Pajama Press

Archive for April, 2018

Small Things is “a must-have, one-of-a-kind addition to every school library and home collection” says CM Magazine

Posted on April 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

SmallThings_Website“Every once in a while, we are privileged with the gift of holding in our hands truly unique and emotionally riveting books which have the capacity to leave permanent footprints etched in the heart. Mel Tregonning’s Small Things is, undeniably, one of those books. While Tregonning’s untimely passing in 2014 has resulted in her being unable to physically witness the impact that her work has had on so many lives, it is safe to say that the legacy she has left behind in Small Things will continue to inspire and promote awareness for years to come….

Sadly, Tregonning was unable to see her project to its entirety, and, therefore, the final illustrations of the book were completed by renowned illustrator Shaun Tan who has forever redefined the genre of children’s literature with his creative, wordless vision and masterful life-like illustrations through such influential books as The Arrival. The similarities between Tregonning’s and Tan’s work are uncanny, and their mutual use of black and white and intricate shading techniques results in an extraordinarily realistic and haunting visual depiction of the actions and emotions of their characters. While evidently unforeseen, this chance merger of two such prolific illustrators of our time has resulted in a wordless masterpiece that, like The Arrival, effortlessly taps into the rawness of the human experience.

In Small Things, the author seems to speak to us from beyond the pages with a poignant reminder that no one is ever truly alone in their internal battles. Furthermore, Tregonning’s young protagonist acts as an example of the newfound hope and healing that can progressively emerge from confiding in others during life’s more challenging phases. Perhaps what makes this book most appealing is its relatability. Readers of all ages will be able to associate with the examples of daily stresses and worries that make us vulnerable and, at times, chip away at the soul, leaving temporary cracks for the light to escape. This beautifully depicted textless narrative which effectively honours not only the life of Tregonning, herself, but also the lives of all those who have been impacted by struggles with mental health, is a must-have, one-of-a-kind addition to every school library and home collection.

Highly Recommended.
—Christina Quintiliani is an Ontario Certified Teacher and Ph.D. Candidate at the Faculty of Education, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON., where she is researching children’s literature.

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine says “Be swept away in the magic of colour” in Wash On!

Posted on April 18th, 2018 by pajamapress

WashOn_Website“Be swept away in the magic of colour as Petronilla and her family paint their home and town with every touch! Wash On! brings colour and life to a world in which Petronilla feels is too dull and boring at times….

Michèle Marineau shines the light on Petronilla who has been living in the limelight of her perfect sister. Petronilla has never felt so important – realising the power she holds to ‘wash on’ colours from one object to another. Marineau’s use of dialogue provides a voice for each character. The characters’ emotion, tone, and volume are heard and experienced through Marineau’s use of descriptive dialogue…

Manon Gauthier’s mixed-media illustrations are captivating and inventive. Her use of gouache, pencils, and paper collage provides depth and layers to each setting….

Wash On! (originally published in French as Barbouillette) will leave readers wanting to experience the remarkable transfer of colour from one object to another and paint their world with colour! Highly Recommended.
—Kelsey Sukich is a French-immersion kindergarten teacher at École Rivière-Rouge in Winnipeg, MB. She loves exploring the power and expression of colour with her kindergarteners!

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Wild One‘s “delightful illustrations…are as spontaneous and whimsical as the little girl’s character” says CM Magazine

Posted on April 13th, 2018 by pajamapress

WildOne_Website“Jane Whittingham’s story of an animated little girl’s day is bursting with playful energy and joy….The story is fun to read with children as it is written with rhyming couplets which, along with the illustrations, may help children guess what the next animal will be. The delightful illustrations by Noel Tuazon are presented in watercolour and ink. They are as spontaneous and whimsical as the little girl’s character and help tell the story of her very busy day by their expression of energy in colour and movement….Wild One is quite durable as it has a padded cover, rounded corners and extra heavy interior paper. Great for little ones who may not be quite so gentle with books just yet….Highly Recommended.
—Tamara Opar

Click here to read the full review

Road Signs That Say West is heading west for the 2018 TD Canadian Children’s Book Week!

