gw-logo-white-words

From The Ground Up

Our Blog

Fall in Love with The King of the Birds

Love is in the air! It’s Valentine’s Day and we’re celebrating with The King of the Birds.

In The King of the Birds, inspired by the life of Flannery O’Connor, a young fan of fowl brings home a peacock to be the king of her collection, but he refuses to show off his colorful tail. The girl goes to great lengths to encourage the peacock to display his plumage — she throws him a party, lets him play in the fig tree, feeds him flowers and stages a parade — all to no avail.

Then she finally stumbles on the perfect solution. When she introduces the queen of the birds — a peahen — to her collection, the peacock immediately displays his glorious shimmering tail. This delightful story, full of humor and heart, celebrates the legacy of a great American writer.

The King of the Birds

Natalie Nelson, illustrator behind The King of the Books and forthcoming Uncle Holland, made The King of the Birds colouring sheets that’ll make you swoon. Download both sheets below and colour to your heart’s content!

Click here to download the colouring sheets.


The King of the BirdsIn The King of the Birds, inspired by the life of Flannery O’Connor, a young fan of fowl brings home a peacock to be the king of her collection, but he refuses to show off his colorful tail. The girl goes to great lengths to encourage the peacock to display his plumage — she throws him a party, lets him play in the fig tree, feeds him flowers and stages a parade — all to no avail.

This delightful story, full of humor and heart, celebrates the legacy of a great American writer.

Includes an author’s note about Flannery O’Connor.

Groundwood Books Awards and Starred Reviews for 2016

2016 was an amazing year at Groundwood Books, and while we prepare for our new titles releasing over the next few months, we’re also reflecting on all the wonderful books we published last year.

We’d like to celebrate the books (and their wonderful authors and illustrators) that have received starred reviews in 2016, in addition to acknowledging some additional awards and accolades that were picked up along the way. Thank you to everyone — librarians, teachers, authors, illustrators, reviewers, booksellers, and, of course, parents, children, and readers everywhere — for making 2016 such an incredible year.

Awards

Starred Reviews 

A BOY NAMED QUEEN by Sara CassidyA Boy Named Queen
Sara Cassidy

Groundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Review in Kirkus

Evelyn is both aghast and fascinated when a new boy comes to grade five and tells everyone his name is Queen. Queen wears shiny gym shorts and wants to organize a chess/environment club. His father plays weird loud music and has tattoos.

How will the class react? How will Evelyn?


Sara O'Leary A Family Is a Family Is a FamilyA Family Is a Family Is a Family
Sara O’Leary and Qin Leng

Groundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Reviews in Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal

When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways — but the same in the one way that matters most of all.


A Small Madness by Dianne TouchellA Small Madness
Dianne Touchell

Groundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Review in Booklist

Rose and Michael are good students with bright futures. They are also in love. But when Rose gets pregnant, her behavior becomes increasingly strange as she pulls away from her best friend, and from Michael, while she struggles to cope with her predicament.

 


Book Uncle and Me by Uma KrishnaswamiBook Uncle and Me
Uma Krishnaswami

Groundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Reviews in Kirkus and School Library Journal

Every day, nine-year-old Yasmin borrows a book from Book Uncle, a retired teacher who has set up a free lending library next to her apartment building. But when the mayor tries to shut down the rickety bookstand, Yasmin has to take her nose out of her book and do something. But what can she do? The local elections are coming up but she’s just a kid. She can’t even vote!


Buddy and Earl and the Great Big BabyBuddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby
Maureen Fergus and Carey Sookocheff

Groundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly

Mom’s friend Mrs. Cunningham is coming for a visit, and she’s bringing her baby! While Buddy tries to explain the ins and outs of babydom to Earl, neither of them is prepared for the chaos the small and adorable creature brings with him.


Flannery by Lisa MooreFlannery
Lisa Moore

Groundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Reviews in Kirkus, CM Magazine, Quill & Quire, School Library Journal, Horn Book, and Shelf Awareness

Sixteen-year-old Flannery Malone has it bad. She’s been in love with Tyrone O’Rourke since the days she still believed in Santa Claus. But Tyrone has grown from a dorky kid into an outlaw graffiti artist, the rebel-with-a-cause of Flannery’s dreams, literally too cool for school.

Which is a problem, since he and Flannery are partners for the entrepreneurship class that she needs to graduate. And Tyrone’s vanishing act may have darker causes than she realizes.


Kabungo by RolliKabungo
Rolli

Groundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Review in Kirkus

Ten-year-old Beverly is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary best friend. Her name is Kabungo, and she lives in a cave on Main Street. No one knows where she comes from or who she really is, but life is never dull when Kabungo is around.

