Tuesdays with Tundra is an ongoing series featuring our new releases. These titles are now available in stores and online!
Anne Dares By Kallie George Illustrated by Abigail Halpin 72 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735272101 | Tundra Books Anne is excited to be a guest at a party at Orchard Slope, the home of her kindred spirit, Diana Barry. But when the dares start and mean Josie Pye makes the others feel bad, Anne can’t stop herself from challenging Josie to a dare . . . which leads to Anne being dared to climb the house and walk along the ridgepole! Anne’s dangerous dare ends in injury . . . and teaches her an important lesson. But Anne must pluck up her courage again when she is chosen to recite at a Christmas concert! How can Anne perform in front of so many people? And what is shy Matthew Cuthbert hiding from the family?
The Little Books of the Little Brontës By Sara O’Leary Illustrated by Briony May Smith 40 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735263697 | Tundra Books Many years ago, the four motherless children of the Brontë family – Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne – lived in a windswept house by the moors with their father. Although their lives were often filled with sadness and their world was only as large as the distance they could walk, their INNER worlds were bound only by their imaginations. Hungry for stories, these children devoured novels and poetry, history and fables. And with the gift of a group of toy soldiers, they were inspired to make their own stories, and their own tiny books . . . a passion that would last them a lifetime. A moving and atmospheric story about the power of imagination, the joy of storytelling and the love of books, The Little Books of the Little Brontës will enchant both those who love these literary sisters and those who are learning about them for the first time. Includes an author’s note, timeline of the Brontës’ lives and a fun craft with instructions on creating your own little book.
New in Paperback:
Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Seaside Corpse By Marthe Jocelyn Illustrated by Isabelle Follath 368 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback ISBN 9780735270848 | Tundra Books After an invigorating but not exactly restful trip to a Yorkshire spa during which she survived a near brush with death and foiled a murderer, aspiring writer Aggie Morton and her friend Hector are thrilled to have the opportunity to stay at a camp by the sea and watch real paleontologists at work. The famed husband and wife team of the Blenningham-Crewes are about to become even more famous with the recovery of the fossilized bones of an ichthyosaur from the sea by Lyme Regis. This news has already caught the attention of an American millionaire, a British museum and a travelling circus owner, who each want the bones for their own collections. Tensions are running high throughout the camp, from the cook, to the collectors, to the Blenningham-Crewes themselves, and become downright dangerous after Aggie and Hector make a discovery of their own: a body on the beach. Not a fossil, but a human body.
We can’t wait to see you reading these titles! If you share these books online, remember to use #ReadTundra in your hashtags so that we can re-post.
TD Summer Reading Club is a free bilingual summer reading program for kids. Developed by the Toronto Public Library in association with Library and Archives Canada, the Club inspires kids to explore the joy of reading and build a lifelong love of literature.
All summer long, kids can read books online, get reading recommendations, track their progress, and connect with other kids all over Canada. There’s something for everyone including kids with print disabilities.
Some of our titles have been included on the Club’s Top Recommended Reads, and we’re so excited to share them with children all across the country this summer.
Arthur Who Wrote Sherlock By Linda Bailey Illustrated by Isabelle Follath 56 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735269255 | Tundra Books What if you wrote a story about a detective, and he became the most famous detective ever? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Or . . . would it? Arthur has always loved stories. Even as he grew up poor, endured hardships at school and experienced danger on the high seas, Arthur was always thrilled and inspired by stories. Eventually, he writes his own, and after many years of struggle as a writer, he finally finds success with a series of mystery stories starring his genius detective, Sherlock Holmes. But is it possible for a character to become too successful? Too popular? And if that happens to Arthur, will he really throw his greatest literary creation . . . over a cliff?!
Big As a Giant Snail By Jess Keating Illustrated by David DeGrand 48 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593300848 | Knopf BFYR It’s a big wide world, full of critters that are larger than life! Sure, there are the usual suspects: blue whales, polar bears, elephant seals . . . but others will take you by surprise. The giant snail, for instance, or the ginormous Atlas moth. Like Pink Is for Blobfish and Cute as an Axolotl, Big as a Giant Snail will cover a wide variety of species, while subtly delving into misconceptions and stereotypes associated with size. Best of all? These tall tales are totally true!