Posted on April 12th, 2018 by pajamapress

roadsignsthatsaywest_websitePajama Press is very proud to announce that author Sylvia Gunnery has been chosen to participate in the TD Canadian Children’s Book Week 2018 Tour.

The TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is organized by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) in partnership with the Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada, and is sponsored by TD Bank. Book Week “is the single most important national event celebrating Canadian children’s books and the importance of reading. Each May, over 400 readings are given to over 28,000 children, teens and adults in roughly 175 communities across the country as [organizers] make every possible effort to reach children in more remote regions and communities” (https://bookweek.ca/).

The Book Week Tour theme for 2018 is Bring Books to Life. Sylvia will be touring the BC Interior from Saturday, May 5 to Saturday, May 12, hosting workshops and giving presentations at local schools and libraries. In her most recent novel, Sylvia tells the stories of three sisters navigating the difficult roads of adolescence, loss, shame, and fear for the future. Peopled with chance encounters warmed with fireside heart-to-hearts, Road Signs That Say West is a compelling ride through real life. See below for details regarding Sylvia’s scheduled events.

Pajama Press extends our congratulations to Sylvia Gunnery. Our sincerest thanks go to the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, the Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada and the TD Bank for their commitment to Canadian publishing and their support of children’s literacy.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, May 6

  • Kamloops Writers Group — 1:00–2:00 pm

Monday, May 7

  • Aberdeen Elementary — 8:30–9:30 am
  • AE Port Perry Elementary — 10:30–11:30 am
  • Dufferin Elementary — 1:30–2:30 pm
  • Writing/Art Kamloops Art Gallery — 4:00–5:00 pm

Tuesday, May 8

  • South Sa-Hali Elementary  — 8:30–9:30 am
  • South Sa-Hali Elementary — 9:35–10:35 am
  • Juniper Ridge Elementary — 11:00–12:00 pm
  • Marion Schilling Elementary — 1:30–2:30 pm

Wednesday, May 9

  • Lloyd George Elementary — 8:30–9:30 am
  • Lloyd George Elementary — 9:35–10:35 am
  • Dallas Elementary — 11:00–12:00 pm
  • Haldane Elementary — 1:30–2:30 pm
  • Kamloops Art Gallery — 4:00–5:00 pm

Thursday, May 10

  • Carlin School — 9:00–10:00 am
  • Hillcrest Elementary– 11:00–12:00 pm
  • Salmon Arm Public Library Okanagan Regional Library — 1:00–2:00 pm

Friday, May 11

  • Willowstone Academy — 8:50–9:50 am
  • Quigley Elementary — 10:20–11:10 am
  • Oyama Traditional School — 1:15–2:15 pm

Where’s Bunny? “is sweetly appropriate for a concept book about bedtime routines” says CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on April 11th, 2018 by pajamapress

WheresBunny_Website“Author Theo Heras and illustrator Renné Benoit’s very young brother and sister from Hat On, Hat Off and Baby Cakes have returned in a story about getting ready for bed and the routines involved with that evening ritual….

Theo Heras makes her text simple and readable for those just learning to decipher books, and it is sweetly appropriate for a concept book about bedtime routines. Many concept books tend to be flat, emphasizing only the concept in the simplest of texts. Thankfully Theo Heras does more than just assert a concept. There is a story here, one of sibling affection and a young child’s bond to his stuffed animal, that is elevated with Renné Benoit’s artwork. The children are so beautiful and angelic with their bright faces and cowlicked hair, and their surroundings are as soft and inviting to the reader as to the children. From Bunny with his carrot-topped hat and the towels and robes and bedcovers, Renné Benoit draws readers into the warmth of the children’s home and lives and asks them to stay for a bit.

