May Cutler (1923-2011)

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Tundra Books founder, May Cutler at the age of 87. May passed away at her home in Montreal, surrounded by her family.

Born in Montreal, May attended McGill University where she served as features editor at the McGill Daily newspaper. She then went on to study journalism at New York’s Columbia University. In 1967, finding it difficult to integrate her life as a mother of four small children with her life as a freelance journalist, she decided to start a publishing company and thus, Tundra Books was born. Tundra soon became a thriving publisher of high-quality children’s picture books that included works by renowned artists William Kurelek, Ted Harrison, Warabé Aska, Dayal Kaur Khalsa, C.J. Taylor, Stéphan Poulin and Song Nan Zhang. She was a passionate advocate for children’s literature and she pioneered some of the business practices that became standard for Canadian children’s publishers.

After running Tundra for over 30 years, May sold the company to Toronto-based McClelland & Stewart in 1995. The Canadian children’s publishing industry will always remember May’s contribution to Canadian children’s literature.

Click here to read the article celebrating Tundra’s 40th anniversary from the Spring 2007 issue of Canadian Children’s Book News.