Eric By Shaun Tan 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735269736 | Tundra Books Eric is a foreign exchange student who comes to live with a typical suburban family. Although everyone is delighted with the arrangement, cultural misunderstandings ensue, beginning with Eric’s insistence on sleeping in a pantry cupboard rather than a specially prepared guest room. The family takes Eric on a number of excursions, but they’re never sure if he’s having a good time, as he just doesn’t say very much. He’s mostly interested in small things he discovers on the ground. When Eric leaves the family suddenly, they’re unsure if they’ve done something wrong. But Eric leaves them a surprise gift that they’ll never forget.
Expedition Backyard By Rosemary Mosco and Binglin Hu 128 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593127346 | Random House Graphic Each day, Mole and Vole venture out into the world – never forgetting their nature journal! – to see what they can find in their own backyard. From pigeons and jumping spiders to swamp milkweed and maple trees, these two explorers get to know every part of their local environment. But after an accidental move from the country to the city, Mole and Vole worry that everything will be different. As they explore, they discover plants to look at and animals to meet in their new home as well. The story of these two best friends brings to life a nonfiction adventure of finding wonder in nature everywhere – no matter where you live. This book concludes with fun activities for kids to do at home.
Flowers Are Pretty . . . Weird! By Rosemary Mosco Illustrated by Jacob Souva 36 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735265943 | Tundra Books Flowers are beautiful. They have bright colors, soft petals and sweet nectar. Yum! But that’s not the whole truth. Flowers can be WEIRD . . . and one bee is here to let everyone know! Talking directly to the reader, a bee reveals how flowers are so much stranger than what we think. Did you know that there are some flowers that only bloom in the nighttime? Some flowers are spooky, and look like ghosts, or bats, or a monster’s mouth. And while most flowers smell good, there are some that smell like dead meat, or even horse poop! This hilarious and refreshing book with silly and sweet illustrations explores the science of flowers and shows that these plants are not always stereotypically pretty and harmless as we often think they are – they are fascinating, disgusting, complicated and amazing.
I Talk Like a River By Jordan Scott Illustrated by Sydney Smith 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780823445592 | Holiday House When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he’d like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice. Compassionate parents everywhere will instantly recognize a father’s ability to reconnect a child with the world around him. A book for any child who feels lost, lonely, or unable to fit in.
In the Clouds By Elly MacKay 44 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735266964 | Tundra Books A bored and curious little girl wishes for a bit of sunshine on a cloudy day. But a friendly bird soon whisks her off for an adventure in the sky, where she can contemplate questions both scientific and philosophical in nature: how do clouds float? Or carry the rain? Where do they go when they disappear? Are there clouds on other planets? Do they have memories? Have they ever seen a girl like her? This dreamy picture book from the inimitable Elly MacKay features her trademark stunning, light-infused spreads that beautifully capture the wondrousness of clouds and the power of nature to inspire and stimulate imaginations.
Kumo: The Bashful Cloud By Kyo Maclear Illustrated by Nathalie Dion 64 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735267282 | Tundra Books Kumo is a cloud whose only wish is to float unseen. When she’s assigned cloud duty for the day, she feels overwhelmed by self-doubt and her fear of being noticed. But after learning that closing your eyes isn’t a good solution to your troubles, Kumo pulls her fluff together and does her duties – drifting, releasing rain and providing shelter – meeting some new friends along the way and inspiring the imagination (and capturing the heart) of a small daydreamer like her. Kyo Maclear’s sweetly humorous and lyrical parable about shyness, vividly brought to life by Nathalie Dion’s ethereal illustrations, is an affirmation of the pleasures of community and the confidence that can arise from friendship and visibility.
Pink, Blue, and You!: Questions for Kids about Gender Stereotypes By Elise Gravel and Mykaell Blais 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593178638 | Ann Schwartz Books Is it okay for boys to cry? Can girls be strong? Should girls and boys be given different toys to play with and different clothes to wear? Should we all feel free to love whoever we choose to love? In this incredibly kid-friendly and easy-to-grasp picture book, author-illustrator Elise Gravel and transgender collaborator Mykaell Blais raise these questions and others relating to gender roles, acceptance, and stereotyping. With its simple language, colorful illustrations, engaging backmatter that showcases how “appropriate” male and female fashion has changed through history, and even a poster kids can hang on their wall, here is the ideal tool to help in conversations about a multi-layered and important topic.
The Bug Girl By Sophia Spencer and Margaret McNamara Illustrated by KERASCOET 44 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735267527 | Tundra Books Sophia Spencer has loved bugs ever since a butterfly landed on her shoulder–and wouldn’t leave! – at a butterfly conservancy when she was only two-and-a-half years old. In preschool and kindergarten, Sophia was thrilled to share what she knew about grasshoppers (her very favorite insects), as well as ants and fireflies . . . but by first grade, not everyone shared her enthusiasm. Some students bullied her, and Sophia stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia’s mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response – letters, photos and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag #BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs – and it worked!
