The Canadian Toy Testing Council’s Great Books

Canadian Toy Testing CouncilThe Canadian Toy Testing Council (CTTC), the leading authority on toys in Canada, has used its evaluation process to select Great Books for Children by Canadian creators and publishers. The books range from picture books to novels to non-fiction or science-based fact books. The diversity of titles shows that there are books available to appeal to every child!

CANADIAN TOY TESTING COUNCIL
TOY REPORT 2014 AWARD-WINNING BOOKS
GREAT BOOKS

The Pocket MommyThe Pocket Mommy
Written by Rachel Eugster
Illustrated by Tom Goldsmith
ISBN 978-1-77049-300-1
Ages 3+
“When a pocket-sized mommy joins him in kindergarten, Sammy actually discovers his independence. Children can relate to the story about missing mommy and appreciate the detailed, humorous illustrations. Parents find this a helpful story for children starting school or a new activity.”

JoJo the GiantJoJo the Giant
Written by Jane Barclay
Illustrated by Esperanca Melo
ISBN: 978-0-88776-976-4
Ages 4+
“This uplifting story about determination and compassion can inspire children to have faith in themselves and look beyond their shortcomings. Children enjoy the expressive, colourful illustrations, the text’s appealing language, and the surprise twist at the end.”

In the BagIn the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
ISBN 978-1-77049-239-4
Ages 5-7
“This story about the inventor Margaret Knight is a tale of perseverance and ingenuity. Children, especially young girls, are inspired by a young woman who did things others women could not do, who understood things others said women could not know. Readers also appreciated the detailed illustrations and accessible story, while parents liked the book’s educational quality.”

Hey CanadaHey Canada!
Written by Vivien Bowers
Illustrated by Milan Pavlovic
ISBN 978-1-77049-255-4
Ages 7-10
“Explore Canada from coast to coast to coast with this colorfully illustrated book that mixes photographs, comic strips, narrative and social media. Readers liked the humorous approach to information about Canada’s diverse geography, history, nature, etc. A great resource to understand this country better in an entertaining and accessible way.”

For the full list of Great Books, please click here!

CANADIAN TOY TESTING COUNCIL
TOY REPORT 2014 AWARD-WINNING BOOKS
RECOMMENDED READS

  • My Achy Body by Liza Fromer and Francine Gerstein, illustrated by Joe Weissmann
  • My Messy Body by Liza Fromer and Francine Gerstein, illustrated by Joe Weissmann
  • My Noisy Body by Liza Fromer and Francine Gerstein, illustrated by Joe Weissmann
  • My Stretchy Body by Liza Fromer and Francine Gerstein, illustrated by Joe Weissmann
  • Checkers and Dot at the Beach by J. Torres, illustrated by J. Lum
  • Checkers and Dot on the Farm by J. Torres, illustrated by J. Lum
  • Creatures Great and Small by Karen Patkau
  • Creatures Yesterday and Today by Karen Patkau
  • Ella May and the Wishing Stone by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Geneviève Côté
  • Here Comes Hortense! by Heather Hartt-Sussman, illustrated by Georgia Graham
  • Hockey 123 by Christopher Jordan
  • Hockey ABC by Christopher Jordan
  • Hockey Colours by Christopher Jordan
  • Hockey Opposites by Christopher Jordan
  • It’s Not About the Ball! by Veronika Martenova Charles, illustrated by David Parkins
  • It’s Not About the Beanstalk! by Veronika Martenova Charles, illustrated by David Parkins
  • It’s Not About the Straw! by Veronika Martenova Charles, illustrated by David Parkins
  • Man Overboard! by Curtis Parkinson
  • Nana’s Summer Surprise by Heather Hartt-Sussman, illustrated by Georgia Graham
  • Nini by François Thisdale
  • Noni Is Nervous by Heather Hartt-Sussman, illustrated by Geneviève Côté
  • Puckster’s First Hockey Game by Lorna Schultz Nicholson, illustrated by Kelly Findley
  • Puckster’s First Hockey Sweater by Lorna Schultz Nicholson, illustrated by Kelly Findley
  • Spot the Difference by Tak Bui
  • The French Fry King by Rogé
  • Where Do You Look? by Marthe Jocelyn and Nell Jocelyn
  • Who Needs an Iceberg? by Karen Patkau
  • Who Needs an Jungle? by Karen Patkau
  • Winterberries and Apple Blossoms by Nan Forler, illustrated by Peter Etril Snyder

For the complete list of Recommended Reads, please click here.

Tuesdays with Tundra 27

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

Mister Dash and the Cupcake CalamityMister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Esperança Melo
Format: Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-6
ISBN: 978-1-77049-396-4
Mr. Dash may not have a pedigree (he can count five different breeds of dogs as family), but from his furry head to his wagging tail, he is a gentleman. His fine manners make him a perfect companion to Madame Croissant. Their life together is graceful and civilized, what with walks in the park, stamp-collecting, and a passion for flowers. Mr. Dash is also in charge of delivering Madame Croissant’s world-famous cupcakes. All is well until Daphne, Madame Croissant’s rather lively niece, arrives to turn the cupcake world upside down.

