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Archive for the ‘Book Resources’ Category

A World of Kindness Teaching Guides

Posted on July 13th, 2018 by pajamapress

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Click here to download the A World of Kindness reading guide

 

A World of Kindness Extra Content

Posted on June 27th, 2018 by pajamapress

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Click here to download the A World of Kindness poster

The Flooded Earth Reviews

Posted on June 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

CM Magazine

Cover: The Flodded Earth Author: Mardi McConnochie Publisher: Pajama Press“A taut, suspenseful, masterfully written ‘cli-fi’ thriller, The Flooded Earth combines the best of speculative fiction with strong characterization and moral dilemma. The post-Flood world is described in vivid detail, from the high-class world of Annalie’s boarding school to the damp, ramshackle, gang-infested world of their home neighborhood known as Lowtown….

It is interesting that the author has chosen not to set the book in recognizable geography or nations—where is Dux (whose citizens apparently speak Duxan) and the Moon Island archipelago? Yet their world seems very familiar, as if set in the near future after an enormous rupture….[R]eaders will find themselves…exhilarated, and begging for more. Highly Recommended.
—Todd Kyle

Click here to read the full review

Community Soup Teaching Guides

Posted on June 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

CommunitySoup_WebsiteClick here to download the Community Soup reading guide

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Missing Mike Activities

Posted on May 23rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press

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Click here to download the Missing Mike activity page

Elliot Teaching Guides

Posted on May 10th, 2018 by pajamapress

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Click here to download the Elliot classroom reading guide

Missing Mike Reviews

Posted on May 4th, 2018 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“The skillful narrative turns white-knuckle tense as taut verse describes the family fleeing on a road clogged with cars and burning trees…Tense, heartwarming, and masterful.”

Click here to read the full review

Foreword Reviews

“Written in flowing prose, Missing Mike explores the meaning of home….The emotional intensity of the story never falters. It is full of the longing, loss, and desperation of losing everything. Through that sadness and desolation, the book teaches an amazing lesson about hope, kindness, and the importance of family.

Love, friendship, and loyalty are persistent themes; Cara sees how other people define each as they struggle to overcome their losses, and comes to understand that, even if she loses her house and all of her possessions, she can still find home wherever those close to her are found.”
—Catherine Thureson

Read the full review in the September/October 2018 issue of Foreword Reviews

Resource Links

“Rating: E…The verse novel format lends itself well to the frantic and emotional nature of a natural disaster and Shari Green’s writing is carefully crafted. This is a timely book, as wildfires have become a more common occurrence in western Canada and the United States….Dog lovers will also be waiting on the edge of their seats to find out if Mike and Cara are reunited.

Cara’s search for her dog and for a feeling of home will resonate with readers of all ages, and this book would make an excellent addition to a classroom or school library.”

Thematic Links: Natural Disasters; Wildfires; Family; Home; Dogs
—Alice Albarda

Read the full review on page 7 of the June 2018 issue of Resource Links

CM Magazine

“In Missing Mike, a free verse novel, Green takes readers into a wildfire scenario much like that experienced by the residents of Fort McMurry in 2016, an event that was viewed by Canadians across the country via various television or online news outlets….

Green ends Missing Mike…with a number of unknowns regarding the family’s future because of the fire’s larger, long term impact on the community of Pine Grove and its inhabitants.

Green’s choosing to tell this story via free verse was the correct stylistic decision. Her descriptions, particularly those dealing with the evacuation, are absolutely gripping. There’s much to like in Missing Mike. Green also authored two other verse novels, Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles and Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess.

Highly Recommended.
—Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

Click here to read the full review

Quill & Quire

“In Missing Mike, Vancouver Island-based writer Shari Green, known for her award-winning middle-grade verse novels Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles and Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, mines the dynamics of loss, change, and belonging when a family is forced to flee from encroaching wildfires….

