Posts Tagged ‘Tundra Books’

Write a Review Wednesday: Zero Kisses for Me

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox. This week we’re all about love with Valentine’s Day around the corner so we’re reviewing Tundra Books Zero Kisses for Me (age 4-7 ) written by Virginie Soumagnac and illustrated by Manuela Monari. I have to thank Sylvia at Tundra Books for my review copy.


It’s hard being the little one in the family;everyone always wants to give you kisses, especially your mom. She sends you out in the rain. Kisses. She gives you a hug. Kisses. One little boy has had enough; he’s worn out by the end of the day after all those kisses. He tells his mom that from now on he wants no more mushy kisses. Not ever. But at bedtime, when his mom obliges his wishes, something isn’t quite right. Could it be he’s missing his kisses?

As my kids get older I know there will be some resistance to mom kisses; I’m already seeing this from my 8-year old daughter. I think as kids get older they feel, just like the boy in Zero Kisses for Me, that big kids don’t need to get kisses all the time; kisses are for babies. I think that’s why I loved this book so much. My kids are always trying to be ‘bigger’ and going to bed without a goodnight kiss is one of those things big kids do, so many kids think. Both the words and illustrations do a great job depicting how a young child is caught between wanting to be grown-up and not be coddled and kissed all the time while at the same time wanting to remain little and protected by their parents. All 3 of my kids could relate to both sides of the boys reaction.

When the boy has difficulty sleeping, after not getting his usual bedtime kiss, he is comforted again by lots of kisses from his mom. Reading Zero Kisses for Me segued nicely into talking about growing up and kisses and respecting personal space (such as maybe not giving too many kisses goodbye in the school yard but lots for good nights and good mornings).

If you want to add a copy of Zero Kisses for Me to your personal library, visit your local bookstore or Tundra Books. For other great book ideas for kids, read through the past Write a Review Wednesday posts. I also included Zero Kisses for Me in a list of book for kids based on the topic of love. Checkout EverythingMom‘s Everything Love section to see what other books are on the list. What are you reading with your kids?

Write a Review Wednesday: Counting on Snow

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane. This week we looked at Tundra Books Counting on Snow (age 2-5), by Maxwell Newhouse. I have to thank Sylvia at Tundra Books for my review copy.


From 10 Caribou Crunching in a wide open plain to 1 Moose, barely visible through the thick falling snow, Counting on Snow adds an Arctic twist to the classic counting book; perfect for the impending winter weather. Each page features an Arctic animal in the quiet, vast landscape they live in. As you turn the page, the animals you just counted, can be seen leaving the scene and a new set of animals appear. As you count down from 10 to 1, the snowfall increases, making it harder to see animals, like the white hares or polar bears, as they naturally blend into the white landscape.

Counting on Snow reinforces the numbers 1 to 10 as they are written numerically on the page as well as being represented visually in the form of the various Arctic animal groups. My 6 and 3-year old enjoyed counting the animals, especially as they got harder to see in the heavier snow images. Although the text is limited, focusing on counting the animals, the visuals have a way of telling a story about the Arctic winter too.

You can add a copy of Counting on Snow to your personal library by visiting your local book store or Tundra Books. For other great children’s books, checkout the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favourite Books I’ve Reviewed (so far)

I love books for kids. I love the imaginative characters, the whimsical illustrations, the unique story ideas. I love sharing these books with my kids, seeing them fret, cry, laugh, learn, discover along with the characters.

I’m fortunate that I get to indulge in my love of children’s literature each and every Wednesday by sharing with my blog readers some amazing new books being released by dedicated children’s book publishers. I can’t believe I’ve accumulated over 50 reviews on my blog so far. I’ve only reviewed books that I think are really good but sometimes there are some really great books that stand out in my mind. I thought this week for my Oh Amanda‘s Top Ten post I’d share with you my Top 10 Favourite Books I’ve Reviewed (so far, in no particular order).

