Celebrating the Year’s Best

In the December 2009 issue (Volume 15, Number 2) of Resource Links, they included their annual The Year’s Best. These titles have been designated as Excellent by their reviewers.  Here are the Tundra titles that made the 2009 list, organized by author’s last names in their categories:

PICTURE BOOKS

Bird Child
By Nan Forler
Illustrated by François Thisdale
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-894-1
“… As a thematic book dealing with the issue of bullying, this story excels. It is not preachy or didactic…. illustrations are also a standout.… A final word of praise has to go out to the author for the use of language in this story. Word choices approach the finely tuned standard of poetry…. Highly recommended.” – Resource Links

A Wizard in Love
By Mireille Levert
Illustrated by Marie Lafrance
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-901-6
“Although we don’t see it happen, I am positive Hector’s heart grows in this book… The colours used in the book A Wizard in Love reflect Hector’s shifting moods… Marie Lafrance’s illustrations are not typical of your average love story, but this is not your average love story!” – Resource Links

Timmerman Was Here
By Colleen Sydor
Illustrated by Nicolas Debon
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-890-3
“… Nicolas Debon’s gouache and wax pencil illustrations are dark and mysterious.… The atmosphere is nostalgic, from the 1940s setting to the reflective nature of the narrator. This is a quiet gem for all school and public libraries.” – Resource Links

FICTION: GRADES 3-6

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
Illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-932-0
“… a beautiful book that stands up to careful scrutiny in appreciating the playful complexity of his unique interpretation and rich imagination.… Lipchenko’s sophisticated version is obviously driven by a commitment to faithfully represent his personal joy in a story that continues to enchant, amuse, and provoke delight and discussion among readers of all ages.” – Resource Links

Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas
By Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-895-8
“A delightful, imaginative tale…. a wonderfully silly, child-like adventure of ridiculous characters…. This story is a great yarn and hooks the child-like imagination in every reader….” – Resource Links

Jacob Two-Two and the Dinosaur
By Mordecai Richler
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-926-9
“This book would be a great addition to a unit on dinosaurs. Highly recommended for public and school libraries.” – Resource Links

Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang
By Mordecai Richler
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-925-2
“… Dušan Petričić’s new illustrations complement the tone of the story and bring Richler’s characters to life, especially the Hooded Fang. This book would be a fabulous read aloud.” – Resource Links

Jacob Two-Two’s First Spy Case
By Mordecai Richler
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-927-6
“…kids will delight in the hilarious downfall of adults who take advantage of their authority…. The story’s suspense is fun…. Highly recommended….” – Resource Links

NON-FICTION: GRADES K-6

Brigadier: Gentle Hero
By Judy Andrekson
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-904-7
“… fascinating detail of the rigorous training and wide variety of skills these animals must master, while keeping the plot moving at a quick pace…. Andrekson excels at vividly recreating the lives of horses she writes about for her readers…. This book is highly recommended.” – Resource Links

Wild Animals!
By Eduardo Bustos
Illustrated by Lucho Rodriguez
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-946-7
“… the animals seem to burst off the page…. encourage independent thinking and interaction with the storyteller. …a great non-fiction picture book for toddlers and preschoolers. Dramatic colours, attention-grabbing use of graphics and shapes and short interactive passages will keep young readers interested…” – Resource Links

Getting There
By Marla Stewart Konrad
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-867-5
“…stunning photographic essays …a book about various and sundry forms of transportations. … Konrad’s interest and concern for children is evident in both these books. I hope to see many more books from her, and additional titles in this series that is ideal for schools and libraries, wherever diversity is celebrated.” – Resource Links

Mom and Me
By Marla Stewart Konrad
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-866-8
“… small children will be fascinated by the scenes and people revealed by Konrad’s pictures. And older ones may begin to learn empathy for children who on the surface might seem quite different from them, but who all share a common humanity….” – Resource Links

It’s a Snap!
George Eastman’s First Photograph

By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-881-1
“…accessible picture book biography… The strong narrative is peppered with snappy dialogue. Bill Slavin’s pen, ink and watercolour illustrations are equally engaging. …This first book in the Great Idea Series is a picture-perfect introduction to biographies for beginning readers.” – Resource Links

What Came First?
By Sandro Natalini
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-901-8
“… This book presents the theory of evolution in language that is easily accessible to young readers…. Natalini skillfully touches the important points in current evolutionary theory…. highly recommend….” – Resource Links

