New Releases from Groundwood This October

Fall is in full swing—take a break from the pumpkin patch and check out our October releases! All the listed titles are available to order right now from houseofanansi.com.


roostergallo Rooster/Gallo
Written by Jorge Luján, Illustrated by Manuel Monroy, Translated by Elisa Amado
Publishes October 1st

The song of the rooster draws forth the universe and gives way to the dance of beings and objects as day draws its first brilliant breath. Written in Spanish and English, this book is so supremely simple that a baby can delight in it, and yet so complex that an adult reader can find joy in the poem and beautiful images over and over again.

Jorge Luján dreamed this myth and, when he wrote it, understood that the rooster is the poet of the day. Manuel Monroy dipped his pen in the ink of the night and, when he withdrew it, found it was spangled with stars.


snowsummer Snow Summer
Written by Kit Peel
Publishes October 1st

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.

Wyn, an orphan, has always known that she is different. Unable to feel the biting cold of wind and snow of Pateley’s endless winter, she does what she can to blend in. But when mysterious figures start to appear in the village, insisting that she may have the power to restore order to the natural world, Wyn must look deep inside herself to face the secrets of her past that she has kept hidden even from herself.

From debut author Kit Peel, Snow Summer is an immersive fantasy novel that expertly conveys the beauty of the natural world and its conflict with human development. A powerful allegory for climate change and global warming, it is nevertheless a timeless story, reminiscent of classics of the genre.


dosconejosblancos Dos conejos blancos
Written by Jairo Buitrago, Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng, Translated by Elisa Amado
Publishes October 1st

In this moving and timely story, a young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the US border.

They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn’t know where they are going. She counts the animals by the road, the clouds in the sky, the stars. Sometimes she sees soldiers. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move, although sometimes they are forced to stop and her father has to earn more money before they can continue their journey.

As many thousands of people, especially children, in Mexico and Central America continue to make the arduous journey to the US border in search of a better life, this is an important book that shows a young migrant’s perspective.


Groundwood Logos Spine Friend or Foe?
Written by John Sobol, Illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova
Publishes October 1st

“A lonely mouse lived in a small house beside a great palace. In the great palace lived a cat.”

Each night the mouse gazes up at the cat in the palace tower. Is the cat my friend? he wonders. Determined to find out, he bravely makes his way into the palace through a tiny hole and climbs all the way up to the tower, where the cat sits on the windowsill.

“Hello, are you friend or foe?” he squeaks.

This simple story by John Sobol has a surprising outcome, giving young readers a chance to draw their own conclusions. It is perfectly complemented by Dasha Tolstikova’s subtle yet striking illustrations.


weareliketheclouds Somos Como Las Nubes / We Are Like The Clouds
Written by Jorge Argueta, Illustrated by Alfonso Ruano, Translated by Elisa Amado
Publishes October 1st

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.

This powerful book by award-winning Salvadoran poet Jorge Argueta describes the terrible process that leads young people to undertake the extreme hardships and risks involved in the journey to what they hope will be a new life of safety and opportunity. A refugee from El Salvador’s war in the eighties, Argueta was born to explain the tragic choice confronting young Central Americans today who are saying goodbye to everything they know because they fear for their lives. This book brings home their situation and will help young people who are living in safety to understand those who are not.

Compelling, timely and eloquent, this book is beautifully illustrated by master artist Alfonso Ruano who also illustrated The Composition, considered one of the 100 Greatest Books for Kids by Scholastic’s Parent and Child Magazine.


tragictaleofthegreatauk The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk
Written by Jan Thornhill
Publishes October 1st

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.

In this stunningly illustrated non-fiction picture book, award-winning author and illustrator Jan Thornhill tells the tragic story of these birds that “weighed as much as a sack of potatoes and stood as tall as a preteen’s waist.” Their demise came about in part because of their anatomy. They could swim swiftly underwater, but their small wings meant they couldn’t fly and their feet were so far back on their bodies, they couldn’t walk very well. Still the birds managed to escape their predators much of the time … until humans became seafarers.

Great Auks were pursued first by Vikings, then by Inuit, Beothuk and finally European hunters. Their numbers rapidly dwindled. They became collectors’ items — their skins were stuffed for museums, to be displayed along with their beautiful eggs. (There are some amazing stories about these stuffed auks — one was stolen from a German museum during WWII by Russian soldiers; another was flown to Iceland and given a red-carpet welcome at the airport.)