 


MALAIKA’S COSTUME Written by Nadia HohnMalaika’s Costume
Nadia Hohn and Irene Luxbacher

Groundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Review in CM Magazine

It’s Carnival time. The first Carnival since Malaika’s mother moved to Canada to find a good job and provide for Malaika and her grandmother. Her mother promised she would send money for a costume, but when the money doesn’t arrive, will Malaika still be able to dance in the parade?


Snow Summer by Kit PeelSnow Summer
Kit Peel

Groundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Review in Kirkus

Massive climate change has caused a winter that will not thaw, and it seems that the forces of nature have turned on humanity itself. But in the sleepy British village of Pateley, one special girl may hold the key to the earth’s survival.

 


SOMOS COMO LAS NUBES / WE ARE LIKE THE CLOUDSSomos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds
Jorge Argueta and Alfonso Ruano

Groundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Reviews in Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Horn Book

Why are young people leaving their country to walk to the United States to seek a new, safe home? Over 100,000 such children have left Central America. This book of poetry helps us to understand why and what it is like to be them.


THE TRAGIC TALE OF THE GREAT AUKThe Tragic Tale of the Great Auk
Jan Thornhill

Groundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Reviews in Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal, and Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books

For hundreds of thousands of years Great Auks thrived in the icy seas of the North Atlantic, bobbing on the waves, diving for fish and struggling up onto rocky shores to mate and hatch their fluffy chicks. But by 1844, not a single one of these magnificent birds was alive.


TURN ON THE NIGHT Written by Geraldo ValérioTurn On the Night
Geraldo Valério

Groundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly

A little girl falls asleep and in her dream becomes a huge gray wolf, like the one in her bedtime story. Out the window she leaps, and a marvelous nighttime adventure unfolds. She visits the rooster in his coop, and invites him to hop upon her back and together they run through the night. A reindeer joins in the fun, until the three are suddenly stopped in their tracks by a giant dazzling star. The reindeer climbs upon the wolf, and the rooster upon the reindeer to reach the star, then they carry it home, where it brings all kinds of light to the little girl’s world.


The White Cat and the MonkThe White Cat and the Monk
Jo Ellen Bogart and Sydney Smith

Groundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred ReviewsGroundwood Books Starred Reviews

Starred Reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, Quill & Quire, Booklist, and CM Magazine

A monk leads a simple life. He studies his books late into the evening and searches for truth in their pages. His cat, Pangur, leads a simple life, too, chasing prey in the darkness. As night turns to dawn, Pangur leads his companion to the truth he has been seeking.

Enter to win five books kids need to read now

Groundwood Books

Books give children a mirror in which to see themselves reflected, as well as a window through which they can see the wider world. And with a certain President-elect about to take office, the need for children to read diverse books is now more important than ever.

Groundwood is committed to publishing books for and about children whose experiences of the world are under-represented elsewhere. (A sample of our diverse books can be found at diversity.groundwoodbooks.com.) Enter the contest below for your chance to win five such titles, including:

Good Luck!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Groundwood Books!

In 2017 may we all live by the wisdom of Ms. Flower’s Shop

Seek out the good
Sow the good
AND THE REST
will come.


Boats of all shapes and sizes travel on the river, through the seasons, toward the sea. Who will you meet on the river?

Along the River is a vibrant picture book from Brazil depicts the joy of the journey, showing in simple yet detailed illustrations the people you might meet along the way, the sights you might see and the food you might eat. Readers will delight in identifying recurring details when rereading. Reminiscent of the highly acclaimed Jimmy the Greatest!, which received six starred reviews, Along the River is a celebration of community bonds and shared experiences.

With strong social studies curriculum connections, Along the River introduces young children to an alternate form of transportation, as well as to some of the customs and culture of Brazil.

 

Teachers Make a Difference! Guest post by Marie-Louise Gay

Leena, grade 3/4, Calgary

This post was originally shared on Marie-Louise Gay’s website, and she’s allowed us to repost it here.


Every month or so, I receive a batch of letters and drawings from a class that has been motivated, inspired and engaged by a teacher who makes a difference in their student’s lives.

Teachers who are enthusiastic and creative.

Teachers who don’t just read a book to a class but who expand and enrich the reading experience by encouraging children to get involved in the story, to change it, to pursue it, to compare it to their own experiences.

Teachers who understand the value of “reading” the art in a book, of understanding how the images were created, what materials were used.

Teachers who know that if they can get their students engaged in a book, captivated by a story, immersed in the illustrations, they are not only teaching them to read but they are teaching them to be curious, open-minded, observant and above all, to love reading!

