TLA 2020 Virtual Booth

TLA 2020 Booth Banner
We hope everyone is staying safe and doing well. These are difficult times, there’s no doubt about it. Travel and trade shows have been taken off the table this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all stay connected virtually!

The above image is what our booth banner looks like, featuring the artwork from Story Boat by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh. Story Boat is an imaginative, lyrical, unforgettable picture book about the migrant experience through a child’s eyes.

We invite you to take a flip through our January to June 2020 catalog over here (the cover image features art from What’s Up, Maloo? by Geneviève Godbout):
Jan-June 2020

We can’t hand out or send everyone a physical ARC, but please request a review copy from NetGalley here:

If I Couldn't Be Anne It Happened on Sweet Street Maud and Grand-Maud Monsters 101 9780735265417 Ocean Speaks Ray Terry Fox and Me The Barnabus Project The Invisible Bear The Mosquito When Emily Was Small

Clan The Barren Grounds The Gryphons Lair

Barry Squires Full Tilt The Enigma Game

We haven’t forgotten about award reading lists! The 2020-2021 Texas Bluebonnet Award list includes:


Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
By Jonathan Auxier
368 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9780735264373 | Puffin Canada
Click here to watch Jonathan Auxier reveal the cover and introduce the story of Sweep.
Click here to watch Colby Sharp talk about Sweep.
“This dazzling, warmhearted novel contemplates selflessness and saving, deep love and what makes a monster.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“As heartbreaking as bleak midwinter — and as hopeful as early spring.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Nan’s fiery personality will attract readers like moths, and Auxier’s unusual blend of mythology and history will keep them transfixed.” – Starred Review, Booklist
“Auxier crafts a beautiful, hopeful story out of some ugly realities of nineteenth-century British life.” – Starred Review, Horn Book Magazine
“Jonathan Auxier weaves a magical spell that draws readers right into the stark, gritty streets of Victorian London . . . Readers will be entranced.” – Starred Review, School Library Connection

While the current Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List includes:

Narwhal's Otter FriendNarwhal’s Otter Friend
By Ben Clanton
64 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN 9780735262492 | Tundra Books
Click here to watch our book trailer!
Click here for a Narwhal educators’ guide.
Click here for coloring and drawing activity sheets.
Click here to make your own Narwhal tusk!
Click here for the Narwhal and Jelly song by Emily Arrow.
Check out this Narwhal and Jelly Pinterest collection!
Learn how to draw Narwhal here.
Ben Clanton is doing Miximal Mondays on his Instagram Live!
“Clanton’s Narwhal and Jelly follow in the grand tradition of early reader buddy tails like Frog and Toad or Elephant and Piggie, and this latest tale is sure to find an honored place alongside them on young readers’ bookshelves.” – New York Journal of Books
“The text is short, sweet, and funny; this, combined with the memorable characters, makes dipping one’s toes into independent reading a pleasure.” – Booklist

We hope you found our virtual TLA booth helpful! We look forward to the day we can all safely travel and attend conferences again. If you have any questions about these titles or would like more resources, just reach out to our booth staff at We also have a list of activity kits and educators’ guides here and our virtual event listing here.

Photos from our booths at ALA Midwinter 2020 and PLA 2020 have been posted to our Facebook page!

Ben Clanton / Narwhal’s Otter Friend

Sketch Comedy: Laughs & Live Drawing with Ben Clanton, authorstrator of the Narwhal & Jelly series

Get ready for waffles and rainbow slides and ocean fun! Author/illustrator Ben Clanton brings his beloved deep-sea duo Narwhal (the happy-go-lucky Unicorn of the Sea) and his pal Jelly (the blue worry-wart jellyfish) straight to you in this exclusive webcast. Learn the story behind these underwater besties and their aquatic adventures, plus meet Otty the Otter, whose adventurous spirit wows Narwhal but leaves Jelly feeling a little iffy. Join us as Ben reads from the latest book in the series, Narwhal’s Otter Friend, and sketches his famous characters live! Target audience is grades K-2 but all are welcome!

