Holiday Spotlight: Tundra Picture Books 2023

Here at Penguin Random House Canada, we’re lucky to work with so many different imprints and children’s book 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 picture books from Tundra Books, our very own Canadian publisher!

Dim Sum Palace
By X. Fang
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781774881989 | Tundra Books
Liddy is so excited about going to the Dim Sum Palace tomorrow with her family that she can’t sleep. So when a delicious smell wafts into her room, she hops out of bed, opens her door and steps into . . . an actual palace of dim sum! There are dumplings, baos, buns and more delicious treats than one girl can possibly eat. Liddy just has to take a bite, but she slips and falls . . . into a bowl of dumpling filling. The chefs are so busy rolling, folding and pinching dough that they don’t notice they’ve prepared a most unusual dumpling for the Empress – a Liddy dumpling! Worst of all, she looks good enough to eat . . .

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree
By Vikki VanSickle
Illustrated by Miki Sato
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268586 | Tundra Books
A little girl shares the steps for the perfect tree trimming – a holiday picture book for fans of Pick a Pine Tree and The Little Christmas Tree. In this charming Christmas tale, readers will follow along with the main character as she shares all the things that go into decorating a tree:
Lights
Ornaments
Popcorn
Hot chocolate
Taffy the cat
Memories
And, most importantly, family!
With stunning three-dimensional art by Miki Sato and a delightful story by wordsmith Vikki VanSickle, including a twist ending, this book will quickly become a Christmas tree decorating tradition of its own.

Ploof
By Ben Clanton and Andy Chou Musser
56 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781774881927 | Tundra Books
Ploof is a puffy cloud who’s a little lonely – but now you’re here, and the fun can begin! Can you help Ploof overcome their shyness? Play pretend? Make Ploof laugh with your funny faces, find their hiding spot, give them a high five! Full of imaginative and interactive fun, each page of this perfect book for preschoolers offers a chance to play. By following cues to say hello, clap, blow, shake, wave or make a funny face, young readers will be delighted to see the effects of their actions on Ploof. They’ll learn social-emotional skills like empathy, encouragement and kindness through Ploof’s emotional journey – and, along the way, they’ll learn how to be a fantastic friend! Join Ploof’s adventures in a brand-new series co-written and co-illustrated by Narwhal and Jelly creator Ben Clanton and up-and-coming picture book maker Andy Chou Musser.

Mama’s Sleeping Scarf
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writing as Nwa Grace-James
Illustrated by Joelle Avelino
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781774882696 | Puffin Canada
Chino loves the scarf that her mama ties around her hair at night. But when Mama leaves for the day, what happens to her scarf? Chino takes it on endless adventures! Peeking through the colorful haze of the silky scarf, Chino and her toy bunny can look at her whole family as they go through their routines. With stunning illustrations from Joelle Avelino, Mama’s Sleeping Scarf is a celebration of family, and a touching story about the everyday objects that remind us of the ones we love.

The Hidden World of Gnomes
By Lauren Soloy
96 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735271043 | Tundra Books
This book is an introduction to the hidden folk called gnomes, who live in a happy place they call The Pocket. Where is The Pocket, you ask? Well, it’s all around you, all the time. Gnomes are curious little creatures, and they’re very shy. But after reading this book, you will learn to spot the telltale signs that gnomes are around . . . and maybe even meet one! Lauren Soloy has been studying gnomes her whole life, and she has created this book to share her knowledge with you. For example, what jobs do gnomes do? Babysitting robin’s eggs, squirrel-tail fluffing, storytelling. Where do they live? In gardens, forests and any place with plants, birds and bugs. What are their names? Hotchi-Mossy, Able Potter, Cob Tiggy and Puckle Swift, to name a few. With charming details and surprising facts, this celebration of all things gnome will enchant readers of all ages.

