CBC Books’ Best Canadian YA and Children’s Literature of 2018

CBC Books shared their top 25 Canadian YA and children’s books that came out this year. We’re happy to share that 4 of our titles made the list. Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

BloomBloom:
A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli

By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN 9781101918562 | Tundra Books
Here is the life of iconic fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who as a little girl in Rome, was told by her own mamma that she was brutta. Ugly. So she decided to seek out beauty around her, and found it everywhere. What is beauty? Elsa wondered. She looked everywhere for beauty until something inside of Elsa blossomed, and she became an artist with an incredible imagination. Defining beauty on her own creative terms, Schiaparelli worked hard to develop her designs, and eventually bloomed into an extraordinary talent who dreamed up the most wonderful dresses, hats, shoes and jewelry. Why not a shoe for a hat? Why not a dress with drawers? And she invented a color: shocking pink! Her adventurous mind was the key to her happiness and success–and is still seen today in her legacy of wild imagination. Daring and different, Elsa Schiaparelli used art to make fashion, and it was quite marvelous.

Mary Who Wrote FrankensteinMary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN 9781770495593 | Tundra Books
How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of sixteen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. Two years later, they travel to Switzerland where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to life. A year and a half later, Mary Shelley’s terrifying tale, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, is published — a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever and one of the most popular legends of all time.

No Fixed AddressNo Fixed Address
By Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 288 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN 9780735262751 | Tundra Books
Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can’t hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van, just for August, till Astrid finds a job. September comes, they’re still in the van; Felix must keep “home” a secret and give a fake address in order to enroll in school. Luckily, he finds true friends. As the weeks pass and life becomes grim, he struggles not to let anyone know how precarious his situation is. When he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win — the cash prize will bring them a home. Their luck is about to change! But what happens is not at all what Felix expected.

SweepSweep:
The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

By Jonathan Auxier
Hardcover | 368 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9780735264359 | Puffin Canada
For nearly a century, Victorian London relied on “climbing boys” – orphans owned by chimney sweeps – to clean flues and protect homes from fire. The work was hard, thankless and brutally dangerous. Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived–and a girl. With her wits and will, she’s managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature – a golem – made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire. Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life together–saving one another in the process.

Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids (2018)

Evanston Public Library has shared their 101 Great Books for Kids list for 2018. We’re happy to share that Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms and Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein made the list. Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

Sakura's Cherry BlossomsSakura’s Cherry Blossoms
By Robert Paul Weston
Illustrated by Misa Saburi
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9781101918746 | Tundra Books
A warm, gorgeous exploration of a little girl’s experience immigrating to a new country and missing her home and her grandmother, who still lives far away. Sakura’s dad gets a new job in America, so she and her parents make the move from their home in Japan. When she arrives in the States, most of all she misses her grandmother and the cherry blossom trees, under which she and her grandmother used to play and picnic. She wonders how she’ll ever feel at home in this new place, with its unfamiliar language and landscape. One day, she meets her neighbor, a boy named Luke, and begins to feel a little more settled. When her grandmother becomes ill, though, her family takes a trip back to Japan. Sakura is sad when she returns to the States and once again reflects on all she misses. Luke does his best to cheer her up — and tells her about a surprise he knows she’ll love, but she’ll have to wait till spring.

Mary Who Wrote FrankensteinMary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN 9781770495593 | Tundra Books
How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of sixteen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. Two years later, they travel to Switzerland where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to life. A year and a half later, Mary Shelley’s terrifying tale, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, is published — a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever and one of the most popular legends of all time.

