Hello graphic novel lovers! The Young Readers team at Penguin Random House Canada is headed to downtown Toronto for TCAF 2023, happening on April 29th and 30th at the Toronto Reference Library. We’ll be showcasing many of our wonderful graphic novels at tables 144/145! Come by and say hello to our many staff volunteers including our Publicity Manager, Evan, our Publicist, Graciela, and our Social Media Coordinator, Julia!
Saturday, April 29th
At 10am at the Presentation Pond, join author Mario Brassard and illustrator Gérard DuBois for a reading of their latest graphic novel, Who Owns The Clouds?
At 11am in the Novella Room, join author Mario Brassard and illustrator Gérard DuBois (Who Owns The Clouds?), and author Isabelle Arsenault for a panel on Dynamic Duos – Writer And Illustrator/Cartoonists Collaborators.
At 12pm at the Comic Campground, join author and illustrator Paul Gilligan for a reading of his latest graphic novel, Pluto Rocket: New in Town.
At 2pm at the Workshop Woodland, Matt James will read from his new book, Tadpoles. Grab some pencils and crayons, and get creative with Matt at this workshop.
Hello, and thanks for joining us at Tundra Telegram, the column where we remain attentive to the issues on readers’ minds and benevolently recommend good books that we think are pretty decent.
Tomorrow – Friday, February 17 – is “Random Acts of Kindness Day” may have its origin in a book that we do not publish, but since it started in the mid-1990s, the day has grown into a true movement, with schools across the world participating in a day that celebrates and encourages simple, small acts of goodness to create a positive effect in society.
Obviously, we are very into the idea of kindness – random or otherwise – so we’re recommending books for everyone from the youngest readers to teens that focus on empathy and goodwill. And if, as your own personal random act of kindness, you want to purchase any of these books for the readers in your life, we would heartily endorse that.
A wordless tribute to the power of kindness to change a community, I Walk with Vanessaby the husband-wife duo of Kerascoët, is inspired by real events. A girl (the titular Vanessa) is bullied at a school, an incident that affects her and all the bystanders who witness it deeply. One girl invites Vanessa to walk to school with her the next morning, and soon – Spartacus-like – they are joined by other children, because not only is kindness powerful it is contagious.
Can’t get much better in books about kindness than one with “kind” in the title, and KINDergarten by Vera Ahiyya and Joey Chou delivers. Ahiyya is a kindergarten teacher and Instagram influencer affectionately known as the Tutu Teacher. She’s written a picture book about a class that creates a kindness pledge to make sure that their class is the kindest it can possibly be! Even better – it’s a book that celebrates random (and often quiet) acts of kindness.
How kindness can positively affect shy and quiet children is vividly realized in Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton’s The Invisible Boy. Brian is an invisible boy at the beginning of the story – nobody in class ever seems to notice him or include him in their group, game, or birthday party. But Justin, the new boy in class, demonstrates how a simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend. The book is also available in Spanish for books on la benevolencia.
Trudy Ludwig (you remember her from The Invisible Boy) is a strong author proponent of kindness. And with The Power of One, illustrated by Mike Curato, she demonstrates that every act of kindness counts. When one child reaches out in friendship to a classmate who seems lonely, she begins a chain reaction of kindness that ripples throughout her school and her community. And the power of one … becomes the power of many.
Randall de Sève and Carson Ellis’s This Story Is Not about a Kitten is, in fact, about kindness. Well, it’s about kindness, community, compassion, and – in some small way – about a kitten, TBH. Young readers will love to watch as a number of people and – eventually – a whole family rallies together (The House that Jack Built-style) to coax a frightened cat from beneath a car and into someone’s arms and – ultimately – a warm and safe home.
An average teddy bear learns that even the smallest acts of kindness can make him a superstar in Teddy Bear of the Year by Vikki VanSickle and Sydney Hanson. Ollie attends his first magical teddy bear’s picnic, in which teddy bears from around the world are recognized for acts of courage and kindness that go above-and-beyond. And while Ollie doesn’t think snuggling with his girl or listening to her stories is all that special, he learns even the smallest positive actions can have big impact.