Although undeniably tragic, the final demise of the Great Auk led to the birth of the conservation movement. Laws were eventually passed to prevent the killing of birds during the nesting season, and similar laws were later extended to other wildlife species.

Meet the cast of 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. Along the way, we’re introduced to a fine flock of feathered friends. Meet:

the_chicken1

the_chicken2

the_chicken3

the_chicken4

the_duck

the_goose

the_pheasant

the_quail

the_turkey

the_peahen

the_peacock

This picture book was inspired by the life and work of Flannery O’Connor, including her essay “The King of the Birds” (copyright by Flannery O’Connor, copyright renewed by Regina Cline O’Connor. All rights reserved).

Free eBook Preview: Watching Traffic by Jane Ozkowski

Watching Traffic by Jane OzkowskiJane Ozkowski works in the office at a motorcycle driving school, and although she does not have a motorcycle, she does have her license in case she needs to make a quick getaway. Watching Traffic is her first novel. Lucky for you, we have a free eBook preview, available now!

About Watching Traffic by Jane Ozkowski

Emily has finally finished high school in the small town where she has lived her whole life. At last, she thinks, her adult life can begin.

But what if you have no idea what you want your new life to look like? What then?

While Lincoln gets ready to go backpacking in Australia, Melissa packs for university on the east coast, and a new guy named Tyler provides welcome distraction, Emily wonders whether she will end up working forever at Pamela’s Country Catering, cutting the crusts off party sandwiches and stuffing mushrooms. Is this her future? Being known forever as the local girl whose mother abandoned her in the worst way possible all those years ago? Visiting her spacey grandmother, watching nature shows on TV with her dad and hanging out with Robert the grocery clerk? Listening to the distant hum of the highway leading out of the town everyone can’t wait to leave?

With poetic prose and a keen eye for the quirks and ironies of small-town life, Jane Ozkowski captures the bittersweet uncertainty of that weird, unreal summer after high school — a time that is full of possibility and completely terrifying at the same time.

Watching Traffic is forthcoming from Groundwood Books on August 1st, 2016.

Download a Free Preview of Watching Traffic by Jane Ozkowski (ePub)

Download a Free Preview of Watching Traffic by Jane Ozkowski (MOBI)

Muffin the Rescue Puppy — Guest Post by Dasha Tolstikova

When I first saw a picture of Muffin, her name was Mimi and she did not look like a kind of dog that I would get along with very well. She seemed too tiny and too high strung and her name was MIMI, for chrissakes. So, I applied to meet an entirely different dog named Gary.

The animal shelter emailed back to set up an appointment for me to meet Mimi because they thought she might be perfect for me, and I wanted to seem game so I said I would meet her (with the hopes of meeting Gary the following weekend).

And then she was familiar. She was scraggly and feisty and feigned disinterest in a way that I knew. I thought we could live side by side. I crossed my fingers. I said that I would take her. I decided to name her Muffin.

Every day I wake up at 7:00 a.m. and take Muffin for a walk. And every day I cannot believe how lucky I got. Muffin is the most perfect dog for me. And Gary? Who is Gary?

 

Muffin, the day Dasha adopted her

Muffin, 3 months after living with Dasha


Dasha Tolstikova’s illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker. Her graphic-novel memoir, A Year Without Mom, has received three starred reviews and has been translated into Korean and Swedish. She has also illustrated The Jacket, written by Kirsten Hall, a New York Times Notable Book.

Enter to Win Watching Traffic by Jane Ozkowski

IMG_3042

We’re celebrating the great Summer weather by giving away a copy of Watching Traffic by Jane Ozkowski!

About Watching Traffic
Emily has finally finished high school in the small town where she has lived her whole life. At last, she thinks, her adult life can begin.
But what if you have no idea what you want your new life to look like? What then?

The contest runs from July 4th to July 17th. A winner will be randomly chosen. Fill out the form below to enter!