The Mystery of the Monarchs By Barb Rosenstock Illustrated by Erika Meza 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9781984829566 | Knopf BFYR Young Fred Urquhart was fascinated by insects, especially his favorite, the monarch butterfly. He wondered where monarchs spent the winter. No one knew. After he became an entomologist (bug scientist),Fred and his wife, Norah, tagged hundreds of butterflies, hoping to solve the mystery of the monarchs. But they soon discovered that they needed help. They started a “butterfly family,” a community of children, teachers, and nature enthusiasts from three countries – Canada, the United States, and Mexico – to answer the question: Where do the monarchs go? Detailed materials in the back of the book include maps of monarch migration, the life cycle of the butterfly, and the cultural relevance of monarch butterflies in Mexico, as well as information on environmental efforts towards monarch conservation.
The Rock from the Sky By Jon Klassen 96 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536215632 | Candlewick There is a spot. It is a good spot. It is the perfect spot to stand. There is no reason to ever leave. But somewhere above there is also a rock. A rock from the sky. Here comes The Rock from the Sky, a hilarious meditation on the workings of friendship, fate, shared futuristic visions, and that funny feeling you get that there’s something off somewhere, but you just can’t put your finger on it. Merging broad visual suspense with wry wit, celebrated picture book creator Jon Klassen gives us a wholly original comedy for the ages.
The Treasure Box By Dave Keane Illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell 32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9781984813183 | Putnam BFYR Searching for treasures with her grandpa is this young girl’s favorite thing to do. Every week they examine the items in her secret box and go on walks to find more – a broken robin’s egg, rusty spring, even a snakeskin that makes Grandpa squirm and make funny faces. But then Grandpa is too sick to come. She leaves him a few treasures in the hospital, but when he dies, she can’t bring herself to even open the treasure box. When Grammy brings her some treasures Grandpa wanted her to have, they open the box together and continue the tradition, showing that memories of time together are the greatest treasures of all. This poignant, gorgeously-illustrated story celebrates the special bonds kids have with grandparents, even after they are gone.
This Is Ruby By Sara O’Leary Illustrated by Alea Marley 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735263611 | Tundra Books Ruby is a little girl with a sense of curiosity and enthusiasm that’s too big to contain! Ruby is always busy – she loves to make things, watch things grow, and figure out how things work, with her dog Teddy by her side. And Ruby has lots of ideas about what she wants to be: maybe an animal conservationist? Or an archaeologist? She’s great at excavating (i.e. digging holes). Or maybe an inventor? She’s already invented a book with smells instead of words (so dogs can read it) and a time machine (the dinosaurs did have feathers after all, and the future is looking wild). This is Ruby, and this is her world.
Time Capsule By Lauren Redniss Illustrated by Erika Meza 48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593425930 | Make Me a World A set of dice. A grandmother’s ring. The key to an old house. A child gathers keepsakes from everyday life, seals them in a jar, and buries them underground. A gift from the present day…to people of the future…that tells a story about the past. A time capsule. The first book for children by renowned artist and writer Lauren Redniss will get readers thinking about the times they are living through and how their world will be remembered in ages to come. It will also spark creativity, inviting young people to envision the future and to make their own time capsules. Extra pages in the back include tips on making your own time capsule and facts about different kinds of time capsules in history.
Wake Up, Little Chicks! (Little Loves) By Sabina Gibson 18 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board book ISBN 9781101940853 | Knopf BFYR These adorable, spare board books follow Sabina Gibson’s fuzzy families as parents guide their babies through daily life. In Wake Up, Chicks!, readers will see mice and insects starting their days while a family of owls is just settling in to sleep. These warm and inviting spreads are perfect for new families to curl up with together.
Whose Bones Are Those? By Chihiro Takeuchi 40 Pages | Ages 3-5 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536221459 | Candlewick Studio Whose bones? A scattering of tiny bones, spread across a vivid background, seem to offer no clues. But turn the page and the bones have elegantly come together, revealing the form of a snake or a lion, a crocodile or an elephant, a flamingo or even a whale. Every vibrant spread of this fascinating book features the skeleton – and also a stylized representation – of a different animal. Even the youngest of readers are invited to scrutinize the visual clues to figure out whose bones are portrayed in this fascinating introduction to vertebrates.
