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Tag: Kids Books

My Favourite Books of 2014, Sandy Cooper

by Dan
Fiction + Food & Drink + Kids / December 11, 2014

The Forgotten Seamstress

From the author of the well received The Last Telegram, fans were waiting for this next novel.

Caroline Meadows life is taking some unexpected turns, her Mother needs to move into care and so while she is clearing her mother’s attic, she discovers a beautifully crafted quilt and begins a search to find out the origins of this mysterious quilt and who might have stitched it.

1910 and Maria, an extraordinary seamstress, is employed to work for the Royal Family. Maria is young and beautiful, and soon catches the eye of the Prince of Wales. But this connection soon leads to trouble for Maria and her life takes a sudden unexpected turn.

Will Caroline be able to find out about the quilt and discover what happened to Maria?

A very interesting and moving story that keeps you involved the whole way through. I can see this book as a movie…much like Philomena… past and present, following clues and revealing secrets as you go…

The Dirty Apron Cookbook

This is a fantastic cookbook. Great recipes, beautiful photography, and the nicest chef and teacher you could wish for. The mushroom soup recipe is straight from heaven. It will ruin you for any other mushroom soup anywhere.

If you are ever in Vancouver treat yourself and go by the Dirty Apron deli, or even better, sign up for one of David Robertson’s incredible classes at the cooking school. But if you can’t… buy this book and work your way through it from start to finish. You’ll be a pro in no time.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site Sound Book 

Everyone has heard of the New York Times-bestselling children’s picture book…It’s my three year old Grandsons’ favourite bedtime story. But this sound board book is for an even younger audience… a sturdy board book with the favorite characters and a bonus side panel of wonderful realistic machine and engine noises. Great fun!

Sandy Cooper, Sales Director

My Favourite Books of 2014, Laurie Martella

by Dan
Kids / December 11, 2014

Mix it Up!

A fun companion to the hugely popular Press Here.

Mix It Up! takes the interactivity element one step further by introducing children to the concept of colour mixing. It encourages kids to have fun by not just simply mixing…but by smudging, smearing, smooshing pages together, and why not use your whole hand?!

I had the pleasure to meet author Herve Tullet in person, and watch him in action. His voice really resonates  through the text of his books, in a cool, fun and down to earth tone. What a creative, fun and colourful book!  

The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History

It is the format and the subject of this book that I love. That combined with the fantastic artwork! It all blends together so well to illustrate the unsung heroes and what we don’t know about these people that helped shape the legends we cherish today.

Love Letters to the Dead

What better way to spill your heart out, than to write letters to dead legends? This was my favourite YA book of the year. Since it was mostly written in formal letter sytle, it gives the character the chance to really digs deep into her story. A story which starts off as a school assignment, which she can’t turn in because she’s hooked on writing more and more. It’s as if she is really connecting with people like Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Amelia Earhart – all these people who’ve died can relate.  And she certainly has lots to say. Mostly about losing her big sister May.

There are heart-breaking moments, nostalgic moments, awkward moments, and exciting moments too – all had me hooked and deeply connected to the experiences.  

Laurie Martella, Hornblower

Hervé Tullet in Toronto October 8, 2014!

by Dan
Events + Kids / October 02, 2014

Mix It Up with Herve Tullet

Join Small Print Toronto in conjunction with Chronicle Books, the Avenue Road Arts School and Mabel's Fables on October 8th for a live event for kids with artist Hervé Tullet, the New York Times bestselling author of Press Here and Mix It Up!

Mix It Up! A Live Art Event for Kids 3-7 with Hervé Tullet
October 8 4:00PM - 5:00PM
The Great Hall

1087 Queen Street West
> Toronto, ON M6J 1H3
Tel: 647-341-5526

For FREE tickets go to: www.smallprinttoronto.org

My Favourite Books of 2013, Pete MacDougall

by Pete
Kids + Picture Books / December 10, 2013

The Snatchabook

My favourite book of the year is The Snatchabook. My daughter was about a year and half old when this book came home for the first time making she and I the perfect test audience. It was a huge hit the first night, and fast became a family favourite. Snatchabook is at times a mischievous brat who a toddler can relate to (not mine...), he gets sad and just wants to have books read to him by someone (something they all can relate to), and its a book about books which we both love. The illustrations are warm and nostalgic, and the story reads aloud beautifully. A bed time classic.

