Sir Simon and 10 Haunted Easter Eggs You May Have Missed

Hello ghouls, goblins, witches, and readers!

This is Cale, taking over Talking with Tundra and bringing you a ghostly guest post! You may know me from such Tundra books as Where Oliver FitsIf I Had a Gryphon, and The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold.

I’m here today to talk about my latest picture book Sir Simon: Super Scarer and fill you in on some haunted trivia!

For those of you in the dark and unaware of what this book is about, here is a fancy lil’ write-up to fill you in:

Meet Sir Simon, Super Scarer. He’s a professional ghost who has been transferred to his first house. And just in time! He was getting tired of haunting bus stops and forests and potatoes. And to top it off, this house is occupied by an old lady— they’re the easiest to haunt!

But things don’t go as planned when it turns out a KID comes with this old lady. Chester spots Simon immediately and peppers him with questions. Simon is exasperated. . . until he realizes he can trick Chester into doing his ghost chores. Spooky sounds, footsteps in the attic, creaks on the stairs— these things don’t happen on their own, you know!

After a long night of haunting, it seems that maybe Chester isn’t cut out to be a ghost, so Simon decides to help with Chester’s human chores. Turns out Simon isn’t cut out for human chores either.

But maybe they’re both cut out to be friends . . .

Now that you’re up to speed:

In many of my books, I love sneaking in little details that most readers miss on their first read. As a kid, I always loved finding little details in books, and now, as a pseudo-adult, I have just as much fun drawing in my own.

Since Sir Simon is a ghost story, I felt this would be the perfect opportunity to sneak in my love of classic scary movies in the form of hidden Easter eggs.

Within the pages of Sir Simon: Super Scarer there are over 50 little hidden Easter eggs referencing all kinds of classic scary movies! Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Exorcist, Beetlejuice, The Shining… If you can think of a classic, there’s a fairly good chance it’s somewhere in the book.

For any of you taken aback and thinking: “Cale! You monster! How dareth you put these frightening films in a children’s book?! Have thou gone mad!? To answer yee olde English question, rest assured that all these references are so slight that most kids, and adults alike, will never notice them, nor know what they are referencing.

In this post I am going to point out 10 such Easter eggs, and then leave the rest for you to hunt out yourselves.

Time to double-check your house is secured from zombie invasion, restock your anti-vampire garlic, and grab some popcorn, ’cause here we go!

#1 Sweater on Elm Street
You may notice Chester’s finely striped sweater bears a striking resemblance to a certain fella who likes to hang out on Elm street.

(Nightmare on Elm Street)

#2 We’re gonna need a bigger boat

Simon’s haunted many a things in his past! He once haunted a boat with a Quint-essential captain.

(Quint from Jaws)

#3 Only Simon floats down here.

In my opinion any clown costume is too scary, but when it’s Pennywise’s duds, no wonder Simon is not a fan.

(Pennywise from IT)

#4 TV Reception from another dimension

A relic of TV past! The TV fuzz may not be seen as much these days in entertainment viewing, but once upon a time it was common place to not only see it, but wonder if you’ll start hearing a voice speak through it.

(Poltergeist)

#5 Amityville, population Simon

I wanted to base the design of Simon’s house on something, and always loved the eerie, iconic windows of this haunted house.

(Amityville Horror)

#6 The Pumpkin King

Among various paintings and portraits, you may spot Halloween’s top haunter and his seamstress companion.

(The Nightmare before Christmas)

#7 Slimer-y Cross stitch

Who are you gonna call? Well if you want a rad cross stitch of everyone’s favourite hungry green ghost, you better call Simon.

(Slimer from Ghostbusters)

#8 Big wheeling, forever, and ever, and ever.

It’s a proven fact that there is no better vehicle to escape two terrifying identical twins than a Big Wheel.

(The Shining)

#9 Feed me, Simon

Grandma has all sorts of plants in her sewing room. This particular plant is always hungry…

(Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors)

#10 Ghost Melody

What’s a ghost book without a Ghost reference!? Now while we don’t get to see Simon or Chester make beautiful pottery in this story, I’m sure in the film adaptation we’ll have our own Righteous Brothers scene.

(Ghost)

A bonus *Eleven*

Leggo my Eggo!

