Tundra Top Ten: November 2021

Want to know what everyone else has been reading and loving lately? Every month we will share our list of top ten bestselling kids’ books that we publish into North America. Here are the Tundra and Puffin Canada titles for the month of November 2021 – how many have you read?

narwhal unincorn of the sea1. Narwhal and Jelly Series
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

By Ben Clanton
64 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918265 | Tundra Books
Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together. A wonderfully silly early graphic novel series featuring three stories. In the first, Jelly learns that Narwhal is a really good friend. Then Narwhal and Jelly form their own pod of awesomeness with their ocean friends. And finally, Narwhal and Jelly read the best book ever – even though it doesn’t have any words . . . or pictures!

The Barren Grounds2. The Barren Grounds
By David A. Robertson
256 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266100 | Puffin Canada
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home – until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything – including them.

3. If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Colin Jack
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495685 | Tundra Books
If you happen to have a dinosaur, lying around your living room, and you don’t know what to do with it . . . why don’t you use it as a can opener? It will make a terrific nutcracker too! There are oodles of uses for a dinosaur – from a fine umbrella to an excellent kite and a dandy pillow, not to mention a reliable burglar alarm and the perfect excuse to forget your homework. This delightfully absurd exploration of the domestic uses of dinosaurs – and the things dinos just aren’t good for at all – is guaranteed to tickle funny bones and spark imaginations. If you read carefully, you’ll learn how to make your dinosaur last a very long time.

4. When Santa Was a Baby
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495562 | Tundra Books
Santa’s parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby’s gurgle, loves to stand in front of the refrigerator, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbox sleigh . . . and has an unusual interest in chimneys. The adorably funny portrait of an oddball kid who fulfills his destiny – and two very proud parents.

5. The Great Bear: The Misewa Saga #2
By David A. Robertson
288 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266131 | Puffin Canada
Back at home after their first adventure in the Barren Grounds, Eli and Morgan each struggle with personal issues: Eli is being bullied at school, and tries to hide it from Morgan, while Morgan has to make an important decision about her birth mother. They turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and make the journey to Misewa to visit their animal friends. This time they travel back in time and meet a young fisher that might just be their lost friend. But they discover that the village is once again in peril, and they must dig deep within themselves to find the strength to protect their beloved friends. Can they carry this strength back home to face their own challenges?

6. Merry Christmas, Anne
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267183 | Tundra Books
It’s Christmas in Avonlea, and Anne is thankful for so many things: feathery frosts and silvery seas, and wreaths as round as the moon. But most of all, she’s thankful for her kindred spirits, including Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, who adopted her, and her bosom friend Diana. But Anne is distracted this holiday by having to recite at the upcoming Christmas concert. And she feels bad that her kindred spirits give her so much during the year when she has very little to give in return. Can Anne overcome her jitters and make her kindred spirits proud – and also think of a way to show her appreciation for the people she loves? With magical illustrations and a heartfelt message, this festive picture book is the perfect holiday read for Anne fans old and new and a joyous way to celebrate the season.

The Barnabus Project7. The Barnabus Project
By The Fan Brothers
72 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263260 | Tundra Books
Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered “perfect” creatures, there is a secret lab. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars. But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects . . . and Barnabus doesn’t want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes. He just wants to be himself. So he decides it’s time for he and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom – and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are. This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends.

8. Alice Fleck’s Recipes for Disaster
By Rachelle Delaney
256 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269279 | Puffin Canada
Alice Fleck’s father is a culinary historian, and for as long as she can remember, she’s been helping him recreate meals from the past – a hobby she prefers to keep secret from kids her age. But when her father’s new girlfriend enters them into a cooking competition at a Victorian festival, Alice finds herself and her hobby thrust into the spotlight. And that’s just the first of many surprises awaiting her. On arriving at the festival, Alice learns that she and her father are actually contestants on Culinary Combat, a new reality TV show hosted by Tom Truffleman, the most famous and fierce judge on TV! And to make matters worse, she begins to suspect that someone is at work behind the scenes, sabotaging the competition. It’s up to Alice, with the help of a few new friends, to find the saboteur before the entire competition is ruined, all the while tackling some of the hardest cooking challenges of her life . . . for the whole world to see.

