Tundra Telegram: Books that are Top Shelf

Hello, and thanks for joining us at Tundra Telegram, the column where we skate into the topics at the very top of readers’ minds and recommend some recent great books to check out.

In reality, the topic everyone is talking about is the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. We recommended our list of books for all ages connected to that subject back on May 12, when a leaked draft of this decision (which proved to be very accurate) was made public . . . we feel like it’s certainly a great week to revisit it! (And you can find ways to donate to help ensure safe abortion access in the United States here.)

Also happening this past weekend: the Stanley Cup Finals concluded, the National Hockey League’s championship series to determine the best team in professional ice hockey in North America. The Colorado Avalanche cross-checked their way to victory, four games to two, over last year’s winners the Tampa Bay Lightning.  So, we’re strapping on some blades and hitting this ice, with books about ice hockey or – more generally – skating!

PICTURE BOOKS

Not many better ways to celebrate the Stanley Cup than by books connected to a hockey player who held that trophy more than one time. Great, and its followup, Great Too, are picture books written by Glen Gretzky (brother to Wayne), and Lauri Holomis, and illustrated by hockey fan (and celebrated children’s author-illustrator) Kevin Sylvester. Both books celebrate teamwork and building on the ice, featuring depictions of a young Wayne Gretzky and Coach Wally (Wayne’s late beloved dad, Walter Gretzky). We follow Taylor, who plays hockey with The Great One as a kid, and learn the important lessons that Coach Wally imparts. Both books feature a foreword from four-time Stanley Cup winner Wayne Gretzky himself!

Bobby Orr only won a mere two Stanley Cups (which is far more than I ever will!), but he also wrote a great picture book based on his own childhood called Bobby Orr and the Hand-Me-Down Skates, co-authored by Kara Kootstra and illustrated by Jennifer Phelan. Young readers will learn that even future hockey legends start with hand-me-downs, as young Bobby, at first disappointed, grows to love the used blades he receives for a birthday.

And while Zachary Hyman hasn’t made it to the Stanley Cup championships (yet – he’s still young!), he’s certainly an NHL star with a few playoff appearances. He’s also an accomplished children’s author to boot, with his most hockey-themed book being Hockey Hero, illustrated by Zachary Pullen. In it, an awkward young player who finds his hockey chutzpah in the midst of a Pee Wee tournament.

Of course, you can’t talk about hockey picture books – or even Canadian picture books – and leave out Roch Carrier and Sheldon Cohen’s classic The Hockey Sweater. The quintessential hockey book is also the quintessential book about the English-French Canada divide. If you’re unfamiliar with this story of a boy in small-town Quebec who gets a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater instead of one from his beloved Montreal Canadiens, the 30th anniversary edition is readily available for your reading!

From the “the Wayne Gretzky of hockey writing” Roy MacGregor and Geneviève Després comes The Highest Number in the World, in which 9-year-old Gabe (Gabriella) Murray is disappointed to not get the jersey number 22 (her hero Hayley Wickenheiser’s number). But her grandmother informs her of the storied history of Number 9 in hockey (including its connection to another author on our list, Bobby Orr).

And the Governor General’s Award-winning When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge and Matt James proves you don’t need a league or a rink or a jersey to enjoy hockey. All the kids need in this lyrical and atmospheric story is a frozen lake and a full moon.

And finally, we’ll recommend a few picture books about non-humans on the hockey rink. Like Glory on Ice by Maureen Fergus and Mark Fearing, in which a centuries-old vampire (Vlad) brings his crushing-and-destroying skills to the ice in this hilarious story about the newest (and oldest) member of a local peewee hockey team.

Haven’t been interested in vampires since Twilight? Well, how about a polar bear playing hockey? Like Lorna Schultz Nicholson and Kelly Findley’s Puckster books, in which a hockey mascot experiences the dizzying highs and crushing lows of junior hockey. There are eight books in the series, but perhaps the most relevant one to last weekend’s events is Puckster’s First Hockey Tournament.

And what about the machines on the ice? Clean Sweep: Frank Zamboni’s Ice Machine by Monica Kulling and Renné Benoit tells the story of how one skating rink owner, with the help of his brother and cousin invented the now-famous (and ubiquitous) ice-resurfacing machine.

