Tuesdays with Tundra 28

Tuesdays with Tundra is a monthly post on our new releases. The following books are available today in stores and online!

Nanas Summer SurpriseNana’s Summer Surprise
Written by Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Georgia Graham
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 4-6
ISBN: 978-1-77049-324-7
“…The artwork … is a lovely display of chalk pastel … the colors look like they are lit from within, giving a fairy-tale quality to the work.” – Kirkus Reviews

More first books for fledgling readers that offer the enjoyment of a good story with the thrill of accomplishment that comes from independent reading. Written in short, easy phrases with carefully selected vocabulary and plentiful illustrations, each book helps youngsters achieve success as they have fun.

The series follows three friends who love to share stories. In each book, one is reminded of a well-known story:
It’s Not About the Ball! is based on The Frog Prince;
It’ Not About the Tiny Girl! is based on Thumbelina;
It’s Not About the Diamonds! is based on the story of Diamonds and Toads;
It’s Not About the Straw! is based on Rumpelstiltskin and
It’s Not About the Beanstalk! is based on Jack and the Beanstalk.

Its Not About the Beanstalk Its Not About the Diamonds Its Not About the Straw Its Not About the Tiny Girl Its Not About the Ball
As one friend starts his story, the others are reminded of versions they know so each volume has three stories within one framework. The stories come from around the world, and Veronika Martenova Charles provides a note at the end of each book to describe the origins.

Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales are a great first step in developing a lifelong love of reading, and it makes a fine companion to Veronika Martenova Charles’s series, Easy-to-Read Spooky Tales.

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, please tell us which new April release of Tundra’s you would love to read (the Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales count as one entry) and one lucky reader will receive their requested book(s)! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, April 15, 2013!

Update: Congratulations to Laurie who will be getting the Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales!

The 2013 OLA Forest of Reading® Nominees


Today, the Ontario Library Association revealed the nominated titles for the 2013 Forest of Reading® program.

Tundra would like to congratulate the nominated authors and illustrators!

Blue Spruce™ Nominee:

Ella May and the Wishing Stone
By Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Geneviève Côte
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-225-7
One day, Ella May finds a stone that has a line going all-all-all the way around it. Surely a stone this special must grant wishes, she decides. Soon she is busy making wishes and bragging about them. When her friends want to share in the fun, Ella May objects. But she learns that keeping the stone to herself is a sure way to lose friends. By using her imagination – much more powerful than any stone – she is able to grant everybody’s wishes, including her own. Cary Fagan’s witty and sharply observed story will delight young readers who are beginning to explore the pleasures and challenges of sharing and friendship.

Here Comes Hortense!
By Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Georgia Graham
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-221-9
The feisty, irrepressible Nana we met in Nana’s Getting Married is back. And what could be more fun for a six-year-old than having your nana and her new husband take you to a theme park? But the fun is spoiled when Nana and Bob announce that they’ve planned a surprise: The three of them will be joined by Bob’s granddaughter, Hortense. It turns out to be the worst surprise ever. Nana shares her room with Hortense instead of her disgruntled little grandson. She sings her special good-night song to Hortense. She goes on all the scary rides with Hortense. And, worst of all, Hortense has a special name for Nana. A perceptive and hilarious exploration of rivalry, there’s a gentle lesson within this story, for readers, young and old alike.

JoJo the Giant
By Jane Barclay
Illustrated by Esperança Melo
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-976-4
Children are eager to grow bigger, and JoJo is no exception. He always asks his mother the same question: “How much did I grow today?” No matter how often his mother assures him that good things come in small packages, he is desperate to be bigger. After all, he wants to run in a race to win a pair of red Rocket Racer shoes. But how can he compete against bullies who are much bigger than he is? A delightful story with a surprise ending illustrates how true growth is not always measured in inches. Jane Barclay’s heart-warming story explores a theme that speaks to every child. Esperança Melo’s wonderful art complements the text to create a charming book that’s bound to become a favourite.