Ghostlight By Kenneth Oppel 400 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780735272330 | Puffin Canada The story of the tragic death of sixteen-year-old Rebecca Strand and her lighthouse keeper father is just an elaborate tale Gabe tells tourists for his summer job on the Toronto Island. Or so he thought. When his ghost tours awaken Rebecca’s spirit, Gabe is drawn into a world far darker than any ghost story he’s ever heard. Rebecca reveals that she and her father were connected to The Order, a secret society devoted to protecting the world from “the wakeful and wicked dead”—malevolent spirits like Viker, the ghost responsible for their deaths. But now the Order has disappeared and Viker is growing even stronger, and he’ll stop at nothing to wreak chaos and destruction on the living. Gabe and his friends – both living and dead – must find a way to stop Viker before they all become lost souls.
Sneaks By Catherine Egan 336 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593306406 | Knopf BFYR When Ben Harp sees his teacher’s watch crawling across the hallway, he thinks he must be dreaming. But no, he’s just seen his first Sneak – an interdimensional mischief-maker that can borrow the form of any ordinary object. He figured this school year would be bad – his best friend moved away, the class bully is circling, and he’s stuck doing a group project with two similarly friendless girls, Charlotte and Akemi. Still, he wasn’t expecting aliens! And he certainly wasn’t expecting that the woman he and Charlotte and Akemi are assigned to interview for their “living local history” project would be a Sneak expert. Or that she’d foist an old book on them to keep safe . . . and then disappear. Now Ben, Charlotte, and Akemi are trying to understand a book that seems to contain a coded map while being pursued by violent clothes hangers, fire-spitting squirrels, and more. The Sneaks want that book! And they want something else, too: to pull a vastly more dangerous creature into the world with them. Can three misfit kids decode the book in time to stop an alien takeover? And if they do, will they get extra credit on their group project?
Super Detectives: Simon and Chester #1 By Cale Atkinson 64 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Paperback ISBN 9780735267640 | Tundra Books Welcome to the world of Simon and Chester, ghost and boy duo extraordinaire. They like to kick butt and take names. They don’t like chores. They are best friends. And they are about to solve the mystery of a lifetime. (Oh, and eat some snacks probably.) Join Simon and Chester in their first adventure, and fall in love with this hilarious odd couple by fan favorite author and illustrator Cale Atkinson.
Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano By Marthe Jocelyn Illustrated by Isabelle Follath 336 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback ISBN 9780735265486 | Tundra Books Aggie Morton lives in a small town on the coast of England in 1902. Adventurous and imaginative, but deeply shy, Aggie hasn’t got much to do since the death of her beloved father . . . until the fateful day when she crosses paths with twelve-year-old Belgian immigrant Hector Perot and discovers a dead body on the floor of the Mermaid Dance Room! As the number of suspects grows and the murder threatens to tear the town apart, Aggie and her new friend will need every tool at their disposal – including their insatiable curiosity, deductive skills and not a little help from their friends – to solve the case before Aggie’s beloved dance instructor is charged with a crime Aggie is sure she didn’t commit. Filled with mystery, adventure, an unforgettable heroine and several helpings of tea and sweets, The Body Under the Piano is the clever debut of a new series for middle-grade readers and Christie and Poirot fans everywhere, from a Governor General’s Award-nominated author of historical fiction for children.
The Bear House By Meaghan McIsaac 272 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover ISBN 9780823452620 | Holiday House Moody Aster and her spoiled sister Ursula are the daughters of Jasper Lourdes, Bear Major and high king of the realm. Rivals, both girls dream of becoming the Bear queen someday, although neither really deserve to, having no particular talent in… well, anything. But when their Uncle Bram murders their father in a bid for the crown, the girls are forced onto the run, along with lowly Dev the Bearkeeper and the half-grown grizzly Alcor, symbol of their house. As a bitter struggle for the throne consumes the kingdom in civil war, the sisters must rely on Dev, the bear cub, and each other to survive – and find wells of courage, cunning, and skill they never knew they had.
Water, Water By Cary Fagan Illustrated by Jon McNaught 160 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780735270039 | Tundra Books One morning Rafe wakes up to discover his bedroom is floating in a vast sea of water. Alone with only his dog for company, Rafe adapts to this strange new world by fishing cans of food out of the water and keeping watch. Boxes float by, as does a woman, playing her cello. Then, one day, Rafe fishes out a young girl, who joins him in his room – they don’t speak the same language, but together they will face this uncertain future together.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate the moms (and mom-like figures!) in your life than with a book?
Baby Squeaks By Anne Hunter 40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735269095 | Tundra Books Baby mouse has learned to squeak. And now it’s squeak, squeak, squeak all day long. Baby chats with new friends and old friends, big friends and little friends, and sometimes just chats with no one at all. Poor Mama needs a break . . . but when Baby wanders off, Mama knows what to do: follow the squeaks! Little readers will love this chatty baby mouse, and big readers will find Mama’s reactions very familiar . . . Anne Hunter’s delicate and lovely illustrations highlight the humor in this delightfully funny tale.
Bluey: Mum School By Penguin Young Readers Licenses 32 Pages | Ages 3-5 | Paperback ISBN 9780593658413 | Penguin Young Readers Licenses Bluey wants to play Mum School instead of taking her bath. But when Bluey’s balloon kids go out of control, Bluey doesn’t know what to do! Will Bluey figure out what they need before bathtime?
Granny and Bean By Karen Hesse Illustrated by Charlotte Voake 32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536214048 | Candlewick Their laughter rose; full of joy, it spilled ’cross sand, through mist, as the curlews trilled. Gray skies, foamy waves, and brisk wind await Granny and Bean when they head out for their day by the sea. But they are full of only wonder and delight at all the shore has to offer. They listen for the shrieks of the seabirds as they discover treasures hidden in the sand, greet dogs as they pass, leap over logs, and settle out of the wind for a cozy treat before tramping homeward again. Rendered in simple, lilting text by Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse and expressive, windswept art from acclaimed illustrator Charlotte Voake, Granny and Bean have an adventure to cherish until their next magical day at the shore.
Great Job, Mom! By Holman Wang 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Paperback ISBN 9781774880364 | Tundra Books Being a mom is eleven jobs in one! This unique picture book for very young readers celebrates the many jobs being a parent encompasses: A general who rallies the troops (or unruly kids), a curator of modern art (or finger paintings), an archeologist looking for buried treasures (or socks) . . . when Mom gets home from her day job as a carpenter, she never knows which job will be waiting for her, but she knows it’ll be fun! Each rhyming spread features intimate, familiar, comforting and humorous depictions of family life through a wholly original – and amazing! – needle-felted lens.
I Love Grandma with The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle 32 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593523155 | World of Eric Carle Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he honors grandmas everywhere! With cheerful illustrations and sweet sentiments, this heartfelt keepsake will show Grandma just how much you care.
I’ll Go and Come Back By Rajani LaRocca Illustrated by Sara Palacios 40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536207170 | Candlewick When Jyoti visits her grandmother halfway around the world, she is overwhelmed by the differences between India and home. At first she feels lonely and out of place, but soon, despite a language barrier, she and Sita Pati are able to understand each other. They form a bond—looking at books together, making designs with colored sand, shopping at the market, playing games, eating chapatis, and sipping warm milk with saffron to bring sweet dreams. When it’s time to part, Jyoti doesn’t want to leave, but then she remembers that in Tamil, people don’t say goodbye, they say “I’ll go and come back.” Sure enough, the two reunite the next summer when Pati visits Jyoti in America, and it’s Jyoti’s turn to make her grandmother feel welcome. Can they create some special memories that will last until the next time they see each other?
Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle By Nina LaCour Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536211511 | Candlewick For one little girl, there’s no place she’d rather be than sitting between Mama and Mommy. So when Mommy goes away on a work trip, it’s tricky to find a good place at the table. As the days go by, Mama brings her to the library, they watch movies, and all of them talk on the phone, but she still misses Mommy as deep as the ocean and as high as an astronaut up in the stars. As they pass by a beautiful garden, the girl gets an idea . . . but when Mommy finally comes home, it takes a minute to shake off the empty feeling she felt all week before leaning in for a kiss. Michael L. Printz Award winner Nina LaCour thoughtfully renders a familiar, touching story of a child who misses a parent, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, whose distinctive style brings charm and playfulness to this delightful family of three.
Maud and Grand-Maud By Sara O’Leary Illustrated by Kenard Pak 40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781101918692 | Tundra Books Maud loves the weekends that she stays over at her grandma’s house. There’s always breakfast-for-supper, matching nightgown, black-and-white movies and best of all — having someone to listen to her dreams for when she grows up. But what makes the visit extra-special is what Grand-Maud has hidden in an old chest under her bed. Sometimes there are paint sets, toys, homemade cookies, handknit mittens or sweaters. But Maud finds a wonderful surprise when she finds a belonging from Grand-Maud’s childhood. When she grows up, Maud wants to be just like Grand-Maud. Maud and Grand-Maud is a sweet celebration of the unique bond between grandparents and grandchildren.
Mommy’s Hometown By Hope Lim Illustrated by Jaime Kim 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536213324 | Candlewick This gentle, contemplative picture book about family origins invites us to ponder the meaning of home. A young boy loves listening to his mother describe the place where she grew up, a world of tall mountains and friends splashing together in the river. Mommy’s stories have let the boy visit her homeland in his thoughts and dreams, and now he’s old enough to travel with her to see it for himself. But when mother and son arrive, the town is not as he imagined. Skyscrapers block the mountains, and crowds hurry past. The boy feels like an outsider—until they visit the river where his mother used to play, and he sees that the spirit and happiness of those days remain. Sensitively pitched to a child’s-eye view, this vivid story honors the immigrant experience and the timeless bond between parent and child, past and present.
Mum, Me, and the Mulberry Tree By Tanya Rosie Illustrated by Chuck Groenink 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536220353 | Candlewick As the sun starts to rise, a young girl and her mother set out on the bus, riding knee to knee to visit their mulberry tree in the English countryside. With buckets and tubs in hand for collecting berries, the two spend a day picnicking, waiting out a summer shower under their tree, and climbing as high as they can to pick the best mulberries, the ones that are tucked away from the world. When the sun starts to set, they head home to bake a delicious pie, all the while knowing they’ll be back next year to do it all again. Author Tanya Rosie makes her picture book debut with a heartfelt story honoring family traditions and time spent together with someone you love.
My Baba’s Garden By Jordan Scott Illustrated by Sydney Smith 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780823450831 | Neal Porter Books A young boy spends his mornings with his beloved Baba, his grandmother. She doesn’t speak much English, but they connect through gestures, gardening, eating, and walking to school together. Marked by memories of wartime scarcity, Baba cherishes food, and the boy learns to do the same. Eventually, Baba needs to move in with the boy and his parents, and he has the chance to care for her as she’s always cared for him. nspired by memories from poet Jordan Scott’s childhood, with beautiful, dreamlike illustrations by award-winning illustrator Sydney Smith, My Baba’s Garden is a deeply personal story that evokes universal emotions. Like Scott and Smith’s previous collaboration I Talk Like a River, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, My Baba’s Garden lends wistful appreciation to cherished time with family.
Nana, Nenek & Nina By Liza Ferneyhough 32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593353943 | Dial Books Nina lives in San Francisco with her parents, and she loves visiting her two grandmas across the world. Follow Nina as her two trips unfold side by side: Young readers will love poring over the details of what is the same and what is different at Nana’s home in England and at Nenek’s home in Malaysia. In each place, Nina wears different clothes, plays different games, and eats different food. But so much about visiting Nana and Nenek is the same, from warm hugs at the airport to beach days and bedtime snuggles. Nina is equally at home across the world in Malaysia or England, and both of her grandmas love her to California and back.
Something About Grandma By Tania de Regil 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536201949 | Candlewick At Grandma’s house, where Julia is staying without her parents for the first time, the breeze is sweet like jasmine. Mornings begin with sugared bread, and the most magnificent hot chocolate cures all homesickness. There’s something about this place . . . and about Grandma. Like how she can tell when Julia has been quietly picking limes from the garden. Or that she can see the future – and knows when Julia is about to fall off her bike. Or how she can journey back in time through the stories she tells. In the room where Julia’s mother grew up, her grandmother holds her in a warm embrace – an embrace that Julia will pass on to her family when her parents arrive with her new baby brother. With Tania de Regil’s heartfelt illustrations, incorporating poems by her great-grandfather that were handwritten by her grandmother, Something About Grandma offers a tender and playful exploration of the magic of intergenerational love and wisdom.
The Blur By Minh Lê Illustrated by Dan Santat 40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593377468 | Knopf BFYR From the very beginning, there was something different about this child… An ultrasonic voice. Fantastically elastic limbs. Super-magnetic powers. But it wasn’t until the child took her first steps that she became: THE BLUR! Nothing can stand in her way as she takes the world by storm: always on the move and darting into danger! All too soon, she is zipping through the days, and zooming over the years… Framed as an origin story, here is a fun superhero romp for kids, filled with bold and bright illustrations, that will pull at the heartstrings of every parent.
The Care and Keeping of Grandmas By Jennifer Mook-Sang Illustrated by Yong Ling Kang 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735271340 | Tundra Books It can be discombobulating for all involved when a grandma moves in permanently. Fortunately, our narrator has gone through it and has LOTS of tips on how to make your grandma feel at home. In a story filled with humor, confusion and moments of sweetness, Jennifer Mook-Sang introduces us to a delightful family dynamic and a grandma who doesn’t really need the help settling in but appreciates it anyway. As Grandma goes about her days, her well-meaning granddaughter sees her caring for her plants, and makes sure that Grandma is getting the proper care too.
Together With You By Patricia Toht Illustrated by Jarvis 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536223514 | Candlewick For one grandmother and grandchild, keeping dry in spring showers is easy when dashing through the drops side by side. In summer they stay cool with a squirt of the hose, then savor frozen treats in the shade. In autumn, snug in sweaters, they fly a kite while leaning into each other against the wind. And winter finds them nestling under blankets, sipping cocoa and watching the snow quietly fall. Narrated as a kind of love letter from a young child to a grandparent, this picture book pairs Patricia Toht’s safe, tender text with gentle art from Jarvis that meets it at every turn. An ideal gift from grandparent to grandchild (or the other way around), this charming story makes it clear that “no matter the weather, whatever we do, every day’s better together with you.”
Tough Like Mum By Lana Button Illustrated by Carmen Mok 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735265981 | Tundra Books Kim’s mum is tough. Everyone says so. She can deal with unruly customers at the Red Rooster with a snap of her fingers. Kim is tough, too. She doesn’t need to wear a hat to keep her ears warm. And she can make soup all by herself, even without the stove. Kim and her mum are tough. But Kim is learning that sometimes toughness doesn’t look like what you’d expect. In this tender exploration of a mother-daughter relationship, Kim and her mother learn that in order to support and truly take care of each other, they need to be tough — and that sometimes being tough means showing vulnerability and asking for help.
When I Talk to God, I Talk About You By Chrissy Metz and Bradley Collins Illustrated by Lisa Fields 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593525241 | Flamingo Books When I talk to God, guess what I do? It’s really quite simple: I talk about you. From bears and otters to rabbits and raccoons, these animals describe the many things they pray to God for as their little ones grow right before their eyes. With stunning illustrations from Lisa Fields, this is a touching ode to unconditional love and the perfect book to help introduce little ones to prayer.
You Are My Favorite Color By Gillian Sze Illustrated by Nina Mata 32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593203101 | Philomel Books So begins a mother’s celebration of her children’s brown skin, told through warm and vivid poetry. With sweeping descriptions of what brown skin means—it is the brawny bear whose paws know the ground of its home, the sequoia tree that reaches up and touches the sun, the glossy shell of roasted chestnuts—this is a book that empowers as it embraces, and that reminds young readers that they have shades of color that only they can discover and express. With beautiful, lyrical text by powerhouse poet Gillian Sze and vibrant, engaging art by illustrator Nina Mata, the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of LeBron James’s I Promise, this is more than a story of love—it is a song that rings out for brown kids everywhere.
Mama’s Sleeping Scarf By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writing as Nwa Grace-James Illustrated by Joelle Avelino 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781774882696 | Puffin Canada Chino loves the scarf that her mama ties around her hair at night. But when Mama leaves for the day, what happens to her scarf? Chino takes it on endless adventures! Peeking through the colorful haze of the silky scarf, Chino and her toy bunny can look at her whole family as they go through their routines. With stunning illustrations from Joelle Avelino, Mama’s Sleeping Scarf is a celebration of family, and a touching story about the everyday objects that remind us of the ones we love.
Hello, and thanks for joining us at Tundra Telegram, the column where we articulate the issues readers are dreaming about, and Mat-tell you about some books that we figure you’ll love.
Like most of social media, the gang at Tundra Books were buzzing with the release of the trailer to filmmaker Greta Gerwig’s seemingly bananas film, Barbie. The teaser got us thinking about the other doll-based movie of 2023 we’re champing at the bit to watch: M3GAN. (Team-up when?) We’ve got dolls on the brain. Besides, who doesn’t want to unwrap a new doll as a holiday gift?
As a holiday present to you readers in this final Tundra Telegram of 2022, we’ve collected the best books featuring dolls that we publish. (Batteries not included.) See you with new recommendations in 2023!
A little doll’s world is blown wide open in Gemma and the Giant Girl by Sara O’Leary and Marie Lafrance. Gemma lives in a forgotten dollhouse with her doll parents, never growing old and living a monotonous existence. But everything changes when a giant (!) opens the dollhouse and introduces her to the larger world, whether she likes it or not.
If you like stories about dolls, but wished they intersected more with modernist literature, Kafka and the Doll by Larissa Theule and Rebecca Green is the picture book for you! The author of some of the more surreal and absurd stories of the twentieth century was not inured to the charms of a doll. In 1923, when he encountered a girl distraught over the loss of her doll, the writer put his chops to the test by sending the girl letters in the hand of the doll, whom he suggested was traveling the world on grand adventures. (Now Franz Kafka’s Barbie is a movie I’d also like to see!)
It may lack a hot-pink palette and waterslide, but the dollhouse in Giselle Potter’s This Is My Dollhouse is a true testament to one girl’s creativity and imagination. A little girl proudly walks readers through her handmade dollhouse, pointing out the wallpaper she drew, the fancy clothes she made, and the little elevator she made out of a paper cup. But when she sees her friend Sophie’s “perfect” storebought house, her pride wavers. Soon, though, both girls realize how much more wonderful creative play can be.
We can’t pretend the holidays are barreling down upon us, and The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll by the late, great Patricia C. McKissack and Jerry Pinkney, is the perfect holiday doll book. Set during the Great Depression, Santa Claus doesn’t deliver presents to Nella’s family every year. But Nella’s really hoping that this year she and her two sisters will each get a beautiful Baby Betty doll. When the doll is unwrapped, Nella takes the doll and refuses to share before realizing – even with a really cool doll – it’s no fun to play by yourself.
Of course, there is a cornucopia of official Barbie books from which to select. If we were to highlight one, it would be seasonal favorite, Barbie: The Nutcracker(A Little Golden Book). Barbie stars as Clara in this retelling of the classic ballet. Does Ken play the Nutcracker or the Mouse King? You’ll have to read to find out for yourself!
And you’ll have to wait until July for The Story of Barbie and the Woman Who Created Her by Cindy Eagan and Amy Bates, but this picture book biography of Ruth Handler is worth the wait. After noticing how her daughter preferred to play with “grown-up” paper dolls rather than baby dolls, Handler designed a doll that would inspire little girls to use their huge imaginations to picture their futures, and wound up creating the most famous doll ever. If you preorder now, it should arrive just in time for the feature film!
CHAPTER BOOKS & MIDDLE GRADE
Before there was Barbie, there was Miss Kanagawa. The Friendship Dollby Kirby Larson is based on a real historical phenomenon: in the late 1920s, 58 friendship dolls were sent from Japan to America. This book follows the story of one such doll, Miss Kanagawa, and the stories of four American children who interact with her – from New York to Seattle, from the Great Depression to the modern day – like a handheld Forrest Gump.
Die-hard Barbie fans know it can be difficult to repair a plastic doll. But it wasn’t always this way. The Doll Shop Downstairs by Yona Zeldis McDonough and Heather Maione features Jewish sisters in New York City who play carefully with the dolls in their parents’ doll repair shop (!) until they’ve been fixed and need to be returned to their owners. When World War I breaks out, so does an embargo on German-made goods which threatens the shop, so it’s up to the sisters (naturally) to come up with a financial idea to save the family from poverty.
Of course, as readers get a bit older, the dolls get creepier. Case in point, the ultimate in creepy doll stories, The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter. When Alice heads to a small town where her mom finds work as a live-in nurse to an elderly woman, she discovers a dollhouse in the attic that’s an exact replica of the woman’s house. Soon she wakes to find a girl asleep next to her in her bed – a girl who looks like one of the dolls in the house, and things just get eerier from there.
That may remind you of the godmother of creepy doll books, The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright, which is nearly 40 years old! As in Charis Cotter’s book, protagonist Amy begins to believe the dolls and the dollhouse are moving by themselves. And, stranger still, they may be trying to tell her something about how her great-grandparents died. The 35th anniversary edition even has a foreword from scary doll aficionado, R. L. Stine!
YA tends to not feature as many actual dolls, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Raziel Reid’s over-the-top Barbie-themed satire Kens. At Willows High, a group of tyrannical, handsome gays – the Kens (not unlike their plastic namesakes) – rule over the student populace with Mean Girls-esque verve. Where can uncool queer Tommy Rawlins fit into this dangerous high school hierarchy? When he is given the chance to become the next Ken, should he take it? Is life in plastic really that fantastic?
Older readers often begin to get a taste for fashion design, and what better what to practice that than with Sewing Clothes for Barbie by Annabel Benilan? Readers can sew Barbie 24 stylish outfits, from aerobics outfits to ski wear – and even a mermaid costume (?). Without any knowledge of the behind-the-scenes process, I think it’s safe to say the Barbie film’s costume designer must have used this book as a principal reference.
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.