The Little Books of the Little Brontës
By Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Briony May Smith
40 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263697 | Tundra Books
Many years ago, the four motherless children of the Brontë family – Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne – lived in a windswept house by the moors with their father. Although their lives were often filled with sadness and their world was only as large as the distance they could walk, their INNER worlds were bound only by their imaginations. Hungry for stories, these children devoured novels and poetry, history and fables. And with the gift of a group of toy soldiers, they were inspired to make their own stories, and their own tiny books . . . a passion that would last them a lifetime. A moving and atmospheric story about the power of imagination, the joy of storytelling and the love of books, The Little Books of the Little Brontës will enchant both those who love these literary sisters and those who are learning about them for the first time. Includes an author’s note, timeline of the Brontës’ lives and a fun craft with instructions on creating your own little book.

The Only Way to Make Bread
By Cristina Quintero
Illustrated by Sarah Gonzales
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735271760 | Tundra Books
A delicious exploration of all kinds of breads, from sourdough to bannock to bao, that will tickle your taste buds and warm your heart.
What’s the only way to make bread?
You might use white flour in your bread, or whole wheat flour or corn flour.
You might use water or milk, maybe an egg or two.
You’ll use a handful of this, a dash of that, a bit of this and a splash of that.
Some dough will rise, some dough will bubble. Sometimes it will be sticky, sometimes it will be shaggy.  
What’s the only way to make bread?
Your way!
This tasty celebration of all kinds of bread will tempt bread lovers big and small. No matter what kind of bread YOU like to make, this book is for you!

The Song That Called Them Home
By David A. Robertson
Illustrated by Maya McKibbin
52 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266704 | Tundra Books
One summer day, Lauren and her little brother, James, go on a trip to the land with their Moshom (grandfather). After they’ve arrived, the children decide to fish for dinner while Moshom naps. They are in their canoe in the middle of the lake when the water around them begins to swirl and crash. They are thrown overboard and when Lauren surfaces she sees her brother being pulled away by the Memekwesewak – creatures who live in and around water and like to interfere with humans. Lauren must follow the Memekwesewak through a portal and along a watery path to find and bring back James. But when she finally comes upon her brother, she too feels the lure of the Memekwesewak’s song. Something even stronger must pull them back home.  

The Three Little Mittens
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Natalia Shaloshvili
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781774880111 | Tundra Books
Dotty and Other Dotty are a matching set of mittens. When another mitten, Stripes, loses her partner and becomes a single mitten, they don’t feel the need to include her. She doesn’t “match” them, so she is banished to the dark, lonely pocket of the Little Girl who owns them. Before long, however, Dotty loses her partner, and now she doesn’t match the reunited pair of Stripes and Other Stripes, who in turn banish her to the pocket. “YOU don’t match!” they tell her. When the Little Girl, who has been listening to their conversations, weighs in with a huge question (“Why do you have to match?”), the mittens are shocked. Then comes their realization that “matching” often means leaving someone out. This prompts the Little Girl to break a fundamental rule of fashion so that individual mittens (and maybe even socks! or shoes!) can be themselves – and everyone can belong. A warm and fuzzy story with lots of laughs, this latest picture book from Linda Bailey explores what it feels like to be excluded and included and celebrates one-of-a-kindness!

The Tragically Hip ABC
By The Tragically Hip
With Drew Macklin
Illustrated by Clayton Hanmer, Julia Breckenreid, Monika Melnychuk and Bridget George
32 Pages | Ages 5-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781774881248 | Tundra Books
A love letter to The Tragically Hip, one of Canada’s most beloved bands, this ABC picture book features illustrations from four renowned Canadian illustrators. The Tragically Hip, fronted by the late Gord Downie, is a legendary, bestselling Canadian band. And now, almost forty years of music can be appreciated in a brand-new way: an ABC picture book! From “A is for Ahead by a Century” to “N is for New Orleans is Sinking” all the way to “Z is for Frozen in My Tracks,” this illustrated ode to the band will be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Featuring art from Canadian illustrators Clayton Hanmer, Julia Breckenreid, Bridget George and Monika Melnychuk, this is the perfect gift for Hip fans old and new!

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