In which Walrus Books wonders why there isn’t a sign of the zodiac that is a walrus and proposes a daring solution. Also, Joan Marie Galat’s Stories of the Zodiac is nominated for a Hackmatack Award.

Here at Walrus Books we’re pretty into horoscopes. We’re also pretty into Stories of the Zodiac, the latest in the Dot-to-Dot in the Sky series by Joan Marie Galat. We knew we would love this book when we found out that it includes a glow in the dark star chart.  “This,” we thought, “Will help us when we’re trying to impress our friends by pointing out Orion in a dark forest.  It will save us from embarrassing situations in which we cannot see our regular star chart.” It is a strongly held belief of ours that everything is better when it includes a glow in the dark star chart.

Once we grew tired of looking at the book under our covers with the lights off, we read it and loved it even more. It’s full of stories about things like Hercules being attacked by giant crabs and accidents that cause gods to transform into sea-goats.

Then we learned that Stories of the Zodiac has been nominated for the Hackmatack Award. You may not know of this award if you are not young and from Atlantic Canada. We are neither (sadly), but this award is pretty cool. Books are selected, and then 7,500 children from all across Atlantic Canada read them, and vote on their favourites. Then there is a big fun awards ceremony where authors and readers get to know each other and shake hands and sign books.

We think that Joan has a pretty good chance of winning. You want to know why? We did a bit of Internet research and none of the other nominees’ books include a glow in the dark star chart. Not even one.

On to the other thing we wanted to write about: horoscopes.

So, according to Stories of the Zodiac, ancient people used to believe that the position of the stars, planets, sun and moon at the time of your birth affected your character and your destiny. While this idea has been proven not terribly scientifically accurate, it has morphed into modern-day horoscopes. The idea is that the position of the sun in relation to the zodiac constellations on the day you were born determines your astrological sign. Here, though, is the kicker: horoscopes are based on 12 different constellations that the sun moves through, but the sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12.

The 13th is called Ophiuchus, and apparently the story about him is that he’s some sort of serpent tamer. We are not satisfied with this story. With a little help from Setareh in our design department we came up with this handsome depiction of the constellation:


Now all that’s left is to predict our destiny. Help us out? Write a horoscope for Walrus Books in the comments section.


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In which Totally Horse Mad is reviewed in CM Magazine

It’s always lovely to read good review of a Walrus Books title and Tanya Boudreau’s recent review of Totally Horse Mad in CM Magazine is especially lovely because it provides a really fantastic summary of the book.  Worth a read, for sure.

The plot in Totally Horse Mad builds as Ashleigh moves to a new town and encounters grievances and unfairness. A broken promise, an ailing horse, the realities of bills and money, and a handful of cruel kids her own age cause Ashleigh to experience a range of emotions, some of which she acts on and regrets, and some of which result in positive outcomes- the best being a mended friendship.

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In which readers are welcomed and given a brief introduction to both walruses and Walrus Books

Welcome.  Thanks for stopping by. We thought since this was our first blog entry, we’d quickly tell you a little about ourselves and the sorts of things we think about. Like this, for example:

8 Reasons Walrus Books is not like a Walrus

  1. The walrus is a large flippered marine animal. Walrus Books is a small publishing company (a division of Whitecap Books), specializing in non-fiction and fiction titles for young people.
  2. The walrus lives mostly in the Arctic Ocean. Walrus Books lives exclusively in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Walrus Books has never even seen the Arctic Ocean.
  3. The walrus is hunted for its meat, fat, skin, tusks and bones. Walrus Books is hunted for its amazing non-fiction books (like the Dot-to-Dot in the Sky series), its incredible picture books (like Dogabet) and its fantastic novels (like Gaia Wild). Hunters commonly cry out, “Please!  I must find the latest book in the Wild Horse Creek series by Sharon Siamon!”
  4. The walrus likes to eat mollusks. Walrus Books just had to Google to find out what a mollusk is. It’s this:
  5. The walrus got its name from the combination of the Dutch words for whale and horse. Walrus Books is named after the walrus.
  6. There are approximately 200,000 walruses alive in the world today. There are approximately 125 Walrus Books titles alive in the world today. While none of our books was written by a walrus, there is a walrus in A Pacific Alphabet by Margriet Ruurs . We love that book.
  7. The Beatles wrote a song about being a walrus. We’re pretty sure that’s what they meant, but you can never be sure. Maybe they meant they were Walrus Books (coo coo ca choo).
  8. The walrus is a social animal and likes spending time with other walruses.  Walrus Books is not sure about how it feels about other walruses.  It likes Walrus Books authors though.  It thinks they’re swell.

Feel free to introduce yourselves to us in the comments section.  What’s your favourite Walrus Books title? Are you more like a walrus than Walrus Books?  Given the tusks on those things, we’re sort of hoping not.


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