While we’re looking at the concept of kindness through animals (real or stuffed), we have to mention Jonathan Stutzman and Isabelle Arsenault’s The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back, which is perhaps more about generosity (which is sort of a subcategory of “kindness”). Vincent (the mouse) puts down the house he carries on his back in an ideal spot on a hill. And Vincent makes that house open to whatever tired travelers may pass by – even if it’s a hungry cat (!). It’s like a woodland AirBNB without the bill (or the chores)!
Birds can be kind, as well, as readers of Night Lunch by Eric Fan and Dena Seiferling learn. (I know; I had my doubts, too.) The majority of the book chronicles an owl chef preparing food for customers of his late-night food cart. But the busy chef makes time to prepare a veritable feast for a hungry mouse street sweeper once their evening shifts end.
Mice and owls abound in Little Witch Hazel by Phoebe Wahl, but it’s the title character, a tiny witch who is a some-time midwife and full-time friend to all the residents of her forest, who is the kindness role model here. The book is broken into four seasonal and self-contained adventures, but the common thread is that Little Witch Hazel is a good and caring friend to all – whether they be an injured critter or a lonely (maybe) ghost – and that kindness makes for a more wonderful life for everyone.
Like I Walk with Vanessa, The Notebook Keeper by Stephen Briseño and Magdalena Mora is a story about kindness based on actual events. In this case, a mother and her daughter are denied entry at the Tijuana border, so they seek out Belinda, the refugee in charge of “the notebook,” an unofficial ledger of those waiting to cross into the U.S. for asylum. Belinda welcomes newcomers and assigns numbers, but, more importantly, she treats the hopeful refugees with kindness and instills hope.
What Is Given from the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack and April Harrison is not only a book about kindness, it has the added benefit of taking place around Valentine’s Day (and, accordingly, Random Acts of Kindness Day). This final picture book from McKissack demonstrates you don’t need to have money to show generosity. James Otis is raised by his mother after his father dies unexpectedly, and though he doesn’t grow up with much, he devises a wonderful way to contribute when his church takes collections for a family that has lost nearly everything in a fire.
A boy and his grandma go on a special bus ride after church in the modern classic Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson. When CJ asks his grandma why they don’t have a car or several other material items, his grandma answers in ways that help CJ appreciate and love the world around him. And that goes doubly when they reach their end destination, when they demonstrate kindness by (spoiler alert!) spending their afternoon volunteering at a local soup kitchen.
CHAPTER BOOKS & MIDDLE GRADE
You knew we couldn’t get away without including the juggernaut of kindness in children’s literature, Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Wonder turned kindness to a phenomenon. The book has been a bestseller for years, and inspired the #ChooseKind campaign (seen in schools across North America). Auggie Pullman, the main character of Wonder, is an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. And when he attends a public school for the first time in fifth grade, he helps his community as they struggle (to different degrees) with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
A kind teacher is at the center of Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea. Seven very different students have never really gotten along until a new teacher arrives and helps them to connect with one another. But when Mr. Terupt suffers a terrible accident, will his students remember the lessons he taught them? (You’d better believe they do!)
Individualism and nonconformity is often referenced as the theme of Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, but there are underlying messages of kindness, as well. Stargirl is different for many reasons, but one of them is her kindness: she remembers every classmate’s birthday, she makes a scrapbook for the kid across the street. Her school is first fascinated by her quirkiness, then loathes her for it, but Stargirl remains committed to her strange kindness no matter what.
As readers get older, the books get less specifically about kindness. (I guess authors and publishers have figured you should have read all those picture books about kindness when you were younger.) But there are still some YA titles where kindness abounds!
Kindness appears in the darkest spaces in Erin Stewart’s Scars Like Wings. Ava Lee loses nearly everything (and is terribly disfigured) in a massive fire, which drives her into a pit of despair. But then Ava meets a fellow burn survivor named Piper and doesn’t feel so alone. Piper introduces Ava to Asad, a boy who loves theater just as much as she does, and Ava begins to feel hope again. But Piper is fighting her own battle, so Ava must dig into her well of empathy and share a little tenderness with her new friends.
Awkward Persian American Darius experiences understanding and kindness for the first time in a while in Adib Khorram’s Darius the Great Is Not Okay. A perennial outsider struggling with depression, he takes his first-ever trip to his parents’ hometown in Iran, where his life is forever changed by Sohrab. The boy who lives next door becomes a kind friend who makes him feel so much better than okay.