Splinters
Written and illustrated by Kevin Sylvester
Hardcover | 40 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-944-3
Cindy Winters loves to play hockey. When her family’s basement apartment is flooded and the floor freezes, she’s delighted to skate on the frozen concrete. Her parents are too poor to enroll her in a hockey league but Cindy’s resourceful and does odd jobs until she earns enough money to join a team. Armed with her mother’s old equipment, she is thrilled with the prospect of playing on a real life hockey team. But her happiness doesn’t last long. Among her teammates are the horrible “Blister Sisters.” They make Cindy’s life miserable. And worst of all, she’s sidelined by the coach, who just happens to be Mrs. Blister. It looks like she’ll be spending the season cleaning equipment, instead of on the ice. Cindy’s luck changes when her Fairy Goaltender appears and saves the day. With its great humour and hilarious illustrations, Kevin Sylvester’s Splinters is bound to become a favourite.

Silver Birch® Fiction Nominee:

A Tinfoil Sky
By Cyndi Sand-Eveland
Hardcover | 224 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-277-6
Mel and her mother, Cecily, know what it’s like to live rough, whether it’s on the streets or in an abusive man’s apartment. One day, Cecily announces that they’ve had enough and that they are going to go home to her mother’s house. Mel begins to dream of security, a comfortable bed, and a grandmother’s love, and these dreams seem to be about to come true. But some mistakes cannot be easily forgiven or erased. Her grandmother is not what Mel expects, and though the local library offers sanctuary, a real home seems to be beyond her grasp. However Mel’s determination to rise above what fate has dealt her is about to change that. Cyndi Sand-Eveland’s work with homeless youth gives her characters an authenticity no reader will forget. Ultimately, a story of hope and acceptance, A Tinfoil Sky is a powerful and captivating novel.

Silver Birch® Express Nominees:

In The Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-239-4
Tundra’s Great Idea Series is comprised of biographies of inventors for early readers. The third book in the series introduces the fascinating Margaret Knight. Known as Mattie, she was different from most American girls living in 1850. She loved to make things with wood and made the best kites and sleds in town. Her father died when she was only three, and by the time she was twelve, she was working at the local cotton mill alongside her two older brothers. One day, she saw a worker get injured by a shuttle that had come loose from the giant loom, and the accident inspired her to invent a stop-motion device. It was the first of her many inventions. Margaret Knight devoted her life to inventing, and is best known for the clever, practical, paper bag. When she died in 1914, she had ninety inventions to her name and over twenty patents, astounding accomplishments for a woman of her day. Monica Kulling’s easy-to-read text, peppered with lots of dialogue, brings an amazing, inspiring woman to life.

Who Needs a Swamp?
Written and illustrated by Karen Patkau
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-991-7
Tundra introduces the first three books in its important new ecosystems series. Each title celebrates the world’s diversity by presenting a different ecosystem: its land and water, its animals and plants. The art is brimming with creatures and ecological features, described in fact-filled notes at the end of each book and in a useful glossary and map. Swamps are often seen as a dangerous and useless. They are often drained to create farmland or to reduce diseases. But such measures can be disastrous. Who Needs a Swamp? explores wetlands and their importance in the food chain and in preserving our soil and clean water. Not only is each book informative and beautiful, but it is a call to action for everybody who cares about the world in which we live.

Red Maple™ Fiction Nominees

The Dragon Turn: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His 5th Case
By Shane Peacock
Hardcover | 240 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-231-8
Summer 1869, and Sherlock Holmes and his friend Irene celebrate her sixteenth birthday by attending the theater to watch a celebrated magician make a real dragon appear on stage. It is the London sensation. Sherlock and Irene meet the magician, Alistair Hemsworth – just as he is arrested for the murder of his rival, The Wizard of Nottingham. It seems that traces of the missing Wizard’s blood and his spectacles were found in Hemsworth’s secret studio. Hemsworth has a motive: not only is the Wizard his rival, but he also caused a scandal when he lured Hemsworth’s wife away. But is Hemsworth guilty? Sherlock has his doubts, and soon, so does the reader. With humor and plot turns as dizzying as a narrow London lane, Shane Peacock invites his readers into a fascinating world, and a fresh adventure with one of literature’s favorite characters. The Boy Sherlock Holmes series is an international success with readers and reviewers alike.