(Stranger Things)

Well that’s it for me, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading my guest post and seeing some of the spooky secrets hidden within Sir Simon: Super Scarer!
If you have a chance, please check out Sir Simon and be sure to let me know what you think! Don’t forget to give a little extra look at details.

Until next time! Have a ghoulishly great October!

BOO!

-Cale Atkinson

Twitter: @2dcale
Instagram: @2dcale

Instagram Stories to Read Bedtime Stories to Kids

IG storiestimeInnovative new series uses Instagram to help parents engage kids in storytime by reading picture books on Instagram Stories.

Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, has teamed up with advertising agency Rethink Canada to develop and produce the reading series “StoriesTime” launching September 10th, 2018. The new initiative designed to encourage families to read together, shares celebrated children’s books on Instagram through a series of bedtime Instagram Stories.

New stories featured on @tundrabooks Instagram each Monday and Thursday showcase beautifully illustrated children’s books from a collection of best sellers and new favourites, including Almost a Full Moon, written by Juno Award-winning musician Hawksley Workman. The stories, shot against a cozy home-like setting, and charmingly read, are designed to create an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

IG storiestime titles

“Bedtime reading is a wonderful way for parents to bond with their children, and we are excited to introduce our books to families in this new Instagram approach,” said Vikki VanSickle Associate Director, Marketing & Publicity, Young Readers at Penguin Random House Canada, and also a children’s book author herself.

The idea was inspired by a desire to promote an important childhood ritual, bedtime reading. “Every child should get that experience of bedtime stories. Using Instagram Stories we can use technology to give every kid that chance.” said Mike Dubrick, Partner, Creative Director at Rethink Canada in Toronto. “We see this as a way to encourage greater participation in an essential part of childhood.”

Tundra Books will host two different stories on their Instagram (@tundrabooks) each week over a four week period, the first having debuted September 10th. Each Story will remain active for a 24 hour period.

For more information or for high-resolution photographs please contact Vikki VanSickle at 416.928.2419 or vvansickle@penguinrandomhouse.com.

Window Wednesday

#WindowWednesday: We are incredibly fortunate to have stores create window features of our books. We want to highlight their amazing work here on our blog for you to see (and perhaps you’ll discover a new local bookstore).

Book City
2354 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6S 1P3
Photography: Sarah Ramsey

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Celebrate Tundra’s 50th Anniversary at the Penguin Shop!

tundra-takeover-19Celebrate Tundra’s 50th Anniversary at the Penguin Shop!

One of Toronto’s littlest bookstore is now dedicated to the littlest readers. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Canada’s oldest children’s publisher, Tundra Books, we have transformed the shop to feature Tundra’s classic and new children’s books.

The Tundra takeover is taking place from May 15th through June 9th, 2017. Plan your visit to see Tundra’s latest books, check out some staff picks and enjoy story time and crafts in the shop.

Weekly Activities

All activities take place from 1pm – 2pm on the days specified below.

STORYTIME

CRAFTS & ACTIVITIES

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tundra*Receive a limited edition Tundra Tote Bag with a purchase of $20 or more

The 2017 OLA Forest of Reading® Nominees

Forest of Reading BannerToday, the Ontario Library Association revealed the nominated titles for the 2017 Forest of Reading® program. Tundra Books would like to congratulate our nominated authors and illustrators!

2017 Blue Spruce Award™ Nominated Titles

The Good Little BookThe Good Little Book
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Marion Arbona
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN 9781770494510
While banished to a dusty study one day “to think things over”, a boy pulls a book off a shelf and with great reluctance begins to read. As the afternoon passes, the story nabs him and carries him away. Before long, this good little book becomes his loyal companion, accompanying him everywhere . . . until, one day, the book is lost. Will this bad little boy get back his good little book?

If I Had a GryphonIf I Had a Gryphon
Written by Vikki Vansickle
Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9781770498099
Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring . . . he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, gryphons scare the dogs at the dog-park, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet . . . or is he? If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about fantastical beasts in everyday situations – and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them.

InvisiBillInvisiBill
Written by Maureen Fergus
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN 9781770496132
Bill just wanted someone to pass him the potatoes. Unfortunately, no one even noticed – not his mother (a very busy woman with an important job), not his father (a very important man with a busy job), not his very intelligent older brother, not even his very athletic little sister. If someone had noticed, the wonderful, terrible thing that happened might never have happened. But it did. InvisiBill is the hilariously absurd, tongue-in-cheek story of an ordinary middle child who feels so overlooked by his busy, distracted family that he becomes invisible . . . or InvisiBill!