CHAPTER BOOKS & MIDDLE GRADE

Need a crash-course in this whole NHL championship thing? What Is the Stanley Cup? by Gail Herman and Gregory Copeland is here to help! Young readers can learn about the oldest sports trophy in the world, from the formation of the leagues and the crowning of the first championship-winning team, to the Rangers’ Stanley Cup curse and more.

Though the title of Jay Versus the Saxophone of Doom by sometime-Bobby-Orr-collaborator Kara Kootstra (and illustrated by Kim Smith) may sound more about music than slapshots, we assure you Jay is all about hockey and is very good at it. If only playing woodwinds was as easy as handling a hockey stick!

Unlike Jay, Miles Lewis is not into hockey – he’s more into science and sports that don’t involve skates. But in Miles Lewis: King of the Ice by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Wayne Spencer, Miles may have to learn how to ice skate when is teacher announces a class field trip to a rink to learn about physics – and that’s just the beginning of his troubles!

The fifth installment of kids’ sports writer extraordinaire Mike Lupica’s Zach and Zoe Mysteries is The Hockey Rink Hunt, and – as you may have guessed – it follows the eight-year-old twins as they try to find the missing lucky necklace of the Boston Bruins’ star player. It’s a perfect book if you love Stieg Larsson as much you do Steve Stamkos.

And there are literally dozens of books in Roy MacGregor’s Screech Owls series, which read like a team full of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drews who know how to deke. But the one to read to celebrate the Stanley Cup is Screech Owls: The Ghost of the Stanley Cup. The book follows our favourite junior hockey team as they travel to Ottawa to play in the Little Stanley Cup peewee tournament, and find it pestered by a phantom! Or check out Screech Owls: The Night They Stole the Stanley Cup, in which the team uncovers a plot to lift the trophy from the Hockey Hall of Fame!

YOUNG ADULT

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill features two girls named Sloane Jacobs: one a high-anxiety figure skater, the other an aggressive hockey player. When they meet on their way to skating camps in Montreal, they decide to switch places and escape their lives for a summer – with flirty results!

So, it’s not hockey, but it’s YA on ice! On Top of Glass by Karina Manta is an insightful memoir from a figure skating champion about her life as a bisexual professional athlete. A story about ice athleticism that spotlights queerness, as well as struggles with body image, panic attacks, and first crushes – that’s a hat trick most people would rather avoid!

Finding Her Edge by Jennifer Iacopelli is also more about figure skating – we don’t have too many YA novels about hockey – but we think you’ll have few complaints about this sweeping romance that follows elite ice dancer Adriana Russo as she finds herself drawn into an (ice) love triangle with dance partners old and new. If you love it, make sure to check out our Q&A with the author from earlier this year!

Canada Day 2022

Canada Day is coming up next week so we made a list of some books that celebrate our country and the many cultures that make Canada home.

Anne Arrives: Inspired by Anne of Green Gables
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Abigail Halpin
72 Pages | Ages 6-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9781770499300 | Tundra Books
Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert need help on their farm, so they’ve adopted what they hope will be a sturdy, helpful boy. Instead, Matthew finds Anne awaiting him at the train station – imaginative, brash, redheaded Anne-with-an-e. With her place at the Cuthberts’ at risk – particularly if nosy neighbor Mrs. Lynde has anything to say about it – Anne will have to learn patience, understanding and what it takes to make Green Gables her true home.

Bobby Orr and the Hand-me-down Skates
By Kara Kootstra and Bobby Orr
Illustrated by Jennifer Phelan
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265325 | Tundra Books
Bobby eats, sleeps and breathes hockey. So, with his birthday is coming up, he only wants one thing: new skates. He’s seen the exact pair he wants in the shop window: sparkling blades, shiny leather, clean new laces tied in perfect bows. But when Bobby opens his gift, he’s dismayed to find hand-me-down skates: scuffed leather, nicked blades, floppy laces. Once Bobby breaks them in, though, he and the hand-me-down skates become inseparable, and he can’t imagine life without them . . . until the brand-new skates come into his life. How can he leave his hand-me-down skates behind? Log Driver’s Waltz illustrator Jennifer Phelan brings this classic story to life with timeless, gorgeous art, and Kara Kootsra’s words evoke the joy and dedication that Bobby Orr brought to his favorite sport.