And author Susin Nielsen is known for stories that blend dark, laugh-out-loud humor with kindness, so while many of her books would fit our criteria, we’re going to highlight YA novel We Are All Made of Molecules. The book is the story of families torn apart by illness and death that get stitched back together with a few growing pains along the way. Step-siblings Stewart and Ashley are from opposite ends of the school’s social ladder, but by each embracing a little goodwill and forgiveness, they may actually make their new family work.
Hello, and thanks for joining us at Tundra Telegram, the column where we delve into the topics at the very top of readers’ minds and recommend some recent great books to continue the razzle-dazzle discussion.
This week, we give our regards to Broadway, as this past weekend saw the 75th celebration of a certain prestigious awardsrecognizing excellent in Broadway Theatre. Not only were new productions like A Strange Loop and SIX: The Musicalshowered with wins, but so were returning favorites like Company, not to mention Dame Angela Lansbury, who was given a lifetime achievement award – and not just for the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd!
Let’s put on a show! Get ready to tread the boards and hit the spotlights – these are your recommendations for kids and YA books about . . . The Theatre!
First things first: Where Is Broadway? Luckily Douglas Yacka, Francesco Sedita, and illustrator John Hinderliter have written a book all about that. Not only does it have a fold-out map (very helpful), it covers the development of the first theaters and the birth of the American musical, as well as the shows and stars that have become Broadway legends.
Finally, we present a picture book about kids with big stage dreams: Maya’s Big Scene by Isabelle Arsenault. In it, Montreal’s Mile End Kids are putting together a play about a feminist revolution, written by Maya. But the playwright learns her cast and crew have their own opinions on everything from costumes to lines, so Maya begins to demand obedience and loyalty! But, as readers learn, absolute bossiness corrupts absolutely!
A middle-school production of Fiddler on the Roof (winner of nine of those stage awards) sets up a chain of events that lead to uncovering a dark family secret in Broken Strings, a collaboration between writers Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer. Heroine Shirli Berman learns from her Zayde the power of music, both terrible and wonderful – something all musical theater lovers know intimately.
For installments of your favourite series for young readers where our heroes put on a show, check out Babymouse: The Musicalby Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, in which Babymouse dusts off her dancing shoes and tries out for the school musical – but she has some dogged competition from Felicia Furrypaws. And in Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach’s Jake the Fake Keeps It Real, our hero fakes his way into the Music and Art Academy for the gifted and talented. More funnyman than music man, Jake will have to think of something quick before he’s revealed as a bigger fraud than those fellows in The Producers.
And you can’t have a great musical without a few great dance numbers. Luckily, Sofia Acosta Makes a Scene by Emma Otheguy has a few! And like a great musical, it combines stage spectacle and social relevance. Sofia is a Cuban-American girl trying to figure out where she belong in her ballet-loving family and in the U.S. when she would rather be designing costumes. And – when she confides in a friend about some Cuban dancers defecting to the States – she learns her community isn’t as welcoming as she thought it was.
If you’re talking YA and musicals, then you have to mention John Green and David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson in which two boys from very different social circles, both named Will Grayson, meet in Chicago, and their lives become intertwined. And while it’s a great book, it would not be on this list without the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, friend to Will Grayson 1, offensive lineman, and musical theater auteur extraordinaire. Will and Will, alongside some romantic plots, work toward the epic production of Cooper’s biographical musical, Tiny Dancer (the greatest high school musical since Hamlet 2). You’ll also want to check out the companion novel, Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan, a book filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers from the full script of the fictional musical.
Like a modern-day Fame, You in Five Acts by Una LaMarche follows five friends with dreams of stage stardom after they enroll at a prestigious New York City performing arts school. Joy, Diego, Liv, Ethan, and Dave, have – among them – so much talent, so many romantic passions, and so much ambition, it’s a shock the novel (or Broadway itself) can contain them all!
Take a trip into the Great White Way’s past with Mazie by Melanie Crowder, in which an eighteen-year-old aspiring actress trades in starry Nebraska skies for the bright lights of 1950s Broadway. With money running out, and faced with too many failed auditions to count, Mazie begins to wonder if the dream is worth the cost – a dilemma explored in A Chorus Line, among other stage productions.
