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Tundra Books is renowned for its innovations. From the time of its founding, Tundra has been dedicated to helping people tell their own stories, to introducing gallery artists to young children, to creating a balance between information and beauty in non-fiction books, and to keeping in print the books children love, so they can share them years later with their own children.
In 1967 May Cutler, a Montreal-based writer and editor, founded the company. She wanted to do what few publishing houses in Canada were doing at the time - focus on creating books for children.

But not just any books. Because May Cutler loved all of the arts so much - drama, painting, and dance - she decided to introduce children to the talented artists in their own land. She wanted to create "children's books as works of art." Established artists William Kurelek, Ted Harrison, and Arthur Shilling welcomed May's invitation to write books for children. She helped Chinese-born painter Song Nan Zhang tell his stories through his art, and discovered the incomparable Dayal Kaur Khalsa, who admired her publisher so much that she named the heroine of her books May.
Author Roch Carrier and filmmaker Sheldon Cohen teamed up to create one of Tundra's perennial favorites, The Hockey Sweater. Tundra introduced Mohawk artist C. J. Taylor and the legends of the continent's aboriginal peoples to children across the country. Bonnie Shemie's series of books - The Native Dwellings series - explaining the creating of native North American houses is a favorite inside and outside of classrooms.

book covers

After 28 years, Tundra Books was sold to McClelland & Stewart, Canada's leading literary publisher. In 1996, the offices moved to Toronto, and a new publisher, Kathy Lowinger, took over. Dedicated to keeping the spirit of Tundra alive, Kathy's projects include a new series of books on the Arabian Nights by Gilgamesh author and illustrator Ludmila Zeman, and new books by Newfoundland-based artist Geoff Butler, and by Gilles Tibo, the creator of the ever-imaginative Simon series.

In the past four years, Tundra has reissued many children's classic favorites, including Mordecai Richler's Jacob Two-Two books, The Olden Days Coat by Margaret Laurence, Monica Hughes' Isis trilogy, and Veronica Tennant's On Stage, Please.

In addition, Kathy has introduced new fiction titles by award-winning young adult authors Julie Johnston, Linda Holeman, Marthe Jocelyn and Richard Scrimger. She remains dedicated to publishing the works of talented artists, such as Rudolf Stüssi, Gilles Pelletier, Susan Tooke, and Regolo Ricci.

Tundra's newest venture is the re-introduction of a storybook format, which had been popular before World War II, to combine the beauty of picture books with more complex and longer stories. Thirty-five years later, innovation remains the driving force behind our company.
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