Our Stars of 2019

At Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, we think all our books are brilliant, and it’s nice when others think so too! Congratulations to our authors and illustrators, these are our starred books of 2019!

FOUR STARS:

It Began With a PageIt Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | ISBN 9781101918593
Ages 5-9 | Tundra Books
“A splendid picture-book celebration of an artist and activist.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Maclear and Morstad’s biography conveys with quiet power how recently segregation reached into every aspect of American life, and how one woman did her part to defeat it.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“Maclear and Morstad pack a lot of information into a few pages. This exemplary biography of a pioneer in multicultural children’s books deserves a place in most collections.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal
“This beautiful biography offers a fitting tribute to an artist with a lasting legacy in American picture books.” – Starred Review, Booklist

TWO STARS:

The Royal Guide to Monster SlayingA Royal Guide to Monster Slaying
By Kelley Armstrong
Hardcover | ISBN 9780735265356
Ages 10-14 | Puffin Canada
“. . . [A] fast and fun read, a great read-a-like for Tamora Pierce’s ‘Tortall’ series.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal
“A fresh take on familiar fantasy creatures and situations.” – Starred Review, Shelf Awareness

Alma and the BeastAlma and the Beast
By Esme Shapiro
Hardcover | ISBN 9780735263963
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
“With lessons on friendship, culture, and helping others, and language and art reminiscent of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this endearing picture book is richly rewarding.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal
“It’s a sweetly psychedelic mix of Tove Jansson, Van Gogh, and what is now recognizably trademark Shapiro. . . . [her] tale is a gentle charmer, plain and simple.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

Broken StringsBroken Strings
By Kathy Kacer and Eric Walters
Hardcover | ISBN 9780735266247
Ages 10-14 | Puffin Canada
“Shirli’s voice is true and strong as she narrates her own tale of rehearsals, her very ethnically diverse friendships, her deep distress as she witnesses Zayde’s pain, and her joy as he reconnects with his music. A beautiful, painful, heartfelt reminder that the past is with us still.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Walters and Kacer pull of this impressive feat of complex storytelling and make it look easy . . . . [It is an] honest, open and unflinching [story] about some of the more dark and traumatic aspects of history.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

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

Rayne and Delilah's Midnite MatineeRayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee
By Jeff Zentner
Hardcover | ISBN 9780735263048
Ages 14+ | Penguin Teen Canada
“Zentner’s quick-witted, charming characters tackle real-life issues with snappy dialogue and engaging levity.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“As in his award-winning The Serpent King (2016), Zentner packs a poignantly satisfying blend of wit and pathos, with lovable and unpredictable characters. . . . Readers looking for an unforgettable slice of small-town angst will love this one.” – Starred Review, Booklist

We Contain MultitudesWe Contain Multitudes
By Sarah Henstra
Hardcover | ISBN 9780735264212
Ages 14+ | Penguin Teen Canada
“This is an absolutely extraordinary work of fiction that proves the epistolary novel is an art form. Kurl and Jo are characters to die for, emotionally compelling and empathetic…. [This novel] is not to be missed.” – Starred Review, Booklist
“A love story, a therapy session, a reason to read Whitman-the sweetness of unexpected amour is here, as is the saline of sadness…Your reason to root for love-and the power of the pen.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

ONE STAR:

great job, dadGreat Job, Dad! and Great Job, Mom!
By Holman Wang
Hardcover | Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
ISBN 9780735264106 | ISBN 9780735264083
“The artwork in this tongue-in-cheek look at the many roles [dads] play in family life is certain to have readers poring over the pages.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Ho onaniHo’onani: Hula Warrior
By Heather Gale
Illustrated by Mika Song
Hardcover | ISBN 9780735264496
Ages 4-8 | Tundra Books
“Boldly outlined watercolor and ink artwork . . . convey visual information with strength that suggests Ho‘onani’s own. And Gale grounds the child’s experience, based on a true story, in Hawaiian traditions, modeling showing ‘every person the same unconditional acceptance and respect’.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

how to give your cat a bathHow to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps
By Nicola Winstanley
Illustrated by John Martz
Hardcover | ISBN 9780735263543
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
“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

princess puffybottom and darrylPrincess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl
By Susin Nielsen
Illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
Hardcover | ISBN 9781101919255
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
“Nielsen’s tale and Mueller’s digitally created pooch and puss pair perfectly. . . . Princess and Darryl need a sequel.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Meow! Today is national cat day!

