Pajama Press

Archive for October, 2017

CM Magazine praises The Theory of Hummingbirds for “aspects of the story [which] make for excellent critical literacy discussions”

Posted on October 21st, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“…Like Alba, author Michelle Kadarusman experienced juvenile surgeries for clubfoot, as described in her ‘Author’s Note’, and Alba’s perspective here is delightfully authentic….

Indeed, it is these facts that will keep readers intrigued over and above the more common theme of friendship that binds this story, elevating this novel to a rich and thought-provoking read. A glossary of Alba’s Hummingbird Facts appears at the end of the book….

The total design of the book, including its various fonts and hummingbird images, is captivating.

In a couple of places, aspects of the story make for excellent critical literacy discussions. Alba’s single mother takes a shine to Alba’s medical specialist; is a personal relationship between them appropriate? And Alba constantly longs to be ‘normal’ until the ending when she decides that her bad foot ‘didn’t have to be normal, because it wasn’t normal that mattered.’ Is Alba really abnormal, or is diversity, and the way we think today about difference, the new normal? Important discussions for classrooms and beyond.

Highly Recommended.
Bev Brenna

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Children’s BookNews calls Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess a “beautifully crafted and affecting novel-in-verse”

Posted on October 20th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“Shari Green’s beautifully crafted and affecting novel-in-verse provides a sensitive depiction of a young girl wrestling with change and learning some important life lessons in the process. The unlikely friendship that develops between Macy and her neighbour Iris (who is facing some major life changes of her own) as they bond over books and fresh-baked cookies, is heartwarming and inspiring. Even once Macy and Olivia reconcile, both girls are increasingly struck by the need to help Iris and her friend Marjorie to remember and to tell their stories. This book is a thoughtful reflection on what makes a family, the power of friendship and the sacredness of stories (our own and others).”
—Lisa Doucet

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

Oregon Coast Youth Book Preview Center recommends Ben Says Goodbye to “parents who want to help their children deal with their friend moving away”

Posted on October 19th, 2017 by pajamapress

Ben Says Goodbye | Sarah Ellis & Kim La Fave | Pajama Press“I recommend this book for parents who want to help their children deal with their friend moving away. It shows the child taking some time to deal with his feelings and then the parents spending time with him. It ends with hope that a new friend will appear. Teachers may want this book in their library to help students realize that new friends can appear at any time.”
—Tami Harris

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Children’s BookNews calls Road Signs That Say West “an engaging story”

Posted on October 18th, 2017 by pajamapress

roadsignsthatsaywest_website“…Sylvia Gunnery is able to show that the path through life has many bumps and turns along the way. She illustrates that, with good travel companions, the journey to healing and self-discovery can be very rewarding. Gunnery is sensitive, empathetic and insightful with these characters as they explore their paths.

Young teens will easily identify with the characters as they enjoy a youthful summer trip. They may also relate to the secrets the characters disclose, navigating who to trust, and the bonds of siblings and true friendship. It is an engaging story about what it means to let go of the past and align yourself with the path to your own journey in life.”
—Christie O’Sullivan

Read the full review on page 37 of the Fall 2017 issue of Canadian Children’s BookNews

Booktime praises the “beautiful” illustrations in Best Pirate

Posted on October 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

BestPirate_Website“This is the [third] book about Augusta Garrick, a gentle, helpful pirate who has proven her worth among the more traditional pirate pups….The illustrations are beautiful in the book…”

Click here to read the full review

Pajama Press Celebrates Three Nominations with the OLA Forest of Reading Awards

Posted on October 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is excited to announce that three of our titles have been nominated for the 2018 Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading® Awards.

FrenchToast_WebsiteFrench Toast, written by Kari-Lynn Winters and illustrated by François Thisdale, is a nominee for the Blue Spruce Award.

MacyMacMillan_WebsiteMacy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, written by Shari Green, is a nominee for the Silver Birch Fiction Award. Click here to download the Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess teaching guide.

AdriftAtSea_websiteAdrift at Sea, written by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch with Tuan Ho, and illustrated by Brian Deines, is a nominee for the Golden Oak Award. Click here to download the Adrift at Sea teaching guide.

The Forest of Reading® is an initiative of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) that helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. Every year, over 250,000 participants read a shortlist of books in their age category and vote for their favourites.

Pajama Press extends our congratulations to Kari-Lynn Winters, François Thisdale, Shari Green, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Tuan Ho, and Brian Deines. Our sincerest thanks go to the Ontario Library Association for promoting reading and Canadian books through this outstanding program.

Booktime calls The Night Lion a “beautiful book with beautiful illustrations”

Posted on October 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheNightLion_WebsiteThe Night Lion by Sanne Dufft is another beautiful book with wonderful illustrations….I hope to read this story over and over, and add it to my picture book buying list.”

Click here to read the full review

Dragonfly Song is an impressive work of middle-grade historical fiction” says Quill & Quire

Posted on October 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_WebsiteDragonfly Song is an impressive work of middle-grade historical fiction. Aissa is a brave, tenacious girl, who rebels against the constraints of her life without appearing anachronistic. There isn’t a lot of young people’s fiction set in the Bronze Age, and the details here are lovingly researched, creating a transportive world. Especially noteworthy is the representation of religion in a pre-Christian setting, as the book explores both its beauty and brutality.”

Click here to read the full review

The Reading Castle raves about Dragonfly Song, calling it “a magnificent, magical book for teens and young adults”

Posted on October 15th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“From the first glimpse of the magnificent cover I knew that Dragonfly Song would be a glorious read. A fantasy story embedded in history? A strong heroine? Sign me up!

Long story short: Dragonfly Song was all that I expected it to be – and, at the same time, completely different. Is that a good thing? Definitely! Dragonfly Song is a magnificent, magical book for teens and young adults. During a sleepless night, I couldn’t put the book down. I suffered, laughed and, yes, cried. And although I live and die with books, I don’t cry often….

Dragonfly Song is more than just a good read. It’s a saga, not just a retelling of the legend of the Minotaur, but a tale of fighting for one’s identity. It’s the story of a strong girl taking her life in her own hands, finding her way against all odds….

Wendy Orr slows down significantly. She incorporates rhyme, which makes Dragonfly Song lyrical and interesting to read. Orr’s poetry might be challenging for the average midgrade reader. The sections are not bothersome, though. Embedded in Aissa’s story, at the right time and in the right place, they intensify the feeling of Dragonfly Song being a saga. Orr’s writing makes the book really special and a wonderful read – even for mid-graders!

Dragonfly Song – an outstanding book for young (and old) adults! Read it! Now!”

Click here to read the full review

Vicki is “so glad” she decided to read The Theory of Hummingbirds before gifting it to a middle grade reader

Posted on October 14th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“[4 1/2 stars]…

I am giving this book as a gift to an eager middle grade reader, but I decided to read it myself before passing it along. I’m so glad I did. Michelle Kadarusman draws on personal experience to craft well a story about learning to see past the surfaces of people and situations to go deeper and achieve understanding and empathy….These messages and the intertwined insights into hummingbirds – beautiful, resilient, fiesty, all in a tiny, exquisite package – are all conveyed with a light but resonant touch.”

Click here to read the full review