Pajama Press

Archive for June, 2017

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is “made for the verse novel format” says The One and Only Marfalfa

Posted on June 30th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“Some stories are just made for the verse novel format. This is one of them. Pacing is tight and word choice is solid. Some verse novels get so caught up in artistry that the reader isn’t clear on what is actually happening. That isn’t the case here. I also appreciated that while Macy is deaf, its not the sum total of her character. She’s your average middle grade girl who just happens to be deaf.”

Click here to read the full review

School Library Journal says “The child appeal of [Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent ] will keep independent readers chuckling and wanting more”

Posted on June 29th, 2017 by pajamapress

PPMM_Website“Gr 1-3–This lighthearted story about a young girl and her lazy dog will entice young readers who are venturing into chapter books….Illustrations depicting Pistachio’s classmates’ laughter during show and tell and the series of dogs trying out for the Doggone Theater’s lead role (from trumpeting Chihuahuas to a beagle balancing a teacup on her nose) all fit perfectly with the text’s silly and sweet tone. VERDICT The child appeal of this tale will keep independent readers chuckling and wanting more; a strongly recommended purchase.”
—Jennifer Gibson, SUNY Cortland

Read the full review in the July 2017 issue of School Library Journal

Quill & Quire calls The Theory of Hummingbirds “a gentle, hopeful, a wholly innocent portrayal of a sixth-grade girl dealing with being different”

Posted on June 28th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“…The Theory of Hummingbirds is a gentle, hopeful, and wholly innocent portrayal of a sixth-grade girl dealing with being different….

Alba uses several coping techniques to deal with her physical challenges. She is deeply invested in hummingbirds and sees them as a metaphor for her own life. ‘Hummingbirds don’t sit around moaning about their tiny feet and the fact that they can’t walk,’ she says.  Alba calls her clubfoot Cleo, viewing it with compassion and kindness rather than resentment and self-pity. Support comes from her best friend Levi, who spends recess indoors with her because of his serious asthma.

…In the mode of Jeanne Birdsall and Natalie Lloyd, Kadarusman makes some narrative choices that favour poeticism and poignancy over realism….

The negativity is fleeting and the trajectory of Alba’s journey is onward and upward….”

Read the full review on page 47 of the July/August 2017 issue of Quill & Quire

Sal’s Fiction Addiction says “Celia Godkin does a truly admirable job of presenting the [Yellowstone Park] project” in The Wolves Return

Posted on June 28th, 2017 by pajamapress

thewolvesreturn_website“Celia Godkin does a truly admirable job of presenting the [Yellowstone Park] project in terms children will understand. The language is clear, the telling is positive and brings awareness for the remarkable results….

Those changes are portrayed in detailed mixed media artwork. The double page spreads clearly show the park and its dramatic change – all through the introduction of the gray wolf. The settings beautifully display the grandeur of the park, and the interdependence of the species living there. Don’t miss having a close look at the endpapers. The illustrations there may result in further research for interested children.

Written for a younger audience, it will have impact for older readers as well. While much is learned about biodiversity and the environment, it is presented in a most appealing format. Never did I feel that it was written to teach me something. It is simply a story of life in a very special environment.”

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Children’s BookNews praises Good Morning, Grumple as a way to “[take] time in the morning to read together in bed”

Posted on June 28th, 2017 by pajamapress

goodmorninggrumple_website“In rhyming verse, Allenby describes just how hard it can be to wake a sleeping grumple and offers up a gentle song to soften a sometimes-tricky transition….

Manon Gauthier’s simple collage illustrations give this book a handmade feel. She has made charming use of crayon, pencil, paint and scissors. Gauthier has cast the two main characters—mother and child—as black-and-white foxes, and she has successfully (and most amusingly) captured Grumple’s resistance to waking up….

Taking time in the morning to read together in bed is a fantastic idea—grumples may even look forward to it! It might also offer the adult grumples out there a chance to slow down and reconnect before rushing out the door.”

Read the full review on page 28 in the Summer 2017 issue of Canadian Children’s BookNews

Canadian Children’s BookNews praises The Wolves Return as a book “adults and older children will also find wonder and a salutary message in”

Posted on June 27th, 2017 by pajamapress

thewolvesreturn_website“This could be complicated subject matter for younger audiences to assimilate, but Celia Godkin, acclaimed environmental writer and illustrator for children, has presented the material persuasively in clear, direct language. From the initial release of the wolves, it is systematically shown how one change in the ecosystem leads to the next, leaving readers in awe of the fascinating chain of life and fragile balance of nature.

The text is enhanced by compelling, vivid illustrations. Thirteen double-page spreads reveal different habitats within the park, such as woodland and ponds, each populated by various new species of wildlife….There is also a two-page summary explaining the wolves’ extinction in the United States and a brief explanation of the project.

Aimed at young children, adults and older children will also find wonder and a salutary message in this handsome book that prompts much thought on the complexity and resilience of nature.”
—Aileen Wortley

Read the full review on page 23 in the Summer 2017 issue of Canadian Children’s BookNews

After reading The Wolves Return, Kids’ BookBuzz reviewer Jewel wants to “read other books by [Celia Godkin]“

Posted on June 27th, 2017 by pajamapress

thewolvesreturn_website“We rated this book: [4.5/5]…

I loved The Wolves Return. I visited Yellowstone a few years ago and got to see all different kinds wildlife: black bears, grizzlies, bison, eagles, foxes, and elk. I think it was a good idea for Canada to give some wolves to Yellowstone or they wouldn’t have wolves to balance the elk herds. I loved the illustrations because they looked so real and had a lot of details. The author is also the illustrator. I would like to read other books by this author.”
—Jewel – Age 9

Click here to read the full review

“Everything about [Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess] was wonderful” says The Mystical Skeptic

Posted on June 26th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“I recently got my hands on a review copy of Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green. I adored her last verse novel: Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, so reading this one was a no-brainer.

I fell for Macy instantly….

[I]t’s no secret I adore relationships between kids/teens and the elderly. I love to read and write them. I had plenty of them when I was a kid. My favorite church small group as an adult has included women ages 26 (that was me) to 80. People of different ages learn from one another, and I love love love love that.

Everything about this book was wonderful. It’s a novel to share with your child, to read while eating warm cookies with cold milk, to pass onto a friend…”

Click here to read the full review

Book Faerie says she “sure would want to meet the monster in [The Hill]”

Posted on June 26th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheHill_Website“This tale is set in Canada. When you get out in the middle of nowhere in Canada, it really is. Jared has no sense of direction, has never even been camping and hates being in the position he is now. Kyle is angry that Jared won’t listen and knows that he’s being looked down on because he’s an Indian. They have plenty of time to discuss those issues and find each other’s hot buttons on the trail. The problem is that they are not alone….

There’s myth, legend, shapeshifting and coming of age all wrapped together in this story. I have some Yakima Indian relatives, so the storyline drew me in. I have camped in the woods and had closer contact than I wanted with a bear. I sure wouldn’t want to meet the monster in this story…”

Click here to read the full review

Imagination Soup included How Do You Feel? in their list of “Picture Books You Can Use for Writing Prompts”

Posted on June 25th, 2017 by pajamapress

HowDoYouFeel_website“This is a literal (tactile) feelings book with lots of beautiful similes. Toad feels bumpy like the trunk of a gnarly tree. Duckling feels fuzzy like tall grass reaching for the sun. Rabbit feels silky like a web carefully spun. Use this captivating book to inspire your own metaphorical statements.”

Click here to read the full list of “Picture Books You Can Use for Writing Prompts”