Cover Reveal: Star, The Bird Who Inspired Mozart

Today is National Pet Bird Day so what better day to share the cover for the upcoming picture book, Star: The Bird Who Inspired Mozart?

Tundra is very excited to be publishing this new picture book biography by Mireille Messier (Sergeant Billy) and illustrated by Matte Stephens on October 11, 2022! Get to know the starling who helped a young Mozart compose some of his most famous works.

Cover Design: Sophie Paas-Lang

Star: The Bird Who Inspired Mozart
By Mireille Messier
Illustrated by Matte Stephens
36 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266896 | Tundra Books
Release Date: October 11, 2022
Star: The Bird Who Inspired Mozart is based on the true story of how Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the world’s most remarkable musicians, was inspired by one of the world’s most unremarkable birds: a starling. In this charming picture book, author Mireille Messier tells the story of a very special relationship and how it began: with a chance musical encounter. And Matte Stephens’s playful art captures both the grandeur of 18th century Vienna and the budding unlikely friendship between a famous musician and a humble starling.

Also by Mireille Messier:

Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War
By Mireille Messier
Illustrated by Kass Reich
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 |  Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264427 | Tundra Books
During World War I, a goat named Billy was adopted by a platoon of soldiers and made his way across the ocean to be part of the war effort.
Billy . . .
•   Trained with the soldiers
•   Was smuggled across the ocean
•   Got snuck into the frontlines in a box of oranges
•   Ate some secret documents and was arrested for treason
•   Got trench foot
•   Head-butted soldiers into a trench and saved them from a shell
•   Came back home a decorated war hero
This charming true story follows Sergeant Billy from his small prairie town to the trenches of World War I and back, through harrowing moments, sad moments, moments of camaraderie and moments of celebration. This unforgettable goat and the platoon that loved him will capture your heart!

Cover Reveal: The Big Sting

Tundra is very excited to be publishing The Big Sting on February 7, 2023! Written by Rachelle Delaney, The Big Sting follows Leo, whose visit to his grandfather’s farm is turned upside down when his late grandmother’s beehives go missing!

Scroll down for the full bee-utiful cover plus a Q&A with Rachelle Delaney!

Cover Art: Morgan Goble
Cover Design: Emma Dolan

The Big Sting
By Rachelle Delaney
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269309 | Tundra Books
Release Date: February 7, 2023
Eleven-year-old Leo is an “armchair adventurer.” This, according to Dad, means he’d choose adventures in books or video games over real-life experiences. And while Leo hates the label, he can’t argue with it. Unlike his little sister Lizzie, Leo is not a risk-taker.

So when he, Lizzie, Mom and Dad leave the city to visit Grandpa on Heron Island, Leo finds all kinds of dangers to avoid – from the deep, dark ocean to an old barn on the verge of collapse. But nothing on the island is more fearsome than Grandpa himself – Leo has never met anyone so grumpy! According to Mom, Grandpa is still grieving the recent death of his wife, a beekeeper beloved by everyone on the island.

Despite Leo’s best efforts to avoid it, adventure finds him anyway when Grandma’s beehives go missing in the dead of night. Infuriated, Grandpa vows to track down the sticky-fingered thieves himself . . . with risk-averse Leo and danger-loving Lizzie (plus a kitten named Mayhem) in tow.


Q&A with Rachelle Delaney

What inspired The Big Sting?

A few years ago, I learned about hive heists, which is another term for bee theft. I’d never heard of a hive heist before, and I was intrigued. I quickly started brainstorming ideas for a story, though it took me a long time to decide on a setting. Eventually I settled on one close to home: a fictional Gulf Island off the coast of BC. I live in Vancouver and visit the islands a few times a year. They’re beautiful and quirky, and I’ve always thought it would be fun to set a story there.

Did you have to do any research? What was the most fun/interesting fact you learned?

I love doing research for novels, and this was no exception. I learned all I could about hive heists from articles and podcasts. I did a lot of research into bees too. Unfortunately, this was during the height of the pandemic, so there weren’t many opportunities to meet with people in person. But I did Zoom calls with my beekeeper friend, Jode, who answered many, many questions.

The most amazing fact I learned is that one of the most expensive honeys in the world is produced in a cave in northeastern Turkey. The cave is so deep it takes a team of mountaineers to harvest it. It’s called Elvish honey, and it costs almost $7,000 per gram!

Without spoiling anything, what was your favourite moment to write in The Big Sting?

One of my favourite parts is when the Heron Island Bumblers – a group of geriatric beekeepers – descend on Leo’s grandpa’s house to help solve the crime. I loved writing their dialogue and interactions with Grandpa, who is not a fan of the Bumblers. Also, the scene is FULL of bee puns.