9. Peter Lee’s Notes From the Field
By Angela Ahn
Illustrated by Julie Kwon
312 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268241 | Tundra Books
Eleven year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. Okay, maybe two: to get his genius kid-sister, L.B., to leave him alone. But his summer falls apart when his real-life dinosaur expedition turns out to be a bust, and he watches his dreams go up in a cloud of asthma-inducing dust. Even worse, his grandmother, Hammy, is sick, and no one will talk to Peter or L.B. about it. Perhaps his days as a scientist aren’t quite behind him yet. Armed with notebooks and pens, Peter puts his observation and experimental skills to the test to see what he can do for Hammy. If only he can get his sister to be quiet for once – he needs time to sketch out a plan.

10. 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.

2021 Writers’ Trust Awards

The Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People is given annually to the author of an exceptional body of work in children’s literature and the winner is selected by a three-member judging panel. We would like to congratulate Linda Bailey who was the recipient of this year’s award!

From the jury citation: “Warm, humorous, and fun are the best words to describe the works of Linda Bailey over a career that has spanned three decades,” said the jury. “Bailey’s highly imaginative, propulsive plots frequently send characters — two, four, and six-legged — on journeys across uncharted territory or time, driven by burning questions or a yearning to escape the ordinary.”

Thank you to the 2021 Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People Jury: Hadley Dyer, Marthe Jocelyn, and Mahtab Narsimhan!

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!

If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Colin Jack
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495685 | Tundra Books
If you happen to have a dinosaur, lying around your living room, and you don’t know what to do with it . . . why don’t you use it as a can opener? It will make a terrific nutcracker too! There are oodles of uses for a dinosaur – from a fine umbrella to an excellent kite and a dandy pillow, not to mention a reliable burglar alarm and the perfect excuse to forget your homework. This delightfully absurd exploration of the domestic uses of dinosaurs – and the things dinos just aren’t good for at all – is guaranteed to tickle funny bones and spark imaginations. If you read carefully, you’ll learn how to make your dinosaur last a very long time.

Mary Who Wrote FrankensteinMary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN 9781770495593 | Tundra Books
How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of sixteen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. Two years later, they travel to Switzerland where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to life. A year and a half later, Mary Shelley’s terrifying tale, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, is published – a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever and one of the most popular legends of all time.

Princesses Versus Dinosaurs
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Joy Ang
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264298 | Tundra Books
This is a princess book! No, it’s a dinosaur book! No, it’s . . . a T. rex book? A dragon book? A rubber ducky book?! From Linda Bailey, award-winning and critically acclaimed author, and Joy Ang, Adventure Time-artist and illustrator of the Mustache Baby series, comes an irresistibly irreverent picture book in which plucky princesses and determined dinosaurs have a battle royale over whose book this is. When they start calling in the big guns – or rather, the big carnivores – and decide to build a wall to resolve their differences, princesses and dinosaurs alike learn a thing or two about open-mindedness and sharing.

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.

The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson
336 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735263208 | Tundra Books
Eddie is a tiny green bug who loves to read and who lives behind the chalkboard in Mr. Wang’s fourth-grade classroom with his parents, his 53 brothers and sisters, and his Aunt Min. But when Aunt Min goes to the school library and never returns, Eddie leaves the comfort of his home for the first time and begins the dangerous trek through the elementary school. After dodging sneakers, falling books and terrifying spiders, Eddie reaches the library, where he finds Aunt Min stuck on a desk with two broken legs! To top it all off, there’s a substitute librarian who has terrible plans to close the library and turn it into a local testing center. No more books at all! Encouraged by the brave deeds done by small creatures like Stuart Little and Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web, Eddie comes up with a plan to save the library – a plan that requires all the courage one little bug can muster.