Celebrate national cat day by feline fine and checking out a good story. Here is the purrfect list for cat-lovers of all ages!

PICTURE BOOKS

how to give your cat a bathHow to Give Your Cat a Bath
in Five Easy Steps

By Nicola Winstanley
Illustrated by John Martz
ISBN 9780735263543 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing any of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath – it’s the whole house!

miss minkMiss Mink
Life Lessons for a Cat Countess

By Janet Hill
ISBN 9781770499225 | Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Tundra Books
This whimsical collection of twenty cat-approved life lessons for living your purrfect life is accompanied by gorgeous, lushly detailed paintings.

princess puffybottom and darrylPrincess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl
By Susin Nielsen
Illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
ISBN 9781101919255 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
Princess Puffybottom has the perfect life – her subjects serve her delicious meals, clean up her “delicate matters” and wait on her hand and foot. Life is good . . . until Darryl arrives. Princess Puffybottom thinks he’s disgusting, horrid and a true animal. Though she tries everything in her power to banish him (including hypnosis, trickery and even sabotage), it looks like this puppy is here to stay. Can Princess P. and Darryl find a way to co-exist?

Copy CatCopy Cat
By Ali Pye
ISBN 9780763699352 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Nosy Crow
Bella loves Anna. In fact, Bella loves Anna so much that she wants to be just like her and copies every single thing she does. Finally Anna decides she’s had enough of Bella being such a copycat! What is Bella going to do? With an adorable troupe of colorful kittens and vibrant illustrations, this author-illustrator debut from rising star Ali Pye is a lighthearted look at playground friendships and finding your own way.

The Cat Who Lived with Anne FrankThe Cat Who Lived With Anne Frank
By David Lee Miller and Steven Jay Rubin
Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
ISBN 9781524741501 | Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Philomel Books
Told from the perspective of the cat who actually lived with Anne Frank in the famous Amsterdam annex, this poignant book paints a picture of a young girl who wistfully dreams of a better life for herself and her friends, tentatively wonders what mark she might leave on the world, and, above all, adamantly believes in the goodness of people.

The Cat BookThe Cat Book: A minibombo Book
By Silvia Borando
ISBN 9780763694722 | Hardcover
Ages 2-5 | Candlewick Press
Who’s that, curled in a ball? Call out his name to wake him! Now turn the page and see him give a big stretch, waiting for you to pat him. Purr, purr, purr. Aww. But what’s that? Fleas! Quick, squish them with your finger! As this pampered cat’s day progresses, readers will have their hands full, acting as umbrella and towel and even clapping their hands loudly to save a bird . . . oh no!

Ghost CatGhost Cat
By Kevan Atteberry
ISBN 9780823442836 | Hardcover
Ages 3-6 | Neal Porter Books
There’s something oddly familiar about this ghost cat – it does lots of things that remind the boy of the cat he used to have. The boy’s not sure why the ghost cat never stays for more than a few moments, or why the ghost cat has visited him in the first place. He follows the ghost cat all over his house, until finally it leads him to something new and wonderful.

Professor Astro Cats StargazingProfessor Astro Cat’s Stargazing
By Dr. Dominic Walliman
Illustrated by Ben Newman
ISBN 9781912497836 | Hardcover
Ages 5-7 | Flying Eye Books
In this new addition to the bestselling science series, we learn all about the stars in our universe, including our own sun! From scientific discoveries to the constellations dreamed up by humans centuries ago, the adventurous and wise Professor Astro Cat will guide young readers through fascinating facts.

Bad DogBad Dog
By Mike Boldt
ISBN 9781984847973 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Cat lovers and dog lovers alike will howl with laughter at this little girl’s willful insistence that her cat is a dog. The hilarious ways in which cats and dogs are different are brilliantly illuminated with each turn of the page and will leave young readers and their grown-ups giggling.

There Are No Bears in This BakeryThere Are No Bears in this Bakery
By Julia Sarcone-Roach
ISBN 9780399556654 | Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
A tough gumshoe of a cat–the name’s Muffin–protects his territory: The Little Bear Bakery. But there are no bears here. Not on Muffin’s watch. One night, Muffin hears a suspicious noise. Mouse? Raccoon? Bat? Nope, not the usual suspects. But Muffin hears . . . growling. Could it be? Yup. A bear. Just a cub. Whose stomach is definitely growling. Muffin’s got this case solved–clearly this bear needs some donuts.

