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

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2018

Kirkus Reviews has revealed their picks for the Best Children’s Books of 2018 and we’re thrilled that two of our titles made the list. Congratulations to our hardworking authors!

Best Picture Books of 2018

Petra
Marianna Coppo
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 9780735262676

The humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, Petra is a picture book that celebrates the power of perspective and believing in yourself.

“Coppo accomplishes a lot with a little. Her illustrations—a mixture of tempera, pastels, and digital collage—are simple but emote mountains…. Lending itself to a range of readings, from perspective to an exploration of identity, this Italian import is a pleasingly intelligent book.” – Starred ReviewKirkus Reviews

Best Middle Grade Books of 2018

The Ghost Road
Charis Cotter
Hardcover | 368 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 9781101918890

Ghosts, a family curse, buried secrets — and two girls who have to figure it all out. A new book from an acclaimed author, for fans of Coraline, Doll Bones and The Night Gardener.

“Cotter’s complex and engrossing story is enhanced by its superbly presented isolated Newfoundland setting and a satisfying dose of ghosts. The theme—the power of words—creates both a fascinating conclusion and food for thought.” – Starred ReviewKirkus Reviews

Vote for Petra!

Petra by Marianna Coppo is now a Final Round Nominee for Best Picture Book in the Goodreads Choice Awards. Vote between November 13 – 26, 2018 in all your favorite categories. Winners will be announced on December 4, 2018.
Petra blinks
If you’re looking for a Petra activity kit, you’re a rock star! Here it is available for download.

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Petra:

“Meet Petra, a smooth grey oval of possibility … a pleasantly intelligent book.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

“[S]imple, smooth, and stylish.… Change may be the only constant in Petra’s peripatetic existence, but her bubbly optimism is as solid as a Gibraltar.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

“You’ve never seen a cuter rock … Petra’s unmitigated confidence in an unpredictable world make(s) it a keeper.” – Starred Review, Booklist

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.

Graduation Gift Guide

It’s graduation season and you’re probably looking for a cute gift for the grad in your life—whether you’re celebrating a kindergarten class or a university degree. Here are a few picture book options that are perfect for all ages.

Petra
Written by Marianna Coppo
Hardcover | 48 Pages
ISBN: 9780735262676
The humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, Petra is a picture book that celebrates the power of perspective and believing in yourself.

Great Dog
Written by Davide Cali
Illustrated by Miguel Tanco
Hardcover | 46 Pages
ISBN: 9781101919170
The age-old question of “what will I be when I grow up” gets a hilarious twist in this stylish and clever story.

Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess
Written by Janet Hill
Hardcover | 48 Pages
ISBN: 9781101917930
A whimsical, tongue-in-cheek book of wisdom from Miss Wilhelmina Moon, dog governess. Some lessons are practical, some are playful, but all are necessary for the raising of happy, healthy and well-mannered dogs (and humans).

The Magician’s Secret
Written by Zachary Hyman
Illustrated by Joe Bluhm
Hardcover | 40 Pages
ISBN: 9781770498945
This action-adventure picture book featuring a grandfather and grandson duo celebrates the magic and power of imagination. “Whatever you believe, you can achieve!”