FICTION: GRADES 7-12

Tyranny
By Lesley Fairfield
Paperback
ISBN 978-0-88776-903-0
“… The illustrations also show the reader the devastation to her body that Anna cannot see. Fairfield aptly shows the insidious nature of eating disorders as well as the control of the disorder…. Clearly portrays how difficult recovery can be…. Highly recommended.” – Resource Links

Brothers
By Michael Mazo
Illustrated by Michael Soloviov
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-922-1
“…a visually appealing book – Soloviov’s illustrations are humorous and lively, and one cannot help but laugh at the situations in which the two dogs find themselves….” – Resource Links

Puppet
By Eva Wiseman
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-88776-828-6
“…a tale of shocking prejudice and a kind of petty corruption that chills one to the bone… Wiseman’s unflinching descriptions of the conducts of officials, the trial itself, and subtext of Julie’s life mixed with her reactions to and participation in the events around her are compelling and believable….” – Resource Links

Holiday List of Lists

There are a lot of lists circulating out there. Best-of lists, gift ideas, and reading suggestions for the holidays. Why don’t we make it easier for you? We compiled some of our books that were featured in lists this year!

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
Illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko
ISBN 978-0-88776-932-0
All Ages
112 Pages
Hardcover
Listed in: Books for Winter Break (Bookslut); Kids books with a ‘wow’ factor (The Chronicle Herald); Books for children to go under the tree (The Record)

A Big City Alphabet
By Allan Moak
ISBN 978-0-88776-939-9
Ages 4+
32 Pages
Trade Paperback
Listed in: WHERE Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide (Where Toronto)

Brothers
By Michael Mazo
Illustrated by Michael Soloviov
ISBN 978-0-88776-822-1
All Ages
32 Pages
Hardcover
Listed in: Holiday gift guide: A survey of some of the hottest adult and children’s books, just in time for your holiday shopping (Kelowna)

Finn the half-Great
By Theo Caldwell
ISBN 978-0-88776-931-3
Ages 11+
392 Pages
Hardcover
Listed in: Holiday Reads: Deirdre Baker’s Fantasy Books for Kids (The Toronto Star)

Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas
By Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
ISBN 978-0-88776-895-8
Ages 8-11
112 Pages
Hardcover
Listed in: Books of the Year 2009: The 15 Books That Mattered (Quill & Quire); Holiday Gift Guide (EYE WEEKLY)

A Mountain Alphabet
By Margriet Ruurs
Illustrated by Andrew Kiss
ISBN 978-0-88776-940-5
Ages 4+
32 Pages
Trade Paperback
Listed in: Brief reviews of books for kids for Christmas (Kelowna)

A Thousand Years of Pirates
By William Gilkerson
ISBN 978-0-88776-924-5
Ages 10+
96 Pages
Hardcover
Listed in: Kids books with a ‘wow’ factor (The Chronicle Herald); Books for children to go under the tree (The Record); Books Quarterly: Lit for little ones (The National Post)

Vanishing Girl: The Boy Sherlock Holmes – His Third Case
By Shane Peacock
ISBN 978-0-88776-852-1
Ages 10-14
320 Pages
Hardcover
Listed in: Books Quarterly: Lit for little ones (The National Post)

Are these critic’s picks on your list? Tell us which books you are recommending this holiday season!

World Animal Day

October 4th is World Animal Day! Celebrate by spreading the word, volunteering, or by teaching a little one about the importance of animals. Please click on the following link to learn more about World Animal Day.

Wild AnimalsWild Animals!
Written by Eduardo Bustos
Illustrated by Lucho Rodriguez
ISBN 978-0-88776-946-7
Ages 2-5 | 24 Pages | Hardcover

Meet some of the most exotic, colorful creatures in the world. From Australia’s koala to South America’s spectacled bear and Africa’s lion. Illustrated in brilliant colors, each image evokes the power of these wonderful animals, and brief informative text will capture the imagination of young children.

Brigadier Gentle HeroBrigadier: Gentle Hero
Written by Judy Andrekson
Illustrated by David Parkins
ISBN 978-0-88776-904-7
Ages 8-11 | 96 Pages | Paperback

The true story of a gentle hero who won hearts and affection for his commitment to “serve and protect.” Brig was a Belgian draft cross, or grade horse, with just the right temperament to earn his place on the Mounted Unit of the Toronto Police Department. Brigadier was a golden chestnut with four white socks, and his size alone was imposing. But that wasn’t why Sergeant Graham Acott chose this horse above all the others with such certainty. The animal’s large, intelligent, and gentle eyes were what struck him. This was a horse, and a partner, perfectly suited to the job for which he’d been bred.

