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
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,
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.