Vader's Little Princess

And being the Dad of a daughter Vader's Little Princess is up there as well. Jeffrey Brown's illustrations, and captions are right on point, and a not so welcome but funny window in to my future.

Peter Macdougall, Director of National Accounts

My Favourite Books of 2012, Megan Radford

by Megan
December 14, 2012

As one of Raincoast’s newbies, I’d seen staff picks of the year before, and felt excited to contribute a balanced, even view of those estimable books of stalwart repute that had caught my fancy in the year bygone.

And then I started working here… luxuriating in a constant, neverending parade of book lust akin to a daily sugar rush. THE COVERS! LOOK AT THOSE ENDPAPERS! THE BLADS! MY GOD, THE BLADS! Keep the drool from the pages, old chap, play it cool Radford, play it cool… THAT’S MY FAVOURITE BISAC CODE EVER!

My immediate response to “pick your favourite book” was to scoff like a surly teen. Pick ONE book? Like, surely you jest.There were spreadsheets, longlists, shortlists, and a drumroll.

But I digress…

Here are the books of 2012 that I just can’t get enough of:

Shadow & Bone

Shadow & Bone
Leigh Bardugo

The fantasy/pseudo dystopian element of this book was so completely captivating, the world so unique, and the plot turns so surprising, I stayed up for two nights (weeknights—don’t tell my boss) into the wee hours just to finish it. The setting and the details are so rich, you feel the bite of cold in the harsh Siberian wastelands as you read. Add one rockin’ female protagonist to the mix, some magical creatures, and an epic quest to defeat evil, and oh yes, it’s gonna be good.

With the sequel out in June, I’m not sure how I’ll contain my excitement in the meantime (warning: risk of spontaneous excited squeals/shouts).

It's a Tiger

It’s A Tiger! 
David LaRochelle and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

It’s just a picture book *scoff scoff*. I’m not really afraid of those slithering snakes… or those mischievious monkeys… or that terrifying tiger!


The illustrations are gorgeous, the story delightful. This book is bright, fun, and the tiger bears an uncanny resemblance to my own charming feline (though she is likely more apt to chomp my head than a ferocious jungle beast). This is a book that begs to be read aloud. And I wasn’t scared, I swear! I’ll just go on to the next book and let my heart rate return to normal.

Piggy Bunny

Piggy Bunny
Rachel Vail and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

If you need me to explain why a piglet who wants to be a bunny is fantastic in every which way, then perhaps you’d best skip to the next selection. Oh, and the piggy hates salad, despite trying several times to swallow it down. How great is that?!

Reading this took me back to those wonderful days as a kid, when your central concerns were picking your nose without getting caught, deciding which teddy bear to snuggle, and reading a wonderful book for the pure, unfiltered giggle factor.


Marissa Meyer

Selecting this title is a struggle (and kind of cheating), as I’m fighting the urge to toss my computer against the wall and abandon finishing this to retreat to the last 10 pages of this book, which has gripped me from the start.

The story is set far in the future, in a time of cyborgs, androids, and lunar colonies. There is a thin overlay of the classic Cinderella story, but this book ventures deeper, calling into question what it means to be human: a percentage of biology (51% human, 49% robot)? An emotional makeup? An ethical framework? In a world where the androids seem more human than our homosapien chums, it’s largely up to the reader to decide.

Now it’s time to scoot on out of here and read!