Register here: Junior Library Guild

Can’t make the webcast? Register to receive a link to the on-demand recording or visit

Virtual Story Times and Singalongs

Important information for teachers, librarians and booksellers: Penguin Random House Open License Online Story Time and Classroom Read-Aloud Videos and Live Events

If you’re a Tundra, Puffin Canada, or Penguin Teen Canada author or illustrator, and you want to get involved during this time, please reach out to your publicist (Evan or Sam).

In times of need, you can always depend on the KidLit community to band together and help out. Many authors and illustrators are doing live events on social media for kids to tune into from home! We will be compiling a list of our authors and illustrators who are pitching in with virtual events for families to enjoy:

Monday, March 16, 2020 – ongoing

Monday, March 16, 2020

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020

  • Ben Clanton, the author-illustrator of the Narwhal and Jelly graphic novel series, will be doing Facebook Live author visits at 5:00 pm EST (2:00 pm PST).

Monday, March 23, 2020 – ongoing

  • Ben Clanton, the author of the Narwhal and Jelly series, will be doing Miximal Mondays on his Instagram live at 12:30 pm EST (9:30 am PST).
  • Susin Nielsen, the author of No Fixed Address, will be reading a chapter a day on her Twitter live at 1:00 pm EST (10:00 am PST).
  • David A. Robertson, the author of The Barren Grounds, will be reading a chapter a day on his Twitter live at 1:30 pm EST (10:30 am PST).

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

  • Elly MacKay, the author-illustrator of Red Sky at Night, will be reading her picture book and demonstrating a craft on Tundra’s Instagram Live at 2:00 pm EST (11:00 am PST).

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Monday, March 30, 2020 – ongoing

  • Dan Bar-el, the author of Audrey (cow), will be reading a portion a day of his middle grade novel on his Facebook Live at 2:00 pm EST (11:00 am PST). Download the Character List to follow which of the thirty-three narrators are speaking!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Friday, April 3, 2020

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

  • We are hosting a Zoom lunch at 12:30 pm EST with Anna Humphrey and Kass Reich to celebrate the Megabat series. RSVP here to get the Zoom link!

Please refer to THIS PAGE for the most up-to-date event information.

Last updated on: Monday, April 13, 2020 at 10:27 am EST.

Author Q&A: Ben Clanton

Ben Clanton_vote for books
Hello! Please welcome our special guest today, Ben Clanton, creator of Mo’s Mustache and the graphic novel series Narwhal and Jelly as he talks about his re-issued edition of Vote for Me!
Ben Clanton_donkey
1. Vote for Me was originally published in 2012. Why did you decide to revisit this title?

Ben Clanton: Unfortunately (and I think unsurprisingly), politics and elections haven’t become any cleaner in the past 8 years. If anything, Vote for Me is more relevant now than when it first published in 2012. The divisiveness, name-calling, and mud-slinging parodied in Vote for Me are pervasive realities that people (including kids!) see and hear on a daily basis. I think a humorous take on this can be a great way to open a dialogue. I have written and illustrated a number of books since I made my debut with Vote for Me, but I think this title remains one of my best (and admittedly most polarizing) read-alouds. My hope is that in another 8 years, Vote for Me will not be as relevant . . . that bullying and untruthful boasts and bravado will be less tolerated. My hope is that young readers will help make that future!
Ben Clanton_elephant 1
2. Did you make any changes to this new edition? If so, what are they?

Ben Clanton: Yes, there are a number of changes! Vote for Me was my first published book and I feel I’ve made a lot of progress as a creator and person since it first came out, so I definitely welcomed the opportunity to make some updates.

At first, I wanted to re-illustrate the entirety of the book. I got as far as playing with character design and making a few mock-ups. But there is only so much time in a day! And there was actually a lot to work with in the original illustrations of the book. I found that some small changes made for a big impact, such as changing the background texture! That change alone made the book much brighter and bolder. The speech bubbles and typography were also updated (credit here to John Martz!) and I think that made a big impact.