Carson Crosses Canada
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
36 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918838 | Tundra Books
Feisty Annie Magruder and her dog, Carson, live in British Columbia, Canada, and they’re setting out to visit her sister, Elsie, in Newfoundland. In their little rattlebang car, packed with Carson’s favorite toy, Squeaky Chicken, and plenty of baloney sandwiches, Annie and Carson hit the road! They travel province by province, taking in each unique landscape and experiencing something special to that particular part of this vast, grand country. For example, they marvel at the beauty of the big, open sky – and grasshoppers! – in Saskatchewan and discover the gorgeous red earth and delicious lobster rolls in PEI, before finally being greeted by Elsie – and a surprise for Carson!

Good Night Canada
By Adam Gable and Dave Adams
Illustrated by Cooper Kelly
26 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9781602190382 | Good Night Books
From the majestic Canadian Rockies to gushing Niagara Falls, this soothing nighttime board book includes many of Canada’s icons and scenic landmarks, including Stanley Park in Vancouver, icebergs in Newfoundland, streetcars in Toronto, Prince Edward Island, Bay of Fundy, British Columbia Parliament Buildings, Dinosaur Provincial Park, fishing boats, farms, wildlife, hockey, and so much more.

Great Too
By Lauri Holomis and Glen Gretzky
Illustrated by Kevin Sylvester
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265615 | Puffin Canada
This follow-up to the bestselling picture book, Great, focuses on building confidence and learning how to focus on the game, featuring hockey great Wayne Gretzky and his dad, Coach Wally. Taylor and Wayne, The Great One, have been working with Coach Wally on their Perfect Play: Taylor fakes a shot and Wayne gets open – pass; shoot; GOAL! And now that their team is going to the biggest tournament in the country, they’ll have a chance to show it off. But as the tournament goes on, Taylor is distracted by the loud cheering crowd, and his confidence starts to fade. Lucky for him, Coach Wally is in his corner, reminding Taylor that it’s okay to be nervous but the most important thing is to remember that he is part of a team, working together with his teammates. As Coach Wally says, if you have a good time, work hard and do your best, “that is all that matters.”

Innovation Nation: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, Happier
By David Johnston and Tom Jenkins
Illustrated by Josh Holinaty
128 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735270602 | Tundra Books
Successful innovation is always inspired by at least one of three forces – insight, necessity, and simple luck. Innovation Nation moves through history to explore what circumstances, incidents, coincidences, and collaborations motivated each great Canadian idea, and what twist of fate then brought that idea into public acceptance. From the marvels of aboriginal inventions such as the canoe, igloo and lifejacket to the latest pioneering advances in medicine, education, science, engineering and the arts, Canadians have improvised and worked together to make the world a better place. With striking, vibrant illustrations throughout, Innovation Nation is a gorgeous companion to the adult edition that will surprise, enlighten and entertain young readers, and will be a valuable resource for teachers and librarians.

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.

Terry Fox and Me
By Mary Beth Leatherdale
Illustrated by Milan Pavlovic
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267688 | Tundra Books
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope, this picture book biography tells the story of a friendship defined by strength and love. Before Terry Fox become a national hero and icon, he was just a regular kid. But even then, his characteristic strength, determination and loyalty were apparent and were the foundation for his friendship with Doug. The two first met at basketball tryouts in grammar school. Terry was the smallest – and worst – basketball player on the court. But that didn’t stop him. With Doug’s help, Terry practiced and practiced until he earned a spot on the team. As they grew up, the best friends supported each other, challenged each other, helped each other become better athletes and better people. Doug was by Terry’s side every step of the way: when Terry received a diagnosis of cancer in his leg, when he was learning to walk – then run – with a prosthetic leg and while he was training for the race of his life, his Marathon of Hope. Written from Doug’s perspective, this story shows that Terry Fox’s legacy goes beyond the physical and individual accomplishments of a disabled athlete and honors the true value of friendship.