Under-the-Bed Fred
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Colin Jack
64 Pages | Ages 6-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495531 | Tundra Books
There’s a monster under Leo’s bed making a ruckus every night. When Leo needs to go to the bathroom, he leaps from the bed to the door – careful not to put his feet on the floor within the monster’s reach. But one night Leo gets tired of being scared and boldly calls out to the monster to see if they can’t just work something out. Surprisingly, the monster listens, and Leo finds out that even enormous monsters have fears! Leo and his monster, Fred, team up to face their fears, each with his own unique strengths. Over the course of five easy-to-read chapters, their friendship blooms as they face everything from bullies to bedbugs. A funny and endearing tale of two very different and unlikely friends, in the tradition of Bink and Gollie and Frog and Toad.

When Santa Was a Baby
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495562 | Tundra Books
Santa’s parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby’s gurgle, loves to stand in front of the refrigerator, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbox sleigh . . . and has an unusual interest in chimneys. The adorably funny portrait of an oddball kid who fulfills his destiny – and two very proud parents.

Deck the Halls with These Holiday Books

The holidays are coming! Whether you’re looking for a gift to celebrate the holidays or just because, we have a cool list of winter-themed books to choose from – make sure you pick them up from your favourite bookstore!

Ages 0-3

The Wheels on the Bus at Christmas
By Sarah Kieley
24 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593174852 | Doubleday BFYR
Families will love creating a new Christmas tradition as they sing along to this joyful, boistrous, holiday version of the classic song “The Wheels on the Bus”. With a gaggle of adorable Christmas passengers, including reindeer, elves, snowmen, Christmas cookies, and of course Santa himself as the bus driver, this bright and festive book is sure to have children eager to read it (and sing it!) again and again. Peek-through “windows” in the front cover give kids a sneak glimpse of the characters they’ll find inside.

Ages 2-5

Christmas in the Country
By Barbara Collyer and John R. Foley
Illustrated by Retta Worcester
24 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593119952 | Golden Books
Betty and Bob are excited to spend Christmas in the Country with their grandparents in this classic Little Golden Book, originally published in 1950. From chopping down a Christmas tree to stringing cranberries and singing carols, this is a holiday to cherish. The colorful illustrations by Walt Disney animator Retta Worcester will delight children ages 2 to 5 as well as their parents and grandparents! Makes a great stocking stuffer.

Christmas is Joy
By Emma Dodd
24 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536215458 | Templar
An enchanting celebration of the true meaning of Christmas, featuring two adorable reindeer.
Christmas is love that lasts all year.
It’s all of us, together, here.
Christmas is peace, stars twinkling above,
a night of sweet dreams and a heart full of love.

Emma Dodd’s joyful celebration of this wonderful time of year, as seen through the eyes of two reindeer, is a pure delight.

Dinosaur Christmas!
By Penny Dale
32 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536214499 | Nosy Crow
Our favorite dinosaurs are back, and this time they must save Santa Claus from a snowstorm! Join them as they plow the road, whizz down a mountain on snowmobiles, zoom through the icy water on a hovercraft, and much more! But where is Santa? And will they manage to dig out his sleigh in time for Christmas day?

Mouse’s Night Before Christmas
By Tracey Corderoy
Illustrated by Sarah Massini
32 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536214406 | Nosy Crow
It’s Christmas Eve, and everyone is fast asleep except for a lonely mouse that lives in the grandfather clock. When Santa arrives, lost in a blizzard and called by Mouse’s wish, it’s Mouse who is there to show Santa the way. Together they embark on a magical sleigh ride, delivering presents all around town. But the best present of all is for Mouse: his wish to make a new friend to share Christmas Day with has finally come true.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas: Sing Along with Me!
Illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang
8 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Board Book
ISBN 9781536216455 | Nosy Crow
Share the holiday song with this interactive board book edition that includes five slider mechanisms. A QR code inside links to both instrumental and vocal versions of the festive song. Simply scan the code to listen and sing along – merry Christmas!

Ages 3-7

A Polar Bear in the Snow
By Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Shawn Harris
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536203967 | Candlewick Press
Follow a magnificent polar bear through a fantastic world of snow and shockingly blue sea. Over the ice, through the water, past Arctic animals and even a human . . . where is he going? What does he want? Acclaimed author Mac Barnett’s narration deftly balances suspense and emotion, as well as poignant, subtle themes, compelling us to follow the bear with each page turn. Artist Shawn Harris’s striking torn-paper illustrations layer white-on-white hues, with bolts of blue and an interplay of shadow and light, for a gorgeous view of a stark yet beautiful landscape. Simple and thought-provoking, illuminating and intriguing, this engaging picture book will have readers pondering the answer to its final question long after the polar bear has continued on his way.

