2015 Willow Awards Nominations

The Willow AwardsThe Willow Awards have been announced! We are very happy to see that three of our titles have been nominated for the Shining Willow Award and one for the Diamond Willow. Congratulations to Roy MacGregor, Geneviève Després, Eric Walters, Eugenie Fernandes, Elise Gravel, and Charis Cotter for their fantastic work!

Click here for a bookmark checklist for the Shining Willow nominees and click here for the Diamond Willow bookmark.

Shining Willow Nominees:

The Highest Number in the WorldThe Highest Number in the World
Written by Roy MacGregor
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-5753
“MacGregor’s writing packs an emotional punch without relying on sentimentality (‘Gabe’s heart felt as if a skate had just run across it’). Expressive pencil drawings, brightened with color washes, perfectly capture the characters’ feelings. From the moment Grandma begins to share her past and her passion for hockey, the story’s context becomes broader, more complex, and more meaningful. A memorable, intergenerational picture book perfect for sharing.” – Starred Review, Booklist

My Name Is BlessingMy Name Is Blessing
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages |Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-301-8
“This expressive picture book, based on a real family, lovingly tells a hard story with a twist. It’s difficult to broach poverty, disability and custody issues in so few pages without sounding maudlin, but Walters manages by speaking simply…. With dignity and quiet acceptance, this story illustrates that blessings, like family, can take unexpected forms.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The WormThe Worm
Written by Elise Gravel
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-633-0
“Gravel covers basics like worm anatomy and diet with simple text and bold, hand-lettered typography. But it’s the earthworm protagonist, sporting a beret and greeting readers with a worldly ‘Énchanté!’, that helps make the book so entertaining. It has a witty quip for every wormy fact…. But even the book’s more aesthetically challenged creatures—tapeworms, I’m looking at you—can’t help but woo with their cute dot-eyes and expressive mouths. The Worm is gross, silly, and informative—the perfect combo for maximum kid appeal.” – Science Friday

Diamond Willow Nominee:

The SwallowThe Swallow
A Ghost Story
Written by Charis Cotter
Hardcover | 320 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-591-3
“The novel alternates between Polly’s and Rose’s first-person points of view, and Cotter ably creates their two distinct voices, each of which is appealing in its own way. This is a novel about loneliness and friendship, feeling invisible, finding your voice, and long-buried secrets. But The Swallow is never heavy-handed, and, best of all, it’s genuinely spooky. Cotter builds suspense without artificially withholding information from the reader. And for bibliophiles, the author’s subtle hat tips to favourite books are a joy. Like all the best ghost stories, The Swallow tells us more about the living than the dead. It is a fantastic addition to Toronto literature, with all the makings of a classic.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

2015-2016 Chickadee Book Award

More great news, The Highest Number in the World has been nominated for the 2015-2016 Chickadee Book Award! Congratulations to Roy MacGregor and Geneviève Després!

The Highest Number in the WorldThe Highest Number in the World
Written by Roy MacGregor
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-5753
“MacGregor’s writing packs an emotional punch without relying on sentimentality (‘Gabe’s heart felt as if a skate had just run across it’). Expressive pencil drawings, brightened with color washes, perfectly capture the characters’ feelings. From the moment Grandma begins to share her past and her passion for hockey, the story’s context becomes broader, more complex, and more meaningful. A memorable, intergenerational picture book perfect for sharing.” – Starred Review, Booklist

The Chickadee Award is a picture book award program for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. This award is given annually to one of ten picture books nominated by a committee of teachers, librarians, and early literacy professionals. Each year the books are chosen from those published in the previous year and are selected because they present a solid original story and artwork that supports and extends the text.

Tundra Reading Club: The Highest Number in the World Reviews

Hi everyone!

It’s time to share the Reading Club reviews for The Highest Number in the World!

TundraReadingClub

The Highest Number in the World

The Highest Number in the World
Written by Roy MacGregor | Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-5753

“MacGregor’s writing packs an emotional punch without relying on sentimentality…Expressive pencil drawings, brightened with color washes, perfectly capture the characters’ feelings…A memorable, intergenerational picture book perfect for sharing.”– Starred Review, Booklist

  • Adrienne at BooksandBassets likes that it’s about “girl power and historical context.”
  • Lee-Ann at Goodreads thinks the book does “a wonderful job at showing how if you look at disappointment a different way it is possible to see it as an opportunity to discover something else and just as thrilling.”
  • Mary-Esther at Sister’s Library calls it a “sweet story that warms the heart.”
  • Stephanie at The Nomadic Reader felt the story “resonated with [her] as a Canadian and of course as a lover of hockey.”
  • Ann Marie at a dainty dish calls it a “hat-trick – in its story, words and images!”