The Hockey Sweater
By Roch Carrier
Illustrated by Sheldon Cohen
Translated by Sheila Fischman
24 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780735268685 | Tundra Books
In the days of Roch’s childhood, winters in the village of Ste. Justine were long. Life centered around school, church, and the hockey rink, and every boy’s hero was Montreal Canadiens hockey legend Maurice Richard. Everyone wore Richard’s number 9. They laced their skates like Richard. They even wore their hair like Richard. When Roch outgrows his cherished Canadiens sweater, his mother writes away for a new one. Much to Roch’s horror, he is sent the blue and white sweater of the rival Toronto Maple Leafs, dreaded and hated foes to his beloved team. How can Roch face the other kids at the rink?

When the Moon Comes
By Paul Harbridge
Illustrated by Matt James
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101917770 | Tundra Books
The beaver flood has finally frozen–perfect ice, without a bump or a ripple. For the kids in town, it’s Christmas in November. They wait, impatiently, for the right moment. Finally, it arrives: the full moon. They huff and puff through logging trails, farms, back roads and tamarack swamps, the powdery snow soaking pant legs and boots, till they see it – their perfect ice, waiting. And the game is on. When the Moon Comes is steeped in tradition and nostalgia: for hockey, for childhood, for a simpler time. The beauty of the text is matched by the brilliant, rich illustrations that wonderfully capture the magic of a moonlit night in winter.

Tundra Telegram: Books That Will Send You into Orbit

Hello, and thanks for joining us at Tundra Telegram, the column where we dig into the subjects on readers’ minds and recommend some great recent books to continue chatting.

You don’t have to be a dedicated astronomer to have heard about this past weekend’s Super Flower Blood Moon, but it was certainly a recent highlight for watchers of the night sky. On Sunday night (May 15), those with a clear view could witness a lunar eclipse – but not just any lunar eclipse! It was a Flower Moon, i.e. May’s full moon, named after the flowers that blossom around this time in the Northern Hemisphere. And the eclipse made the moon turn temporarily red, for a Flower Blood Moon.

Eclipse scientists listed the May full moon as a so-called “supermoon,” meaning the full moon was at its perigee (the closest approach to Earth of the month in its orbit), so this Flower Blood Moon was much larger than usual – a Super Flower Blood Moon! With all this waxing poetic about our largest satellite, we figured we’d highlight some of our celestial books about the moon. It’s a theme that’s anything but a phase!

PICTURE BOOKS

For a picture book that best mirrors the experience of the Super Flower Blood Moon, you’ll need to pick up The Darkest Dark by astronaut Chris Hadfield and the Fan Brothers – and make sure you get the Glow-in-the-Dark Cover Edition. No better book to read for a moon celebration than one written by a celebrated Canadian astronaut about his fear of the dark and how the moon landing changed how he felt. And the glow-in-the-dark cover is like looking at a Super Flower Blood Moon on paper!

To see how parents and children are connected to each other and to those heavenly bodies, read Rachel Montez Minor and Annie Won’s picture book The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. If you felt connected to the universe while gazing up at that massive moon, this book will reinforce your feeling that we are all one, living together on our planet, connected under the sun, the moon, and the stars.

The full moon doesn’t just connect us; it can also provide the perfect lighting for a late-night game of hockey on a frozen pond! Don’t believe us? Read the finalist for multiple picture book awards, When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge and Matt James, in which kids wait for the perfect moon to hike into the woods and play hockey by its atmospheric light.

A perfect book for a May full moon, Moon Camp by Barry Gott, asks the important question: what if your summer camp was on the moon? Turns out it’s pretty fun (though I imagine not without its dangers!) and full of out-of-this-world humor.

Maybe you live in the city and the light pollution made for a less-than-satisfying glimpse of the Super Flower Blood Moon. Then City Moon by Rachael Cole and Bianca Gómez is for you. This is a nighttime story that follows a little boy and his mama as they walk around their neighborhood looking for the elusive moon, often hiding behind buildings and clouds – city stargazers know the struggle is real!

And maybe the Moon in Midnight and Moon by Kelly Cooper and Daniel Miyares is a horse (rather than a spherical chunk of rock), but he’s a blind horse struggling to find his place who befriends a girl with similar struggles to find her place. And Booklist felt, “the story’s gentle drama and quiet heroics of two characters with disabilities makes this a wonderful read that also affirms being introverted, nonverbal, or shy,” so it’s certainly worth a read.