  1. High Five with Julius and Friends, Touch and Feel (Boardbook, Raincoast books) – A touch and feel boardbook based on Paul Frank’s lovable characters.
  2. The Secret Lives of Princesses (Picture Book, 7+, Sterling Kids Publishing) – A beautifully illustrated and witty tale of those lesser known princesses.
  3. Wolf Wanted (Picture Book, 4-7, Groundwood Books) – A clever twist on combining fictitious wolf characters with the plight of real wolves around the world.
  4. Meeow and the Big Box (Picture Book, 2-5, Sterling Kids Publishing) – A simple yet wonderful view of a young child’s imagination as seen through the behaviour of Meeow and his friends.
  5. Ivy and Bean (Chapter Book, 6-10, Raincoast Books) – A series of chapter books (6 so far) that follow the adventures and friendship of two seven-year-old girls.
  6. Monsterologist (Poetry, 4+, Sterling Kids Publishing) – A fictitious journal recounting the various spookies and scaries recorded by a Monsterologist.
  7. Thing-Thing (Picture Book, 4-7, Tundra Books) – A heartfelt tale of a stuffy’s journey as he’s carelessly discarded out an apartment window.
  8. OK GO (Picture Book,  ,Greenwillow Books ) – A graphically engaging story about taking care of the environment around us.
  9. Chicken Pig Cow (2-5, Annick Press) – A tale of 3 plasticine friends and their friendship.
  10. Alison Dare (Graphic Novel, 8+ ,Tundra Books) – A fun and adventurous tale of a young girl explorer.

If you’re interested in other great books for kids, read through some of the past Write a Review Wednesday posts and come back each Wednesday for new books.

Book Blog Tour: Alison Dare

Alison Dare is a 12-year-old adventurer. But that comes as no surprise when you look at her family tree: an archaeologist/adventurer for a mother, the masked hero known as the Blue Scarab for a father, even her uncle is an international super-spy. Despite the strict rules at the prestigious St. Joan’s Academy for Girls, Alison still thirsts for challenges.

Alison and her best pals – Wendy and Dot – somehow manage to find themselves involved in adventures that rival those of Alison’s globetrotting, planet-saving relatives. Whether it’s magic genies, super-powered bank robbers, or a dastardly baron bent on world domination, Alison Dare delivers the best thrills since Indiana Jones and more action than Lara Croft!

We had the chance to read up on Alison’s latest adventures in Tundra BooksAlison Dare, The Heart of the Maiden (age 8+) and Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventure (age 8+), graphic novels written by J. Torres and illustrated by J. Bones.

Both stories follow the exploits of the ever curious Alison, her eager to follow friend Dot, and her studious and sometimes reluctant participate Wendy. Alison Dare, The Heart of the Maiden consists of a few mini stories up front which give you an overall taste of the different characters you’ll encounter. The main story, The Heart of the Maiden, transports the girls into a world of secret tunnels and super ninja spies.

Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventure consists of three short miss-adventures: like what happens when Alison gets her hands on a magic lamp possessed by a mischievous genie or how her dad stumbles upon his magic powers as the Blue Scarab or how Alison tries to get her parents back together again and ends up foiling the evil plans of the Baron von Baron.

Both books are just shy of 100 pages, making them an easy and fun read. Even my 8-year-old daughter devoured these books fairly quickly. Once she started one adventure she couldn’t stop. The mini stories within each book as well as the books themselves can stand on their own so you don’t need to read them in a certain order. I’m a big fan of Indian Jones and the whole adventure genre. I loved that these stories followed along the same route but what I especially loved was that the main character was a strong and feisty girl. My daughter loved that part best too:

So many books for girls have girly characters in them. They’re concerned about clothes and boys and stuff. I love that Alison wears pants and gets dirty and hunts after mysteries. She’s cool. I think I’d love to be more like Alison, the part where she can solve mysteries. I think she’s a great book for girls because she shows girls they can do dangerous and adventurous stuff too. She’s a great role model for girls. I hope there are more Alison Dare books because she’s great.

I also loved J. Torres‘ tongue and cheek poke at the various other adventure stories, like Indiana Jones. You could see that in some of the book scenes (like Dr. Dare trying to escape a gang and yelling at her assistant to ‘start the plane’). These things may have been overlooked by my daughter (though she’s seen all the Indiana Jones films 5 or more times now), I couldn’t help but chuckle.

Alison Dare ventured over to our blog for a visit. It’s a good thing she’s always up for a challenge because her journey here was anything but smooth, from rock climbing to wrestling with the Greenopolis Spider to digging her way out of quicksand, Alison Dare eventually made it here to answer a few questions posed by my own adventurous 8-year old:

  1. What’s the scariest creature you’ve met when solving a mystery?
    Mother Snake-perior! She (at least I think it was a she) posed as Mother Superior to infiltrate our school. Mother Superior is actually pretty scary on her own, so imagine a snake-eyed, hissing, scaly version…
  2. Would you invite your mom or dad or uncle to speak on Career day at your school? Why?
    My mom went to St. Joan’s when she was a girl, so she’s actually participated in different events at school already. Dad was scheduled for Career Day last year but had to cancel last minute because… of… an overdue book emergency at the library where he works (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). Uncle Johnny is an international super spy and the first rule of being an international super spy is you do not talk about being an international super spy!
  3. If you could have one super power what would it be?
    I would love the power to become invisible. It would make sneaking out a lot easier. Plus, I can eavesdrop on people. I mean, evildoers!
  4. How do you get your homework done with all your mystery solving?
    Have you met my roommate Wendy? Can you say braniac? She helps me. A lot.
  5. Do you use any secret spy gadgets? Do you have a favourite?
    I’m not allowed. I, uh, borrowed a grappling hook from my Uncle Johnny once, you know, to scale walls and stuff. I broke Sister Mary-Catherine’s bedroom window. Oops.
  6. What advice could you give an aspiring (8-year-old) mystery solver
    Read a lot. Do push-ups. Nap whenever you can. But most of all… be daring!

Alison Dare is a great read for girls. My daughter has read and reread her two adventures while she holds out for more. And a book character that encourages girls to think for themselves, do what they want to do and take chances is a pretty good role model in my mind.

Alison Dare visited as part of Tundra BooksDouble Dare Blog Tour. You can also catch her adventures today with Khy at the Frenetic Reader, Kristin at Bookworming in the 21st Century, and Jennifer at Jenn’s Bookshelves. The tour runs until June 18 so check the tour schedule to find out where else Alison will appear. You can also see my Top Ten Tuesday post: Top Ten Reasons Girls Should Read the Alison Dare Books.

No Alison Dare book tour would be complete without a dare and Tundra Books has a doozy. If you have the chops to enter you could walk away with 1 of 3 Alison Dare prize packs. Go on, enter. I dare you. No, I double-dog dare you.

Alison Dare, Part III

Alison Dare is scheduled to arrive for a blog visit June 8 but last we heard she was a little tangled up. Thankfully it seems the Greenopolis Spider is just as ticklish as Alison herself. This weakness enabled Alison to snake her arm down to her bag and reach her can last can of Anti-Greenopolis Spider spray. Of course she didn’t have enough freedom to give her great aim. She was able to spray the Greenopolis Spider and get free from its ticklicious grip but she also ended up getting some spray in her eyes. As she stumbled free, her vision blurred from the stinging spray she stumbled into a sand pit. But of course this wasn’t just sand. Alison stumbled into a pit of quicksand.

Will Alison be able to get herself free before she’s sucked further into the pit? Will she ever be able to get sand stains out of her new jacket? Until next time…

Alison Dare, The Saga Continues

Last time we saw Alison Dare, the twelve-year-old adventuress had us hanging by a thread, or rather a rope. Thankfully a large bird was collecting twine for its nest and grabbed the rope with Alison hanging from it. Before being woven into a nest, Alison spotted a grassy opening and jumped to safety.

Safe at last, Alison continued her journey for her June 8 visit. Or did she.

It seems the soft grass Alison landed on are the arms of the Greenopolious Spider (often confused with evergreen bushes). Will Alison be able to untangle herself from the spider plant’s snare? Will she be able to control her laughter as the spider’s soft tentacle-like arms continue to tickle her? Did she remember to pack her Anti-Greenoplious Spider spray? Until next time…

Write a Review Wednesday: So Close

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Hammond’s Princesses of the World. This week we review Tundra BooksSo Close (age 4-7), written and illustrated by Natalia Colombo. I have to thank Sylvia at Tundra Books for my review copy.


Mr Duck heads to work every morning.Mr Rabbit heads to work every morning. Every morning they pass each other without saying a word. What a difference one little word can make: Hello.

Before going much further I have to say I fell in love with this book, So Close, before I even started reading it to my kids; I love how Natalia has illustrated Mr Duck and Mr Rabbit (the only characters in this short story), as well as her whimsical interpretations of trees and cars and the world that Mr Duck and Mr Rabbit live in. The story is short and very visually based.

But don’t let the size of the story in So Close fool you, the message itself is big. Mr. Duck and Mr. Rabbit pass each other every day, walking, in the cars, on their bikes. The see each other in different moods but never say a word to one another. Until one day. The simple greeting of Hello changes Mr Duck and Mr Rabbit’s lives forever. They walk together, eat lunch together, talk and play. What a difference one simple word can make.

So Close is a wonderful message for kids. Fortunately my kids are very extroverted and say Hello to anyone who will listen. And just like So Close, you can see the impact right away when you do simply say Hello to someone, a smile, a Hello back.

The story is aimed for kids 4 to 8, but my 3-year-old loved the two characters. And the message is a concept kids can learn and appreciate at a young age. So Close would be a great book to give to someone starting school too. Imagine how easily it would be to find a new friend with just this simple gesture.