The recognition of grey areas in life – and the attempts we make to classify and resolve them – is a theme well suited to upper-middle-grade readers; many will identify with Cara’s desire to have a solution for everything. Green highlights this struggle by including crossword clues and answers in the text, some of which Cara finds easier to solve than others. Her troubles resonate as well in the definitions of her puzzle words: for example, what is ‘lost’ can be found, while what is ‘abandoned’ does not always have the same potential for a happy ending.

…[Green’s] ability to convey complex emotions is on point: uncertainty, regret, nostalgia, loyalty, love, and friendship are palpable. Missing Mike is a novel that subtly shifts from being about a missing dog to become an exploration of the emotional journey of losing home and finding it once again.”
—Jen Bailey

Read the full review on page 28 of the June 2018 issue of Quill & Quire

CanLit for LittleCanadians

“With high summer temperatures and low precipitation predicted for the western provinces this year, there could be record wildfires again like the ones that imposed extensive evacuations on Fort McMurray in 2016. The circumstances of those forced evacuations and the tragedies and stories embedded within cannot be easily told or read but Shari Green, herself an evacuee in 2016, has the voice, the words, and the heart to tell it in her newest middle grade novel Missing Mike….

Missing Mike was…a heartbreaking story to read. Cara’s love for Mike is so deep that her anguish at being separated from him is palpable. She envisions a multitude of scenarios that Mike might be enduring or anticipates where he might be, alternating that distress with reflections on the things she and he did together. But more than the story about a missing dog, Missing Mike is about home and the different configurations it might take. Cara who spends some time working on crosswords, realizes that the synonyms for home are not always structures. They can be feelings and people and more.

Shari Green, who has impressed all readers with her exceptional novels in verse (Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, Pajama Press, 2016; Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, Pajama Press,  2017) does not disappoint with this latest middle grade novel in free verse. The genre is a tough one to write but Shari Green has perfected it. She gets the voices dead on with a limited vocabulary and still tells an honest story about a family’s response to disaster and specifically a young girl’s determination to be reunited with the dog she loves and finding home whatever and wherever it may be.”

Click here to read the full review

Midwest Book Review

“Showcasing author Shari Green’s genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling, Missing Mike will prove to be of extraordinary interest for children ages 9 to 12, making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections for young readers.”

Click here to read the full review

Youth Services Book Review

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

What did you like about the book?…Reading a book like this makes me SO GLAD I just made a dedicated #novelsinverse section in my library! I loved this book, especially Cara and Mike’s devotion to each other and the lyrical language throughout. I love how Mike is an “ugly dog” with only one eye and part of an ear missing—it’s clear that he has a big heart and lots of love for his owner and that’s what matters. I can’t wait to purchase this one for my library and recommend it to students….

Anything you didn’t like about it? No.

Who should buy this book? All elementary schools and middle schools

Where would you shelve it? my new books in verse section!

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!”
—Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

Click here to read the full review

Fab Book Reviews

“Canadian author Shari Green, author of the critically acclaimed and award-winning novel-in-verse Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, returns with Missing Mike, a middle grade novel (also in free verse) about a young girl’s unbreakable bond with her rescue dog Mike and what happens to Mike, her family, and their community when a devastating, seemingly unstoppable wildfire hits their town….

Overall, Missing Mike is a touching, lyrical story with the beautiful, boundless relationship of Cara and Mike as its core and achor. Shari Green’s writing style is effortless and candid, a perfect match for Cara’s natural and appropriately trusting, childlike narrative. Readers who love stories about human-animal bonds, children’s novels told in free verse, or middle grade titles that explore family dynamics and strength in facing adversity might find much to love about Missing Mike. Those who enjoy the writing of authors such as K.A. Holt, Katherine Applegate, Barbara O’Connor, Beth Vrabel or Alison Hughes might also want to check this moving middle grade novel out.”

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Bookworm

“The book is written in free verse, which adds an interesting flow to the story. And I loved that Cara was a crossword fanatic, mulling over word definitions and able to consider how a word might mean different things to different people. A big part of Cara’s musings throughout the book are around the word “home” and how the word can mean sometime different to people given their experiences, personalities, and situations. A book that will get the reader thinking.”