A Very Quacky Christmas
By Frances Watt
Illustrated by Ann James
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593173770 | Doubleday BFYR
“We wish you a quacky Christmas!” Samantha Duck is getting ready for Christmas. “I’m going to give presents to animals all over the world!” But tortoise pal Sebastian is not so sure: “Christmas is not for animals!” With the help of her farmyard friends, who all give something to help make and deliver the presents, this determined duck sets out to prove that Christmas is for EVERYONE – and to make sure animals all around the world have a very quacky Christmas. Families will enjoy snuggling up to read this warm and friend-filled Christmas tale of giving and sharing. It’s a joyous reminder that with a bit of faith and the love of those around you, anything is possible. . . .

Christmas is Every Day
By Isabel Otter
Illustrated by Alicia Más
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593178966 | Rodale Kids
Through adorably-illustrated vignettes, this gifty, light-hearted picture book captures and celebrates the true meaning of Christmas and encourages readers to embrace the spirit of Christmas every day! With an array of family structures and communities enjoying all the kind moments that make Christmas special throughout the year, Christmas is Every Day shares the message that generosity, hope, kindness, and community are relevant all year round.

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.

If Winter Comes, Tell It I’m Not Here
By Simona Ciraolo
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536215304 | Candlewick Press
Nothing is better than summer, with its joys of swimming every day and eating ice cream. One little boy’s older sister tells him he’d better make the most of it, because summer is going to end soon. When winter comes, she assures him, it will be cold and dark, and the icy rain will turn to snow. They’ll be stuck on the sofa for days and won’t even dream of eating ice cream. . . . Simona Ciraolo’s expressive illustrations belie the bleak forecast with images of glowing autumn leaves, cozy couch snuggles, wintry play, and sweet desserts. A celebration of the changing of the seasons, this inviting tale shows how much fun can be found around every sunny – or snowy – corner.

Little Unicorn’s Christmas
By Rhiannon Fielding
Illustrated by Chris Chatterton
32 Pages | Ages 3-6 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780241484708 | Ladybird
It’s Christmas Eve, and Twinkle has ten minutes before she has to go to sleep. But when Santa needs her help, Twinkle wonders if she could help save Christmas and still get to bed on time? Written for bedtime, this story follows Twinkle the Unicorn as she finds herself on a Christmas-themed nighttime adventure. With a ten-minute countdown at the heart of this enchanting story, little ones will love following Twinkle on a brand new adventure.

Mistletoe: A Christmas Story
By Tad Hills
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593174425 | Schwartz & Wade
Mistletoe loves everything about Christmas – the twinkling lights, the cookies for Santa, and, most of all, the gently falling snow. Her best friend, Norwell, is an elephant who likes sitting by the fire and watching the snow from the comfort of his cozy house. On one particularly snowy walk, Mistletoe stops to appreciate the beauty and peace of a snow-covered world. She knows Norwell would love it too… if he weren’t so afraid of the cold. Then she has an idea! Mistletoe knits from morning to night – when she’s reading, when she’s baking, and even in the bath (which isn’t easy). By the time Christmas morning arrives, she puts down her knitting needles. Her gift for Norwell is ready – and it is perfect.

Pick a Pine Tree
By Patricia Toht
Illustrated by Jarvis
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536216028 | Candlewick Press
Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree. With style and warmth, debut author Patricia Toht and Jarvis, the author-illustrator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, evoke all the rituals of decorating the tree – digging out boxes jam-packed with ornaments and tree trimmings, stringing tinsel, and, at long last, turning on those twinkling lights. Joyously drawn and rhythmically written, this celebration of family, friends, and the holiday season is as merry as the tradition it depicts.

