oodles of uses for a dinosaur – from a fine umbrella to an excellent kite and a dandy pillow, not to mention a reliable burglar alarm and the perfect excuse to forget your homework. This delightfully absurd exploration of the domestic uses of dinosaurs – and the things dinos just aren’t good for at all – is guaranteed to tickle funny bones and spark imaginations. If you read carefully, you’ll learn how to make your dinosaur last a very long time.

10. Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems
By Carey Sookocheff
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770498730 | Tundra Books
What do you do when you’re missing a shoe? When you’re caught in the rain? Or when your ice cream melts? Solutions for Cold Feet is a sweet and gently humorous look at practical and creative answers for all the little daily problems in one young girl’s life, including her exuberant and pesky dog. Will her dog, who starts out as a problem, end up as solution?

Our Stars of 2021

At Tundra Book Group (Tundra Books, Puffin Canada, and Penguin Teen Canada), we think all our books are brilliant, and it’s nice when others think so too! Congratulations to our authors and illustrators; these are our starred books of 2021!

FIVE STARS:

Instructions for Dancing
By Nicola Yoon
384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735271234 | Penguin Teen Canada
“An endearing, affecting exploration of the journey of love. Everything Yoon touches turns to gold and this cinematic supernatural romance will be no exception.” – Starred Review, Booklist
“A remarkable, irresistible love story that will linger long after readers turn the final page.” – Starred Review, Kirkus
“Yoon delivers a story of love’s unpredictability and the importance of perspective that unfolds with ease and heart.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“A sweet, genuine love story sure to pull on the heartstrings.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal
“Yoon delivers this captivating story of first love with beautiful prose, clever dialogue that swings between laugh-out-loud funny and wildly insightful, clear respect for the complexity and nuance of her teen characters’ perspectives and emotions – and just enough magic to make it all truly unforgettable.” – Starred Review, BookPage

FOUR STARS:

In the Wild Light
By Jeff Zentner
384 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263055 | Penguin Teen Canada
“A brilliant treasure of a book that holds up a mirror to the best parts of our humanity.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Evocative and moving, highlighting Zentner’s impressive skill with both poetry and prose.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“A wise, gorgeous exploration of loss and survival that will make readers cry…Lyrical and heartbreaking.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal
“Heartfelt and deeply moving . . . a book that readers will unhesitatingly take to their hearts.” – Starred Review, Booklist

THREE STARS:

Little Witch Hazel
By Phoebe Wahl
96 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264892 | Tundra Books
“The writing is lush and lyrical, and the textured, earth-toned illustrations expertly capture Hazel’s world, both cozy and gloriously wild . . . More Mosswood, please.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“A thread of loving and nurturing emerges through this treasury of quiet adventures . . . and readers will find satisfaction in seeing the way [Little Witch Hazel’s] sturdy care succors her community and results in gentle reciprocation.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“The quiet but insistent rejection of conventional norms is both cheer worthy and effortlessly integrated, and the result is a story that can sit happily next to any classic fairy story as well as contemporary picture books directly addressing physical differences.” – Starred Review, Booklist

On the Trapline
By David A. Robertson
Illustrated by Julie Flett
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266681  | Tundra Books
“An outstanding contribution to the literature about family, intergenerational friendship, remembrance, community, Indigenous experience, and more.” – Starred Review, The Horn Book
“Robertson’s text is as spare as Flett’s artwork, leaving plenty of space for readers to feel the emotions evoked by both.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“A deeply affecting journey of memory and history.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Time Is a Flower
By Julie Morstad
56 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267541 | Tundra Books
“Thoughtful metaphors and diverse characters take viewers through the manifold dimensions of time. . . . This exuberant vehicle will expand the thinking of those just beginning to comprehend clocks and calendars.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“A conceptual meditation, winsome and enigmatic.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating way to think about the passage of time.” – Starred Review, Booklist

TWO STARS:

Bear Wants to Sing
By Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Dena Seiferling
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268036 | Tundra Books
“Sparkling whimsy . . . a delicate story full of humor and friendship.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“This tender tale of creativity, manners, and nurturing friendship by the creators of King Mouse has all the makings of a contemporary classic.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Blankie
By Ben Clanton
22 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780735266780 | Tundra Books
“A delightful celebration of friendship and fancy.” –  Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“From Clanton’s early graphic novel series, hilarious best-friend duo Narwhal and Jelly happily talk about their favorite things and dart about in their simple, signature colors across the pages.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

Both Sides Now
By Peyton Thomas
300 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269750 | Penguin Teen Canada
“Emotionally charged and politically relevant, this is a must-read.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Thomas’ debut is achingly vulnerable . . . There’s no debate: Both Sides Now is a compelling, heartfelt must-read.” – Starred Review, Booklist

Ten Little Dumplings
By Larissa Fan
Illustrated by Cindy Wume
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266193 | Tundra Books
“Stepping out of the shadows: a gentle, persuasive #ownvoices take on a hitherto-untold perspective.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“A sincere and beautiful story for all ages, and one that can gently introduce a serious discussion topic of rank and gender for older readers.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

The Great Godden
By Meg Rosoff
256 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735268319 | Penguin Teen Canada
“One wants to read the book several times to tease out how Rosoff achieves her effects. The effort is a joy, just like this unforgettable novel, the first of a planned, summer-themed trio.” – Starred Review, Booklist
“There’s enough tension here that readers may hope for a ramp-up into full thriller, but the story moves toward a different kind of satisfying conclusion, with victory lying in an unpredictable tennis match and the ability to preserve the possibilities of future summers.” – Starred Review, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

What Does Little Crocodile Say?
By Eva Montanari
40 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268135 | Tundra Books
“This endearing take on a common preschool scenario will make an appealing read-aloud at home or school.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Montanari’s economic, softly textured pencil crayon drawings and intimate, inventive vignette framings provide plenty to linger over, and deliver the gentle persuasion that reluctant, or sensorially sensitive, preschoolers need.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

ONE STAR:

Anonymouse
By Vikki VanSickle
Illustrated by Anna Pirolli
40  Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263949 | Tundra Books
“Slyly subversive, Anonymouse offers a shrewd commentary on the challenges and hazards facing nature in the city.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

Bubbles
By Ben Clanton
22 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780735266766 | Tundra Books
“From Clanton’s early graphic novel series, hilarious best-friend duo Narwhal and Jelly happily talk about their favorite things and dart about in their simple, signature colors across the pages.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

Butterflies Are Pretty . . . Gross!
By Rosemary Mosco
Illustrated by Jacob Souva
36 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265929 | Tundra Books
“A proboscis-in-cheek introduction to butterflies that will appeal to reluctant readers and bug enthusiasts alike.” –  Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Children of the Fox: Thieves of Shadow #1
By Kevin Sands
416 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735270411 | Puffin Canada
“The protagonists’ natural chemistry as they learn to collaborate and trust one another helps to ground the epic story, especially once it leans more heavily into fantasy elements, while Callan’s narrative voice adds just the right amount of self-aware humor.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem
By Lauren Soloy
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266087 | Tundra Books
“An excellent introduction to the natural sciences, Darwin, fairies, and inquiry, sure to inspire and fascinate young readers and listeners.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

I Do Not Like Yolanda
By Zoey Abbott
44  Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266513 | Tundra Books
“[F]ull of little wonders that hold the reader’s attention from page to page.A book that will inspire readers to find their own pen pals, a good book, and a new friend.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

Out Into the Big Wide Lake
By Paul Harbridge
Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265592 | Tundra Books
“A heartening Canadian picture book with an emotionally resonant ending.” –  Starred Review, Booklist