There are also small changes to the illustrations that probably don’t seem important to anyone but me, such as the shadows under the characters. I’m digging the new shadows! 😂

But the changes weren’t just to the design and illustrations. There is name-calling in the book and some of the original word choices I had made for those scenes seemed too hurtful to me now. With the help of the Tundra team (thanks here to Peter Phillips and Tara Walker!), I went sillier and more ridiculous with the name-calling (i.e. “galumphus” and “dunderdoo”). I have a two-year-old daughter and four-year-old son and I wanted to be able to read the book with them without too much pause. There are a few spots I still either skip or adapt for the younger readers. This picture book skews older than a number of my other titles, such as Mo’s Mustache and Rex Wrecks It.

Mouse also had some line adjustments and additions . . .
Ben Clanton_elephant 2
3. Vote for Me is your first published book. Has your process changed since then?

Ben Clanton: Yes and no! It was fascinating to reopen the original Photoshop files for Vote for Me and see all the painstaking things I had done because I didn’t know there was an easier and more effective way. I didn’t know about blending modes at the time, such as “Multiply”, or about the wand tool. I also tend to use bolder line-work now to help with the readability of the illustrations when the book is read aloud in a group setting.

But my approach to story has also shifted somewhat. Vote for Me came about because I thought it would be fun to play with the gutter of the book as a dividing line . . . to use the opposing leaves of paper for opposing characters. The format inspired me more than those specific characters.

When I start on a book now it is much more character-driven from the get-go. I want to get to know my characters (especially the protagonists) very well before trying to figure out what happens in the book. I’m not sure what Vote for Me would have looked like if I had approached it this way. Donkey and Elephant are probably my least likable protagonists, which makes sense for this particular title. Perhaps Mouse would have a larger part to play if I had come up with the story today?

4. What do you hope readers take from Vote for Me?

Ben Clanton: First and foremost, I want readers to have fun reading it! That has been my main hope for all my books so far. I struggled with reading as a kid. I want to make books kids of all ages will enjoy.

But while I didn’t set out with a specific message or takeaway in mind, I certainly wouldn’t mind if the book starts some conversations about elections, voting, citizenship, service, kindness, bullying . . . there are a lot of potential subjects!
It isn’t even clear what Donkey and Elephant are running for in the book or why they want your vote. So I think the WHY behind all of it makes for an interesting topic. As too the HOW of them going about it. What is permissible? When are lines crossed? Who decides?

If Vote for Me has readers asking questions, I’d be very happy with that outcome.

Happy Narwhalidays5. Can you give us a little teaser of what’s next for Narwhal and Jelly?

Ben Clanton: Shore thing! Book 5 comes out in September and is called Happy Narwhalidays. It takes place when the waters are wintery (much to Jelly’s dismay!). But those cool currents don’t keep Narwhal from feeling warm and bubbly, especially with books to be read, parties to plan, and warm waffle pudding to eat! But what has Narwhal feeling most excited about the SEASon? The Merry Mermicorn!!!

I’m busy now working on two Narwhal and Jelly board books (featuring bubbles and a boot!). And I’ll soon start on book 6 which might involve treasure and rainbows.

Find out more about Vote for Me here:

Vote for MeVote for Me!
By Ben Clanton
Ages 3-7 | 40 Pages | Available now!
ISBN 9780735267589 | Tundra Books
A hilarious political satire by the creator of the bestselling Narwhal and Jelly series.

Hey, you! Yes, you with the dazzling smile! The donkey wants your vote. So does the elephant. And each will do just about anything to win your support. Brag? Sure! Flatter? Absolutely! Exaggerate, name-call, make silly promises and generally act childish? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Soon, the tension mounts, and these two quarrelsome candidates resort to slinging mud (literally) and flinging insults. And what happens when the election results are in? Well, let’s just say the donkey and the elephant are in for a little surprise–and a certain bewhiskered, third-party candidate is in for a first term!