Current Groundwood Goodreads Giveaways

Looking for your next summer read? Groundwood has some very cool giveaways happening right now over at the House of Anansi Goodreads. Just click the links below to enter to win advance reading copies of Snow Summer by Kit Peel, Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami or What Milly Did by Elise Moser. And make sure to add us as a friend so that you can have first access to future giveaways, including those from our sister company, House of Anansi Press!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami

Book Uncle and Me

by Uma Krishnaswami

Giveaway ends July 14, 2016.See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Snow Summer by Kit Peel

Snow Summer

by Kit Peel

Giveaway ends August 13, 2016.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

What Milly Did by Elise Moser

What Milly Did

by Elise Moser

Giveaway ends July 15, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Bear’s Honey Ginger Cookies Recipe by Deborah Hodge

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some nice homemade cookies, right? And why would you want to wait for the September 1st release of Bear’s Winter Party to make a batch of Bear’s Honey Ginger Cookies? Luckily for you, we have the recipe by Deborah Hodge available a little early.

Bear's Winter Recipe Preview

 

Download a printable version.

Check out our printable resources for parents, teachers, and librarians.


Bear's Winter Party by Deborah HodgeAbout Bear’s Winter Party
Bear loves his forest home, but sometimes he gets lonely. It’s hard being the biggest animal around. As the days grow shorter and autumn turns to winter, Bear springs into action and comes up with a festive plan to make friends with all the other forest creatures.

Bear makes invitations for all the other forest animals, inviting them to a winter party in his den. He decorates his home and lights a roaring fire, and bakes delicious treats for the creatures he hopes will soon become his friends. But as the night grows dark, Bear worries that his forest neighbors may be too frightened to come. Just when he is about to give up hope, Bear spots Deer peeking out from behind a tree…

Written by award-winning author Deborah Hodge, Bear’s Winter Party is brought to life with exuberant illustrations by Lisa Cinar. Together they have created a story that is at once timeless, tender and true.

Free eBook Preview: A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy

A Boy Named Queen eBook Preview In honour of pride month, we have a free eBook Preview for A Boy Named Queen, the latest novel from Sara Cassidy, available for download.

About A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy

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?

Evelyn is an only child with a strict routine and an even stricter mother. And yet in her quiet way she notices things. She takes particular notice of this boy named Queen. The way the bullies don’t seem to faze him. The way he seems to live by his own rules. When it turns out that they take the same route home from school, Evelyn and Queen become friends, almost against Evelyn’s better judgment. She even finds Queen irritating at times. Why doesn’t he just shut up and stop attracting so much attention to himself?

Yet he is the most interesting person she has ever met. So when she receives a last-minute invitation to his birthday party, she knows she must somehow persuade her mother to let her go, even if it means ignoring the No Gifts request and shopping for what her mother considers to be an appropriate gift, appropriately wrapped with “boy” wrapping paper.

Her visit to Queen’s house opens Evelyn’s eyes to a whole new world, including an unconventional goody bag (leftover potato latkes wrapped in waxed paper and a pair of barely used red sneakers). And when it comes time for her to take something to school for Hype and Share, Evelyn suddenly looks at her chosen offering — her mother’s antique cream jug — and sees new and marvelous possibilities.

A Boy Named Queen is forthcoming from Groundwood Books on August 1st, 2016.

Download a Free Preview of A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy (ePub)

Download a Free Preview of A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy (MOBI)

Celebrate Pride with Morris Micklewhite

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress is a story about the courage it can take to be yourself, and it is a celebration of the joy that comes from being exactly who you want to be. If you haven’t already shared this picture book with a child in your life, then Pride Month is the perfect time to pick it up.


Reviews

 “Baldacchino treats the tricky and controversial subject of expected gender behaviors and bullying with care and compassion, employing language and tone that avoid histrionics or preaching.” – Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

 “The message here – that it is not only okay but important to be yourself, and to support others in doing likewise – is of great significance.” – Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

“Baldacchino’s gentle story sensitively depicts gender nonconforming children, offering them reassurance and, one hopes, acceptance by introducing other children to the concept.” – Booklist

Excerpt

Morris likes lots of things about school. He likes to paint. He likes to do puzzles. He likes the apple juice at snack time and singing the loudest during circle time.

Most of all, Morris likes the dress-up center.
And the tangerine dress.
Morris likes the color of the dress.
It reminds him of tigers, the sun and his mother’s hair.

He likes the noises the dress makes — swish, swish, swish when he walks and crinkle, crinkle, crinkle when he sits down. He takes turns wearing all the different shoes but his favorite ones go click, click, click across the floor.

Illustrations

Morris Micklewhite

 

Morris Micklewhite


Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine DressAbout Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress

Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. He dreams about having space adventures, paints beautiful pictures and sings the loudest during circle time. But most of all, Morris loves his classroom’s dress-up center — he loves wearing the tangerine dress.