Do you think Leo would be friends with Alice Fleck?

Oh, I think so. Leo and Alice are both clever, curious and braver than they think. They have very different interests, but I don’t think that would stop them from being friends.

Which character is the most like you or the most like someone you know?

Like Leo, I’m a bit of a catastrophizer – I tend to think of everything that can go wrong before taking a risk. But I love having adventures (within reason), so I try to push past most fears. When I described how Leo feels bold and capable after climbing Heron Mountain, I was definitely writing from experience.

How many cover drafts did you see before this one was finalized?

I think I saw three drafts before it was finalized. It’s so fascinating to see a cover come together. I think the illustrator, Morgan Goble, and the designer, Emma Dolan, did an incredible job.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever given or received?

The other day, my 14-year-old niece and I were talking about how hard it is to write when you don’t want to make mistakes – when you want everything to turn out RIGHT. It can be totally paralyzing, and it can take the fun out of writing. It’s so important to give yourself permission to play with writing, experiment and have fun. I have to remind myself of this all the time.

What have you been reading lately?

I’ve been reading – and loving – Norwegian author Maria Parr’s books. She writes delightful middle-grade novels (translated into English, of course) set in the mountains and fjords of Norway. They’re the perfect blend of humour and adventure.

Also by Rachelle Delaney: 

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.

Clara VoyantClara Voyant
By Rachelle Delaney
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780143198543 | Puffin Canada
Clara can’t believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally “follow her bliss,” which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at a herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse . . . the horoscopes. Worse yet, her horoscopes come true, and soon everyone at school is talking about Clara Voyant, the talented fortune-teller. Clara is horrified – horoscopes and clairvoyance aren’t real, she insists, just like her grandmother always told her. But when a mystery unfolds at school, she finds herself in a strange situation: having an opportunity to prove herself as an investigative journalist . . . with the help of her own mystical powers.

The Bonaventure Adventures
By Rachelle Delaney
288 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780143198512 | Puffin Canada
Sebastian Konstantinov has grown up in a travelling circus, surrounded by talented performers. Seb, however, has no circus skills at all. He can’t even turn a somersault. But he does know this: the old-fashioned circus his father founded is out of date and running low on money. If someone doesn’t figure out how to save it, the Konstantinovs will be in real trouble. Seb thinks he may have the answer, and it involves attending the highly selective Bonaventure Circus School in Montreal, Canada. Seb secretly writes to the school’s Directrice (conveniently leaving out the part about his lack of circus skills), and to his surprise, he gets accepted right away. Now all he has to do is keep his lack of talent a secret. But it turns out that Seb is not the only one with secrets. The school is literally crumbling beneath the students’ feet, and the Directrice is counting on Seb’s “talent” to save it.

Rachelle Delaney: website | instagram | twitter

Someone is Always Watching: Q&A with Cover Designer Talia Abramson

This is no April Fools’ Day joke: there’s a new Kelley Armstrong book on the way! We’re so excited to reveal the cover for Someone Is Always Watching, designed by Talia Abramson. Keep scrolling for a Q&A with Talia and get ready to add this new thriller to your TBR when it comes out in January 2023!

Q&A with Talia Abramson

Did you read Someone Is Always Watching before starting on the cover? What stuck out to you the most?

When I started working on this cover there wasn’t a complete manuscript (if I remember correctly, it didn’t have an ending yet!), but I was immediately drawn to the dark psychological aspects of the story. I knew I wanted to visually translate the isolating feelings of not knowing who to trust or what to believe. 

Were you given any guidance from the author/editor?

Yes! The editor always fills out a design brief that we go over together before I start the design process. It’s a really helpful document that includes a description of the plot, the tone, the target audience, and anything else the editor wants me to keep in mind. In this case, we knew early on that we wanted to head in a moody, atmospheric direction.

How did you create the cover? What tools or programs did you use?

I created the cover art in Photoshop, then added the text to the layout in InDesign.

How many drafts/designs did you go through before it was “finished”? 

We were originally working with a different title that steered the first round of covers in another direction.  And once we settled on this new title, we arrived on a direction we all liked in the first round of designs, but it took 5 rounds of cooler palette and type tweaks until everyone was satisfied.

What are some other book covers you’ve worked on? Do you have any coming up?

One of my favorite YA covers I’ve worked on is Vicki Grant’s Tell Me When You Feel Something. Outside the world of YA, some upcoming covers I’m looking forward to seeing in print are Every Summer After by Carley Fortune, and Mansions of the Moon by Shyam Selvadurai.


