NYPL’s Best Books of 2019

Every year, librarians who work for the New York Public Library read thousands of new releases and make a list of their favorite titles to recommend. Each book on their Best Books for Kids list features compelling characters and inspiring ideas and we’re thrilled that several of our titles were included this year! Congratulations to our creators!

The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster
By Cary Fagan
ISBN 9780735266216 | Hardcover
Ages 10-14 | Tundra Books

Hartley Staples, near-graduate of middle school, is grappling with the fact that his older brother has run away from home, when he finds a handmade postcard that fascinates him. And soon he spots another. Who is G.O. and why are they scattering cards about the town?

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior
By Heather Gale
Illustrated by Mika Song
ISBN 9780735264496 | Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Tundra Books

Based on a true story, Ho’onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and an empowering story of a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is – and in doing so, gains the respect of all those around her.

King Mouse
By Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Dena Seiferling
ISBN 9780735264045 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books

A sweet, thoughtful tale of friendship, sharing and play, King Mouse begins when a mouse comes upon a tiny crown in the grass. The mouse puts the crown on his head, and when a bear subsequently comes upon him and asks if he’s king, the mouse responds “Yes.”

The Not-So Great Outdoors
By Madeline Kloepper
ISBN 9780735264175 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books

A reluctant camper discovers that the (not-so) great outdoors can be just as exciting as screens and skyscrapers in this playful picture book celebration of the pleasures of unplugging and embracing nature.

Our 2019 Governor General’s Literary Awards Finalists

GGbooks2019

Each year, the Canada Council for the Arts honours the best books in Canadian literature with the Governor General’s Literary Awards. This year, we have four finalists in the Young People’s Literature categories, one in text and three in illustrated books. Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

Finalist for Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

Albert’s Quiet Quest
By Isabelle Arsenault
ISBN 9781101917626 | Tundra Books
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Ages 4-8
“In Arsenault’s ideal neighborhood, independent children make their own decisions and form their own community, and they resolve their own conflicts, too.” – Publishers Weekly

How to Give Your Cat a Bath
By Nicola Winstanley
Illustrated by John Martz
ISBN 9780735263543 | Tundra Books
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
“This laugh-out-loud picture book can serve as a beginning reader. . . . The inevitable ending will delight both children and adults and this title will be requested over and over.” – Starred Review, Booklist

King Mouse
By Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Dena Seiferling
ISBN 9780735264045 | Tundra Books
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
“Graceful and perceptive in both illustration and text, the timeless theme is particularly pertinent today.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Finalist for Young People’s Literature – Text

The Grey Sisters
By Jo Treggiari
ISBN 9780735262980 | Penguin Teen Canada
Hardcover | 288 Pages | Ages 12+
“Dark and gripping. . . . [R]eaders will have a hard time putting the book down.” – School Library Journal

Special thanks to the peer assessment committee: Shauntay Grant, Jon Klassen, Kathryn Shoemaker, Kagiso Lesego Molope, Kenneth Oppel, and Ellen Schwartz.

Follow the conversation on Twitter through @CanadaCouncil and by using the hashtag #GGbooks. The winners of the 2019 Governor General Literary Awards will be announced on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.

KidLit Halloween Costume: King Mouse

Dress up like your favorite KidLit characters this Halloween! Today’s outfit is inspired by the animals from King Mouse. We’ve done the work and searched for all the pieces for you!

King Mouse-interior spread
King Mouse-complete look
Crown: Star Visions | Mouse ears: PartyCity.ca | Mouse tail: Party Time

King MouseKing Mouse
By Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Dena Seiferling
ISBN 9780735264045 | Tundra Books
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
A sweet, thoughtful tale of friendship, sharing and play, King Mouse begins when a mouse comes upon a tiny crown in the grass. The mouse puts the crown on his head, and when a bear subsequently comes upon him and asks if he’s king, the mouse responds “Yes.”

This diminutive monarch settles into his new role very comfortably . . . until a snake comes upon a crown and claims she is queen. The mouse is not amused, especially when one by one the other animals find crowns and claim they are kings too. But when the bear can’t find a crown, King Mouse make a most surprising decision.