But if your young readers want the real scoop on the moon, they might want to wait for The Book of the Moon by Dr. Sanyln Buxner (out this November!). It’s a perfect introduction for the youngest readers to the mysteries of the moon, and packed-to-the-craters with eye-popping photographs, illustrations, and diagrams.

MIDDLE GRADE

If you’re thinking about the moon, you may be asking yourself the question that’s the title of our next book. Who Was the First Man on the Moon?: Neil Armstrong is a graphic novel by Montague Twins duo Nathan Page and Drew Shannon that chronicles the pioneering astronaut’s childhood and the fateful Apollo 11 mission that first brought human beings to the moon’s surface.

For a more encyclopedic guide to moon exploration, you can’t do better than the highly acclaimed and prize-winning John Rocco’s How We Got to the Moon. This is a beautifully illustrated, oversized guide to the people and technology of the moon landing, telling the step-by-step process and stories of the engineers, mathematicians, seamstresses, welders, and factory workers – as well as the astronauts – who made it all possible.

We also have no shortage of puzzles and mysteries set on the moon. For instance, Puzzlooies! Marooned on the Moon by Russell Ginns, Jonathan Maier and Andy Norman, lets readers help junior space cadet Cam, with only a pencil and a pile of puzzles, return to Earth from where he’s stranded on the lunar surface.

Allegedly, there are no lifeforms on the moon, but that won’t prevent us from recommending Newbery Medal-winning Tae Keller’s new book Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone. A book equally about friendship as it is the secrets of the universe (and the aliens that may live within), the book follows Mallory Moss and her strange relationship with new neighbour Jennifer Chan, an outcast at middle school who believes in aliens. When Jennifer goes missing, Mallory searches for answers and realizes the truth may be more inside herself than “out there.”

YOUNG ADULT

So, the moon in Mahogany L. Browne’s novel Vinyl Moon may be vinyl rather than Super Flower Blood variety (and it may be something of a metaphor), but any chance we get to recommend this story of moving past a history of domestic violence through the love of language (particularly of Black writers like James Baldwin and Zora Neale Hurston), music and community, we’ll take!

The moon and menstruation go hand-in-hand like the sun and skin cancer, which is where the provocative Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew comes in. Frankie, a lover of physics and astronomy, gets her period during her first sexual experience with a quiet heartthrob. But when the incident becomes a gruesome online meme, Frankie has to fight to reclaim her reputation from the online shame and stand up against a culture that says periods are dirty.

In Mermaid Moon by Susann Cokal, a teen mermaid, cursed to forget her past, apprentices to a witch and casts some magic to leave the sea in search of her “landish” mother. But what she finds on the Thirty-Seven Dark Islands is conflict, a people hungry for a miracle, and an obsessive Baroness.

And in a book that directly references the Flower Moon, the Young Readers’ Edition of Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann is an engrossing historical true crime narrative that looks at the mysterious murders of oil-rich members of the Osage Nation in 1920 Oklahoma by a newly formed FBI, and uncovers a conspiracy with reverberations throughout American history. (Bonus: it’s soon to be a major motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese!)

Lace Up Your Skates for #TundraOnIce

Winter is coming so it’s time to break out your skates and hit the ice! From a beloved classic to a vampire-filled adventure, curling up with these books is the perfect way to unwind after an energetic game of hockey (even if you’re just a spectator!). 

Bobby Orr and the Hand-me-down Skates
By Kara Koostra and Bobby Orr
Illustrated by Jennifer Phelan
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265325 | Tundra Books
Bobby eats, sleeps and breathes hockey. So, with his birthday is coming up, he only wants one thing: new skates. He’s seen the exact pair he wants in the shop window: sparkling blades, shiny leather, clean new laces tied in perfect bows. But when Bobby opens his gift, he’s dismayed to find hand-me-down skates: scuffed leather, nicked blades, floppy laces. Once Bobby breaks them in, though, he and the hand-me-down skates become inseparable, and he can’t imagine life without them . . . until the brand-new skates come into his life. How can he leave his hand-me-down skates behind? Log Driver’s Waltz illustrator Jennifer Phelan brings this classic story to life with timeless, gorgeous art, and Kara Kootsra’s words evoke the joy and dedication that Bobby Orr brought to his favorite sport. 

