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!

2015 Willow Awards Nominations

The Willow AwardsThe Willow Awards have been announced! We are very happy to see that three of our titles have been nominated for the Shining Willow Award and one for the Diamond Willow. Congratulations to Roy MacGregor, Geneviève Després, Eric Walters, Eugenie Fernandes, Elise Gravel, and Charis Cotter for their fantastic work!

Click here for a bookmark checklist for the Shining Willow nominees and click here for the Diamond Willow bookmark.

Shining Willow Nominees:

The Highest Number in the WorldThe Highest Number in the World
Written by Roy MacGregor
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-5753
“MacGregor’s writing packs an emotional punch without relying on sentimentality (‘Gabe’s heart felt as if a skate had just run across it’). Expressive pencil drawings, brightened with color washes, perfectly capture the characters’ feelings. From the moment Grandma begins to share her past and her passion for hockey, the story’s context becomes broader, more complex, and more meaningful. A memorable, intergenerational picture book perfect for sharing.” – Starred Review, Booklist

My Name Is BlessingMy Name Is Blessing
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages |Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-301-8
“This expressive picture book, based on a real family, lovingly tells a hard story with a twist. It’s difficult to broach poverty, disability and custody issues in so few pages without sounding maudlin, but Walters manages by speaking simply…. With dignity and quiet acceptance, this story illustrates that blessings, like family, can take unexpected forms.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The WormThe Worm
Written by Elise Gravel
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-633-0
“Gravel covers basics like worm anatomy and diet with simple text and bold, hand-lettered typography. But it’s the earthworm protagonist, sporting a beret and greeting readers with a worldly ‘Énchanté!’, that helps make the book so entertaining. It has a witty quip for every wormy fact…. But even the book’s more aesthetically challenged creatures—tapeworms, I’m looking at you—can’t help but woo with their cute dot-eyes and expressive mouths. The Worm is gross, silly, and informative—the perfect combo for maximum kid appeal.” – Science Friday

Diamond Willow Nominee:

The SwallowThe Swallow
A Ghost Story
Written by Charis Cotter
Hardcover | 320 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-591-3
“The novel alternates between Polly’s and Rose’s first-person points of view, and Cotter ably creates their two distinct voices, each of which is appealing in its own way. This is a novel about loneliness and friendship, feeling invisible, finding your voice, and long-buried secrets. But The Swallow is never heavy-handed, and, best of all, it’s genuinely spooky. Cotter builds suspense without artificially withholding information from the reader. And for bibliophiles, the author’s subtle hat tips to favourite books are a joy. Like all the best ghost stories, The Swallow tells us more about the living than the dead. It is a fantastic addition to Toronto literature, with all the makings of a classic.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

2015-2016 Chickadee Book Award

More great news, The Highest Number in the World has been nominated for the 2015-2016 Chickadee Book Award! Congratulations to Roy MacGregor and Geneviève Després!

The Highest Number in the WorldThe Highest Number in the World
Written by Roy MacGregor
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-5753
“MacGregor’s writing packs an emotional punch without relying on sentimentality (‘Gabe’s heart felt as if a skate had just run across it’). Expressive pencil drawings, brightened with color washes, perfectly capture the characters’ feelings. From the moment Grandma begins to share her past and her passion for hockey, the story’s context becomes broader, more complex, and more meaningful. A memorable, intergenerational picture book perfect for sharing.” – Starred Review, Booklist

The Chickadee Award is a picture book award program for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. This award is given annually to one of ten picture books nominated by a committee of teachers, librarians, and early literacy professionals. Each year the books are chosen from those published in the previous year and are selected because they present a solid original story and artwork that supports and extends the text.

Tundra Reading Club: The Highest Number in the World Reviews

Hi everyone!

It’s time to share the Reading Club reviews for The Highest Number in the World!

TundraReadingClub

The Highest Number in the World

The Highest Number in the World
Written by Roy MacGregor | Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-5753

“MacGregor’s writing packs an emotional punch without relying on sentimentality…Expressive pencil drawings, brightened with color washes, perfectly capture the characters’ feelings…A memorable, intergenerational picture book perfect for sharing.”– Starred Review, Booklist

  • Adrienne at BooksandBassets likes that it’s about “girl power and historical context.”
  • Lee-Ann at Goodreads thinks the book does “a wonderful job at showing how if you look at disappointment a different way it is possible to see it as an opportunity to discover something else and just as thrilling.”
  • Mary-Esther at Sister’s Library calls it a “sweet story that warms the heart.”
  • Stephanie at The Nomadic Reader felt the story “resonated with [her] as a Canadian and of course as a lover of hockey.”
  • Ann Marie at a dainty dish calls it a “hat-trick – in its story, words and images!”

If you read the book as well, please let us know what you thought about it in the comments below! Are there any other inspirational hockey stories you love?

I’m also very excited to announce our April reading club book: Outstanding in the Rain by Frank Viva! Make sure you check back here next Monday to sign up for your chance to win a review copy.

Thanks for participating and see you next week!

Tundra Reading Club: March 2015

Hi everyone!

Another month, another book!

Just to remind you:

Each month, we’ll post a book and a sign-up form for bloggers. Then we’ll randomly choose the lucky five who will receive a copy (in some cases, an advance copy) in exchange for a review on their blog!

Of course, everyone is free to participate via tweets (@TundraBooks) or in the comment section on the monthly post.

To make it easy to work into your busy schedules, we’ve chosen picture books so it shouldn’t take you too long to read the book of the month (or like me, you might pore over it for hours and be distracted by the illustrations).

TundraReadingClubSince the hockey season is ending next month, our pick for March, The Highest Number in the World by Roy MacGregor, is perfect for any hockey fan. It’s also a lovely inter-generational tale about a grandmother and her granddaughter, and includes wonderful illustrations by Geneviève Després.

The Highest Number in the WorldNine-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 lucky number 22 with her hero, Hayley Wickenheiser. 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.

Also, if you know any middle grade hockey lovers, make sure you check out Roy’s successful Screech Owls series.

Visit your local library or bookstore to get reading! If you’re interested, fill in the form below and we’ll randomly select five bloggers to read and review a copy of The Highest Number in the World and join our discussion. You have until Monday March 9 at 3 pm EST to sign up, so don’t delay!

SIGN-UP FORM CLOSED!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Lee Ann, Mary-Esther, Stephanie, Adrienne, and Ann Marie! We look forward to your reviews!

Check back in on Monday, March 23, 2015 for our reading club discussion of The Highest Number in the World!