Looking for a little romance backstage? Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka is the story of Megan Harper, an aspiring theater director who is unlucky in love. She’s forced to take an acting role as part of a school requirement, gets cast as Juliet, and finds a potential Romeo in aspiring playwright, Owen Okita, though he’s totally unlike any one of her exes.
Justin, in Seth Rudetsky’s The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek, has always longed to be on Broadway – the shows, the lights, the cute guys! So when he gets an internship with a famous Broadway actor, he jumps at the chance, even if it means straining things with his kind (though maybe a little uptight) boyfriend Spencer. But as Justin’s personal relationships falter and his famous actor boss heads for the C-list, he realizes he’ll need a little more than jazz hands to get him out of his situation. A very funny coming-of-age story for any kid who’s wished to be six feet from stardom.
Finally, Fatal Throne by M.T. Anderson, Candace Fleming, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa Ann Sandell, Jennifer Donnelly, Linda Sue Park, and Deborah Hopkinson is not so much devoted to musical theatre as it is ideal reading for fans of one of this year’s big winners, SIX: The Musical. Like SIX, Fatal Throne is a reimagining of the story of the many wives of King Henry VIII. Told in seven different voices (including Henry’s) by seven different authors, each wife attempts to survive their unpredictable king as he grows more obsessed with producing a male heir. As the musical advises, “Don’t Lose Ur Head” reading this one!
The Tundra Illustrator Gift Guide is back! For the last four years, we’ve put together gift guides – inspired by Travis Jonker’s The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide 2017 – featuring our current roster of illustrators. We have something for everyone from some of the best children’s book illustrators in the world – treat your family and friends (or yourself!) to a beautiful piece of art this holiday season.
Abigail Halpin is an illustrator living in southern Maine, a few miles from the sea. Her illustrations are a blend of traditional and digital media, and she has illustrated many beautiful children’s books including Finding Wild, Fort Building Time, Itzhak: A Boy Who Loved the Violin and the Anne Chapter Book series (Anne Arrives, Anne’s Kindred Spirits, Anne’s School Days).
Alexandra Bye works as a freelance illustrator specializing in fun, colorful illustrations for a variety of media such as advertising, animation, licensing, editorial and children’s publications. Her work reflects the energy she is inspired by from friends, family and her flourishing New England community. In her free time she enjoys mountain biking, Nordic ski racing, trail running, paddle boarding, camping, Jiu Jitsu, yoga, reading, cooking and hiking in the White Mountains with her fiancé Alex and their dog, Oliver.
Ben Clanton is an author and illustrator whose picture books include Mo’s Mustache; Rot, the Cutest in the World!; Boo Who?; It Came in the Mail; Something Extraordinary; Rex Wrecks It! and Vote for Me! He lives with his family in Seattle, Washington.
Benjamin Flouw graduated from a CG animation school in France and moved to London to create backgrounds for Cartoon Network’s show The Amazing World of Gumball. He is now based in Paris where he works as a freelance designer and illustrator for films and advertisements, with clients such as Variety, Martha Stewart Living and American Express. His influences run from mid-century illustrators like Miroslav Sasek and Mary Blair to 90’s low-poly video games.
Cale Atkinson is an illustrator, writer and animator living lakeside with his family in Kelowna, British Columbia, whose books include Sir Simon: Super Scarer, Where Oliver Fits, Monsters 101, Unicorns 101, Simon and Chester: Super Detectives! and Simon and Chester: Super Sleepover!, to name a few. Cale is assisted in his artistic endeavors by Charlie, a wise and noble floof.
Christian Robinson received a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for his art in Last Stop on Market Street. He is the author and illustrator of the picture books Another and You Matter, and he has illustrated many more, including Carmela Full of Wishes, the Gaston and Friends series, School’s First Day of School, and The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade.
Dena Seiferling is a highly acclaimed picture book author and illustrator and needle-felt artist who graduated with a B.F.A. and Visual Communications Degree from the Alberta University of the Arts, where she now works as an instructor. She is the illustrator of King Mouse, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, and its companion book Bear Wants to Sing.