But the children in Morris’s class don’t understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn’t welcome in the spaceship some of his classmates are building. Astronauts, they say, don’t wear dresses.

One day when Morris feels all alone, and sick from the taunts of his classmates, his mother lets him stay home from school. Morris reads about elephants, and puts together a puzzle, and dreams of a fantastic space adventure with his cat, Moo.

Inspired by his dream, Morris paints the incredible scene he saw, and brings it with him to school. He builds his own spaceship, hangs his painting on the front of it and takes two of his classmates on an outer space adventure.

With warm, dreamy illustrations, Isabelle Malenfant perfectly captures Morris’s vulnerability and the vibrancy of his imagination. This is a sweetly told story about the courage and creativity it takes to be different.

Looks Like Daylight

For National Aboriginal History Month we’ll be dedicating our June posts to Aboriginal titles published by Groundwood Books.

We’ve reached National Aboriginal Day! Here at Groundwood, we feel the perfect way to celebrate is by hearing from Indigenous kids themselves. Author and activist Deborah Ellis travelled across the continent, interviewing and gathering stories that we’ve included here. Plus, all royalties from the sale of Looks Like Daylight go to the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.


Looks like DaylightI go to a Sun Dance. They have this circle. On the first day, you feast and dance. On the second day, you do a fruit and vegetable feast — that’s all — and you dance. The third day is a fast. On the fourth day, we dance until noon. Then we take the circle apart and take down the tree of life and take down our tents. Then we eat. It makes me feel good because this year I actually completed it. On the second day it was really hard. The weather was hot and I felt like quitting. But I found the strength to keep going and I completed it. I like who I am and where I’m from. It’s special.
— Tyrone, 13

Looks Like DaylightEven white people who know I’m Native can sometimes act like jerks. They’ll say, “Heading home to your teepee?” or go “Woo-woo-woo-woo!” and pound their hands to their lips, doing some lame Hollywood version of a war dance. Others ask me questions and they’re respectful. You can tell when people really want to know something in order to get to know you better. But some questions go too far. Like, because I’m Ojibwe they think I was born on some sort of different spiritual plane or something.
— Brittany, l7

Looks Like DaylightMy chenai [grandfather] and my nana and others ran away from the residential school they were put into. Some of the older generation, like my great-grandparents, looked at the residential school as a good thing, but the schools weren’t as bad for their generation. For my nana and chenai it was a whole lot of abuse. They were treated really badly.
My mother says there is no way to make up for the crimes of the past. There’s only forward.
— Cohen, 14
 

Looks Like DaylightI live just over the hill from where the Wounded Knee massacre took place, over by Wounded Knee Creek. For white kids it’s just something in a history book. For me it’s my family. It’s my ground that they bled on. It’s personal.
— Destiny, 15
 
 
 
 


Looks Like Daylight by Deborah EllisAbout Looks Like Daylight
After her critically acclaimed books of interviews with Afghan, Iraqi, Israeli and Palestinian children, Deborah Ellis turns her attention closer to home. For two years she traveled across the United States and Canada interviewing Native children. The result is a compelling collection of interviews with children aged nine to eighteen. They come from all over the continent, from Iqaluit to Texas, Haida Gwaai to North Carolina, and their stories run the gamut — some heartbreaking; many others full of pride and hope.

You’ll meet Tingo, who has spent most of his young life living in foster homes and motels, and is now thriving after becoming involved with a Native Friendship Center; Myleka and Tulane, young artists in Utah; Eagleson, who started drinking at age twelve but now continues his family tradition working as a carver in Seattle; Nena, whose Seminole ancestors remained behind in Florida during the Indian Removals, and who is heading to New Mexico as winner of her local science fair; Isabella, who defines herself more as Native than American; Destiny, with a family history of alcoholism and suicide, who is now a writer and powwow dancer.

Many of these children are living with the legacy of the residential schools; many have lived through the cycle of foster care. Many others have found something in their roots that sustains them, have found their place in the arts, the sciences, athletics. Like all kids, they want to find something that engages them; something they love.

Deborah briefly introduces each child and then steps back, letting the kids speak directly to the reader, talking about their daily lives, about the things that interest them, and about how being Native has affected who they are and how they see the world.

As one reviewer has pointed out, Deborah Ellis gives children a voice that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to express so readily in the mainstream media. The voices in this book are as frank and varied as the children themselves.

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