Click here to read the full review

Book Time

“It is one of my biggest fears: A natural disaster strikes and I can’t go home and get my pet or somehow he escapes and I am forced to leave, effectively abandoning him. It breaks my heart just thinking about it….

Missing Mike is another great read by Shari Green….Missing Mike is a quick read and full of heartache, but also kindness and we discover, along with Cara, what home means.”

Click here to read the full review

Sun Dog Reviews

Posted on March 27th, 2018 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

SunDog_Website“At the top of the world in the Arctic Circle, a young sled dog, Juno, seeks adventure….Kerbel weaves facts about the Arctic Circle within a tender story of the devotion between a boy and his dog. Del Rizzo’s vibrant, colorful polymer clay and acrylics capture the beauty of their home. The modeled clay gives Juno, the boy, and environs a sculptural, tactile quality. The boy has beige skin and black hair, there is an inuksuk in one picture, and their town is a tidy one of wood-frame houses. Juno may be a puppy in the Arctic Circle, but children everywhere will relate to her.”

Click here to read the full review

Resource Links

“Rating: E…

The story is very exciting and full of local colour. The amazing illustrations are done with polymer clay and acrylic paint. They are beautifully rendered in wonderful colours and textures. They reflect the puppy nature and local scenery with great affection.

This book could possibly be an award winner!”

Thematic Links: Sled Dogs; Arctic Circle; Tundra; Courage
—Isobel Lang

Read the full review on page 4 of the June 2018 issue of Resource Links

CM Magazine

“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

Youth Services Book Review

What did you like about the book?…The story is a nice introduction to the arctic. The eye-catching illustrations are rendered in polymer clay and acrylic, bringing the arctic to vivid life.

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a story that will appeal to children interested in the arctic and those who like sled dogs. Pair it with Over in the Arctic by Marianne Berkes and Kumak’s Fish by Michael Bania for a fun arctic themed story time.”
Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Bookworm

“This is a lovely story of the connection between Juno and her boy, but also of the high Arctic days, and the animals who call that part of the world their home.

The illustrator of this book uses polymer clay as one element of the illustrations and I loved the effect. She brings alive Juno’s playfulness (I particularly liked the picture with the sock) and the beautiful environment Juno and her boy live in. The flowers look so real, I wanted to smell them!

A great book, especially for youngsters with their own special dog.”

Click here to read the full review

Fab Book Reviews

“Kerbel’s writing is so fluid and measured; while so much activity happens over the course of the picture book, Kerbel’s writing is focused, utterly inviting, and perfectly action-packed (yet not frightening for younger readers) when the climactic action occurs. Del Rizzo’s clay and acrylic art is so meticulously detailed and dynamic (from larger scenery to the smallest particulars)- I am in awe. There is one spread in particular in Sun Dog featuring the story’s polar bear that is incredible- quite a work of art….The combination of Kerbel’s storytelling and Del Rizzo’s art make for terrific reading, and I hope we get to see further collaborations from the duo.

Overall, what a gorgeous picture book! With a terrific combination of warmth, playfulness and love, and moments of excitement and danger that lead to a sunny ending, Sun Dog is sure to please readers and/or an audience of young and old.  With such appealing and vibrant art, and a beautifully written, well-paced story, Sun Dog would make for great read aloud material (for preschool ages and up), as well as for quiet reading and sharing.”

Click here to read the full review

Storytime with Stephanie

Sun Dog by Deborah Kerbel and Suzanne Del Rizzo is a beautifully illustrated, impeccably written tale about a little sled dog pup who dreams of running with the big dogs….

Sun Dog is a lovely little story that will speak to all little children, who are just desperate to be bigger and older. One of the most common things I hear in my day job as a preschool teacher and mom is “I wish I was a grownup!” Juno is every child who is clamouring to have more responsibility and autonomy. Plus, she is just so darn cute!…Children will love and be inspired by the plasticine illustrations by Suzanne Del Rizzo. All of the illustrations are so vibrant and full of incredible details and mixes of colours to capture the beautiful sky in the far north.”

