Pajama Press

Archive for June, 2016

Good Pirate’s Arr-some Launch Event

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by pajamapress

Last Sunday Pirate Life Toronto on Centre Island hosted a launch event for Good Pirate. Kari-Lynn Winters and all her mateys crowded onto a real-life pirate ship to partake in activities, tattoos, Kari-Lynn’s readings of both Pirate books, and a performance by the scurviest pirates on the island. Even passing landlubbers enjoyed themselves, and no one had to walk the plank or get wet!

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Order your own copies of Good Pirate and Bad Pirate today!

World Oceans Day Fact Roundup

Posted on June 9th, 2016 by pajamapress

Yesterday was World Oceans Day and in the spirit of Going for a Sea Bath, which celebrates sea creatures large and small, we took to Twitter to share ten excellent, terrific, and spectacular facts about some of our favourite ocean-dwelling friends. In case you missed it, we’ve collected all the the facts here, just like Leanne collecting critters in her bathtub. We just hope it’s not too crowded.

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One Turtle

Of the many different types of sea turtles, the leatherback is the largest and can weigh up to 1500 pounds, making it the fourth heaviest modern reptile behind crocodilians. It is the only living species in its genus and is distinct from other modern sea turtles because it does not have a bony shell, hence its name.

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Two Eels

The Moray eel has two jaws, an external one & one inside its throat located just behind the skull. This jaw is mobile and helps the eel break up, digest and swallow prey. These pharyngeal jaws make eels unique in the animal world; there is no other (known) species with this strange evolutionary characteristic that scientists believe originally developed from modified gill arches.

Three Clownfish

Clownfish are a bit of a biological oddity: all clownfish are born male. They are able to permanently switch their sex to become female, but that only occurs when the dominant female in a group dies and the largest male takes her place.Female clownfish only lay their eggs on a full moon, & the eggs will only hatch after the sun has set. Clownfish have parenting instincts and the males will protect their eggs until they hatch.

Four Seahorses

Seahorses partner for life. They perform elaborate courtship rituals every day that involve both fish changing colours to reinforce their bond. Seahorses are also famous for having nature’s only true reverse pregnancy. The female transfers her eggs into the male’s pouch, where he self-fertilizes and incubates them until they’re ready to hatch.

Five Shrimp

Shrimp can be loud! The noise produced by the snapping shrimp’s claws is louder than a gunshot or a jet engine, making it louder than any other marine creature.

Six Hermit Crabs

An empty shell can cause a hermit crab property rush as crabs gather and pass discarded shells along to smaller friends. Despite their name, hermit crabs are actually very social and they enjoy climbing over one another and sleeping in piles. Their name refers to the homes they carry on their backs to protect their bodies, rather than to their personalities.

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Seven Sea Urchins

Most sea urchin species live for about 30 years, but the red sea urchin can live up to 200, the longest lifespan on earth. Even so, sea urchins are considered a threatened species. Despite their spiny bodies, they have many natural predators such as starfish, otters, crabs and sea birds. They are also threatened by overfishing, especially  in waters around Japan, where they are used as an ingredient in sushi.

Eight Anemones

They look like plants, but sea anemones are deadly carnivores. Their tentacles are venomous and when a passing fish gets caught in them, it’s injected with a toxin that paralyzes while the tentacles guide it to the anemone’s mouth. Most sea anemone venom is harmless to humans, but some highly toxic species can cause sever injuries and even be lethal.

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Nine Starfish

Starfish aren’t fish at all; they are related to sand dollars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. Even though they’re not fish, sea stars still come in all shapes and sizes; there are actually over 1000 different types of them and they don’t always have to have five arms!

Ten Octopuses

Many octopuses collect shells and other objects to make fortresses or “gardens” around their lairs. Octopuses are considered the most intelligent invertebrates and have shown the ability to problem solve, use tools, play and learn by observing other octopi. Scientists have notes that different octopuses display different temperaments, and may even have their own personalities.

(Bonus fact: the plural of “octopus” is contentious, but both “octopi” and “octopuses” are accepted.)

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Thanks for celebrating World Oceans Day, and all the wonderful, super-stupendous creatures that appear in Going for a Sea Bath, with us!

Illustrations © Anne-Claire Delisle

 

Quill & Quire reviews Next Round

Posted on June 7th, 2016 by pajamapress

NextRound_Website“John Spray – benefactor of the eponymous award – tells the story of 20-year-old boxer Arthur Biyarslanov, who overcame a turbulent childhood, fleeing war-torn Chechnya when he was three, spending years as a refugee in Azerbaijan before arriving in Canada when he was nine, learning two new languages along the way. Now one of the top amateur boxers in his class in the world, Biyarslanov won gold for Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games (the first Canadian boxer to do so in 40 years), and earned a place at the 2016 Olympics.”