Elly MacKay is an acclaimed paper artist and children’s book author and illustrator. She wrote and illustrated the picture book Red Sky at Night, as well as Waltz of the Snowflakes, If You Hold a Seed, Butterfly Park, among others. Elly’s art was also featured on the covers of Tundra’s reissues of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon series. Her distinctive pieces are made using paper and ink, and then are set into a miniature theater and photographed, giving them their unique three-dimensional quality. She frequently collaborates with author Kallie George and their first picture book together is The Secret Fawn. Elly lives in Owen Sound, Ontario, with her two children.
Emma Yarlett is an award-winning author, illustrator and typographer based in the UK. From her studio by the sea, Emma works with international publishers, brands, festivals and media to create her distinctive illustrations and stories. Emma’s bestselling book series Nibbles has sold over half a million books across five continents, won numerous awards and accolades and has nibbled its way onto the bookshelves and imaginations of children across the world. Emma’s self-penned picture books Beast Feast, Dragon Post, Orion and the Dark, Sidney Stella and the Moon and Poppy Pickle have all achieved global success, won numerous awards and led to international book tours, touring theatrical plays and further adaption into other media across the world. Emma lives in Falmouth, Cornwall with her husband Alex and daughter Beatrix.
Esmé Shapiro grew up in Laurel Canyon, California and Ontario, Canada. A graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design, Esmé is a past recipient of both the Nancy Lee Rhodes Roberts Scholarship and The SILA West 53 Gold Award-Phillip Hayes Scholarship. She has previously written and illustrated Ooko, which was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award in 2016, as well as Alma and the Beast, which received two starred reviews, and, most recently, Carol and the Pickle-Toad. Esmé also illustrated Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear and Eliza: The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton by Margaret McNamara. She has exhibited at The Society of Illustrators, and her work has been featured in Taproot and Plansponsor magazines. Currently she and her dog, Chebini Brown, live in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Born and raised in Quebec, Geneviève Godbout studied traditional animation in Montreal and at the prestigious Gobelins school in Paris. She is the illustrator of a number of books for children, including The Pink Umbrella, When Santa Was a Baby, Kindergarten Luck (Chronicle) and Joseph Fipps (Enchanted Lion). Some of her clients include The Walt Disney Company, Chronicle, HMH, Flammarion, Bayard, Les éditions Milan and La Pastèque. She also works for clothing designers like Nadinoo and Mrs. Pomeranz, creating illustrations and prints for their collections.
Isabelle Arsenault is a graphic-design graduate who has applied her skills to illustration. She contributes to magazines and newspapers across the US and Canada, and has been the recipient of major illustration awards such as the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Awards for Illustration, Communication Arts Illustration Annual, and the National Magazine Awards of Canada. Arsenault lives in Montreal.
Jaime Kim was born and raised in South Korea and now lives in North Carolina. Although she was a timid child who was afraid of just about everything, she discovered a sense of serenity in drawing. As a grown-up, Jaime finally stopped being afraid of everything, but kept on drawing and painting. She works with gouache, watercolors and acrylics to create nostalgic and dreamlike illustrations, inspired by childhood memories of her family, as well as movies, art, and the outside world. Her favorite things are the sun, the moon, the sky and stars – which is why they always creep into her artwork.
Josée Bisaillon has illustrated more than 30 children’s books, including the award-winning The Snow Knows, as well as magazines and newspapers for adults, all around the world. Josée lives just outside of Montreal with her spouse, their three children, one hairless cat and many paper characters.
Julie Flett is a Cree-Métis author, illustrator and artist. She has received many awards including the 2017 Governor General Literary Award for her work on When We Were Alone by David Robertson (High Water Press), the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You by Richard Van Camp, and she is the three-time recipient of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award for Owls See Clearly at Night; A Michif Alphabet by Julie Flett, Dolphin SOS by Roy Miki and Slavia Miki and My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith. Her own Wild Berries was featured in The New York Times and included among Kirkus’s Best Children’s Books of 2013. Wild Berries was also chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014-2015.
Julie Kwon is an artist and illustrator based in Brooklyn. A graduate of the Brown/RISD Dual-Degree program, her work is heavily inspired by the steady diet of manga, comics, and young adult novels she consumed growing up, as well as her many fond childhood memories. In her spare time, Julie enjoys reading, petting dogs, knitting and going on long walks with friends.