First Descent
By Pam Withers
Hardcover | 272 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-257-8
Montana-born Rex loves nothing more than to take his kayak out on a river, the faster and more powerful the better. When he gets the opportunity to tackle the well-named El Furioso in southwest Colombia, he is thrilled. He anticipates the river’s challenges, but finds himself in a situation where the real danger is human. In Colombia, he meets Myriam Calambás, an indígena, who has lived along the El Furioso all her life. Though she loves its rushing waters, she dreams of leaving to get an education so that she can help her people. Her dreams, and her very survival, are in the balance when she and Rex are caught up in the clash between paramilitaries, working for rich landowners, and guerrillas  who are supposed to be protecting the poor. Pam Withers’ skill at writing about extreme adventures combines with a compelling story about an endangered world and a people struggling for their very right to exist.

Golden Oak™ Nominees

In The Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-1-77049-239-4
Tundra’s Great Idea Series is comprised of biographies of inventors for early readers. The third book in the series introduces the fascinating Margaret Knight. Known as Mattie, she was different from most American girls living in 1850. She loved to make things with wood and made the best kites and sleds in town. Her father died when she was only three, and by the time she was twelve, she was working at the local cotton mill alongside her two older brothers. One day, she saw a worker get injured by a shuttle that had come loose from the giant loom, and the accident inspired her to invent a stop-motion device. It was the first of her many inventions. Margaret Knight devoted her life to inventing, and is best known for the clever, practical, paper bag. When she died in 1914, she had ninety inventions to her name and over twenty patents, astounding accomplishments for a woman of her day. Monica Kulling’s easy-to-read text, peppered with lots of dialogue, brings an amazing, inspiring woman to life.

The Festival of Trees™ will be taking place on May 15-16, 2013 at the Harbourfront Centre. We will be there to cheer on our authors and illustrators!

Tuesdays with Tundra 23

Tuesdays with Tundra is a monthly post on our new releases. The following books are available today in stores and online!

Becoming Holmes
The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Final Case

Written by Shane Peacock
Hardcover | 264 Pages
Ages 10-14
ISBN: 978-1-77049-232-5
“And so the end comes to the beginning of the story of the world’s most beloved detective in Shane Peacock’s Becoming Holmes, the last of his boyhood Holmes mysteries. I have thoroughly enjoyed the world of Victorian England from this first person, close up and tangible version of Holmes. The series has courageously woven together famous people, popular myths and the street-level views of London. The mysteries, themselves, contain the illusive clues so reminiscent of Doyle’s work. In this last installment and, dare I say, his final bow, Peacock sets the scene for the man Sherlock Holmes. The story is ripe with premonitions…. Readers who have been captivated by “The Boy Sherlock Holmes” series will find this a satisfactory and hang-on-to-your-seat read. It was sad to know this is the final installment.” – Highly Recommended, CM Magazine

The Bridge
Written by Jane Higgins
Hardcover | 352 Pages
Ages 12+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-437-4
“…the gritty, painfully tense passages describing the ways in which war affects children – teens in particular – are compelling and deftly written.” – The Horn Book
“This grim first novel, set on a not-so-distant future Earth … packs a significant emotional wallop…. Higgins works hard to expose the religious and racial bigotry lurking behind so many military conflicts, and she is adept at showing that, frequently, neither side is without blame.” – Publishers Weekly

Going Up!
Elisha Otis’s Trip to the Top

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 Pages
Ages 5-8
ISBN: 978-1-77049-240-0
“… In his realistic, fine-lined illustrations, Parkins both enhances the sense of period and supplies the only hints of how Otis’ invention actually worked. He captures the narrative’s broad, high-energy tone in images of the inventor with eyes bulging, mouth wide open and arms flung out wildly during various Eureka! moments….” – Kirkus Reviews

The Hunting of the Snark
An Agony in Eight Fits

Written by Lewis Carroll
Illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko
Hardcover | 48 Pages
All Ages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-407-7
One of the most well-known creations by world-famous master of nonsense, Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark is a poem whose meaning has proved as elusive as the mysterious titular monster itself. Even Carroll confessed to not knowing who the Snark is or what the poem is about. But one thing about this much-scrutinized work of literature is perfectly clear: this is a tale of high adventure and great wit sure to delight readers of all ages.