Glory on Ice: A Vampire Hockey Story
By Maureen Fergus
Illustrated by Mark Fearing
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524714512 | Knopf BFYR
After centuries alone in his old castle, Vlad is ready to try something new. When he hears the local hockey team gushing about how they’ll crush and destroy their opponents in the next game, he knows he’s found the activity for him! Vlad immediately gives the game his all, but he soon realizes that super-human powers don’t mean much in hockey without a mastery of the basics. After weeks of practice, he’s finally ready for the big game . . . but can a hundreds-of-years-old vampire really learn new tricks? This hilarious, energetic picture book encourages teamwork, perseverance, and a love of hockey that will last a lifetime, even for an immortal being.

Great
By Lauri Holomis and Glen Gretzky
Illustrated by Kevin Sylvester
Foreword by Wayne Gretzy
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735265134 | Puffin Canada
A story of teamwork with a positive message, featuring Wayne Gretzky and Coach Wally (Wayne’s dad, Walter Gretzky). Taylor is so excited when he makes the hockey team — and not just any team, but HIS team. The boy they are already calling The Great One. Taylor wants to be great too, but he’s still got a lot to learn. Lucky for him, Coach Wally is in his corner, guiding him through the ups and downs of being part of a hockey team, and being the best player he can be. As Coach Wally says, if you have a good time, work hard and do your best, “that is all that matters.”

Hockey Hero
By Zachary Hyman
Illustrated by Zachary Pullen
40 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770496309 | Tundra Books
A heart-warming, intergenerational story about an awkward young boy who finds his hockey chutzpah at a PeeWee tournament. Tommy goes from timid observer to essential player – as we readers cheer him on! Illustrated by Zachary Pullen whose inimitable style blends perfectly with Zachary Hyman’s inspiring text.

Jay Versus the Saxophone of Doom
By Kara Koostra
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Afterword by Bobby Orr
192 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735268692 | Puffin Canada
Jay Roberts loves hockey. He’s good at it. He also loves his hockey hero, Bobby Orr, considered a legend by Jay’s grandfather. In fact, even though they may bicker, when it comes to the Bruins, the whole family agrees that they are the team to root for. When it comes to hockey, Jay’s a team player. But there’s one person who seems determined to make life hard for Jay: his classmate and fellow team member, Mick Bartlet. It’s a good thing Jay can usually stickhandle his way out of his bullying. But something else is determined to make Jay’s life difficult, something far harder for Jay to play: the saxophone. Sixth grade just became a whole lot more challenging . . .

Splinters
By Kevin Sylvester
40 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780887769443 | Tundra Books
Cindy Winters loves to play hockey. When her family’s basement apartment is flooded and the floor freezes, she’s even happy to skate on the concrete. Her parents are too poor to enroll her in a league, but she’s resourceful and does odd jobs until she has earned enough money to play. Armed with her mother’s old equipment, she is thrilled to join a team. But her happiness doesn’t last long. Among her teammates are the horrible Blister Sisters. They make her life miserable. And worse, Cindy’s sidelined by the coach, who just happens to be Mrs. Blister. It looks like she’ll be spending the season cleaning equipment, instead of playing on the ice. Cindy’s luck changes when her Fairy Goaltender appears and saves the day. With its great humor and hilarious illustrations, Kevin Sylvester’s Splinters is bound to become a favorite.

The Highest Number in the World
By Roy MacGregor
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
32 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495753 | Tundra Books
9-year-old Gabe (Gabriella) Murray lives and breathes hockey. She’s the youngest player on her new team, she has a nifty move that her teammates call “the Gabe,” and she shares a lucky number with her hero, Hayley Wickenheiser: number 22. But when her coach hands out the team jerseys, Gabe is stuck with number 9. Crushed, Gabe wants to give up hockey altogether. How can she play without her lucky number? Gabe’s grandmother soon sets her straight, though – from her own connection to the number 9 in her hockey-playing days to all the greats she cheered for who wore it, she soon convinces Gabe that this new number might not be so bad after all. A lovely intergenerational tale and a history of the storied number 9 in hockey, The Highest Number in the World is a must-have for any hockey fan.