2017 Silver Birch Fiction Award® Nominated Titles

Heart of a ChampionHeart of a Champion
Written by Ellen Schwartz
Hardcover | 272 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN 9781770498808
eBook 9781770498822
Ten-year-old Kenny (Kenji in Japanese) worships his older brother, Mickey (Mitsuo), a baseball hero whose outstanding performance on the Asahi baseball team has given him fame and popularity. Despite Kenny’s suspected heart condition, he is determined to practice secretly with Mickey so he, too, can one day try out for the Asahi.

But world events soon overtake life in this quiet community. When Japan attacks Pearl Harbor in 1941, everything for Kenny and his family spirals out of control: schools are closed, businesses are confiscated, fathers are arrested and sent to work camps in the BC interior and mothers and children are relocated to internment camps. When Mickey is arrested for a small act of violence, Kenny manages to keep his family’s spirits up, despite the deplorable conditions in camp.

Coming across a “vacant” field covered with scrap wood, broken shakes and torn tar paper, Kenny gets permission to clear it and convert it into a baseball field. One by one, the boys in the camp pitch in, and the work gives purpose to their long days. Kenny’s persistence, hard work and big dreams shape the teen he is to become in this story of happiness found despite all odds.

Seven Dead PiratesSeven Dead Pirates
Written by Linda Bailey
Hardcover | 304 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9781770498150
eBook 9781770498174
Lewis Dearborn is a lonely, anxious, “terminally shy” boy of eleven when his great-grandfather passes away and leaves Lewis’s family with his decaying seaside mansion.

Lewis is initially delighted with his new bedroom, a secluded tower in a remote part of the house. Then he discovers that it’s already occupied – by the ghosts of seven dead pirates. Worse, the ghosts expect him to help them re-take their ship, now restored and on display in a local museum, so they can make their way to Libertalia, a legendary pirate utopia. The only problem is that this motley crew hasn’t left the house in almost two hundred years and is terrified of going outside.

As Lewis warily sets out to assist his new roommates – a raucous, unruly bunch who exhibit a strange delight in thrift-store fashions and a thirst for storybooks – he begins to open himself to the possibilities of friendship, passion and joie de vivre and finds the courage to speak up.

2017 Red Maple Fiction Award™ Nominated Titles

Sea ChangeSea Change
Written and Illustrated by Frank Viva
Hardcover | 120 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN 9781101918524
One summer can change your whole life. As soon as school lets out, Eliot’s parents send him to the very edge of the world: a fishing village in a remote part of Nova Scotia. And what does the small town of Point Aconi have to offer? Maggots, bullies, and grumpy old men. But along the way, Eliot discovers much more – a hidden library, starry nights, and a mysterious girl named Mary Beth.

Critically acclaimed author and artist Frank Viva (Along a Long Road) brings us this warm, funny, and innovatively designed coming-of-age story. See Point Aconi through Eliot’s eyes, as he finds that this place he never wanted to visit is becoming a home he doesn’t want to leave.

2017 White Pine Award™ Nominated Titles

Fifteen LanesFifteen Lanes
Written by S.J. Laidlaw
Hardcover | 304 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN 9781101917800
eBook 9781101917824
Noor has lived all of her fourteen years in the fifteen lanes of Mumbai’s red light district. Born into a brothel, she is destined for the same fate as her mother: a desperate life trapped in the city’s sex trade. She must act soon to have any chance of escaping this grim future.

Across the sprawling city, fifteen-year-old Grace enjoys a life of privilege. Her father, the CEO of one of India’s largest international banks, has brought his family to Mumbai where they live in unparalleled luxury. But Grace’s seemingly perfect life is shattered when she becomes a victim of a cruel online attack.
When their paths intersect, Noor and Grace will be changed forever. Can two girls living in vastly different worlds find a common path?

Award-winning author S.J. Laidlaw masterfully weaves together their stories in a way that resonates across class and culture. Fifteen Lanes boldly explores the ties that bind us to places and people, and shows us that the strongest of bonds can be forged when hope is all but lost.

We  can’t wait to cheer on our authors and illustrators at The Festival of Trees™ next year!