Maya and the Lost CatMaya and the Lost Cat
By Caroline Magerl
ISBN 9781536204230 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Candlewick Press
Where does Cat live, and who can lead the way there? A lyrical, charmingly offbeat tale about wanderlust and family, rescue and finding home. What will lure Cat down? Feather boas? Pretty pink shoelaces? A boatful of fish under a tiny tin sail?

Peg and Cat - The PuddlePeg + Cat: The Puddle
By Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson
ISBN 9781536206982 | Trade Paperback
Ages 3-7 | Candlewick Entertainment
A rainy day in the park has Peg and Cat singing, dancing, and measuring puddles to find out which ones are perfect for jumping in. Splash! Peg jumps right in, but Cat isn’t so sure. Just how deep is that water, anyway? If only they had some way to measure how far down the puddles go!

CHAPTER BOOKS

megabat and fancy catMegabat and Fancy Cat
By Anna Humphrey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
ISBN 9780735262591 | Hardcover
Ages 7-10 | Tundra Books
Megabat returns, this time with a new nemesis: a very fancy cat. Can our tiny bat hero stop his Daniel’s heart from being stolen by this nefarious, fluffy villain?

The Adventures of Miss Petitfours - paperbackThe Adventures of Miss Petitfour
By Anne Michaels
Illustrated by Emma Block
ISBN 9780735263222 | Trade Paperback
Ages 6-9 | Tundra Books
Miss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are “just the right size – fitting into a single, magical day.” On windy days, she takes her sixteen cats out for an airing: Minky, Misty, Taffy, Purrsia, Pirate, Mustard, Moutarde, Hemdela, Earring, Grigorovitch, Clasby, Captain Captain, Captain Catkin, Captain Cothespin, Your Shyness and Sizzles.

Klawde Evil Alien Warlord CatKlawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat
By Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth
Illustrated by Robb Mommaerts
ISBN 9781524787202 | Hardcover
Ages 8-12 | Penguin Workshop
Klawde is not your average cat. He’s an emperor from another planet, exiled to Earth. He’s cruel. He’s cunning. He’s brilliant… and he’s about to become Raj Banerjee’s best friend. Whether he likes it or not.

Timmy Failure - The Cat Stole My PantsTimmy Failure: The Cat Stole My Pants
By Stephan Pastis
ISBN 9781536209099 | Trade Paperback
Ages 8-12 | Candlewick Press
Timmy is in Key West, Florida, ostensibly for the honeymoon of his mother and Doorman Dave — if they even got married, which Timmy doubts. Unfortunately for Timmy, crime doesn’t take a vacation. And because Total has fled to Cuba seeking political asylum, Timmy must rely on a new partner for help: Doorman Dave’s nephew Emilio. Meanwhile, a surprise newcomer shows up in Timmy’s life and, as if things couldn’t get more hectic, Timmy’s pants have been stolen by a six-toed cat.

NON-FICTION

Cat Science UnleashedCat Science: Unleashed
Fun activities to do with your feline friend

By Jodi Wheeler-Toppen
ISBN 9781426334412 | Trade Paperback
Ages 8-12 | National Geographic Children’s Books
Unleash the power of science! Have fun with 22 safe and cat-friendly activities that let you work alongside your cat to discover what makes her tick. Learn how catnip affects your kitty and how she can see so well in the dark. Find out what kind of toys your cat loves by making a feather flyer. How does your cat balance so well and always land on all fours? Each activity is paired with step-by-step instructions, clear and interesting scientific explanations, and cool photographs shot specifically for this book.

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.

Nicola Winstanley’s #TundraCats

stanley and luluWe’ve asked our #TundraCats authors and illustrators to tell us a little bit more about their favorite felines. Today, we’re meeting Nicola Winstanley’s adorable cat.

What is your cat’s name?
Stanley Winstanley.

How old is your cat?
Eight.

Which #TundraCats book is your cat’s favorite?
Am I allowed to choose my own? If not, Princess Puffybottom … and Darryl.

What is your cat’s greatest strengths?
Poking me in the face with his paw to get more pats. Tricking us into feeding him dinner three times in a row. Being fat.

What does friendship mean to your cat?
Letting the small thing lick his ears. (The small thing is our dog, Lulu.)