Megan Radford, Sales & Marketing Assistant

My Favourite Book of 2011: Sandy (Sales)

by Sandy
Kids / December 20, 2011

Press Here

If I had to pick just one book for this season... and that's almost impossible with the choice we have here at Raincoast... it would be the Chronicle children's book Press Here. It's a book that is difficult to describe because it has to be experienced. It is an action book that requires your full participation and attention. With so many electronic games, and plastic toys with batteries taking the attention of young brains these days (goodness I sound like my Grandmother...) this book is a delight for kids and adults alike. I read it to my 5 year old Grandson and he was so delighted he wanted to read it over and over again. My 12 year old Grandson was watching and then wanted to read it with us as well. It's good for all ages. The long lost art of imagination is alive and well in this special book by Hervé Tullet.

Originally published in France in 2010, Chronicle bought rights for North America. Give yourself and treat and take a few minutes to play...cover to cover in Press Here


By Hervé Tullet
Press here. That's right. Just press the yellow dot, and turn the page. The single touch of a finger sparks a whimsical dance of colour and motion in this joyful celebration of the power of imagination.


"A tour de force of imagination and playfulness that belongs on every family bookshelf."—Seattle Times
"An elegantly conceived picture book."The New York Times
"Irresistible... A cross between a high-concept picture book and an iPhone, only more charming."The Wall Street Journal

★"Brilliant."—School Library Journal, starred review
★"A breath of fresh air."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★"Magic."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
★"An interactive book that gives the iPad a licking."—The Horn Book, starred review

Distribution Change: Owlkids

by Dan
Kids + News / December 08, 2011

Effective January 1, 2012 Owlkids Books will be distributed in Canada by UTP
. Returns of Owlkids books will be accepted by UTP as of this date.

Raincoast Books will also accept returns of Owlkids product until March 31, 2012.

Canadian sales will be handled by ampersand inc., formerly known as Kate
Walker & Company.

Owlkids Books and Maple Tree Press ISBN prefixes are:

New distribution contact information:
University of Toronto Press
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON, M3H 5T8

(PH) 1-800-565-9523 (North America) / (416) 667-7791
(FAX) 1-800-221-9985 (North America) / (416) 667-7832

Favourite Books 2010: Crystal Allen

by Crystal
Kids + News + Travel / December 17, 2010

Those who know me well consider me to be a bad girl, a rebel if you will. I think that is why they hired me as a Children's Book Publicist here at Raincoast, to give it a bit more edge. Rules? Ha! I laugh in the face of rules. So when Dan Wagstaff our dashing (yes dashing! Have you heard Dan's English accent?) Online Marketing Specialist asked us all to come up with our favorite 3 books of 2010 I said "No way! I'm choosing 5!" So here they are, in no particular order, Crystal Allen's Favorite Raincoast Books of 2010!

Out of SightOut of Sight
Francesco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais
Chronicle Books ISBN 9780811877121

I remember the first time I heard about this book I thought "Oh that sounds like it will be pretty good!" Then I saw it and it and I was absolutely blown away! If you want to buy one book this year that will be enjoyed by everyone in your family from ages 6 months (with supervision) to 100 this is the book. The animal kingdom comes alive with over 50 known and unknown creatures from around the world. With lift the flaps and pop ups this 11 inch by 15 inch book is not only beautiful but it will also keep a child entertained for hours. And it's only $22.95 which gives you a lot of bang for your gift giving buck!


Travel BookThe Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World
Robert Reid
Lonely Planet ISBN 9781741792119

My husband and I were given the first edition of The Travel Book for a wedding present back in 2006. Too poor to travel the world we often pull this tomb out and armchair travel for an evening. The book has 229 countries & destinations to explore each laid out over a two page full color spread. My very favorite part of the book is that each destination has recommendations on something to Read, Listen To, Watch, Eat and Drink to help experience the country. Then it sums up each country in one word. One of my favorites is Tahiti who's word is Haere Maru which means Take It Slow.


