Pajama Press

Archive for August, 2017

Children’s Books Heal says “My Beautiful Birds is an excellent addition to any school library”

Posted on August 22nd, 2017 by pajamapress

MyBeautifulBirds_Website“…Del Rizzo’s exquisite polymer clay illustrations add depth and a life-like dimension to Sami’s story….I appreciated that the author focused on the refugee crisis that is affecting the most innocent and vulnerable, children. She doesn’t address political themes in the book, but focuses on the humanity of the situation for children displaced from their homes in Syria….My Beautiful Birds is an excellent addition to any school library. It is age-appropriate and an introductory story about children who are displaced because of war or natural disasters.”
—Patricia Tilton

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The Theory of Hummingbirds is “A quick, sweet read” says Kirkus Review

Posted on August 21st, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“[Alba’s] goals occur in small steps, easing her into the difference between her dream and the reality without diminishing her accomplishments. Alba’s relationship with her single mother is touching…Alba’s narration is dotted with hummingbird facts, which Kadarusman—who had a club foot herself—explains in a glossary. A quick, sweet read.”

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CM Magazine highly recommends Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent

Posted on August 19th, 2017 by pajamapress

PPMM_Website“Young readers making the transition to chapter books will once again be thrilled to read about the adventures of intrepid Pistachio and her bored dog, Maurice the Magnificent. The text is easy to read but challenging enough to engage young readers who will definitely be able to relate to the action in the story. Gay’s narration is full of dynamic descriptions: “Princess Pistachio’s dog is sleeping belly-up on his favorite plaid cushion. He is snoring like a frog with a cold.” (p. 7) Gay’s illustrations also provide a great deal of interesting information for readers. Princess Pistachio’s facial expressions are very evocative as are the various poses of Maurice the Magnificent….

This book can definitely be used as a read-aloud for early emergent readers while fluent readers can read it themselves. There are many themes to explore in Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent, including caring for pets, theatre productions, jealousy, kidnapping, friendship, and loyalty.

Highly Recommended.
Myra Junyk, who lives in Toronto, ON, is a literacy advocate and author.

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“Readers looking for a strong female protagonist will enjoy Momko’s adventure in Peach Girl” says New York Botanical Gardens

Posted on August 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

Peach Girl - written by Raymond Nakamura, illustrated by Rebecca BenderPeach Girl introduces Momoko, an ambitious little girl who sets out to make the world a better place!…The illustrations by Rebecca Bender are bright, exciting and compliment the narrative very well. Plenty of peachy colors assist the light and fun tone. Readers looking for a strong female protagonist will enjoy Momoko’s adventure in Peach Girl.”

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Two Times a Traitor is recommended to fans of Forbes’ Johnny Tremain by Youth Services Book Review

Posted on August 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_WebsiteRating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4…

What did you like about the book? Laz’s growth in the book is evident. Hard times often force maturity and Laz dealt with his situation well considering. The connections Laz made to those around him were especially poignant….

To whom would you recommend this book? Any child looking for regional historic fiction like Forbes’ Johnny Tremain.”
—Sadina Shawver, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

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When the Rain Comes is recommended by Orange Marmalade for ages 3 and up

Posted on August 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

WhenRainComes_website“Malini is a little girl who lives in Sri Lanka….This year, Malini is learning to help in the rice fields….Unusual setting, striking illustrations, and an additional note telling more about Sri Lanka. Ages 3 and up.”

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My Beautiful Birds is highly praised by Worlds of Words for the role that art plays in the telling of the story

Posted on August 15th, 2017 by pajamapress

MyBeautifulBirds_Website“Art is a key element in the telling of this story, both in the beautiful images created from plasticine, polymer clay, and paint as well as the use of art within the story. Suzanne Del Rizzo tells this refugee story with scenes that have texture, are vibrant though realistic shades of color, and occupy varying placement and perspectives on the pages. This rich illustrative setting contextualizes the role of art in the story as a means of disclosing the inward struggles of the child as he draws images of his birds only to cover them with black paint. He imagines his birds with somewhat of an artist’s eye in the clouds of the brilliant sky above him, soaring and swirling. Eventually, as he begins to find peace within his heart and bravely faces the challenges before him, readers see a brilliant artistic display of kites made by school children from scraps and bright paints.”
—Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

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The Theory of Hummingbirds “will resonate with a wide audience” says School Library Journal

Posted on August 11th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“Fascinating hummingbird facts flit throughout this contemporary realistic story and a glossary helps readers know more about the birds. An author’s note states that Kadarusman, like Alba, was born with talipes equinovarus. Kadarusman’s writing has a light touch, and the story will resonate with a wide audience. VERDICT Readers learn that a group of hummingbirds is called a ‘charm’—and are sure to be charmed by this heartfelt tale.”

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Kids’ BookBuzz reviewer Hannah, age 9, “loved” Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess

Posted on August 11th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“I loved this book because it was written in free-verse poetry, which made it a more interesting and fun read. I felt that this book had the wonderful message that you can always find something good in life, no matter what happens! I would recommend it for kids ten and up!”
—Hannah, Age 9

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CanLit for LittleCanadians says “young adult readers will appreciate Road Signs That Say West…which takes [three sisters] to new places in their relationships within a colourful national landscape.”

Posted on August 4th, 2017 by pajamapress

roadsignsthatsaywest_website“The road trip scenario is an irresistible plot line, forcing the three sisters to interact (haven’t we all been trapped in cars with those we may or may not like?) while they experience life and meet new people of all backgrounds and take in the diversity of places that make up Canada. Road Signs That Say West could be a travel commentary of places east to west (I found myself looking up information about Glooscap, Weyburn, and more) but it’s really a story of family, a real family, of siblings with secrets, weaknesses, strengths and ambitions that they may or may not share. The baggage that the girls take with them is far greater than their back stories and drives them to behave in complex and justifiable ways….young adult readers will appreciate the three different personalities Sylvia Gunnery has created as well as her story which takes the three to new places in their relationships within a colourful national landscape.”

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