Complete this sentence: If my cat is staring out the window, it’s because . . .
He’s mad because it’s raining.

Be sure to check out Nicola Winstanley’s newest book:

how to give your cat a bathHow to Give Your Cat a Bath
in Five Easy Steps

By Nicola Winstanley
Illustrated by John Martz
ISBN 9780735263543 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
Nicola Winstanley has always believed in the power of stories to bring comfort. She is the author of The Pirate’s Bed, A Bedtime Yarn and Cinnamon Baby, which won an honor prize for the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and was shortlisted for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Nicola lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with her family, one dog and one cat.

Pawsitively Great Books

At Tundra Books we know that cats are a book lover’s best friend! This spring we are celebrating all things feline with our #TundraCats campaign, the purrfect list for cat-lovers of all ages!

how to give your cat a bathHow to Give Your Cat a Bath
in Five Easy Steps

By Nicola Winstanley
Illustrated by John Martz
ISBN 9780735263543 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
“Five easy steps? Not a chance! For example, step one is attempted . . . six times. The engaging pictures leave much open space in the background and become a seek-and-find exercise when the cat ‘disappears’ time and again. This laugh-out-loud picture book can serve as a beginning reader since the text has repeated phrases and few words per page. The illustrations often have an interactive component; dialogue appears in speech bubbles, and characters leave a trail of dots behind them during a search-and-find. The inevitable ending will delight both children and adults and this title will be requested over and over.” – Starred Review, Booklist

miss minkMiss Mink
Life Lessons for a Cat Countess

By Janet Hill
ISBN 9781770499225 | Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Tundra Books
“Miss Mink, human ‘cat countess,’ relates 20 lessons she has gleaned from her 67 cats. According to the introduction, Marcella Mink became a cat countess by welcoming those 67 cats into her mansion by the sea. . . . Hill’s whimsical self-help tome, a companion to her canine-focused Miss Moon (2016), would make a splendid gift for any feline fan. Her illustrations, oils on canvas, have a 1920s flair . . . and they tweak the life lessons and adages they accompany with a touch of feline humor. Pretty and positive (and posh).” – Kirkus Reviews

princess puffybottom and darrylPrincess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl
By Susin Nielsen
Illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
ISBN 9781101919255 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
“Princess Puffybottom’s purrrrfect life is spoiled by a puppy named Darryl. Fluffy, black kitty Princess Puffybottom’s two female ‘subjects’ pamper her appropriately. . . . Princess Puffybottom indulges their whims, the petting and the play, until they surprise her with Darryl, a dog! . . . Yes, Darryl’s annoying, but Princess Puffybottom finds he has uses (such as liberating tasty morsels from the trash), and he does worship her, so life’s ‘good again.’ . . . Nielsen’s tale and Mueller’s digitally created pooch and puss pair perfectly, the princess acting as a nice stand-in for a pampered first child. The light touch of humor and twist at the end make this a must for storytime collections. Princess and Darryl need a sequel.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

megabat and fancy catMegabat and Fancy Cat
By Anna Humphrey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
9780735262591 | Hardcover
Ages 7-10 | Tundra Books
Megabat returns, this time with a new nemesis: a very fancy cat. Can our tiny bat hero stop his Daniel’s heart from being stolen by this nefarious, fluffy villain? Megabat was looking forward to Christmas morning: presents, playing toys, smooshfruit and watching Star Wars. But then Daniel opened his last, most special present. Daniel thinks this might be the best Christmas present yet: a beautiful cat named Priscilla! He’s always wanted a pet. Megabat is not sure he likes this cat. She tastes most hairy. Daniel loves his new cat! She’s fun to play with, and she’s so soft and fluffy. Megabat is not soft OR fluffy. What if Daniel loves Priscilla more than Megabat?

The Adventures of Miss Petitfours - paperbackThe Adventures of Miss Petitfour
By Anne Michaels
Illustrated by Emma Block
9780735263222 | Trade Paperback
Ages 6-9 | Tundra Books
“Meet Miss Petitfour—baker, adventurer, cat-lover, reader, stamp-collector, and storyteller—and her multitudinous cats in this episodic, begging-to-be-read-aloud illustrated chapter book. Its comedic irreverence and spirited play with words, names, and pirate lore will remind readers of Mary Poppins and Pippi Longstocking. Children will savor the whimsical language and conversational tone. . . . Highly recommended for story lovers of all shapes and sizes.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal