Rachel Berman (1946-2014)

With heavy hearts, we regretfully share the news that our wonderful illustrator, Rachel Berman, passed away in her home in Victoria, BC, on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

Rachel Berman, courtesy of the Ingram GalleryRachel Berman was a self-educated painter who lived and worked in Canada, the United States, and Ireland. Born in New Orleans, Rachel worked as a professional artist for over thirty years. Her paintings have been likened to the poems of Leonard Cohen. The mysterious figures and hidden stories glimpsed in her paintings are a reflection of the mysteries Berman unraveled in her own life. Once known as Susan King, she discovered her original birth name, birth date, and the names of her biological parents only ten years ago. This experience led her to reclaim her long-lost name.

Alison Morgan, Publisher of Tundra Books, said, “Rachel was a free spirit, and a wonderful, warm person. She didn’t believe in technology, never had e-mail, and sometimes no phone. She lived an incredible life, which was reflected in her art—her light side came out in the illustrations she created for her books with Tim Beiser. Hats off to the memory of an intrepid individual who cared deeply about humanity in all its huge variety.”

Bradley_RachelBermanRachel created the beautiful artwork for Bradley McGogg, The Very Fine Frog (a frog, whose appearance, she said, was based on her own) and Miss Mousie’s Blind Date. Both books were finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Awards in Children’s Literature for Illustration.

Tim Beiser, author of Bradley McGogg and Miss Mousie’s Blind Date, remarked, “I honestly believe that Rachel was one of the world’s few true geniuses, and was so proud when she was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for the two books we did together…. My silly storybook characters that she brought to life and her monumental paintings will last forever, as will my fond memories of her. God bless you, Rachel. My life is better for having known you.”

We are so thankful that Rachel touched all our lives in the ways that she did—she will be in our thoughts and hearts always.

The Ingram Gallery were among Rachel’s greatest supporters and the closest thing she had to a family. Please visit the Ingram Gallery for a look at Rachel Berman’s artwork and event photos.

Praise for Bradley McGogg, The Very Fine Frog:

Bradley2_RachelBerman“The sophisticated rhyming text is accompanied by subdued watercolor…. Each animal’s face is imbued with character and personality.” – School Library Journal

“Even more original are the illustrations. Rachel Berman locates this moveable feast in a gentle setting, rural and mildly Edwardian…. Our hero Bradley, dressed in striped overalls, Birkenstock sandals and bow tie…. In her portrayal of facial expression and gesture Berman creates a frog who is different, courteous, tactful, and charming—everyone’s first choice as the eligible bachelor houseguest.” – Feature Review, Quill & Quire

“A very fine frog indeed…. This delightful excursion is made even more so because Rachel Berman’s illustrations, interpretations of the miniature worlds of mouse nests and bear and hare picnics, are nothing short of entrancing.” – The Globe and Mail

“Rachel Berman’s illustrations in beautifully detailed watercolor capture frog’s personality and bring the anthropomorphic animals to vivid life.” – National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature

“Rachel Berman … uses magical images to illuminate the text and to engage readers in the story in wonderful ways!” – Highly Recommended, CM Magazine

Mousie_RachelBerman“Tim Beiser’s text is lyrical and lively and Rachel Berman’s illustrations are full of character and personality…. Berman’s animal faces and gestures convey an array of human emotions and Beiser’s text contains enough gross-out references (a feast of insects!) and humour to delight children and adults of every age…. Bradley is one of the most endearing characters to come along in a long time!” – Canadianbookseller

“The watercolor illustrations are beautifully done in colorful detail by Rachel Berman, adding to the charm and humor of the story.” – Michigan Reading Journal

Praise for Miss Mousie’s Blind Date:

Mousie2_RachelBerman“Berman’s pictures, in watercolor and gouache on rag, suggest Beatrix Potter, ably matching the crisp elegance of the story. Wonderful.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

“Berman’s formally attired creatures, their delicate hands and oversized heads rendered in muted tones, show Beatrix Potter’s influence in the best possible way. This is an utterly charming book and a gentle introduction to the lifelong perils of spring fever.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

“The watercolor and gouache illustrations, with animals dressed in sumptuous clothing, are whimsical and reminiscent of the work of John Goodall….” – School Library Journal

“The text surrounds delicate watercolor and gouache paintings reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, which add plenty of charm to this winsome rhyming tale…. [A] lesson in true love from wise animals.” – Booklist