Peter Lee’s Notes From the Field
By Angela Ahn
Illustrated by Julie Kwon
312 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268241 | Tundra Books
“[A] winsome . . . and fetching middle-grade novel. Peter Lee’s Notes from the Field is a winner.” – Starred Review, Shelf Awareness

Super Detectives: Simon and Chester #1
By Cale Atkinson
64 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267428 | Tundra Books
“This story is a winner for new readers and aspiring gumshoes alike. Readers will look forward to seeing more of this entertaining detective duo in the future. It’s no mystery – all clues point to fun!” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The Great Bear: The Misewa Saga #2
By David A. Robertson
288 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266131 | Puffin Canada
“Robertson’s nods at the complexity of time-travel plots serve as wry metafictive commentary and also tie into his consideration of profound existential questions.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The Secret Fawn
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Elly MacKay
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265165 | Tundra Books
“Sweet and pretty for bedtime or naptime – and validating to little ones all the time.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Tiny Reindeer
By Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735271180 | Tundra Books
“Tiny Reindeer is a wonderful addition to the Christmas picture book canon that reminds us of the special gifts we all have to offer, no matter how tiny we might be.” – Starred Review, BookPage

Walking in Two Worlds
By Wab Kinew
296 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269002 | Penguin Teen Canada
“Kinew’s first novel for teens stands out in the field of speculative fiction with its respectful, celebratory, and nuanced exploration of cultures and communities all too often at risk of erasure (particularly Indigenous communities).” – Starred Review, Booklist

Kwanzaa Reading List

Kwanzaa is an annual week-long holiday that is observed from December 26 to January 1 and is celebrated by Black families around the world. Here are a couple of books to teach you a bit more about this special occasion.

Happy Kwanzaa Mad Libs
By David Tierra
48 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593094013 | Mad Libs
Time to light the PLURAL NOUN and celebrate Kwanzaa with your family, closest friends, and Mad Libs. It’s the holiday season and Mad Libs is joining in the celebrations with Happy Kwanzaa Mad Libs. These 21 inspiring stories will have the whole family laughing and enjoying the holiday together for years to come!

Together for Kwanzaa
By Juwanda G. Ford and Shelly Hehenberger
24 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Paperback
ISBN 9780375803291 | Random House BFYR
Kwanzaa is Kayla’s favorite time of year. But this year, it looks as if a heavy snowstorm will keep her big brother, Khari, from getting home in time for the festivities! Will Khari miss the celebration completely? Or will Kayla and her brother somehow find a way to be together for Kwanzaa? A perfect introduction to Kwanzaa, this book will teach children all about the traditions and practices that make it a special winter holiday.

Tundra Top Ten: November 2021

Want to know what everyone else has been reading and loving lately? Every month we will share our list of top ten bestselling kids’ books that we publish into North America. Here are the Tundra and Puffin Canada titles for the month of November 2021 – how many have you read?

narwhal unincorn of the sea1. Narwhal and Jelly Series
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

By Ben Clanton
64 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918265 | Tundra Books
Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together. A wonderfully silly early graphic novel series featuring three stories. In the first, Jelly learns that Narwhal is a really good friend. Then Narwhal and Jelly form their own pod of awesomeness with their ocean friends. And finally, Narwhal and Jelly read the best book ever – even though it doesn’t have any words . . . or pictures!

The Barren Grounds2. The Barren Grounds
By David A. Robertson
256 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266100 | Puffin Canada
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home – until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything – including them.

3. If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Colin Jack
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495685 | Tundra Books
If you happen to have a dinosaur, lying around your living room, and you don’t know what to do with it . . . why don’t you use it as a can opener? It will make a terrific nutcracker too! There are oodles of uses for a dinosaur – from a fine umbrella to an excellent kite and a dandy pillow, not to mention a reliable burglar alarm and the perfect excuse to forget your homework. This delightfully absurd exploration of the domestic uses of dinosaurs – and the things dinos just aren’t good for at all – is guaranteed to tickle funny bones and spark imaginations. If you read carefully, you’ll learn how to make your dinosaur last a very long time.