Miss Mousie’s Blind Date
Written by Tim Beiser
Illustrated by Rachel Berman
Hardcover | 24 Pages
Ages 3-6
ISBN: 978-1-77049-251-6
“Spring fever strikes even the rodents. And who knows where the heart leads? … Beiser’s sprightly text has warmth, heart, and a valuable lesson. Berman’s pictures, in watercolor and gouache on rag, suggest Beatrix Potter, ably matching the crisp elegance of the story. Wonderful.” – Starred Review from Kirkus Reviews

Rescuing the Children
The Story of the Kindertransport
Written by Deborah Hodge
Hardcover | 64 Pages
Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-256-1
“Fitting neatly into primary-classroom units about World War II and the Holocaust, … Hodge’s account … sketches in Germany’s history from Hitler’s rise to Kristallnacht, noting the reluctance of other national governments to take German refugees, particularly Jewish ones…. Then-and-now portraits of her eight survivors, with a mix of period photos and paintings by Kind artist Hans Jackson, provide plenty of visual witness to those dangerous times and the children caught in them. A quick but systematic overview, well-endowed with both visual and documentary supporting material….” – Kirkus Reviews

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, tell us which new October release of Tundra’s you would love to read and one lucky reader will receive their requested book! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, October 15, 2012!

Update: Congratulations to Connie who has won a copy of The Bridge by Jane Higgins.

Finalists for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Awards


Each year, the Governor General’s Literary Awards (the GGs) honour the best in Canadian literature. Tundra Books would like to showcase our two finalists!

For Children’s Text, congratulations to Susin Nielsen!

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Written by Susin Nielsen
Format: Hardcover
Ages 11-14
256 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-372-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-373-5
Thirteen-year-old Henry’s life changes forever when his older brother leaves one morning with their father’s hunting rifle. At his therapist’s suggestion, Henry confides in a journal all his thoughts and his love of the wrestling show Saturday Night Smash-Up.

For Children’s Illustration, congratulations to David Parkins!

In the Bag!
Margaret Knight Wraps It Up

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Format: Hardcover
Ages 5-8
32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-239-4
Margaret (Mattie) is different from most American girls living in 1850. She loves to build and invent! Best known for inventing the paper bag, Mattie would go on to have 90 inventions to her name and over 20 patents. From Tundra’s Great Idea Series of inventor biographies.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday, November 13, 2012. Fingers crossed!

TD Summer Reading Club 2012

Imagine
TD Bank Financial Group, the Toronto Public Library, and Library and Archives Canada are proud to support literacy in Canada by offering the TD Summer Reading Club to Canadian children across the nation in both English and French. This is a great program for parents, librarians, and teachers across the country!

Imagining is creating! What a wonderful introduction to Imagine, the theme of the TD Summer Reading Club 2012. As its name suggests, this theme will familiarize young readers with literature of the fantastic. Readers will be charmed by fantasy stories and novels and they will be enthralled by tales of wonder. They will discover the Gothic and steam-punk worlds where unusual creatures and strange machines can be found in mysterious locales.

Here is a list of our books that are on the TD Summer Reading Club’s various English book lists:

Legends, Folklore, Myths:
Spirits, Fairies, and Merpeople
Native Stories of Other Worlds
Written by C.J. Taylor
Hardcover | Ages 9-12 | Nonfiction
ISBN: 978-0-88776-872-9
C. J. Taylor draws from those stories and from her own Mohawk heritage in this collection of haunting tales about some of the powerful spirits who touch the lives of human folk. The spirits of heaven and earth from the Ute help bring an understanding of the stars in the sky. Illustrated with her own powerful oil paintings, this is a collection to read and an excellent story-teller’s resource.