“Berman’s illustrations are adorable, in a classic muted colour scheme style reminiscent of Frog and Toad. There is a lot to look at in each image, and the illustrations help add visual support to the story being told. There are some longer blocks of text, and the illustrations help give focus to these pages….” – Recommended, CM Magazine

Rachel Berman by Jon ClaytorAround the Web:
+ Obituary in the Globe and Mail
+ Ingram Gallery Event
+ Munro’s Books Event
+ Tim Beiser
+ Don Denton
+ Sara Sniderhan

As per Rachel’s wish, there will be no visitation or funeral service. However, friends are invited to visit Ingram Gallery to share their memories. If desired, in memoriam donations may be made to your favourite art institution and/or local animal shelter.

Invitation to the Little Chicken Duck Book Launch

Please join Tim Beiser and Bill Slavin in celebrating the launch of their newest book, Little Chicken Duck.

When: Sunday, December 1, 2013
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Where: Type Books
Address: 883 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1G3

Little Chicken DuckLittle Chicken Duck
Written by Tim Beiser
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
Hardcover | 24 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-392-6
And so begins the charming story of Little Chicken Duck, whose fear of water prevents her from learning to swim. Taken under Froggie’s wing, she is brought into the forest clearing, where each of the birds, in turn, confesses their deepest fear and how they came to terms with it. This heartwarming tale in rhyme is lovingly illustrated by the playful, enchanting illustrations by artist Bill Slavin.

Finalists for the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Awards

GG2012Each year, the Governor General’s Literary Awards (the GGs) honours the best in Canadian literature. Tundra Books would like to showcase our two finalists!

For Children’s Text, congratulations to Shane Peacock!

Becoming HolmesBecoming Holmes: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Final Case
Written by Shane Peacock
Hardcover | 264 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-232-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-291-2
“This final book in Shane Peacock’s award-winning Boy Sherlock Holmes series combines brilliant storytelling with fascinating historical detail, including famous people, popular myths and street-level views of London. A surprising and shocking conclusion to a mystery worthy of one of the greatest sleuths in English literature.”

Congratulations to the other finalists in the text category: Beverley Brenna for The White Bicycle, Jean E. Pendziwol for Once Upon a Northern Night, Valerie Sherrard for Counting Back From Nine, and Teresa Toten for The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B.

For Children’s Illustration, congratulations to Rachel Berman!

Miss Mousies Blind DateMiss Mousie’s Blind Date
Written by Tim Beiser
Illustrated by Rachel Berman
Hardcover | 24 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-251-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-363-6
“A story about self-acceptance, and love lost and found, told through the eyes of a little mouse, and her possibly-not-so-handsome suitor, Mole. Charmingly illustrated, cleverly told, the message is timeless, and the illustrations endearing.”

Congratulations to the other finalists in the illustration category: Gary Clement for Oy, Feh, So?, text by Cary Fagan; Matt James for Northwest Passage, text by Stan Rogers; Jon Klassen for The Dark, text by Lemony Snicket; and Julie Morstad for How To.

The winners will be announced Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 10 am at the Betty Oliphant Theatre at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto. For the official press release, please click here. For more information about the award and other finalists, please visit ggbooks.canadacouncil.ca

You’re Invited to the Launch of Miss Mousie’s Blind Date

Miss Mousies Blind Date You are invited to the launch of Miss Mousie’s Blind Date. Please join the award-winning author and illustrator team, Tim Beiser and Rachel Berman, as they celebrate their second collaboration!

When: Saturday, April 6, 2013
Time: 2 pm to 4 pm
Where: I N G R A M G A L L E R Y
Address: 49 Avenue Road, Toronto, ON M5R 2G3
Telephone: 416-929-2220
RSVP: RSVPCanada@randomhouse.com

In addition, the artwork from Miss Mousie’s Blind Date will be exhibited at Ingram Gallery from April 6-18, 2013.