Click here to read the full review

Ben and the Scaredy-Dog Reviews

Posted on March 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

Booklist

BenScaredyDog_Shadow_Website“When Ben meets Erv, the new kid across the street, he likes her right away, but her hefty pet, Max, triggers his fears: ‘Big dog. Big jaws. Big teeth.’…This picture book dovetails nicely with the anxiety theme in Ben Overnight (2005) as well as events in Ben Says Goodbye (2016)…The precisely worded text uses dialogue well while revealing Ben’s thoughts through the concise narration. The artwork expresses Ben’s emotions with finesse and captures the story’s gentle humor. A fine read-aloud choice, this Canadian picture book will have broad appeal for young children.”
—Carolyn Phelan

Click here to read the full review

School Library Journal

“Emphasized in thick, crayonlike outlines, the soft, cartoon illustrations add comfort and charm to this encouraging, gentle narrative about a common childhood fear. VERDICT This compassionate story may ease some anxiety in young children who are nervous or fearful around dogs. A warmhearted addition to Ellis and LaFave’s books about Ben.”

Read the full review in the May 2018 issue of School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“Ben’s fear of dogs is sensitively portrayed in a text that skillfully interweaves exposition, questions, and dialogue, with Ben’s internal musings set in italics. Amusing illustrations in watercolor and ink make effective use of heavy outlines and copious white space for a clean, contemporary look. Another successful outing in a winning series, with lots of room for more adventures for Ben and his new friends Erv and Max.”

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine

“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

Click here to read the full review

Resource Links Magazine

“Rating: E…Ben and the Scaredy-Dog offers a surprising perspective on overcoming one’s fears. As we see Ben be brave we also see another character overcome his own fears.

Readers of all ages will enjoy this relatable and fresh story constructed in short, effective prose….La Fave’s colourful yet airy illustrations depict diverse characters and allow for the readers’ own experiences and imagination to fill in the setting. A fun read!

Thematic Links: Fear in Children; Fear in Animals; Dogs; Animals; Friendship; Bravery; New Experiences”
—Ana Malespin

Read the full review on page 4 of the April 2018 issue of Resource Links Magazine

CanLit for LittleCanadians

“…Ben and the Scaredy-Dog solidifies the boy’s place in guiding those in preschool and kindergarten to understanding more about the big world of siblings, change, friendships and dogs….

Sarah Ellis demonstrates that children have enormous potential to learn coping strategies for all manner of fears and anxieties. Ben’s fear of dogs is valid, especially for very little children and very big dogs, but by comparing how Ben’s siblings see dogs–Robin sees their playfulness, Joe sees them as loving creatures–with how the little boy sees them–‘When Ben looks at a dog he sees jaws and teeth. That’s a dog to Ben. Jaws and teeth.’–Sarah Ellis legitimizes all perspectives. Even the baby-steps approach to dealing with Max lends credence to the ability for children to learn how to cope while trying a multitude of strategies, including self-talk and mindfulness.

I love Kim La Fave’s illustrations of Ben and company. His emphasis on perspective–looking up from a child’s point of view and at their eye-level–encourages empathy for Ben’s distress and concerns. Even with the bright colours of the kids’ clothing and Max’s soft expressions, Ben’s fear is validated. But, with that lightness of line and colour, Kim La Fave pulls together Ben’s thoughtful personality, Erv’s playful exuberance and Max’s big puppy nature.

It’s nice to know, courtesy of Ben and the Scaredy-Dog, that anyone can be scaredy-dog about something and that it can be lightened with a little help from inside and out.”

Click here to read the full review

Book Time

“I love the illustrations in Ben and The Scaredy-Dog. The story was also great and I loved the ending.”

Click here to read the full review

Bat Citizens: Defending The Ninjas of the Night Teaching Guides

Posted on February 26th, 2018 by pajamapress

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Click Here to download the Bat Citizens Classroom Reading Guide