Want to add a copy of So Close to your own personal library, visit your independent bookstore or Tundra Books. Looking for other great reads for kids? Checkout previous Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Alison Dare is Coming

She may only be twelve but Alison Dare, daughter of an archaeologist/adventurer and the masked hero known as the Blue Scarab, has a thirst for adventure is in her blood. Even as I write this post, Alison dangles perilously from a rocky cliff face, trying to make her way here for her June 8 visit. Will she remember not to look down? Will she be able to scale the steep wall? Will she avoid getting rope burn? Until next time…

Write a Review Wednesday: Topsy-Turvy Town

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Scholastic Canada‘s The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge. This week we ventured into the mind of a child in Tundra Books Topsy-Turvy Town (age 2-5) written and illustrated by Luc Melanson. I have to thank Sylvia at Tundra Books for my review copy.


A young boy takes a trip through Topsy-Turvy town, where cars are made of chocolate, dogs play the tuba instead of barking and broccoli rains from the sky. His sister thinks he’s silly. His aunt thinks he’s making it up. His dad pretends to ignore it all. Nobody believes him; nobody but his mom.

Luc Melanson‘s Topsy-Turvy Town gives us a peek into the wonderful and creative imagination of a child through he delightful words and whimsical images filling the pages before you.

I’ll admit, the first time I read Topy-Turvy Town I didn’t fall in love with the book. But reading it again (and again) with my kids has given me a new appreciation and perspective. My 3-year-old and 5-year-old loved the little boy’s world. You could see in their faces that they too had stepped into that world while we were reading the story. Although this particular world isn’t like any they have imagined, they were quick to explain how Topsy-Turvy Town was similar to or different from their own imaginative worlds. Reading the story  got my two youngest excited about fantasy worlds and the ideas poured out. A book that extends my children’s interest beyond just the pages we’re reading is certainly worth adding to our collection.

You can add Topsy-Turvy Town to your own personal collection by visiting your independent bookstore or Tundra Books. If you’re looking for other great books for kids, take a read through the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: Nana’s Getting Married

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week my seven-year-old daughter has been working on a school research project, which she has since finished, so I a reviewed DK‘s reference book Pick Me Up. This week we’re reviewing Tundra’s Books’ new release Nana’s Getting Married (age 4-7), written by Heather Hartt-Sussman and illustrated by Georgia Graham . Thanks goes to Sylvia at Tundra Books for my review copy.


Nana use to bake chocolate chip cookies, knit mittens and read bedtime stories. Nana was the best grandma in the world. Then she met Bob and now she wears her hair differently, takes long bubble baths, and even puts on makeup. Everyone seems happy with Nana’s new love interest, everyone that is but her grandson. He, for one, does not approve. He tries everything from pretending to be sick to trying to scare Bob away, anything that might keep Nana all to himself. But nothing works. Then something awful happens, Nana and Bob plan on getting married. But maybe this news isn’t as bad as it sounds and maybe Bob isn’t as awful as the little boy imagines.

Nana’s Getting Married is a delightful story about the relationship between an adult and a child. We tend to develop strong attachments to others in our lives, whether that’s a grandma or a child or a best friend. Sometimes that relationship can feel threatened when others try to join our bond and we’ll do anything to protect it, to keep it the same, just like the little boy trying to preserve his relationship with his Nana. Heather Hartt-Sussman does a wonderful job portraying this young boy’s struggle. Even though the boy thinks some of the things his Nana does are gross, you can read his underlining love for her.

I love Georgia Graham‘s artwork in the Wanda books and she does another amazing job in Nana’s Getting Married. I especially love the facial expressions she gives the characters.

My kids enjoyed Nana’s Getting Married as much as I did. Reading the story they could really empathise with the little boy’s feelings. They thought about having to share their Grandma or Nana. My son went so far as to think of other ways the little boy could have scared Bob away (I think that must be a boy thing, creating booby trap plans).

Nana’s Getting Married is a great story about the bond we create with people. It also shows that although change can be scary, sometimes change leads to great things if we’re open to the alternatives. I think this is a great story even if you don’t have a Nana getting married.

If you’re in or around the Toronto area, Heather Hartt-Sussman will be reading from Nana’s Getting Married at the Indigo bookstore in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre this Saturday, February 20, 2010 at noon. She’ll be signing copies afterward. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Can’t make it out to the reading but are interested in adding a copy of Nana’s Getting Married to your personal library, checkout your local bookstore or visit You can read through the past Write a Review Wednesday posts for other great book suggestions.