Guest Post: Michael Mazo and Michael Soloviov

BrothersDo you remember the previous guest post by Michael Mazo and Michael Soloviov? Well now we have a behind-the-scenes look at how the author and illustrator collaborated!

Finding inspiration from The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, author Michael Mazo and illustrator Michael Soloviov created their own version of Robert Ford vs. Jesse James. In their adaptation, Julius the Elder and William the Upstart, are the two characters from their debut picture book Brothers.

Michael Mazo: So the illustration that I kindly wanted Mr. Soloviov to create was like this one. As you can see I’ve been taking art classes. One of the dogs is raising his paws in victory. The other is on his knees in defeat. It’s an old western town. It’s meant to look like a gunfight, like the gunfight in Back to the Future 3:
Mazo gunfight illustration

MM: I really wanted Julius to show the utter agony of defeat (like a defeated athlete on his knees). Mr. Soloviov replied with, “Oh yeah, Mike, so you’ve seen a lot of dogs on their knees?” But he is a magician and can do anything. This was the first draft:
version 1

MM: I only asked for one correction: to make our hero’s stomachs bigger and stuff their cheeks (especially William because he is the winner):
version 2

MM: And this is the final illustration. The only corrections I asked for were to dress the dogs (and put bones where guns would go) and add some hay rolling across the street like in a movie:
version 3 final

MM: And then I kindly asked Mr. Soloviov to take the text I wrote and make it look like it came from an old newspaper. You can see the result by clicking here and click here to view the original New York Times story about Jesse James.

It’s a Snap! Podcast

On this day in 1888, George Eastman registered the trademark Kodak. Click HERE to listen to the podcast of It’s a Snap! on “Just One More Book!”


Just One More Book! is a thrice-weekly internet radio program which promotes and celebrates literacy and great children’s books.  Each weekday morning, we take a few minutes out of our morning coffee ritual to discuss one of our many favourite children’s books. We also feature weekly interviews with authors, illustrators and experts and enthusiasts in the areas of children’s literature and literacy as well as listener-submitted book reviews.

After 3+ years and more than 600 episodes of free and fervent praise for publishing products and personalities, our completely sponsorship-free Just One More Book! online radio program and related site has built up a strong and faithful following of librarians, teachers, literacy advocates, publishers and parents.

Busy parents and educators can now discover great read-aloud children’s books while they are busy doing the many tasks that would otherwise rob them of the opportunity to research great children’s books in more traditional ways.

Thank you to Andrea and Mark for their review of It’s a Snap! and for all their hard work in maintaining “Just One More Book!” Click here to listen to previous podcasts of Tundra’s books. You can even follow them on twitter for updates.

It's a Snap!It’s a Snap!
George Eastman’s First Photograph
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
ISBN 978-88776-881-1
Hardcover | 32 Pages
Ages 5-8

Monica Kulling’s spunky, playful text is beautifully complemented by the stunning pen-and-ink with watercolor illustrations of artist Bill Slavin. It’s a Snap! George Eastman’s First Photograph introduces a new series for Tundra — the Great Idea Series — a must-have for schools, libraries, and parents alike.

Book Launch:
Get snap happy! Join Monica Kulling and Bill Slavin on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at the Stephen Bulger Gallery/Camera Bar (Toronto, ON) from 7pm to 9pm. The author and illustrator will be happy to have their photos taken and to sign books.

Tundra Take 7

Tundra Take features a photo (or photos) from the week! Check on Fridays for a peak at Tundra Books!

7Last Wednesday, Shane Peacock signed Eye of the Crow at Indigo’s Yorkdale location.

2009 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

The finalists for the 2009 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards has been announced. Congratulations to Nicolas Debon, Cary Fagan, Jack Mitchell, Susin Nielsen, and Shane Peacock! The winners will be announced on November 3, 2009.


Death in the AirDeath in the Air: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Second Case
Written by Shane Peacock
ISBN 978-0-88776-851-4
Ages 10-14

“This second installment of ‘The Boy Sherlock Holmes’ series maintains tension from beginning to end… Pacing is superb, great character development, breath-taking from beginning to end.” – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)

Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Nicolas Debon
ISBN 978-0-88776-839-2
Ages 4-7

“A fresh and charming book about a spoiled child and an unloved toy thrown out the window… The quirky gouache and collage illustrations offer a sense of speed and uncanny stories on each floor… A book to fall for.” – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)

Word NerdWord Nerd
Written by Susin Nielsen
ISBN 978-0-88776-875-0
Ages 9+

“A humourous and cleverly written novel with likeable, unusual characters from the wrong side of the tracks… An original novel about regaining self confidence and trust.” – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)


Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Nicolas Debon
ISBN 978-0-88776-839-2
Ages 4-7

“This unique story of Thing-Thing’s fall from the sixth floor of the Excelsior Hotel becomes a slow-motion vehicle for a touching and funny contemplation of life and love from a host of characters inspired by his fleeting image.” – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)


The Ancient Ocean BluesThe Ancient Ocean Blues
Written by Jack Mitchell
ISBN 978-0-88776-832-3
Ages 10-13

“A fast-paced spoof on Greek tales… Laugh-out-loud funny with great characters… A new take on the old classics… This book is original, delightful and engaging.” – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)