If you read the book as well, please let us know what you thought about it in the comments below! Are there any other inspirational hockey stories you love?

I’m also very excited to announce our April reading club book: Outstanding in the Rain by Frank Viva! Make sure you check back here next Monday to sign up for your chance to win a review copy.

Thanks for participating and see you next week!

Tundra Reading Club: March 2015

Hi everyone!

Another month, another book!

Just to remind you:

Each month, we’ll post a book and a sign-up form for bloggers. Then we’ll randomly choose the lucky five who will receive a copy (in some cases, an advance copy) in exchange for a review on their blog!

Of course, everyone is free to participate via tweets (@TundraBooks) or in the comment section on the monthly post.

To make it easy to work into your busy schedules, we’ve chosen picture books so it shouldn’t take you too long to read the book of the month (or like me, you might pore over it for hours and be distracted by the illustrations).

TundraReadingClubSince the hockey season is ending next month, our pick for March, The Highest Number in the World by Roy MacGregor, is perfect for any hockey fan. It’s also a lovely inter-generational tale about a grandmother and her granddaughter, and includes wonderful illustrations by Geneviève Després.

The Highest Number in the WorldNine-year-old Gabe (Gabriella) Murray lives and breathes hockey. She’s the youngest player on her new team, she has a nifty move that her teammates call “the Gabe,” and she shares lucky number 22 with her hero, Hayley Wickenheiser. But when her coach hands out the team jerseys, Gabe is stuck with number 9. Crushed, Gabe wants to give up hockey altogether. How can she play without her lucky number? Gabe’s grandmother soon sets her straight, though – from her own connection to the number 9 in her hockey-playing days to all the greats she cheered for who wore it, she soon convinces Gabe that this new number might not be so bad after all.

Also, if you know any middle grade hockey lovers, make sure you check out Roy’s successful Screech Owls series.

Visit your local library or bookstore to get reading! If you’re interested, fill in the form below and we’ll randomly select five bloggers to read and review a copy of The Highest Number in the World and join our discussion. You have until Monday March 9 at 3 pm EST to sign up, so don’t delay!

SIGN-UP FORM CLOSED!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Lee Ann, Mary-Esther, Stephanie, Adrienne, and Ann Marie! We look forward to your reviews!

Check back in on Monday, March 23, 2015 for our reading club discussion of The Highest Number in the World!

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: The Sports Fan

Listed by age range:

Baseball AnimalsBaseball Animals
Written by Christopher Jordan
Hardcover | 24 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-474-9
In Baseball Animals, children will learn about the various animals specific to professional baseball and discover why each team selected the particular animal when naming their club.

Baseball OppositesBaseball Opposites
Written by Christopher Jordan
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-518-0
In Baseball Opposites, children will be introduced to an array of familiar opposites clearly defined through bright and colorful photographs from the world of Major League Baseball.

M Is for Maple LeafsM Is for Maple Leafs
An Official Toronto Maple Leafs Alphabet Book

Written by Michael Ulmer
Illustrated by Melanie Rose
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-798-6
For nearly a century, the Toronto Maple Leafs have stood as one of the most popular hockey franchises in the NHL. With M Is for Maple Leafs, children across North America will discover the alphabet while being introduced to interesting Leaf history. From people (such as Mats Sundin and Johnny Bower) to hockey terminology (line change and face-off) and places and things (dressing room, Air Canada Centre, puck), the world of hockey is depicted in this fun and lively picture book. Featuring rhyming text from author Mike Ulmer and striking illustrations from Melanie Rose, this book captures the spirit of “Canada’s game.”