4. When Santa Was a Baby
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495562 | Tundra Books
Santa’s parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby’s gurgle, loves to stand in front of the refrigerator, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbox sleigh . . . and has an unusual interest in chimneys. The adorably funny portrait of an oddball kid who fulfills his destiny – and two very proud parents.

5. The Great Bear: The Misewa Saga #2
By David A. Robertson
288 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266131 | Puffin Canada
Back at home after their first adventure in the Barren Grounds, Eli and Morgan each struggle with personal issues: Eli is being bullied at school, and tries to hide it from Morgan, while Morgan has to make an important decision about her birth mother. They turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and make the journey to Misewa to visit their animal friends. This time they travel back in time and meet a young fisher that might just be their lost friend. But they discover that the village is once again in peril, and they must dig deep within themselves to find the strength to protect their beloved friends. Can they carry this strength back home to face their own challenges?

6. Merry Christmas, Anne
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267183 | Tundra Books
It’s Christmas in Avonlea, and Anne is thankful for so many things: feathery frosts and silvery seas, and wreaths as round as the moon. But most of all, she’s thankful for her kindred spirits, including Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, who adopted her, and her bosom friend Diana. But Anne is distracted this holiday by having to recite at the upcoming Christmas concert. And she feels bad that her kindred spirits give her so much during the year when she has very little to give in return. Can Anne overcome her jitters and make her kindred spirits proud – and also think of a way to show her appreciation for the people she loves? With magical illustrations and a heartfelt message, this festive picture book is the perfect holiday read for Anne fans old and new and a joyous way to celebrate the season.

The Barnabus Project7. The Barnabus Project
By The Fan Brothers
72 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263260 | Tundra Books
Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered “perfect” creatures, there is a secret lab. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars. But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects . . . and Barnabus doesn’t want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes. He just wants to be himself. So he decides it’s time for he and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom – and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are. This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends.

8. Alice Fleck’s Recipes for Disaster
By Rachelle Delaney
256 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269279 | Puffin Canada
Alice Fleck’s father is a culinary historian, and for as long as she can remember, she’s been helping him recreate meals from the past – a hobby she prefers to keep secret from kids her age. But when her father’s new girlfriend enters them into a cooking competition at a Victorian festival, Alice finds herself and her hobby thrust into the spotlight. And that’s just the first of many surprises awaiting her. On arriving at the festival, Alice learns that she and her father are actually contestants on Culinary Combat, a new reality TV show hosted by Tom Truffleman, the most famous and fierce judge on TV! And to make matters worse, she begins to suspect that someone is at work behind the scenes, sabotaging the competition. It’s up to Alice, with the help of a few new friends, to find the saboteur before the entire competition is ruined, all the while tackling some of the hardest cooking challenges of her life . . . for the whole world to see.

9. Peter Lee’s Notes From the Field
By Angela Ahn
Illustrated by Julie Kwon
312 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268241 | Tundra Books
Eleven year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. Okay, maybe two: to get his genius kid-sister, L.B., to leave him alone. But his summer falls apart when his real-life dinosaur expedition turns out to be a bust, and he watches his dreams go up in a cloud of asthma-inducing dust. Even worse, his grandmother, Hammy, is sick, and no one will talk to Peter or L.B. about it. Perhaps his days as a scientist aren’t quite behind him yet. Armed with notebooks and pens, Peter puts his observation and experimental skills to the test to see what he can do for Hammy. If only he can get his sister to be quiet for once – he needs time to sketch out a plan.