Alphabeasties Amazing ActivitiesAlphabeasties Amazing Activities
Sharon Werner & Sarah Forss
Blue Apple ISBN 9781609050412

One of my favorite book of 2009 was Alphabeasties, a book that explored all the different types of fonts and turned them into animals made out of combinations of different typefaces. From an alligator made of A's to a Zebra made of Z's the book took fonts blocky, small, thick, tall, roundish, slope-y fancy and dopey and brought them to life. For 2010 we have the sequel to the book Alphabeasties Amazing Activities which is packed full of mazes, word searches, rebus puzzles and other intellectual play plus 300 stickers and the really cool animals. It's a must have not only for kids but also for design nerds... or want to be design nerds... like me.

I had the opportunity to work with 2 fabulous authors in 2010 for their Canadian Tours and I would be remise if I did not mention their books on my list.

Ivy + Bean What's The Big Idea?The first was the lovely Annie Barrows who visited Vancouver and did 3 events plus a bookseller & librarian lunch all in one day for her new book Ivy and Bean What's The Big Idea. The Ivy and Bean books are my very favorite chapter book series about two girls who are neighbors and best friends and get into all kinds of mischief together. My favorite books as a child were the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary and these take me right back to those days. Like the Ramona books the Ivy and Bean books have huge fans that are both female and male. I expected a ton of little girls to gush over Annie during the day that I spent with her but I was pleasantly surprised to see how many little boys were huge fans as well!


Big Book of Gross StuffThe second author we had in Canada was the hilarious and delightful Bart King who visited Toronto to promote his book The Big Book Of Gross Stuff. Bart was on Breakfast Television and fried up some worms for a little breakfast treat and had a great time sharing gross facts from around the world on YTV's The Zone. Farts, poop, boogers, maggots, vomit, head cheese and just about every other gross thing you can think of are explored in this book so it will delight boys (and we have to admit girls too) with it's grossness. The thing that parents will love? Bart is a middle school teacher so while kids think they are reading about all this nasty stuff that would churn grownups stomachs they are actually being tricked into learning a lot of really great things!

Bart King BT Toronto

So that's my list of my favorite books of 2010! I think there is something for just about anyone that you may have on your gift list! Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Crystal AllenCrystal Allen is the Children's and Travel Publicist at Raincoast books. As much as she would like to think of herself as a bad girl, she really isn't. She is also mama to 2 year old Isabella and the owner of Lilikoi Lane where she makes and designs really cool shirts for kids!

You Never Know

by Dan
Harry Potter + Kids / October 04, 2010

J.K. Rowling on Oprah

As we mentioned last week, superstar author Joanne "Jo" Rowling (AKA J.K. Rowling) sat down with Oprah at a hotel in Edinburgh (the same hotel where she finished writing the Harry Potter series!) to talk about her life and, of course, you know who.

The interviewed aired on Friday, and inevitably, the question on everyone's lips was "would she ever write another Harry Potter book?"

Well, here's your answer (sort of):

Jo: [The characters] are all still in my head. I mean, I could write. I could definitely write an eight, ninth, 10th. I could, easily.

Oprah: You could. Will you?

Jo: I'm not going to say I won't. I don't think I will. I loved writing those books. I loved writing it. So I feel I am done, but you never know.

I guess "you never know" is better than just "never", right? 

J.K. Rowling to Appear on Oprah!

by Dan
Harry Potter / September 28, 2010

J.K. Rowling with Oprah Winfrey

©2010 Harpo Productions, Inc./All Rights Reserved

Hot on the heels of her success at Indigo's Teen Read Awards, the amazing J.K. Rowling is going to make her first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Friday! In a wide-ranging interview that took place in a hotel in Edinburgh, Rowling spoke candidly with Oprah about her life and career as well as her journey to becoming one of the most recognizable and popular writers in the world. Rowling, who (as you know) rarely does interviews, also shared her thoughts on the possibility of ever writing another Harry Potter book in the future. 

And, if that wasn't enough, Warner Brothers have also just released a new trailer for the first installment of the movie adaption of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

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