Julie Morstad is an award-winning author and illustrator. She has written the picture books Today and the Governor General’s Literary Award finalist How To. Her beautiful illustrations can be found in numerous books such as It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way; Julia, Child; This Is Sadie and, most recently, Girl on a Motorcycle. In 2018 she designed a permanent stamp for Canada Post. Julie lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her family.
Kass Reich works as an artist and educator and has spent the majority of the last decade travelling around the world. She earned a degree in Art Education from Concordia University and was an early childhood educator in Beijing, which inspired her to start making picture books for very young readers. She now lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.
Kathryn Durst is a graduate of Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada. She has a background in animation, having interned with Pixar Animation Studios. Kathryn has illustrated numerous children’s books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller from Paul McCartney, Hey Grandude!. When she is not illustrating books, she can be found playing the accordion, growing vegetables, folk dancing or putting on shadow puppet shows. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her grumpy mini dachshund named Chili Dog.
Lori Joy Smith is an illustrator and fine artist whose work has been exhibited in galleries across Canada and the United States. Her illustrations have appeared on greeting cards and in Chirp, American Girl, Teen and Today’s Parent magazines, among other places. Lori has illustrated several picture books including Count Your Chickens by Jo Ellen Bogart, Run Salmon Run by Bobs & LoLo and My Canada by Katherine Dearlove. She has written and illustrated another picture book about Albert the sheep called We Adopted a Baby Lamb. Lori enjoys knitting, drawing and sewing. She lives with her family in Prince Edward Island, along with a growing menagerie of pets – three cats, two bunnies, one dog and two sheep.
Up-and-coming illustrator Madeline Kloepper, a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, brings wise-beyond-her-years illustrations full of sweetness and curiosity to her debut picture book. Madeline grew up in the lower mainland of British Columbia amidst a sea of humans and spent a few years in Vancouver; she has since migrated northward to Prince George. Her work is influenced by childhood, nostalgia and the relationships we forge with nature, no doubt inspired by her love of exploring the Pacific Northwest.
Phoebe Wahl’s work focuses on themes of comfort, nostalgia and intimacy with nature. She grew up unschooled in Washington State, and credits her free spirited childhood in the Northwest for much of her inspiration and work ethic. She works in a variety of mediums, from watercolor and collage to fabric sculpture. Phoebe graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration and currently lives in Bellingham, Washington. She is the award-winning author and illustrator of Sonya’s Chickens, Backyard Fairies and The Blue House.
Xavière Daumaire is a French artist who has created designs and illustrations for several book series by Kelley Armstrong: Women of the Otherworld, including two graphic novels, Becoming and Bounty Hunt; Age of Legends; Cainsville; and The Blackwell Pages series by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr. She lives in France.
The Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators is proud to present The Original Art, an annual exhibit celebrating the fine art of children’s book illustration – we would like to congratulate all of our illustrators who have been selected.
The Original Art show will take place at the Society of Illustrators’ gallery space in New York from October 27th to December 29th, with an opening reception and awards ceremony scheduled for November 4th.
In 1990, The Original Art found a permanent home at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. It also became a juried event, with a committee of children’s book artists, art directors, editors, and publishers selecting the best books from among hundreds of submissions and awarding Gold and Silver medals to the top pieces.
By Vikki VanSickle
Illustrated by Anna Pirolli
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263949 | Tundra Books
Art for the birds.
Art for the ants.
Art for the dogs, cats and raccoons.
Art to make them laugh, make them think, make them feel at home.
But who is creating it?
Only Anonymouse knows for sure . . .
This clever tale mixes street art, animals and gorgeous illustrations to create a meditation on how art can uplift any creature’s spirit – human or animal – when it speaks directly to them. Every page of Anna Pirolli’s stunning artwork is its own masterpiece with its bold pops of color and sly humor, elevating Vikki VanSickle’s subtle but evocative text.
