Pajama Press

Archive for January, 2018

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is a selection in ILA LiteracyDaily‘s list, “More Poetry, Please”

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“In this poignant verse novel, readers will be touched by the humor and heroism of Macy McMillian, who faces unwanted changes in her life as her mother is remarrying and she soon will be forced to move into a different home with her new stepdad and two stepsisters….While Macy’s deafness is a feature of the book, the focus is her gradual acceptance of the changes in her life. This novel in verse is an accessible read about the families we chose for ourselves and the power of stories.”

Click here to read the full review

Publishers Weekly says Small Things “may provide a measure of hope to those who might otherwise have given up in despair”

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

SmallThings_Website“The late Australian artist Tregonning’s wordless graphic tale, completed posthumously with help from Shaun Tan, captures the way anxiety can ravage children’s lives….Tregonning creates a visual language for the pain of depression and anxiety, and her story may provide a measure of hope to those who might otherwise have given up in despair.”

Click here to read the full review

Slug Days “is a sensitive, playful, lovingly told [story]” says Resource Links

Posted on January 18th, 2018 by pajamapress

SlugDays_Website“Rating: E…

Slug Days is a sensitive, playful, lovingly told chapter book about school, friends, and days both good and bad, drawn from author Sara Leach’s real-life experiences in classrooms. Lauren is charming and frustrating; many readers will recognize her pattern of taking two steps forward and – sometimes – two steps back. Dan, Lauren’s persistent frenemy, is equally recognizable, and the big and small moments of Dan and Lauren’s dynamic are insightfully captured in both prose and illustration.

Although it’s written for readers making the transition to independent reading, Slug Days would make an outstanding read-aloud book for early elementary classrooms, particularly in schools where anti-bullying policies and programs aimed at fostering empathy and respect for others are priorities. This sweet, gentle book is rich with Aha! moments for everyone – including teachers….

Whether she’s making homes for insects, visiting her favourite tree, or playing with her baby sister, Lauren is a lovable character at the centre of a relevant story. I hope Slug Days reaches a wide audience of parents, teachers, librarians, and kids: it’s a winner!”
—Leslie Vermeer

Click here to read the full review

“Allenby’s five woodland characters [in Timo Goes Camping are full of personality” says Kirkus Reviews

Posted on January 17th, 2018 by pajamapress

TimoGoesCamping_Website“Allenby’s five woodland characters are full of personality….Griffiths’ digital illustrations depict the animals realistically but also anthropomorphize them with clothing; they walk on two legs. Vignette, single-page, and double-page artwork serves to show the friends’ emotions and illustrate the text. Beginning chapter-book readers will look for the friends’ next adventure and head to the library whenever their own skills are lacking.”

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A Kirkus Starred Review for Woodrow at Sea by Wallace Edwards!

Posted on January 16th, 2018 by pajamapress

WoodrowAtSea_Website“Edwards’ watercolor-and-ink illustrations are deceptively simple without fancy visual angles or digital effects—but it is this simplicity that creates and supports the story’s authentic, heartfelt ingenuousness. A lively, intelligent variation of full-page illustrations, double-page spreads, and spot vignettes keeps the pace active….A story of adventure and friendship without the boundaries of words, which becomes more personal and satisfying as a consequence.”

Click here to read the full review

Dragonfly Song gets 5 stars from Youth Services Book Review

Posted on January 15th, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_WebsiteRating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? …This is a fascinating story, well-told. The kingdom is so realistically drawn that it feels more like history than fantasy.

Anything you did not like about this book? Not a thing.

To whom would you recommend this book? Give this to kids who like to root for the underdog, who like fantasy kingdoms and you could also give them The Moor Child by Eloise McGraw….

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Very, very near”
Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Click here to read the full review

Kiss the Book says Dragonfly Song “would be a rich classroom experience”

Posted on January 10th, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“At first I was thinking, well, let’s get Aissa to the Bull King’s land and get her into training already, but by the end, I was glad that I was able to connect with Aissa through knowing about her and her struggles – that made the triumph all that sweeter. Aissa’s story will not be the kind of book where students pick it up and share it with each other. Only a few students at this level are emotionally mature enough as readers to appreciate her story. What should happen is teachers need to read this and adopt it to read together as a class. With the poetry of Aissa’s thoughts combined with all of the other elements of story, this would be a rich classroom experience.
—Cindy, Library Teacher

Click here to read the full review

The Night Lion is “a perfect lap book for bedtime” says CM Magazine

Posted on January 9th, 2018 by pajamapress

TheNightLion_Website“The soothing repetition of the text’s beginning and end and the charming warmth of Dufft’s watercolour and pencil illustrations should make this a storytime staple within the home. In fact, I can’t emphasize how lovely Dufft’s artwork is bringing to mind the styles of Tomie dePaola, Maurice Sendak, Janet Ahlberg, and Shirley Hughes, but with a sensibility and sweetness that’s all her own. The book as a physical object is also comforting, with padded covers, and endpapers featuring a star-studded sky, all thoughtful elements that create a perfect lap book for bedtime….

Hopefully, The Night Lion will be the first of many picture books to come from Dufft. Pair The Night Lion with another bedtime read aloud, Jane Whittingham’s Wild One (featuring a female protagonist)…and you’ll have a wonderful bedtime routine down for the under-threes age group.

Highly Recommended.
—Ellen Wu

Click here to read the full review

The Theory of Hummingbirds “is a great story about doing what one can and not always comparing oneself with others” says Resource Links

Posted on January 9th, 2018 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“Rating: G…This is a great story about doing what one can and not always comparing oneself with others. I found this a satisfying read which could stimulate some interesting discussion about limitations and friendship. The love interest of Alba’s mother which is hinted at I found unnecessary, although it does add to the happy ending.

A glossary of hummingbird facts is included as an epilogue.”

Thematic Links: Disabilities; Families; Friendship; Hummingbirds
—Mavis Holder

Read the full review in the November/December 2017 issue of Resource Links

Woodrow at Sea “is a fun-filled tale that offers something new with each reread” says CM Magazine

Posted on January 8th, 2018 by pajamapress

WoodrowAtSea_Website“Unquestionably, there is something quite refreshing in this excitingly new creative direction which Edwards has fully embraced in this latest publication. Although almost entirely unrecognizable from his previous drawings, the illustrations in Woodrow at Sea are masterpieces in and of themselves. Through the introduction of softer hues and unembellished characters, Edwards creates a dynamic contrast between visual simplicity and a powerful, adventurous narrative….

Edwards’ exclusively visual narrative unfolds effortlessly through the clever arrangement of illustrative content on each page. The imaginative depiction of action through a combination of single, whole page drawings and unframed montage sequences smoothly guides the eye, allowing for easy comprehension and seamless transitions between events….

Woodrow at Sea is a fun-filled tale that offers something new with each reread. The wordless nature of the book will enable pre-readers to assume an active role in the storytelling process. Edwards’ journey into textless format is truly a treat for new and old fans alike. A beautiful reminder of the joy of a newfound friendship rooted in kindness, Woodrow at Sea is sure to become an instant favourite.

Highly Recommended.
—Christina Quintiliani

Click here to read the full review