10. Time Is a Flower
By Julie Morstad
56 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267541 | Tundra Books
What is time? Is it the tick tick tock of a clock, numbers and words on a calendar? It’s that, but so much more. Time is a seed waiting to grow, a flower blooming, a sunbeam moving across a room. Time is slow like a spider spinning her web or fast like a wave at the beach. Time is a wiggly tooth, or waiting for the school bell to ring, or reading a story . . . or three! But time is also morning for some and night for others, a fading sunset and a memory captured in a photo taken long ago. In this magical meditation on the nature of time, Julie Morstad shines a joyful light on a difficult-to-grasp concept for young readers and reminds older readers to see the wonders of our world, including children themselves, through the lens of time.

Holiday Spotlight: DK 2021

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 spotlights DK.

An Anthology of Intriguing Animals
By DK
224 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781465477026 | DK Children
This animal book for children will delight and inspire kids who love animals. They will discover incredible facts and fascinating stories about their favorite animals and some they have never heard of! Find out why the slow-motion sloth is so sluggish and how the plodding pangolin protects itself from predators, and more! Throughout the book, each specially chosen animal is revealed in stunning photos and gorgeous illustrations. Kids will be intrigued by all the small, exciting details. The animal factbook also explores some of the stories and mysterious myths surrounding their favorite beasts. Curious kids can pour over the index, which is packed with reference information, including the size and location of each species, and a tree of life shows how the animal groups are connected. Find the animals that interest you and uncover new favorite along the way.

Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Life
By Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan
224 Pages | Ages 7+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780744039436 | DK Children
The perfect storybook for children to explore prehistory! Fascinating descriptions in this dinosaur book cover myths and legends about these animals, and surprising facts about the natural history of prehistoric life. Find out why Pachycephalosaurus had such a thick head, how a coral fossil can be used to work out how long a prehistoric year was, and which fossil was thought to protect people from poison! This beautifully illustrated prehistoric book unfolds the history of earth and answers questions kids commonly ask like, “What happened to dinosaurs?” Organized into the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras, and packed with fascinating details, children will return to these colorful pages time and time again.

LEGO City Build Your Own Adventure: Catch the Crooks
By Tori Kosara
80 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Book & Toy
ISBN 9781465493286 | DK Children
Get ready for an exciting LEGO® City adventure! Discover building tips and ideas to inspire your own LEGO® models. Follow the instructions inside to build an exclusive model – a police patrol car – with the bricks in this book. Then grab your own LEGO bricks and the minifigure that comes with this book to help the LEGO City Police track down a missing jewel – and the crooks! 

LEGO Jurassic World Build Your Own Adventure
By Julia March and Selina Wood
80 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Book & Toy
ISBN 9781465493279 | DK Children
Build yourself an exciting dinosaur adventure with more than 50 ideas to inspire your own LEGO® Jurassic World™ models. LEGO® Jurassic World™: Build your Own Adventure combines an action-packed, thrilling story inspired by the Jurassic World movies and LEGO Jurassic World animations, with more than 50 fun ideas for building. Once you have built new creations, play out exciting adventures of your own using your personal LEGO collection. This book comes with a minifigure and the bricks to build an awesome exclusive vehicle that features in the story.

LEGO NINJAGO Build Your Own Adventure: Greatest Ninja Battles
By DK
80 Pages | Ages 6-8 | Book & Toy
ISBN 9781465473356 | DK Children
All the bricks you need to make an exclusive LEGO® NINJAGO® Hover-Bike, plus a book filled with more than 50 ideas to inspire your own LEGO NINJAGO models. Also contains a Master of Water Nya minifigure, two bookmarks and a fun poster. The perfect gift for LEGO NINJAGO fans, LEGO NINJAGO Build Your Own Adventure features adventures involving all your favourite Ninja. Each adventure is illustrated with exciting models, designed to inspire you to pick up your bricks and build your own! Avoid the Anacondrai’s jungle traps with Lloyd and Zane. Escape a spooky ghost town with Cole. Join Jay as he stows away on the Sky Pirate ship. Help Kai destroy a dangerous Vermillion snake egg.