The Hockey Sweater
By Roch Carrier
Illustrated by Sheldon Cohen
Translated by Sheila Fischman
24 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780735268685 | Tundra Books
In the days of Roch’s childhood, winters in the village of Ste. Justine were long. Life centered around school, church, and the hockey rink, and every boy’s hero was Montreal Canadiens hockey legend Maurice Richard. Everyone wore Richard’s number 9. They laced their skates like Richard. They even wore their hair like Richard. When Roch outgrows his cherished Canadiens sweater, his mother writes away for a new one. Much to Roch’s horror, he is sent the blue and white sweater of the rival Toronto Maple Leafs, dreaded and hated foes to his beloved team. How can Roch face the other kids at the rink?

When the Moon Comes
By Paul Harbridge
Illustrated by Matt James
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101917770 | Tundra Books
The beaver flood has finally frozen–perfect ice, without a bump or a ripple. For the kids in town, it’s Christmas in November. They wait, impatiently, for the right moment. Finally, it arrives: the full moon. They huff and puff through logging trails, farms, back roads and tamarack swamps, the powdery snow soaking pant legs and boots, till they see it – their perfect ice, waiting. And the game is on. When the Moon Comes is steeped in tradition and nostalgia: for hockey, for childhood, for a simpler time. The beauty of the text is matched by the brilliant, rich illustrations that wonderfully capture the magic of a moonlit night in winter.

Make sure to pick these up from your favourite bookstore and check out our website for even more suggestions!

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Ahoy me mateys! ‘Tis National Talk Like a Pirate Day and we have a treasure chest full of books that are perfect to share with all the wee pirates in yer life!

Ages 3-7

The Pirate’s Bed
By Nicola Winstanley
Illustrated by Matt James
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770496163 | Tundra Books
A pirate is sleeping snug in his bed, dreaming pirate dreams, when a great storm comes up at sea. The pirate sleeps on, but his bed is awake and scared of the thunder and the angry waves. Tossed this way and that, the ship finally crashes, sending the pirate to a tropical island and his bed off to sea.
At first, the bed is overjoyed. It’s free from smelly feet, snoring and scratchy wool. It floats in the now peaceful water, meeting friendly gulls and playful dolphins and basking in the sun. But soon the little bed begins to feel like something is missing…
This fanciful tale of a bed lost at sea will capture the hearts of little pirates everywhere and send them off to sleep with dreams of tropical birds, swooshing waves and chattering monkeys.

The Pirates Are Coming!
By James Condon
Illustrated by Matt Hunt
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212167 | Nosy Crow
A hilarious twist on The Boy Who Cried Wolf! When Tom rings his bell and shouts “PIRATES!” a few too many times — even though there’s no pirate ship — the villagers start to get tired of hiding. But what will happen when the pirates really do show up?
Tom has a very important job: every day he climbs to the top of the hill and watches for pirate ships. When he rings his bell and shouts “PIRATES!” a few too many times — even though there’s no pirate ship — the villagers start to get tired of hiding. But what will happen when the pirates really do show up?

Ages 8-12

Emily Windsnap and Pirate Prince
By Liz Kessler
Illustrated by Erin Farley
288 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536213126 | Candlewick
Traveling home by cruise ship should be a relaxing break after Emily’s latest adventure, but things take a turn when the ship is overtaken by a pirate king and his crew. After the pirates collect everyone’s riches, the pirate king’s eldest son steals something even more valuable: Aaron. So Emily dives into action and joins the younger son’s crew in hopes of saving her boyfriend. But Emily is surprised to find herself not only enjoying the pirate life, but actually bonding with the crew — especially Sam, the pirate king’s son. Between helping Sam unravel riddles to beat his brother to the legendary Trident’s Treasure and making sure that her friends are safe, Emily realizes that she needs to be true to herself. Will she cast aside her mermaid life to join her new friends, or will she find a way to follow her own path?