Snow FallsSnow Falls
By Kate Gardner
Illustrated by Brandon James Scott
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101919217 | Tundra Books
Snow softens, snow tricks, snow tracks, snow glows and snow snows and snows and snows, transforming a small village into a winter wonderland. A girl and her dog set out and make the most of every snow-filled moment: sledding, building snowmen and snowforts, making snowangels (and snowdogs), and drinking cocoa by a cozy fire as the snow continues to fall. This luminous and lively picture book celebrates the beauty, magic and excitement of snow with simple, easy-to-read text, comprised almost solely of verbs and action words, and gorgeous art that highlights the amazing colors of a snowy day. As inviting as the first snowfall, but so much warmer, Snow Falls encourages little people and big people to go outside and enjoy the snow . . . before it goes!

When Santa Was a Baby
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770495562 | Tundra Books
Santa’s parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby’s gurgle, loves to stand in front of the refrigerator, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbox sleigh . . . and has an unusual interest in chimneys. The adorably funny portrait of an oddball kid who fulfills his destiny – and two very proud parents.

Ages 4-8

Bear Goes Sugaring
By Maxwell Eaton, III
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823444489 | Neal Porter Books
Did you know that it takes forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup? “How many pancakes can I eat with that gallon?” wonders Dog. Every step of the process of making maple syrup is covered in this sweet (but never saccharine) informational picture book by Maxwell Eaton III, the creator of the popular “Truth About” series. It begins with Bear assembling the tools she’ll need for the project, continues with a discussion of the types of maples found in the area and why sugar maples are best for tapping, then on to drilling, tapping, evaporation and at the end of the process, real maple syrup and best of all, PANCAKES! Along the way there are hilarious asides from increasingly ravenous Dog and Squirrel, making this a book as funny as it is informative.

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.

Cozy
By Jan Brett
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593109793 | Putnam BFYR
Cozy is the softest musk ox in Alaska, with the warmest fur you ever did feel. When a storm hits while he’s separated from his family, he starts to feel lonely – but not for long. As the snow piles up, animals start to notice just how warm and cozy Cozy really is! One mama lemming has a bright idea . . . maybe the best place to spend the winter is under Cozy’s fur! As more and more animals burrow in, Cozy adds to the house rules: quiet voices, gentle thumping, claws to yourself, no biting, and no pouncing. That seems easy enough . . . until the lemmings, snowshoe hare, snowy owl, arctic fox, and wolverine begin to bicker. Luckily, signs of spring soon appear, and that means Cozy can find his herd and his new friends can head to their summer homes. But not before promising to get cozy with Cozy next year!

Llama Llama Holiday Helper
By Anna Dewdney
Illustrated by JJ Harrison 
32 Pages | Ages 4-6 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593222591 | Penguin Young Readers Licenses
In this beautiful picture book, Llama Llama and Mama Llama are just about done with getting ready for the holidays. So Llama decides to help out his friends – hanging wreaths, decorating trees, and baking cookies. Join Llama, Gilroy, Nelly, Euclid, and Luna as they celebrate their favorite time of year. Celebrate the holidays with Llama Llama and all his friends in this beautifully illustrated picture book, based on the hit animated Netflix series!

Once Upon a Winter Day
By Liza Woodruff
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823440993 | Margaret Ferguson Books
Milo wants a story, but his mom is too busy to entertain him. Instead, she encourages him to go out and play in the snow. At first, Milo is disappointed – he doesn’t want to play outside, he wants a story. But when he starts to follow a trail of mouse-prints, he discovers signs of activity all around, prompting him to ask, “What happened here?” Before long, he’s using his imagination – depicted in lush wordless spreads that capture the vividness of Milo’s fantasies – to fill in the gaps. By the time Milo comes home, he’s the one with stories to tell.