My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things
By DK
224 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9781465449689 | DK Children
The world is so much bigger than young minds can fathom and there is always more to learn. My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things is a mind-boggling collection of everything interesting to get you on your way to knowing it all. Full of fun facts for kids, colorful illustrations, and games that will feed your imagination. This kids encyclopedia is filled with age appropriate knowledge on a range of topics that is complementary to your school’s Curriculum. Explore our world and its place in the galaxy – from animals and people, to planets and very importantly about yourself! Go on a journey to discover a world of information. Learn about just how many animals are there and how they live and communicate. Find out about our history – cavemen, the first explorers, ancient Egyptians and even dinosaurs. There’s so much crammed into one place and it’s all put into colorful and engaging ways suitable for young inquisitive minds.

Nature’s Treasures
By Ben Hoare
192 Pages | Ages 7+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780744034950 | DK Children
A lump of coal, a cacao pod, a mermaid’s purse, a fossil, a pine cone, an owl pellet and a chrysalis – all tell a story. Learn how bristly mouths help huge whales capture tiny animals, marvel at rocks and minerals forged through time, and discover how studying a leaf skeleton can tell us how it transports food.  Nature’s Treasures takes you on a tour of our planet through incredible objects made by nature itself. Objects are shown with truly stunning photography and colorful illustrations to help explain the science behind them. The lively descriptions explore the remarkable tales of each item, and all are packed with fascinating information. It’s the perfect first book about nature for inquisitive children ages 7 and up who love to spot things when exploring outside and want to know more about nature.

Picturepedia, Second Edition
By DK
360 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781465438287 | DK Children
From incredible insects and musical instruments to spacecraft and prehistoric life, and from art and earthquakes to American football and dogs, Picturepedia gives you a world of information on every page. Did you know that more than half of the human body’s weight is water and that a koi carp can live for more than 200 years? Or how about there being more than 20,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, or that Turkey eats the most bread, with each person getting through 104.6 kg (230.5 lb) of it per year? First published in 2015, Picturepedia has been revamped into a more thrilling edition that will take you on a visual odyssey. This brilliant book is crammed with stunning photographs, gripping information, and explanatory diagrams that allow for fascinating discoveries.

Pokémon Visual Companion Third Edition
By DK
304 Pages | Ages 7-11 | Paperback
ISBN 9780744021974 | DK Children
Learn all about your favorite Pokémon in this fact-packed guide to the animated series. Discover every region from Kanto to Alola, including the people and Pokémon who live there. If you want to be the very best, then you need to know Ash, Pikachu, and all the rest! Inside this go-to companion to Pokemon the Animated series you’ll find content from over the past 20 years, covering everything from video games, to mobile apps, the Pokemon Trading Card game, movies, tv shows, and much much more! Trace Ash’s journey and get to know his friends and travel companions, discover the secrets behind some of your favorite gym battles, plus see epic battles and meet Legendary and Mythical Pokémon along the way. Start the journey towards being a Pokemon master today!

Tabbed Board Books: My First Trucks and Diggers
By DK
28 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9781465416735 | DK Children
For little ones who enjoy big noisy vehicles like tankers and fire engines or construction vehicles like excavators and dump trucks. Help expand your toddler’s vocabulary with this attractive tabbed board book. Packed with bright, colorful photos of real-life vehicles, your toddlers will learn to identify different types of trucks and diggers, and the things that come with them! Learning different names and terms is an exciting stimulation for early childhood language development. This fun book includes everything from building sites and emergency vehicles to a school bus! Each page is dedicated to a different type vehicle, such as tractors and rollers. Easy-to-read labels help kids to sound out the words with you. Each page also shows objects associated with the truck, like the fire hose and the ladder engine. The interactive book encourages kids to count the firefighters in the picture, name the colors and match jobs with each vehicle.