Beyond the MoongateBeyond the Moongate
True Stories of 1920s China

Written by Elizabeth Quan
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 6-8
ISBN: 978-1-77049-383-4
eBook: 978-1-77049-382-7
“Anecdotal paintings and reminiscences of two childhood years spent in China, by an artist now in her 90s … Quan recalls 17 experiences or incidents during the stay…. It’s a sunny picture, but there are references to the real dangers of pirates and brigands, as well as a comment about the author’s beloved Popo (grandmother) walking to church on bound feet. These, along with a final parting made particularly poignant … warm, humorous and engaging overall.” — Kirkus Reviews

The Dragon Turn_PaperbackThe Dragon Turn
The Boy Sherlock Holmes , His 5th Case

Written by Shane Peacock
Trade Paperback | 256 Pages | Ages 10-14
ISBN: 978-1-77049-411-4
“…The Dragon Turn is a wonderful book. I think its target audience will love it for its adventure, mystery and characters, and, as an older reader, I enjoyed it for the way Peacock wrote Sherlock Holmes.” — Literary Treats

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, please tell us which new March 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, March 18, 2013!

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 16

Happy New Year! We want to thank everyone who’s been visiting us on a monthly basis to check on our new releases and to enter our Pub Date Giveaways. Here’s to another year of great reads!

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

A Tinfoil Sky
By Cyndi Sand-Eveland
Hardcover | 224 pages | Ages 10-14
ISBN: 978-1-77049-277-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-294-3
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, can’t-put-it-down novel.

“…a gritty and moving follow-up to her 2008 debut, Dear Toni…. Sand-Eveland doesn’t shy away from the reality of life on the streets….” – Quill & Quire

JoJo the Giant
By Jane Barclay
Illustrated by Esperança Melo
Hardcover | 32 pages | Ages 4-7
ISBN: 978-0-88776-976-4
Jane Barclay’s heartwarming 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 favorite.

“…Jane Barclay’s charming new picture book is a kindly story about frustration, determination, and a loving bond between mother and son…. Illustrator Esperança Melo … uses a rich, glowing palate of vivid reds, blues, and ochres to reinforce the text’s feeling of familial warmth and JoJo’s brave spirit…. The story ends with a sweet surprise, and JoJo feeling 10 feet tall.” – Quill & Quire

Pub Date Giveaway: Tell us which new release you would love to read in the comments below and one lucky reader will receive their requested book!

One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday, January 12, 2012!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Melinda P! A copy of JoJo the Giant will be sent to you!

PS: Our next Pub Date Giveaway will be on February 14, 2012.

Top 10 Great Books For Children 2012

Congratulations to our authors and illustrators! The Canadian Toy Testing Council (CTTC) have listed the following Tundra books as some of the top ten “Great Books” for 2012:

Gunner: Hurricane Horse
By Judy Andrekson
illustrated by David Parkins
Trade Paperback | 104 Pages
Ages 8-11
ISBN: 978-0-88776-905-4
eBook: 978-1-77049-227-1
“…an emotional true story which educates readers about horses and reminds readers to be resilient during periods of hardship. Telling black and white illustrations decorate chapter headings, and a striking cover complements this well researched story. This newest book in the “True Horse Stories” series is a quick read and contains more humor than the first five books in the series. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to a girl or a boy who is looking for the latest book about horses….” – Recommended, CM Magazine

Merci Mr. Dash!
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Esperança Melo
Hardcover | 32 Pages
Ages 3-6
ISBN: 978-0-88776-964-1
“…Brightly colored acrylic paintings show Mr. Dash at his best…. Generously sprinkled with easily understood French phrases, this well-paced portrait of patience and toleration ends with a satisfying nap by the fire and the promise of a quiet, Daphne-free day. Children will empathize with Daphne and Mr. Dash and perhaps gain an understanding of both positions. A good choice to generate discussion, this will appeal to energetic youngsters and dog lovers alike.” – Kirkus Reviews

A Night on the Town
By Caroline Merola
Hardcover | 32 Pages
Ages 3-6
ISBN: 978-1-77049-200-4
“… Caroline Merola’s bold illustrations saturate every page with colour and create a rich, expressive backdrop to the story. The narrative flows naturally, with light, playful dialogue and a lively pace that will make reading aloud a pleasure. Pickles McPhee and Martha made loveable, spirited heroines…. A Night on the Town is a good-natured, charmingly illustrated book – just the ticket for a vicarious nighttime romp.” – Quill & Quire

It’s Not about the Apple!
By Veronika Martenova Charles
Illustrated by David Parkins
Trade Paperback | 64 Pages
Ages 5-8
ISBN: 978-0-88776-955-9
eBook: 978-1-77049-215-8
“I really loved this book! It captures the story of Snow White from four different cultural perspectives, and each one pulled me away from the Walt Disney version in a delightful way … to read this text and experience Snow White from different cultural perspectives was completely refreshing…. The theme of this classic fairy tale remains the same, but the uniqueness presented from each culture adds great flavour to the original….” – Highly Recommended, CM Magazine

The other books on this year’s list are:

  • Not a Baby Anymore
  • Le meilleur endroit
  • The Loud Book
  • Kiss Me (I’m a Prince)
  • Savais-tu? Les corneilles!
  • Magalie Lance et compte

Congratulations to all!