This inspired collaboration between an award-winning author and debut picture book illustrator Dena Seiferling is quietly profound in its simplicity and has the feeling of a modern classic.

2019 Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey! — Funniest Children’s Book Award

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!

Mort Ziff is Not Dead
By Cary Fagan
176 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Puffin Canada
ISBN 9780143198482

A humorous coming-of-age middle-grade novel set in 1960s Florida. Battling obxious siblings, sunburns, and a corporate millionaire, Norman is determined to help an old comedian save his career.

Mort Ziff is Not Dead kept the jury “buckled over with guffaws, incapacitated with giggles, and/or rib-ticklingly, side-splittingly, thigh-slappingly entertained.”

Finalists for the 2018 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) has announced the finalists for the following eight major awards for Canadian children’s books:

  • TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award
  • Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse
  • Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
  • Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction
  • Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
  • John Spray Mystery Award
  • Amy Mathers Teen Book Award
  • Prix Harry Black de l’album jeunesse

The nominated books exemplify some of the best work by Canadian authors and illustrators. The following Penguin Random House Canada Young Reader titles have been chosen:

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award

When the Moon ComesWhen the Moon Comes
Written by Paul Harbridge
Illustrated by Matt James
Tundra Books for ages 4-8
“When the Moon Comes is an idyllic childhood moment frozen in time… The quiet, expressive text combined with the evocative illustrations draws the reader in to the story until you become one with the children, feeling the biting cold of the night air on your cheeks as you glide effortlessly over ice in the silver light of the moon… The illustrations evoke a strong feeling of nostalgia and community friendships and are a perfect complement the text.”

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award

Little Blue ChairLittle Blue Chair
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Madeline Kloepper
Tundra Books for ages 3-7
“This circular tale takes readers on a whimsical journey from here to there and back again following the travels of an ordinary little chair… Charming illustrations in a soft palette offer just the right amount of detail to draw in children and give them plenty to explore with each re-reading… This gentle story is a testament to the creative power of the imagination…”

When the Moon ComesWhen the Moon Comes
Written by Paul Harbridge
Illustrated by Matt James
Tundra Books for ages 4-9
“This nostalgia filled adventure with friends will resonate with those who love the moon, nature and hockey… The friends’ anticipation and excitement for their nighttime excursion is palpable… James’ strong illustrations emphasize the beauty of winter, the wonder of a dark night, the power of the moon and the fun of an escapade with friends.”

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People

The Agony of Bun O'KeefeThe Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather Smith
Penguin Teen Canada for ages 12 and up
“This sad and beautiful book, rich with soul and heart, gives voice to marginalized characters and addresses weighty topics with sensitivity… I will not forget Bun O’Keefe. She holds a place in my heart as she does in the heart of Busker Boy and will do in the hearts of those who read her story… This is a book that may be a mirror or a window for readers, or a story that builds empathy for the many challenges faced by those not fitting societal expectations.”

Amy Mathers Teen Book Award

The Agony of Bun O'KeefeThe Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather Smith
Penguin Teen Canada for ages 12 and up
“A moving and heart-wrenching story about loneliness, innocence and the healing power of finding a family of one’s own… Themes of forgiveness, loyalty, love and healing are woven throughout the story, and combine with humour and unforgettable characters to make a book that will stay with readers long after the last page.”

Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined - paperbackEverything Beautiful is Not Ruined
Written by Danielle Younge-Ullman
Penguin Teen Canada for ages 14 and up
“An enthralling novel that packs an emotional punch, Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined is the story of one teenaged girl’s personal journey towards forgiveness and self-discovery… Younge-Ullman has crafted a beautiful and compelling story about a mother and daughter, grief and resilience.”

Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

The winners of the English-language awards will be announced at an invitation-only gala event at Bram and Bluma Appel Salon in Toronto on October 29, 2018. The winners of the French-language awards will be announced at an invitation-only gala event at Scena in Montreal on November 19, 2018.