Puckster's Hockey Game Against the MascotsPuckster Plays the Hockey Mascots
Written by Lorna Schultz Nicholson
Illustrated by Kelly Findley
Trade Paperback | 24 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-760-3
In Puckster Plays the Hockey Mascots, Puckster and his pals realize the dream of being on the ice with their hockey heroes – the Toronto Maple Leafs mascot Carlton the bear and the Montreal Canadiens mascot Youppi. These legendary NHL mascots inspired Puckster to play hockey and cheer for Hockey Canada and now here he was playing in a real game with these hockey greats. But when his drive to win and desire to impress others gets in the way, Puckster realizes that he has let his team down and forgotten the true spirit of teamwork.

Puckster's Christmas Hockey TournamentPuckster’s Christmas Hockey Tournament
Written by Lorna Schultz Nicholson
Illustrated by Kelly Findley
Trade Paperback | 24 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-758-0
In Puckster’s Christmas Hockey Tournament, it is Christmas Eve and Puckster is nervously watching the heavy snowfall gather on the ground and in the trees. It is his first Christmas away from home and though he is excited to be with Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Tournament, he is afraid that the winter storm will prevent his family and friends from travelling to the remote arena and arrive in time for Christmas morning.

The Bambino and MeThe Bambino and Me
Written by Zachary Hyman
Read by Jason Alexander
Illustrated by Zachary Pullen
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-627-9
It’s 1927, and ten-year-old George Henry Alexander is full of the joys of summer: long days, warm nights and baseball, especially the greatest player in the game: Babe Ruth – the Bambino. When George’s parents surprise him with tickets to a game between his beloved Yankees and their rivals, the Boston Red Sox, he couldn’t be more excited. But when the big day arrives, things don’t quite go according to plan …

The Highest Number in the WorldThe Highest Number in the World
Written by Roy MacGregor
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-575-3
Nine-year-old Gabe (Gabriella) Murray lives and breathes hockey. She’s the youngest player on her new team, she has a nifty move that her teammates call “the Gabe,” and she shares a lucky number with her hero, Hayley Wickenheiser: number 22. But when her coach hands out the team jerseys, Gabe is stuck with number 9. Crushed, Gabe wants to give up hockey altogether. How can she play without her lucky number?

Peter Puck and the Runaway ZamboniPeter Puck and the Runaway Zamboni Machine
Written by Brian Mcfarlane
Illustrated by Geri Storey
Hardcover | 34 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-583-8
In Peter Puck and the Runaway Zamboni Machine, Peter’s good friend, Tony the Zamboni, longs for adventure. When Tony disappears, Peter and referee George Phair head out to find him. Tony loves being out in the big wide world, especially when he enters a race at the speedway. Peter arrives just in time to hop on and drive, but a run-in with two nasty drivers threatens to put them on the sidelines. Can Peter and Tony stay in the race? And will the runaway Zamboni return to the arena and prepare the ice for the big game?

The Mystery of the Russian RansomThe Mystery of the Russian Ransom
Written by Roy MacGregor
Trade Paperback | 176 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-420-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-425-1
The Screech Owls have never had such a wonderful surprise. A famous Russian billionaire has offered to pay and fly the whole team to his country. He wants the Owls to visit his homeland so the Russians can learn from the Screech Owls’ style of play. The team will play in a tournament while they are there, but even before their first practice on Russian ice, Sarah is taken off the snowy streets. Her kidnappers want ten million rubles in exchange for her safe release! The billionaire wants to pay for Sarah’s safe return, but Travis and his teammates decide to take matters into their own hands.

The Boston BreakoutThe Boston Breakout
Written by Roy MacGregor
Trade Paperback | 176 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-421-3
eBook: 978-1-77049-426-8
The Screech Owls are in Boston for the Paul Revere Peewee Invitational. Nish decides to drop out of school. If it worked for Ben Franklin, it will work for him. Sarah becomes increasingly concerned about Samantha’s attraction to a group of protesters demanding that the New England Aquarium “Free the Penguins.” When the girls learn that the protesters have far more in mind than speeches and waving placards, the Owls have to act fast to save the lives of thousands of sea creatures.

The Hockey Sweater_30th AnniversaryThe Hockey Sweater, 30th Anniversary Edition
Written by Roch Carrier
Illustrated by Sheldon Cohen
Translated by Sheila Fischman
Hardcover | 48 Pages | All Ages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-762-7
The Hockey Sweater is a Canadian children’s classic, and we are very excited to be doing an anniversary edition. It will include lots of extras, including original material from the author and illustrator, stills from the animated film, letters and quotes from celebrities and more.

Gabe