Gemma and the Giant Girl
By Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Marie Lafrance
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263673 | Tundra Books
Gemma has always lived in a very nice little house, always slept in the same room and always worn the same clothes. A doll in an old forgotten dollhouse, Gemma wonders if she will ever grow up, but her parents tell her she will always be their little girl. Until, one day, the dollhouse is opened by a GIANT, and Gemma’s whole life changes. New things are introduced into the little house – and Gemma finally has an opportunity to leave what’s familiar and see the enormous world beyond. A story that evokes children’s classics, Gemma and the Giant Girl is a gorgeously illustrated and poignant tale of what it feels like to be small in a big world and how even the smallest among us can take charge of our own destinies.
Little Witch Hazel
By Phoebe Wahl
96 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264892 | Tundra Books
Little Witch Hazel is a tiny witch who lives in the forest, helping creatures big and small. She’s a midwife, an intrepid explorer, a hard worker and a kind friend. In this four-season volume, Little Witch Hazel rescues an orphaned egg, goes sailing on a raft, solves the mystery of a haunted stump and makes house calls to fellow forest dwellers. But when Little Witch Hazel needs help herself, will she get it in time? Little Witch Hazel is a beautiful ode to nature, friendship, wild things and the seasons that only Phoebe Wahl could create: an instant classic and a book that readers will pore over time and time again.
Maya’s Big Scene
By Isabelle Arsenault
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267602 | Tundra Books
Maya is an imposing, burgeoning playwright and loves to have the kids in her Mile End neighborhood bring her scenes to life. Her latest work, about a feminist revolution, is almost ready for public performance. But as her actors begin to express their costume preferences, Maya quickly learns that their visions may not match hers . . . and as both Director and Queen, Maya demands obedience and loyalty in her queendom of equality! But she soon realizes – with the help of her friends and subjects – that absolute bossiness corrupts absolutely!
Mr. Mole Moves In
By Lesley-Anne Green
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918029 | Tundra Books
Mr. Mole is a very well-mannered fellow. He greets fence posts politely, he compliments watermelons and he generously gives children erasers to eat. The critters of Juniper Hollow are confused, but they befriend him anyway. After all, maybe this is just how things are done back in Moletown . . . and in Juniper Hollow, strangers are just friends waiting to happen! This hilarious story of compassion, friendship, and wacky misunderstandings will tickle readers, and the fuzzy artwork will delight fans big and small.
On the Trapline
By David A. Robertson
Illustrated by Julie Flett
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266681 | Tundra Books
A boy and Moshom, his grandpa, take a trip together to visit a place of great meaning to Moshom. A trapline is where people hunt and live off the land, and it was where Moshom grew up. As they embark on their northern journey, the child repeatedly asks his grandfather, “Is this your trapline?” Along the way, the boy finds himself imagining what life was like two generations ago – a life that appears to be both different from and similar to his life now. This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination, and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child’s wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning for his family.
The Secret Fawn
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Elly MacKay
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265165 | Tundra Books
A little girl is always missing out on the wonderful things her family gets to see and do, just because she is the youngest and smallest. She misses seeing shooting stars because she goes to bed too early; she can’t pick the first apple of autumn because she’s too short; and, this morning, everyone else got to see a deer . . . except her. She goes into her backyard in search of the deer, a sugar cube tucked in her pocket. She sees a flick of brown in the orchard – is that the deer? No, it’s just the neighbor’s friendly dog (shhhhh, Nala!). Is that it by the pond? No, that’s just a bird, playing in the water. Just when she’s about to give up, she spots a fawn, beautiful, quiet and small . . . just like her. The Secret Fawn beautifully captures the power of nature to inspire children and shows how connecting with animals can help kids who feel left out or overlooked.
Time Is a Flower
By Julie Morstad
56 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267541 | Tundra Books
What is time? Is it the tick tick tock of a clock, numbers and words on a calendar? It’s that, but so much more. Time is a seed waiting to grow, a flower blooming, a sunbeam moving across a room. Time is slow like a spider spinning her web or fast like a wave at the beach. Time is a wiggly tooth, or waiting for the school bell to ring, or reading a story . . . or three! But time is also morning for some and night for others, a fading sunset and a memory captured in a photo taken long ago. In this magical meditation on the nature of time, Julie Morstad shines a joyful light on a difficult-to-grasp concept for young readers and reminds older readers to see the wonders of our world, including children themselves, through the lens of time.