Another invitation that is extended to readers comes by way of Pajama Press’s unique picture book format for the very young: a padded cover with rounded corners, and extra-heavy paper….Like the words and the art of Where’s Bunny?, the book says, ‘Hug me’ and the very young will be sure to oblige at least once before lights out.”
—Helen K

 Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine calls Sun Dog “poetic…dreamy…interesting and unique…”

Posted on April 10th, 2018 by pajamapress

SunDog_Website“Kerbel’s poetic detail places the reader in a calm town on top of the world at a time before anyone else is awake and where the wind is lighter than a whisper….Del Rizzo’s textured illustrations in polymer clay pair incredibly well with the acrylic wash of the sky, creating a dreamy image of the midnight sun. Each illustration adds a new dimension to the story, encouraging readers to find hidden meaning in the illustration’s detail….This interesting and unique story could lead to scientific conversations with younger children about life in the Arctic, diverse tundra animals, and the sun cycles in a fun and engaging way, as well as the take-home message of displaying true bravery. In addition to the text, which depicts the romantic landscapes of the tundra and the magical feeling of being on top of the world, Kerbel also includes information on the endpapers about the majestic midnight sun and the atmospheric optical phenomenon called sun dog, both being her inspiration for Sun DogHighly Recommended.
—Mallory Dawson is the Teen Advocate Librarian at Vaughan Public Libraries

Click here to read the full review

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles is a White Ravens 2017 selection

Posted on April 10th, 2018 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website“The author’s lyrical free verse smoothly alternating between thoughts, descriptions, and dialogue, paints an atmospheric picture of a little beach community and its idiosyncratic people from eleven-year-old Bailey’s point of view….Both funny and heart-breaking, this verse novel with its imaginative metaphors follows a spunky heroine as she slowly comes to peace with the fact that the world follows its own course.”

Click here to read the full review

The Wolves Return is “beautifull illustrated” says Book Links

Posted on April 9th, 2018 by pajamapress

thewolvesreturn_website“Beautifully illustrated, this book shows the lingering effects and the impact that animals a the top of the food chain have on the environment….See also Jean Craighead George’s The Wolves Are Back (2008).”

Read the full review on page 11 of the April 2018 issue of Book Links

Ben and the Scaredy-Dog is “Highly Recommended” by CM Magazine for “provid[ing] a great example of overcoming a fear”

Posted on April 8th, 2018 by pajamapress

BenScaredyDog_Shadow_Website“When new neighbours move in across the street, Ben is interested in meeting what could possibly be a new friend. But one thing is stopping him: his fear of dogs….Kim LaFave is an illustrator with a focus of paint, pencil and digital media. His images in Ben and the Scaredy-Dog are beautiful. The feelings of fear and uneasiness are clearly depicted on Ben’s face. The illustrations, by also showing body language, add another element to the story.

Apprehension, fear and anxiety are normal feelings. A fear of dogs is common, but learning to cope with this fear is very important. Ben’s bravery is to be commended, and he provides a great example of overcoming a fear.

Every child has a fear, but how they learn to cope and deal with it is the important thing. Ben and the Scaredy-Dog will contribute greatly to story times in the library, classroom or at home. Highly Recommended.
—Courtney Crocker, Regional Librarian for Central Division with Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries

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“Using Lauren’s voice to tell her story gives it an immediacy and honesty” says Sal’s Fiction Addiction of Slug Days

Posted on April 7th, 2018 by pajamapress

SlugDays_Website“Using Lauren’s voice to tell her story gives it an immediacy and honesty that make it easier for readers to feel the frustrations she sees in her world. Those slug days are hampered by outbursts, confusion, and a lack of patience all around. Lauren also experiences butterfly days when many things go right – her teachers, the kids at school, and her family enjoy her humor, her growing ability to communicate and find joy in some activities….This perceptive and sensitive tale chronicles a week in the life of a young, determined girl who thinks differently than many others. She is learning and we are learning with her.”

Click here to read the full review