Penguin Canada Announces New Canadian Additions to the Puffin Classics Series

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TORONTO (April 22, 2013) – Penguin Canada is proud to announce the addition of four books by critically acclaimed, bestselling Canadian authors in the Puffin Classics series: Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird by Jean Little, Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson, Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker, and Run by Eric Walters. All four books will be published in November 2013. As with all Puffin Classics, the books will include feature introductions by other acclaimed Canadian writers: Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird will be introduced by Kelley Armstrong; Awake and Dreaming will be introduced by Kenneth Oppel; Underground to Canada will be introduced by Lawrence Hill; and Run will be introduced by Deborah Ellis.

“Penguin has a long history of publishing and celebrating classic literature,” says Nicole Winstanley, Penguin Canada’s president and publisher. “We feel our acclaimed and beloved Canadian children’s books are an important part of this. These are our stories, these are our classics, and these new editions will ensure that future young Canadians enjoy them for many years to come.”

The books have been redesigned to fit with the look of the Puffin Classics series, with new artwork from renowned Canadian illustrators Isabelle Arsenault (Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird), Alanna Cavanagh (Awake and Dreaming), Scott McKowen (Underground to Canada), and Martin Côté (Run).

CBC Books will reveal the four stunning new covers–one per day–from April 22 to April 25, 2013. Visitors to the site will be asked to share what children’s book they would like to see as the next Puffin Classic and will have the chance to win a set of five books from the current Puffin Classics collection.

“All of these stories are ageless and timeless, and have been read by countless Canadians over the years,” says Lynne Missen, publishing director, Young Readers Group, Penguin Canada. “They’re classic in every sense of the word, and we’re excited to be putting a spotlight on these authors and stories once again.”

As a division of Penguin Books, Puffin Classics celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2012.

For more information, please contact Trish Bunnett at 416-928-2408 or at

Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird
Jean Little, a beloved and award-winning author, has garnered numerous accolades for her work, throughout a remarkable career. She has written more than fifty books, including novels, picture books, poetry, short stories, and two autobiographies. She has six honorary degrees and has taught children’s literature as an adjunct professor in the Department of English at the University of Guelph. She is a member of the Order of Canada.

Introduction – Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. She’s the author of the New York Times-bestselling Darkest Powers young adult urban fantasy trilogy; the Women of the Otherworld paranormal suspense series; and the Nadia Stafford crime series. She lives in southwestern Ontario, with her husband, kids, and far too many pets.

Cover Illustration – Isabelle Arsenault, a graduate of the Université du Québec à Montréal, has won two Governor General’s Awards for her work and numerous other accolades. She was a finalist on two other occasions for the Governor General’s Award, and her book Migrant was chosen as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2011 by The New York Times. Arsenault lives and works in Montréal.

Awake and Dreaming
Kit Pearson has garnered numerous accolades for her work. Born in Edmonton, Pearson divided her childhood between there and Vancouver. Among the many honours she has garnered are the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, the Red Cedar Book Award, the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award, the CBC Young Canada Reads Award, and the Mr. Christie’s Book Award. Pearson lives in Victoria, close to Ross Bay Cemetery, one of the settings in Awake and Dreaming.

Introduction – Kenneth Oppel is the author of numerous books for young readers. His award-winning Silverwing trilogy has sold more than a million copies. His many awards include the Governor General’s Award, CLA Young Adult Book Award and a Book of the Year for Children Award. Born on Vancouver Island, Oppel now resides in Toronto with his wife and children. Visit him online at

Cover Illustration – Alanna Cavanagh is an illustrator and printmaker whose work has appeared on everything from postage stamps to wall murals and canapé plates. Her illustration clients include The New York Times, Chronicle Books, Penguin Books, and the Four Seasons Hotel, among many others. Her capsule collection of home products debuted at The Bay in spring 2013. Cavanagh lives in Toronto.

Underground to Canada
Barbara Smucker was one of Canada’s best known and best loved authors of fiction for children and young adults. Born in Kansas, Smucker came to Canada in 1969, and worked as a reporter, teacher, and librarian. Throughout her career, she was profoundly affected by civil rights issues, which informed works such as Days of Terror, White Mist, and Underground to Canada. She won multiple awards for her writing, including the Vicky Metcalf Award, the Canada Council Children’s Literature Prize, and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award. Smucker lived for many years in Waterloo, Ontario but returned to live in Ohio toward the end of her life. She passed away in 2003.

Introduction – Lawrence Hill is the author of several acclaimed books, including the memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada, and the novels Some Great Thing and Any Known Blood. His most recent novel, The Book of Negroes, was published around the world and won many awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. He lives in Hamilton. Visit him at

Cover Illustration – Scott McKowen is an illustrator, graphic designer, and art director. Born and raised in Michigan, he is currently based in Stratford, Ontario, where he operates Punch & Judy Inc, a design studio that creates theatre posters and graphics for performing arts companies. His client roster includes HarperCollins, Penguin, Random House, and Marvel Comics. His work is the subject of A Fine Line: Scratchboard Illustrations by Scott McKowen published by Firefly Books in 2009.

Eric Walters is one of Canada’s best known and most prolific writers of fiction for children and young adults. He has published more than eighty novels with more scheduled for the coming years. His books have won over a hundred awards, including eleven separate children’s choice awards, and have been translated into more than eleven languages around the world. He is the only three-time winner of both the Ontario Library Association Silver Birch and Red Maple Awards. Walters has generously donated all his royalties for this book to the Terry Fox Foundation. He also runs The Creation of Hope, an orphanage in Kenya.

Introduction – Deborah Ellis is the internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children, including the Breadwinner trilogy, The Heaven Shop, I Am a Taxi, Lunch With Lenin, and No Safe Place. A peace activist, feminist, and humanitarian, Ellis has won many national and international awards for her books, including the Governor General’s Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award, a place on the American Library Association’s Notable List, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. In 2010, she received The Ontario Library Association President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement. Ellis lives in Simcoe, Ontario.

Cover Illustration – Martin Côté was born in a small town near Québec City and graduated with a degree in graphic design from the Cégep de Ste-Foy in 1980. His primary technique, scratchboard, has been his main medium for the last twenty years. His illustrations were featured in the movie The Bone Collector, and his client roster includes Canada Post, Sleeman Brewery, the National Post, Intrawest, and The Baltimore Sun. Côté lives in Montréal, Québec.

About Penguin Canada
Penguin Canada, founded in 1974, is one of Canada’s preeminent trade publishers, publishing and distributing a wide range of literary, thought-provoking fiction, non-fiction, lifestyle and children’s books. Penguin Canada’s imprints include Viking, Hamish Hamilton, Allen Lane, Penguin, Portfolio Penguin, Puffin and its newest imprint launched in early 2012, Razorbill. Under these imprints, Penguin Canada proudly publishes an award-winning list of Canadian authors including 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Will Ferguson, previous winners Joseph Boyden and Johanna Skibsrud, as well as Stuart McLean, Guy Gavriel Kay, Jack Whyte, John Ralston Saul and Adrienne Clarkson. Penguin Canada also publishes and distributes a number of celebrated international authors including Philip Roth, Zadie Smith, John le Carré, Khaled Hosseini, Kathryn Stockett, Elizabeth Gilbert and Ken Follett.