Snow is Fun
By Steve Henry
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823446001  | Holiday House
Snow is fun, and snow is quiet – but snow is heavy, too. A tiny bird is perched upon a branch that begins to strain under the weight of a heavy snowfall. When the branch breaks, the bird falls into the deep, deep snow. His friends – a bunny, two mice, a squirrel, and an owl – try to rescue him. Luckily, little bird can fly! He can help himself. The friends rejoice. Snow is fun – and snow is especially fun with friends.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow
By Cathy Camper
Illustrated by Kenard Pak
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399186332 | Kokila
One winter morning, Lina wakes up to silence. It’s the sound of snow – the kind that looks soft and glows bright in the winter sun. But as she walks to her grandmother’s house to help make the family recipe for warak enab, she continues to listen. As Lina walks past snowmen and across icy sidewalks, she discovers ten ways to pay attention to what might have otherwise gone unnoticed. With stunning illustrations by Kenard Pak and thoughtful representation of a modern Arab American family from Cathy Camper, Ten Ways to Hear Snow is a layered exploration of mindfulness, empathy, and what we realize when the world gets quiet.

the-day-santa-stopped-believing-in-haroldThe Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold
By Maureen Fergus
Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735268708 | Tundra Books
Santa has a problem. This kid? Harold? Santa doesn’t think he’s real. He WANTS to believe in Harold – after all, Harold is one of the most magical parts of Christmas. Getting Harold’s letters, eating the cookies he leaves out, feeding his carrots to the reindeer . . . what would Christmas be without that? But Santa’s just not sure. Some of his friends are telling him they think Harold’s not real. And the Harold that sat on his knee last Christmas looked AWFULLY different. Santa comes up with a plan to find out once and for all if Harold really exists . . . with hilarious consequences.

The Eight Knights of Hanukkah
By Leslie Kimmelman
Illustrated by Galia Bernstein
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780823439584 | Holiday House
It’s the last night of Hanukkah and everyone is doing their part for the big celebration, but a dragon called Dreadful has other ideas. He roams the countryside, interrupting the party preparations. Lady Sadie must call upon the Eight Knights of Hanukkah to perform deeds of awesome kindness and stupendous bravery and put an end to the dragon’s shenanigans. When Dreadful eats all the special donuts the baker made, Sir Lily helps the baker make more sufganiyot. Sir Alex makes a young lad a new dreidel after Dreadful scorched his original one. And on the Knights go – but when they finally catch up to Dreadful, a funny surprise awaits them!

The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol
By Arthur A. Levine
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
40 Pages | Ages 5-8  | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763697419 | Candlewick Press
Nate Gadol is a great big spirit with eyes as shiny as golden coins and a smile that is lantern bright. He can make anything last as long as it is needed, like a tiny bit of oil that must stretch for eight nights, a flower that needs to stay fresh to cheer up someone ailing, or a small lump of chocolate that grows to allow the Glasers to treat their children over the holiday and, during a harsh winter when medicine is needed more than sweets, spurs them to share what little they have with the O’Malleys. In this charming holiday hybrid story, well-known children’s author and editor Arthur A. Levine pairs with award-winning illustrator Kevin Hawkes to offer a mythical, magical take on the way Jewish families came to give and receive gifts over Hanukkah, just as their Christian neighbors do at Christmas, thanks to a loving spirit named Nate Gadol working behind the scenes – together with a certain jolly old soul.

The Square Root of Possible: A Jingle Jangle Story
By Lyn Sisson-Talbert and David E. Talbert
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593203835 | Razorbill
A heartwarming picture book story based on the song “The Square Root of Possible” from the Netflix holiday film Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey! A holiday tale set in the snow-covered town of Cobbleton, Jingle Jangle follows eccentric toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when a betrayal by a former protégé (Keegan-Michael Key) leaves Jeronicus withdrawn and down on his luck, it’s up to his bright and adventurous granddaughter, Journey (newcomer Madalen Mills) – and a singularly magical invention – to save the day. From the imagination of writer/director David E. Talbert and featuring original music by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, and Davy Nathan, Jingle Jangle reminds you that anything is possible. . . if you believe.