The Animal Book
By David Burnie
304 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781465414571 | DK Children
This inspiring children’s reference guide welcomes you to the animal kingdom where you can meet more than 1,500 species, ranging from ants to zebras and everything in between. Stunning pictures bring you face to face with giant predators you know and love, including polar bears and tigers, as well as mysterious microscopic life, including amoebas and bacteria. A variety of animal habitats are shown in beautiful detail, while accessible information, additional fact boxes, and amazing galleries complete the stories. A jaw-dropping spectrum of animal types – from fish and birds to reptiles and mammals – provides a learning experience like no other.  Whether you’re a budding naturalist or simply want to complete a school project, The Animal Book has got it covered!

The Dinosaur Book
By John Woodward
208 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781465474766 | DK Children
Engage in amazing interesting facts about dinosaurs – the most awe-inspiring creatures to have ever lived. The Dinosaur Book brings you face-to-face with incredible creatures in fully colored images and realistic digital reconstructions. The largest footprints in history aren’t just a footnote. Believed to have lived millions of years ago, this book contains everything prehistoric from dinosaurs and flying pterosaurs, to marine reptiles and early mammals, even prehistoric plants, some of which still live today. Find out about great herbivores and ferocious predators such as the Tyrannosaurus, Hadrosaur, Quetzalcoatlus, and Stegosaurus. Learn about fun facts and recent discoveries like the amazing uncovering of a 110 million-year-old dinosaur named Nodosaur. Go on the journey of history’s longest-lived periods of life on the planet. Find out how amazing fossilized remains inform us about how they lived and how new feathered dinosaurs were discovered. The Dinosaur Book is filled with fun educational facts that will answer your young dino-lovers curiosity and take a detailed approach in explaining the “what, why and how’s.”

The Mysteries of the Universe
By Will Gater
224 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781465499332 | DK Children
From planets and asteroids to black holes and galaxies, every page of this captivating book reveals the secrets behind more than 100 celestial objects. Get ready to explore fun facts and exciting new scientific discoveries! For centuries, the mysteries of space have captured our imaginations. This picture book will illuminate imaginations and spark curious minds to explore the vastness of space. Take your little astronaut on a journey from our planet out into the furthest reaches of the universe! Filled with gorgeous illustrations and incredible photography, young readers will be intrigued by the detailed close-up images of each celestial body. The engaging storybook-style descriptions and simple text shed a light on facts, myths, and key discoveries about the universe. Explore the wonders of our solar system and beyond. This educational book also includes reference pages packed with fascinating information.

The Secret Explorers and the Rainforest Rangers
By SJ King
128 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9780744021363 | DK Children
In this fact-stuffed children’s science book, we follow rainforest expert Ollie on an exciting mission to rescue a lost baby orangutan in the steamy rainforest of Borneo. Accompanied by engineering expert Kiki, they set out in a glider to search for the friendly ape. Along the way, they encounter greedy plantation owners who are plotting to destroy the forest to expand a palm oil plantation! They also learn about the threat that endangered animals and plants face due to deforestation. Kids will love turning the pages to find out if the Secret Explorers manage to succeed in their mission! It’s the perfect gift for children aged 7-9 who love all things rainforest. Packed with lots of information on animal and plant life, this epic adventure book gives them a thrilling introduction to nature. 

The Wonders of Nature
By Ben Hoare
224 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781465485366 | DK Children
From opals to orchids and tapirs to toadstools, this beautiful collection brings more than 100 incredible items from the natural world to life. Perfect for all the nature-loving readers on the planet we call home. Every page of this reference book reveals fascinating animals, plants, rocks, minerals and microorganisms that will wow children and adults alike. Fantastic photography and illustrations showcase the wonders of planet Earth beautifully. Children will love exploring the detailed close-up images of different plants, animals and rocks. Curious kids can pour over the reference pages packed with new information. Find out how the dragon blood tree got its name, why a sundew means big trouble for insects and what on Earth a radiolarian is. From orchids to opals and lichens to lizards, this beautiful book lets you find the things that interest you and uncover new favorites along the way.