Praise for Miss Mousie’s Blind Date:

Miss Mousies Blind Date“…Beiser’s playful rhymes ferry us merrily along to the tale’s satisfying resolution. Realizing they’re both pretending to be something they’re not, Miss Mousie calls a truce, which the mole accepts on bended knee, proposing, ‘If you’ll be you, then I’ll be me.’ Beiser and illustrator Rachel Berman previously collaborated on the equally enchanting Governor General’s Literary Award finalist Bradley McGogg, the Very Fine Frog. Once again, Berman’s formally attired creatures, their delicate hands and oversized heads rendered in muted tones, show Beatrix Potter’s influence in the best possible way. This is an utterly charming book and a gentle introduction to the lifelong perils of spring fever.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

“…Beiser’s sprightly text has warmth, heart and a valuable lesson. Berman’s pictures, in watercolor and gouache on rag, suggest Beatrix Potter, ably matching the crisp elegance of the story.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

“…The perfect collaboration of Tim Beiser and Rachel Berman takes Miss Mousie from crushing on the handsome rat to despairing over his disregard for her and finally to delight, with an ending that will please even those too young to know the pangs of first love but will understand the value of being oneself.” – CanLit for LittleCanadians

OLA’s Super Conference 2013

Tundra Books will be exhibiting at the OLA’S Super Conference this year! Please visit us at booth #720 to learn about our new and upcoming books. And, we will be having author signings at our booth! With each author signing, we will be handing out complimentary copies of the title at a first come, first serve basis. So don’t forget! There’s a limited number of signed books to give away!

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Lorna Schultz Nicholson will be signing Puckster’s First Hockey Tournament at 11:00 am.

Pucksters First Hockey TournamentPuckster’s First Hockey Tournament
Written by Lorna Schultz Nicholson
Illustrated by Kelly Findley
Trade Paperback | Ages 4-8 | 24 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-457-2
Puckster is Hockey Canada’s lovable mascot and this polar bear knows everything to know about hockey. His books are perfect entertainment for young hockey fans.

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Marthe Jocelyn will be signing Where Do You Look? at 2:00 pm.

Where Do You LookWhere Do You Look?
Written by Marthe Jocelyn and Nell Jocelyn
Hardcover | Ages 2-5 | 32 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-376-6
In this playful exploration of homonyms, readers will discover the fun they can have with language. Is a wave at a beach? Or at a train station? Is a trunk in a garden? Or on an elephant? Kids will love the juxtaposition of words and meanings, and the detailed collage illustrations will have them coming back again and again.

Friday, February 1, 2013
Roy MacGregor will be signing Face-Off at the Alamo at 10:00 am.

Face-Off at the AlamoFace-Off at the Alamo
Written by Roy MacGregor
Trade Paperback | Ages 8-11 | 176 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-418-3
“How do you get reluctant boy readers interested in books? Long-time Globe and Mail columnist Roy MacGregor seems to have figured out a solution to that perennial problem with his Screech Owls series, which marries hockey with mystery and adventure. As in previous instalments, the book chronicles the adventures of a small-town Ontario hockey team as it travels around the world for tournaments. This time, Travis, Sarah, Nish, and the gang are bound for Texas. As usual, there’s more than just hockey occupying the kids, who discover a plot to destroy the titular landmark.” – Quill & Quire

Friday, February 1, 2013
Shane Peacock will be signing Becoming Holmes at 1:00 pm.

Becoming HolmesBecoming Holmes
The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Final Case
Written by Shane Peacock
Hardcover | Ages 10-14 | 264 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-232-5
“…What an ending to a fabulous series of books about the young Sherlock Holmes! Shane Peacock has made each of his ‘case files’ so powerful that fans will be sad to say goodbye to the young man destined to be the famous and dogged detective of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle works…. Shane Peacock has done a cracking job of sharing the brutalities of Victorian London and the early evidence of those traits and quirks that make Sherlock Holmes a storied detective…. Shane Peacock has done such a remarkable job of letting his readers know who Sherlock will become, a man worthy of admiration.” – Sal’s Fiction Addiction

Some additional events featuring our authors:

CANSCAIP Mass Book Launch
Friday, February 1, 2013 from 12:15 PM – 2:15 PM

  • Tim Beiser: Miss Mousie’s Blind Date
  • Lorna Schultz Nicholson: Puckster’s First Hockey Tournament and Puckster’s New Hockey Teammate
  • Karen Patkau: Who Needs a Swamp? A Wetland Ecosystem; Who needs a Jungle? A Rainforest Ecosystem; and Who needs an Iceberg? An Arctic Ecosystem

Follow @TundraBooks, @lornasn, @scissorhouse, @RoyMacG, @Shane_Author, and @TimBeiser on twitter! You can also follow #sc13 for the latest news and updates!