La PrimeraLa Primera: The Story of Wild Mustangs
Written by Ian Tyson
Illustrated by Adeline Halvorson
ISBN 978-0-88776-863-7
Ages 7-10 | 32 Pages | Hardcover

The story of the wild mustang in North America is the subject of “La Primera,” a song written and performed by Canadian folk singer and horse afficionado, Ian Tyson. And it is the subject of this handsome picture book with paintings by equine artist Adeline Halvorson. The rugged wild mustangs still exist, and their bloodlines are traceable all the way back to those first horses and the careful records the Spaniards kept. That the animals have survived for five hundred years, while the world around them changed, is a tribute to their endurance and fiery spirit.

EatsEats
Written by Marthe Jocelyn
Illustrated by Tom Slaughter
ISBN 978-0-88776-820-0
Ages 2-5 | 24 Pages | Hardcover

With a fresh cast of animal characters — and what they eat — the creative team of Marthe Jocelyn and Tom Slaughter has produced another work in their award-winning series for very young book and art lovers. Marthe Jocelyn’s simple concept of matching creatures — familiar and unusual — with their favorite foods is brought to life by the sparkling colors and masterfully cut paper shapes of Tom Slaughter’s illustrations; a first taste of modern art. And the surprise final picture makes a satisfying dessert.

The BirdmanThe Birdman
Written by Veronika Martenova Charles
Illustrated by Annouchka Gravel Galouchko and Stéphan Daigle
ISBN 978-0-88776-740-1
Ages 5-8 | 32 Pages | Hardcover

Author Veronika Martenova Charles read a short newspaper article about the “Birdman” of Calcutta and her imagination took flight. She traveled to India, found Noor Nobi, and witnessed the freeing of the birds for herself. The Birdman is a touching, true story, tenderly illustrated by Annouchka Gravel Galouchko and Stéphan Daigle. It is accompanied by an afterword, diary entries, and photographs of the author’s experience.

Creatures Great and SmallCreatures Great and Small
Written and illustrated by Karen Patkau
ISBN 978-0-88776-754-8
Ages 6-9 | 32 Pages | Hardcover

Join Toronto author and illustrator Karen Patkau as she explores the world of insects, mammals, sea jellies, reptiles, amphibians, birds, crustaceans, arachnids, and mollusks. From extremely large creatures, such as the blue whale, Chinese giant salamander, and goliath tarantula, to extremely small ones, such as the bumblebee bat, dwarf gecko, and fairy shrimp, embark on this informative, beautifully illustrated voyage of discovery. Even the simple fact-filled text is enchantingly presented in the voices of the animals themselves.

In My BackyardIn My Backyard
Written by Margriet Ruurs
Illustrated by Ron Broda
ISBN 978-0-88776-775-3
Ages 4-8 | 32 Pages | Hardcover

Find the ladybug in each illustration, along with a hidden animal, which becomes featured on the next page. A detailed legend and helpful hints on how to turn your own backyard into an inviting place for animals to live make this book a must-have for wildlife and nature lovers alike.

As Long As There Are WhalesAs Long as There Are Whales
Written by Evelyne Daigle
Illustrated by Daniel Grenier
Translated by Geneviève Wright
ISBN 978-0-88776-692-3
Ages 9+ | 48 Pages | Hardcover

Did you know?

  • Whales descend from a hairy doglike land mammal?
  • More than a dozen different species of whale migrate to the St. Lawrence each year?
  • In the early 1900s, there were over 5,000 beluga whales in the St. Lawrence? Today they number between 700 and 1,200 and are on the endangered species list.

The World of PenguinsThe World of Penguins
Written by Evelyne Daigle
Illustrated by Daniel Grenier
Translated by Geneviève Wright
ISBN 978-0-88776-799-9
Ages 9+ | 48 Pages | Hardcover

Did you know?

  • A penguin colony becomes a source of heat in cold weather
  • The colony provides protection from predators
  • The young in a penguin colony form a nursery, or crèches, leaving both parents free to fish together