Ella, Grade K1, Michigan:”…could you write a book about tree climbing? I love to climb trees…”

Two years in a row, K1 teacher Teresa Kellerman from Michigan, has sent me stories and drawings and suggestions from her students inspired by her incredibly imaginative projects based on Any Questions? She wrote:

Dear Ms. Gay,

I wanted to let you know how much you inspired my students as authors with your book Any Questions?. A fellow first grade teacher discovered the book at the local library and knew that I would love it, so she brought it to me. I immediately fell in love as my mind began swimming with lessons and ideas while my heart raced with the excitement that paralleled a child with a new toy! I couldn’t wait to begin sharing the book with my students.Each and every child was captivated by your book as we studied it in sections throughout the week, reading only a portion a day and following up with associated activities from painting the shy giant to guest authoring the”suddenly” section, to editing and sharing. Our final activity for the week was for each student to compose a letter to you offering his/her idea for your next book. The room was buzzed with the murmer of letter writers discussing their ideas with each other. We hope you feel the love that each pencil stroke brings from our classroom to you.

Thank you for inspiring young minds,

Teresa Kellerman and 1K

Mohamed,Grade3/4, Calgary: “…please write a story about Stella in Africa…”

Mrs. Killam, Grade three/four teacher from Calgary, sent me drawings and stories and many, many suggestions from her students. I could probably write a whole shelf full of books from her students suggestions. But I hope they will eventually write these stories. Mrs. Killam wrote:

Ms. Gay,

I hope our letters find you well. We have been exploring your books as an author study for the past 2 months. Your books have been accessible and have ignited the imaginations of 24 grade 3 and 4 students.

Our school is located in the inner city of Calgary. Nearly all students are new Canadians and are learning English for the first time. 16 Countries and 14 languages are represented in my class this year. Many students have come to Canada as refugees, and have experienced unbelievable tragedy and hardships beyond my imagination. Along with these challenges, many students have difficult home lives. With that being said, your books help to bring students together and help us to forget our differences. The students are always enamored by your stories. Thank you for making them.

You have moved this class and changed their expectations of a “good book.” They loved the imagery of “Moonbeam on a Cat’s Ear.” Their collective hearts fell when Mademoiselle Moon lost her job. They giggled and hooted along endlessly with Stella and Sam. They pondered about where the desert island could be that this boy and wolf were floating along on. And, of course, they ALL wanted to dig a hole bigger than Roslyn and make their way to the penguins. Next, we will be looking at “Any Questions?” and writing our own stories.

Thanks again for doing what you do. Please enjoy our letters! They are filled with questions, book suggestions for your next book, sketches, and lots of love.

Until next year,

-Mrs. Killam

Tania,Grade3/4. Calgary: “…I love your book about Caramba and Henry…”

When I read letters like these and receive enthusiastic letters and drawings from children, I feel hopeful as a creator as well as in the future of our children. I feel very thankful and heartened to know that there are many teachers out there really making a real difference in children’s lives.

Thank you to all the teachers who, day in and day out, inspire our children.

Braydon, Grade K1, Michigan

December 11, 2016: The White Cat and the Monk is 50% off for today only!

The White Cat and the Monk, written by Jo Ellen Bogart and illustrated by Sydney Smith, is 50% off for the day!

Recently named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, Emma recommends The White Cat and the Monk for the cat lover out there. Shop now: http://bit.ly/23vOlcQ #AnansiElves

dec-10-emma

Viola Desmond to appear on the Canadian $10 bill!


We’re absolutely thrilled that Viola Desmond, the Nova Scotian civil-rights pioneer arrested for sitting in the “whites only” section of a movie theatre in the 1940s, will appear on the Canadian $10 bill in 2018.

Bill Morneau, the Canadian minister of finance, had this to say about the selection:

It is my great privilege to announce that Viola Desmond will be featured on Canada’s new 10 dollar bill. Her story will remind all of us, and future generations, that big change can start with small moments of dignity and bravery.”

We hope you’ll be celebrating this great milestone in Canadian history like we are. For more info on Viola Desmond, head on over to our website to check out the book we published on her in 2010, Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged.

 

Dec 6, 2016: Flannery is 30% off for today only!

Flannery by acclaimed Canadian author Lisa Moore is 50% off for today only!

Cindy recommends Flannery, a spellbinding story about chasing love, fighting family, losing friends, and starting all over again for the big-hearted reader.

Shop now: http://bit.ly/1TuF3Yb #AnansiElves

dec-06-cindy

Contact us

Get in touch with us!