Someone Is Always Watching
By Kelley Armstrong
352 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735270923 | Tundra Books
Release date: January 3, 2023
The experiment began with the best of intentions. Take a young child who is responsible for a traumatic death. Maybe their entire family perished in a fire they set. Maybe they shoved their sibling off a balcony during an argument. If the child is too deeply traumatized – and stigmatized – to ever lead a normal life, wouldn’t it be better if they just . . . forgot? It was a three-pronged approach: erase their memories, insert new ones, and return them to their parents or place them with a new family. Blythe and her friends Tucker, Tanya, and Gabrielle, are now teenagers, attending a local high school, falling in and out of love with each other. But then a shocking event happens at school: Gabrielle is found covered in blood in front of their deceased principal, with no memory of what happened. It’s becoming apparent that their pasts weren’t erased – they were just walled up, and now those walls are crumbling.

Kelley Armstrong: instagram | twitter | website 
Talia Abramson: website

Cover Reveal: Green Mountain Academy

Tundra is very excited to be publishing Green Mountain Academy on September 27, 2022! Written by Frances Greenslade, this is a companion novel to Red Fox Road. Following her disastrous family trip in the Oregon forest, Francie is back home in British Columbia and heading to a new boarding school. But when a small plane goes missing during a snowstorm, Francie heads out to help.

Cover Art: Jon McNaught
Cover Design: John Martz

Green Mountain Academy
By Frances Greenslade
240 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267848 | Tundra Book Group
Release Date: September 27, 2022
A daring rescue in the middle of a snowstorm in this compelling Red Fox Road companion survival story for ages 10 to 14, for fans of Hatchet and The Skeleton Tree.

After a family trip turned disastrous when their truck broke down in the middle of an old logging road in Oregon, Francie is now back in British Columbia. People try to make things as “normal” as possible for her, but they don’t understand that trying to be normal in your old life that’s exploded is the worst feeling in the world.

Luckily for Francie, the wilderness is still soothing, and an opportunity to attend the Green Mountain Academy, a tiny boarding school perched on the side of a mountain, seems perfect. It’s a new start, with new friends and a chance at a new family. But when a winter storm hits, knocking out all the power, news that a small plane has gone missing unsettles Francie. Knowing that the chance of survival in the middle of a wild nighttime snowstorm diminishes over time, Francie is compelled to leave the cozy school and set out into the icy cold, swirling snowstorm.

Also by Frances Greenslade:

Red Fox Road
By Frances Greenslade
248 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267817 | Puffin Canada
Francie and her parents are on a spring road trip: driving from British Columbia, Canada, to hike in the Grand Canyon. When a shortcut leads them down an old logging road, disaster strikes. Their truck hits a rock and wipes out the oil pan. They are stuck in the middle of nowhere. Francie can’t help feeling a little excited – she’d often imagined how she’d survive if she got stranded in the bush, and now here they are. But will her survival skills – building fires, gathering dandelion leaves and fir needles for tea – be enough when hours stretch into days?

Frances Greenslade: website | instagram

Cover Reveal: Double O Stephen and the Ghostly Realm

Tundra is very excited to be publishing Double O Stephen and the Ghostly Realm on August 30, 2022! Written by Governor General’s Literary Award nominee Angela Ahn (for Peter Lee’s Notes from the Field), Double O Stephen is full of ghosts, pirates, and family secrets starring a precocious Korean Canadian protagonist.

Cover Art: Erin Joo
Cover Design: Sophie Paas-Lang

Double O Stephen and the Ghostly Realm
By Angela Ahn
288 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268272 | Tundra Books
Release Date: August 30, 2022
Stephen loves pirates. What he doesn’t love is his name: Stephen Oh-O’Driscoll. He believes when his Korean mother and Irish father gave him this name, that it was just one cruel setup for being teased. Giving things the proper name is important, which is why Stephen thinks that it’s time to update the definition of “pirate.” They’ve got a bad rep, and maybe they deserve some of it, but Stephen still likes a few pirate traditions, like bandannas and eyepatches – he’s just not that into stealing things from people. He has the perfect new word: piventurate. A sailor who passionately seeks adventure. That’s what he wants to be.

When he gets suspended from school for doing proper piventurate-in-training things (using sticks to practice sword fighting), his mother doesn’t let him sit around doing nothing, instead she takes him to a museum. At the museum everything changes. Stephen finds himself in a strange new place, face-to-face with a real pirate. A pirate ghost.

Captain Sapperton needs Stephen’s help to cross to the other side, and his former ghost crew are intent on making sure Stephen follows through, whatever it takes. Stephen is about to discover the true meaning of piventurate, and much to his surprise, his adventure will not only take him farther into the ghostly realm, but also closer to home, where long-held family secrets reveal surprising ties to the spirit world.

Also by Angela Ahn:

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.

Angela Ahn: website | twitter | instagram