Ages 6-9

Happy Narwhalidays
By Ben Clanton
76 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262515 | Tundra Books
Dive into three new stories about Narwhal’s favorite time of the year! It’s the festive season in the world wide waters, and Narwhal is looking forward to cozying up with a good book, singing and partying with pod pals and enjoying some warm waffle pudding. But most of all Narwhal is excited about the arrival of the Merry Mermicorn! According to Narwhal, she’s part mermaid, part unicorn and completely mer-aculous! Jelly is of course skeptical about the existence of the “Mira-Miny-What-A Corn” . . . even when he receives a mysterious present. It must be from Narwhal. Now Jelly has to get the perfect gift, but finding a present for someone as unique as Narwhal is no easy feat, even when you have six tentacles. How will Jelly ever come up with a whaley great gift for a best pal who spreads cheer all through the year?

Ages 8-12

Jingle Jangle: The Invention of Jeronicus Jangle
By Lyn Sisson-Talbert and David E. Talbert
176 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593203804 | Razorbill
A delightful middle grade story based on the Netflix holiday film Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey! A holiday tale set in the snow-covered town of Cobbleton, Jingle Jangle follows eccentric toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when a betrayal by a former protégé (Keegan-Michael Key) leaves Jeronicus withdrawn and down on his luck, it’s up to his bright and adventurous granddaughter, Journey (newcomer Madalen Mills) – and a singularly magical invention – to save the day. From the imagination of writer/director David E. Talbert and producer Lyn Sisson-Talbert, featuring original music by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, and Michael Diskint. Jingle Jangle reminds you that anything is possible. . . if you believe.

Tundra Illustrator Gift Guide

We were inspired by Travis Jonker’s The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide 2017 over at 100 Scope Notes and decided to show this year’s Tundra illustrators the love. Whether you’re a kid lit fan yourself or just shopping for that art enthusiast in your life, we have something for everyone from some of the best children’s books illustrators out there. Your friends and family will love receiving a book and a piece of art under the tree this year!

Colette’s Lost Pet
Shop Isabelle Arsenault: sur ton mur

Colette is exploring her new neighborhood and wants to make friends. But when she encounters someone her age she’s never met before, she doesn’t know what to say—so she hastily invents a lost pet! Things spiral a bit out of control as a neighborhood-wide search party is assembled and Colette makes her pet bird more amazing with each telling. Will the neighborhood kids catch on to her ever-growing fib?

This charming story both clearly identifies the struggle of navigating a different experience and demonstrates to kids a lovely and welcoming way to treat someone new in their community.

Where Oliver Fits
Shop Cale Atkinson: etsy

Oliver has always dreamed about where he will fit. Will he be in the mane of a unicorn? The tentacle of a pirate squid? The helmet of an astronaut? When he finally goes in search of his perfect place, he finds that trying to fit in is a lot harder than he thought. But like any puzzle, a little trial and error leads to a solution, and Oliver figures out exactly where he belongs.

Where Oliver Fits is a sweet and funny story that explores all the highs and lows of learning to be yourself and shows that fitting in isn’t always the best fit.

 

The Bad Mood and the Stick
Shop Matthew Forsythe: personal store

New York Times bestselling author Lemony Snicket sheds light on the way bad moods come and go.

Once there was a bad mood and a stick.
The stick appeared when a tree dropped it.
Where did the bad mood come from?
Who picked up the stick?
And where is the bad mood off to now?
You never know what is going to happen.

 

When Santa Was a Baby
Shop Genevieve Godbout: bigcartel, surtonmur

Santa’s parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby’s gurgle, loves to stand in front of the refrigerator, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbox sleigh … and has an unusual interest in chimneys. The adorably funny portrait of an oddball kid who fulfills his destiny – and two very proud parents.

 

 

How to Make Friends with a Ghost
Shop Rebecca Green: personal store

What do you do when you meet a ghost? One: Provide the ghost with some of its favorite snacks, like mud tarts and earwax truffles. Two: Tell your ghost bedtime stories (ghosts love to be read to). Three: Make sure no one mistakes your ghost for whipped cream or a marshmallow when you aren’t looking! If you follow these few simple steps and the rest of the essential tips in How to Make Friends with a Ghost, you’ll see how a ghost friend will lovingly grow up and grow old with you.

A whimsical story about ghost care, Rebecca Green’s debut picture book is a perfect combination of offbeat humor, quirky and sweet illustrations, and the timeless theme of friendship.

When the Moon Comes
Shop Matt James: true north gallery

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.