Sindbad
From the Tales of the Thousand and One Nights
Retold by Ludmila Zeman
Trade Paperback | Ages 7-11 | Nonfiction
ISBN: 978-1-77049-264-6
Perhaps the best known of the Tales of the Thousand and One Nights are those about Sindbad the Sailor. For centuries, people have been fascinated by the stories of a simple, sometimes confused, sailor who mistakes a giant whale for a lovely island and the egg of the Roc (a bird so huge that she can carry an elephant in her talons) for a mountain. Sindbad encounters many dangers, but he prevails in this irresistible trilogy, thanks to nothing but his own wits.

Magic:
Daughter of the Great Zandini
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Cybèle Young
Hardcover | Ages 8-10 | Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-88776-534-6
Tradition is important to the Great Zandini, the great magician of Paris. His grandfather was a magician, his father was a magician, and his son will be a magician too. Unfortunately, his son Theodore does not feel the same way. Zandini won’t hear of opposition. Besides, his arch nemesis, newspaper reporter A. S. Besette, has begun a smear campaign, suggesting the old master is washed up. Zandini creates a new magic show to introduce Theodore as his successor. There’s only one problem: Theodore is a hopeless magician.

Mythical Creatures:
Monsterology
Fabulous Lives of the Creepy, the Revolting, and the Undead
Written by Arthur Slade
Illustrated by Derek Mah
Trade Paperback | Ages 11-12 | Nonfiction
ISBN: 978-0-88776-714-2
Monsterology: Fabulous Lives of the Creepy, the Revolting, and the Undead is the most fun anyone can have with some of the nastiest creatures ever imagined! Who can resist morsels like the fact that “Drakul” means “son of the dragon” in Romanian, that the first Golem may have been Enkidu, who appeared in the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh, and that Frankenstein’s Monster was first inspired by Mary Shelley’s nightmare?

Scary Stories:
Don’t Go In There!
Written by Veronika Martenova Charles
Illustrated by David Parkins
Trade Paperback | Ages 5-7 | Easy Readers
ISBN: 978-0-88776-781-4
Ghostly tales of strange things lurking in forbidden places tie these three stories together. The boys have been warned not to go into a certain room while they are pet-sitting for the neighbor, but, of course, their bravado leads to a session of one-upmanship and the distinct possibility that the cats they are looking after may not be cats at all. Stories from Russia, the United States, and the West Indies are highlighted.

Don’t Talk to Strangers!
Written by Veronika Martenova Charles
Illustrated by David Parkins
Trade Paperback | Ages 6-8 | Easy Readers
ISBN: 978-0-88776-847-7
This time a lost dog sparks the theme of strangers and the wisdom in avoiding them. And what a collection of strangers they are! Headless trolls, people with pointy ears and huge eyes, and long-lost “aunties,” who enjoy eating their guests. Stories from Scandinavia, Sierra Leone, and Iraq are highlighted in this universal warning.

The Fortress of Kaspar Snit
Written by Cary Fagan
Trade Paperback | Ages 8-10 | Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-88776-665-7
Kaspar Snit is a villainous villain who is determined to steal all the fountains in the world. Why? Fountains are beautiful and give people pleasure, two things he can’t abide. Can a family of four who love fountains rescue them from the hands of this dastardly scoundrel? Especially when that family is made up of the four most eccentric individuals you’d care to meet?

Time Travel:
The Battle for Duncragglin
Written by Andrew H. Vanderwal
Hardcover | Ages 11+ | Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-88776-886-6
Set in the time of William Wallace, this is historical fiction at its bloody best! One of history’s most turbulent times comes to vivid life in this thrilling novel. Twelve-year-old Alex has been raised by his uncle since his parents disappeared on a trip to Scotland many years ago. He’s resigned to spending the summer in Scotland with yet another relative and finds himself on a farm near the ruined remnants of an ancient castle that is rumored to be haunted. Could it have a connection to his parents’ disappearance?

The TD Summer Reading Club is sponsored by TD Bank Group in co-operation with the Toronto Public Library and Library and Archives Canada. A team of children’s librarians from the public libraries of Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal developed the theme and the materials for the program. The participating regions are: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Please click here for more information about Dušan Petričić, the illustrator who created the artwork for this year’s Reading Club!

Past TD Summer Reading Clubs: 2010 and 2011