Sylvia McNicoll at Imagine in the Park Festival

Posted on June 7th, 2016 by pajamapress

On Saturday June 4, hundreds of children swarmed Gage Park for the annual Imagine in the Park Festival—a hands-on arts festival that featured 11 artists creating everything from painted t-shirts and balloons (and loud drumming) to play dough flies and poetry with Sylvia McNicoll, author of Revenge on the Fly. While shaping these icky, sticky creatures, participants listened to a quick buzz through the history behind the story and joined in to write sense and imagery-based poetry from the fly’s point of view.

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Sylvia McNicoll connecting with young readers at Gage Park.

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An excited reader holding her copy of Revenge on the Fly.

In addition to sharing the photos from her workshop, Sylvia also passed along her play dough recipe and instructions to make flies of your own. (Click here to download the .pdf instructions.)

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While there are many play-dough recipes around, the challenge is colouring it as black as a housefly. Craft stores and bulk stores sell black colouring for fondant and icing, but you can heat 20 drops of green food colouring together with 10 drops of red until it bubbles. Add the food colouring to the water in this recipe:

Play-dough recipe

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon cream of tartar (optional)

Heat water and salt together to dissolve. Add black food colouring.

Combine with flour, oil and tartar. Cook three minutes, constantly stirring, until it turns into a lump.

When cool enough to handle, wear plastic gloves (or risk black-stained hands!) to knead dough together till smooth.

Directions:

For fly’s body, shape play dough into large bean shape. For eyes, use beads from old necklaces. Stick into either side of the narrow part of your bean.  To create wings, cut tear drop shapes from meat trays, plastic clam shells or any cardboard and jab pointy ends into body where you desire. For legs, stick three pieces black twine, wire or pipe cleaners across bottom of body (flies have six legs!), use a smidge of play dough to hold them in place. Or form little play dough worms and stick them on.

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Click here
to read Sylvia’s post about the event.

CM Magazine recommends Good Pirate: “A must for reading aloud!”

Posted on June 2nd, 2016 by pajamapress

 

GoodPirate_Website“In order to please her father and try to fit in, Augusta attempts to abandon her love of beautiful things and tries to be “foul and useful”. But the scent of vanilla derails her plans, and she, too, ends up in the brig instead of “pillagin’ with the rest of the crew. When her father and his sea pups are captured by a bunch of pirate cats, sweet smelling Augusta devises a plan that saves the day and proves that ingenuity can come from a fancy, yet brainy, dog.

Winters once again makes use of delightful dialogue peppered with tons of pirate and nautical terms, many of which can be found and explained on the cleverly designed end papers. The story is skillfully written and inventive and is a must for reading aloud! The dynamic and expressive illustrations are a perfect match for the energetic and rhythmic language. Griffiths’ use of rich colors and detail elevates the story and makes this doggie crew so engaging.

Recommended.

Reesa Cohen is a retired Instructor of Children’s Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.


Click here to read the full review, and CM Magazine‘s review of Bad Pirate.

 

CCBC Interviews Suzanne Del Rizzo

Posted on June 1st, 2016 by pajamapress

CCBC has interviewed Suzanne Del Rizzo, the illustrator of Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates, for their June 2016 newsletter. She discusses how she became an illustrator, her creative process, the books she and her kids are loving just now, and what’s next for her.
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SkyPig_WebsiteSky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie.”

Click here to read the rest of the review.

Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator

Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator

Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator
Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator

Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator
Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator”

Next Round receives its first review from Kirkus Reviews

Posted on June 1st, 2016 by pajamapress

NextRound_Website“Spray captures little glimpses of Arthur’s young life—stealing fruit from the tree of his next-door neighbor and the old lady who gives him a talisman (a dog biscuit) to ward off jinni—as well as the sadness, lack of language, deprivation, and fear. The story here is of Arthur’s gradual rise in the world of sports, first in Azerbaijan and then after the family moved to Toronto, Canada. Spray conjures the strange settings refugees and immigrants find themselves in. “Hey little man, whatchoo lookin’ at anyhow?” asks a tall Jamaican teenage neighbor when Arthur lands in Toronto’s St. James Town projects. “I am no to English,” Arthur replies. “All be cool. I be no English too…is no big thang.” (Dialogue is not specifically sourced, but a teeny note on the copyright page indicates that Spray relies on extensive interviews.) Arthur is a whiz at soccer but chooses boxing, where he is even whizzier, rising from his first real bout at 12 to the Canadian Olympic team. Readers will marvel at Biyarslanov’s resilience and pluck. (Biography. 10-14)”—Kirkus Reviews

Click here to read the full review.