Little Blue Chair
Shop Madeline Kloepper: tictail

Boo’s favorite chair is little and blue. He sits in it, reads in it and makes a tent around it…until the day he grows too big for it. His mother puts the little blue chair out on the lawn where a truck driver picks it up. The truck driver sells it to a lady in a junk store where it sits for many years until it’s sold and put to use as a plant stand. In the years that follow, the little blue chair is used in many other ways — on an elephant ride, in a contest, on a Ferris wheel, in a tree…until the day it flies away, borne aloft by balloons, and lands in a garden of daffodils where a familiar face finds it.

A charming, beautifully illustrated read-aloud that follows the adventures of a little chair, beginning as the seat of a small child who loves books and circling back to that child’s child many years (and bottoms) later.

A Bedtime Yarn
Shop Olivia Chin Mueller: etsy, society6

Frankie is a little bear who has a hard time falling asleep. The dark is scary, and he hates to be alone. So his mother gives him a ball of yarn to hold when he goes to bed, and she keeps the other end in the next room, working it into a surprise for Frankie.

Every few nights the yarn color changes, and Frankie dreams in all the colors that he and his mother pick out. One night he’s swimming in turquoise water, another night he’s in a cool gray fog. He plays with a marmalade kitten and eats delicious chocolate cake. Eventually Frankie and his mother create something special–and Frankie learns that he’s always connected to those he loves, even when he’s alone in the dark.

A beautiful story of love and crafting, A Bedtime Yarn will appeal to knitters, sleepy little bears and any parents dealing with their child’s fear of the dark.

Dog Night at the Story Zoo
Shop Vicki Nerino: etsysociety6

At the Story Zoo, you get to tell any story you want in front of the live audience, as long as it’s about you. And tonight is dog night. So sit back, relax, and let these dogs tell their tales. We’ve got some hilarious but quite touching stories from dogs of all kinds, including a bulldog who doesn’t wanted to be judged by his looks; a bloodhound who loses her power of scent and turns to a dog called Surelick Holmes for help; an energetic poodle who saves the day with her yapping; and a stray who takes fetching to a whole new level.

These stories will make you laugh, make you cry and maybe even make you howl at the moon. Whether you’re looking for smart, funny, sweet, sharp, silly or just plain fuzzy, The Story Zoo is going to be your new favorite haunt.

The Fog
Shop Kenard Pak: gallery nucleus, inprnt

Warble is a small yellow warbler who lives on the beautiful island of Icyland, where he pursues his hobby of human watching. But on a warm day, a deep fog rolls in and obscures his view. The rest of the birds don’t seem to notice the fog or the other changes Warble observes on the island. The more the fog is ignored, the more it spreads. When a Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile) appears, Warble discovers that he’s not the only one who notices the fog. Will they be able to find others who can see it too? And is the fog here to stay? Kyo Maclear’s witty story, brought to life with the delicate, misty artwork of Kenard Pak, is a poignant yet humorous reminder of the importance of environmental awareness.

It’s Great Being a Dad
Shop Gina Perry: society6

A gang of mythical creatures is roaming around a magical land having a great time, until Bigfoot gets his foot stuck in a tree trunk and Unicorn gets her horn impaled on a table and Robot’s saw-arm gets rusted into position. But have no fear! Dad is there to fix things–even when a Sneaky Flying Alligator Pirate steals the Fairy Queen Ballerina Doctor’s wand.

A hilarious story about imagination, play and the best parts about being a dad.

Carson Crosses Canada
Shop Kass Reich: etsy

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!

Wolfie and Fly
Shop Zoe Si: etsy

Our heroine, Renata Wolfman (Wolfie) does everything by herself. Friends just get in the way, and she only has time for facts and reading. But friendship finds her in the form of Livingston Flott (Fly), the slightly weird and wordy boy from next door. Before she knows it, Wolfie is motoring through deep water with Fly as her second in command in a submarine made from a cardboard box.

Out on a solo swim to retrieve a baseball vital to the mission, Wolfie is finally by herself again, but for the first time, she finds it a little lonely. Maybe there is something to this friend thing…