Peter Pan
By J. M. Barrie
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780147508652 | Puffin Books
One starry night, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland – the island where lost boys play, mermaids splash and fairies make mischief. But a villainous-looking gang of pirates lurk in the docks, led by the terrifying Captain James Hook. Magic and excitement are in the air, but if Captain Hook has his way, before long, someone will be walking the plank and swimming with the crocodiles…

Pirate Queen: The Legend of Grace O’Malley
By Tony Lee
Illustrated by Sam Hart
128 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781536200201 | Candlewick
A true daughter of the fearsome O’Malley clan, Grace spent her life wishing to join the fight to keep Henry VIII’s armies from invading her homeland of Ireland — only to be told again and again that the battlefield is no place for a woman. But after English conspirators brutally murder her husband, Grace can no longer stand idly by. Leading men into battle on the high seas, Grace O’Malley quickly gains a formidable reputation as the Pirate Queen of Ireland with her prowess as a sailor and skill with a sword. But her newfound notoriety puts the lives of Grace and her entire family in danger and eventually leads to a confrontation with the most powerful woman in England: Queen Elizabeth I. With a gripping narrative and vivid, action-packed illustrations, the fourth entry in Tony Lee and Sam Hart’s Heroes and Heroines series captures the intensity and passion of one of history’s fiercest female warriors.

Pirateology
By Captain William Lubber
Edited by Dugald A. Steer
32 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763631437 | Candlewick
Step lively, pirate foes and fanciers! Mysterious booty found inside a long-lost sea chest, hidden for hundreds of years off the coast of Newfoundland, has just been uncovered for your enjoyment. Within these covers is the fascinating eighteenth-century journal of Captain William Lubber, an earnest soul who sailed the seas in search of the vicious female pirate Arabella Drummond. Prepare for a mesmerizing tale of the golden age of piracy — from storm-tossed sailing ships to tantalizing treasure islands, from pirates’ flags and fashions to their wily weapons and wicked ways. An extraordinary find for pirateologists, here is a true and complete companion for the dedicated pirate hunter.

Race to the Bottom of the Sea
By Lindsay Eager
432 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780763698775 | Candlewick
When her parents, the great marine scientists Dr. and Dr. Quail, are killed in a tragic accident, eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is racked by grief — and guilt. It was a submarine of Fidelia’s invention that her parents were in when they died, and it was she who pressed them to stay out longer when the raging Undertow was looming. But Fidelia is forced out of her mourning when she’s kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate whose list of treasons stretches longer than a ribbon eel. Her task? Use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure, lost on the ocean floor. But as Fidelia and the pirates close in on the prize, with the navy hot on their heels, she realizes that Merrick doesn’t expect to live long enough to enjoy his loot. Could something other than black-hearted greed be driving him? Will Fidelia be able to master the perils of the ocean without her parents — and piece together the mystery of Merrick the Monstrous before it’s too late?

Sea Sirens
By Amy Chu
Illustrated by Janet K. Lee
144 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780451480163 | Viking BFYR
Trot, a Vietnamese American surfer girl, and Cap’n Bill, her cranky one-eyed cat, catch too big a wave and wipe out, sucked down into a magical underwater kingdom where an ancient deep-sea battle rages. The beautiful Sea Siren mermaids are under attack from the Serpent King and his slithery minions–and Trot and her feline become dangerously entangled in this war of tails and fins. This beautiful graphic novel was inspired by The Sea Fairies, L. Frank Baum’s “underwater Wizard of Oz.” It weaves Vietnamese mythology, fantastical ocean creatures, a deep-sea setting, quirky but sympathetic main characters, and fast-paced adventure into an imaginative, world-building story.

Seven Dead Pirates
By Linda Bailey
304 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9781770498167 | Tundra Books
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.

Treasure Island
By Robert Louis Stevenson
336 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780141321004 | Puffin Books
Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash of gold. Not to mention the most infamous pirate ever to sail the high seas . . . With a wonderfully funny introduction by award-winning author Eoin Colfer, Treasure Island is one of the twenty brilliant classic stories being reissued in Puffin Classics in March 2015.

Ages 12+

Seafire
By Natalie C. Parker
400 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451478825 | Razorbill
After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet. But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
By Maggie Tokuda-Hall
368 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536204315 | Candlewick
The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers.
Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.
Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy debut, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.