Booklist Editors’ Choice 2018

We received some wonderful news from Booklist, their editors’ list of the best youth titles published in 2018 include Petra and Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein. And as if that’s not enough, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein was selected as the Top of the List in the Picture Books category – the best of the best! Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

PetraPetra
By Marianna Coppo
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9780735262676
“Size is clearly a matter of perspective when it comes to Petra, a smiling gray boulder, or magnificent mountain, or pebble, depending on whom you ask…. On one page, dinosaurs roam near her base; in another, a tiny-looking knight trots by on his horse. But things take a turn when a stick soars over Petra, and a giant schnauzer’s head enters the frame…. Thus begin her adventures, from slingshot to bird’s nest to pond, all punctuated by Petra’s upbeat commentary, which will surely garner some laughs…. This Italian import is truly a charmer. Coppo uses tempera, pastels, and digital collage to create memorable illustrations—you’ve never seen a cuter rock—in natural colors and set against white backdrops. The idea of relative size is seamlessly incorporated into the story, but it’s Petra’s unmitigated confidence in an unpredictable world that makes it a keeper.” – Starred Review, Booklist

Mary Who Wrote FrankensteinMary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN 9781770495593
“Though youngsters won’t yet have delved into Mary Shelley’s gothic horror classic, most will have been exposed to her piecemeal monster…. Viewed in this eerie light, a picture-book biography on Shelley herself doesn’t seem out of place, especially one so stunning as this. Bailey relates Shelley’s childhood, rebellious adolescence, and participation in the now-famous writing competition that spawned the mad Dr. Frankenstein and his monster as a fantastic story in its own right. Her writing is warm and inclusive, posing occasional questions directly to the reader and establishing Shelley as a spirited dreamer. No less astonishing are Sardà’s folk art–style illustrations, which employ deep, moody hues—burgundy, plum, black, gray, and midnight blue—to create hauntingly detailed scenes. Ghostly monsters waft through people’s imaginations; dense trees lean and reach their branches toward Shelley’s passing carriage; a dead frog sits upright when zapped with electricity. Readers will revel in this artful portrait of a celebrated young author and better appreciate the true brains behind the operation. A thorough afterword offers more details of Shelley’s life.” – Starred Review, Booklist

Publishers Weekly Best Books 2018

PW Best Books 2018
Congratulations to Linda Bailey and Júlia Sardà, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein is a Publishers Weekly Best Picture Book of 2018!

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages
ISBN 9781770495593
Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein“This biographical depiction of Mary Shelley’s young life explores how writers create, synthesizing ideas from experiences and imagination. Throughout, Bailey emphasizes her strong spirit and penchant for daydreams as she traces how formative circumstances helped move Shelley to write: the early loss of her mother, a great thinker and advocate for women’s equality; meeting frequent visitors to her childhood home, including philosophers, artists, and scientists; living with a family of strangers in Scotland; running away with her stepsister, Claire, and poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, her eventual husband; and visiting Switzerland with Claire, Shelley, the poet Lord Byron, and doctor and writer John Polidori. Sarda’s distinctive angular illustrations are rife with thoughtful period detail and patterns in rich tones, evoking an appropriately maudlin mood while showcasing how Shelley’s life was a catalyst to art and creativity–and, perhaps, the birth of science fiction. Ages 5-8.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

The 12 Days of Halloween

These spooky tunes are best sung out loud! Give it a try. Then visit our #12DaysOfHalloween page every day to see if it’s a trick day (no book giveaway) or treat day (book giveaway):

On the first day of Halloween my true love gave to me, a Mary Shelley biography!
Oct 20
On the second day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one silly story
Oct 21
On the third day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one family curse
Oct 22

On the fourth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one YA horror
Oct 23

On the fifth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one evil tree
Oct 24

On the sixth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one spooky painting
Oct 25

On the seventh day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one historical fable
Oct 26

On the eighth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one guide to ghost care
Oct 27

On the ninth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, Victorian monster hunters
Oct 28

On the tenth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, four demon slayers
Oct 29

On the eleventh day of Halloween my true love gave to me one magical painter
Oct 30

On the twelfth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one epic quest
Oct 31

We hope you enjoyed singing along. Now go enter our contest on the days there are giveaways!