Pajama Press

Archive for the ‘Hoogie In the Middle’ Category

Hoogie in the Middle a SCBWI Crystal Kite Finalist

Posted on April 14th, 2014 by pajamapress

HoogieInTheMiddle_LRPajama Press is proud to announce that Hoogie in the Middle by Stephanie McLellan, illustrated by Dean Griffiths, is a finalist for the 2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Member Choice Award.

The annual Crystal Kite Award is a peer-given award to recognize great books from the 15 regions of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Congratulations to Stephanie McLellan, Dean Griffiths and the whole Monster family. And thanks to the members who voted!

Hoogie and Tweezle “explore the wonder of childhood”—Canadian Children’s Book News

Posted on February 20th, 2014 by pajamapress

HoogieInTheMiddle_LRAward-winning author Stephanie McLellan has drawn inspiration from her own three children and created Hoogie in the Middle, a sneak peek into the world surrounding Hoogie, the middle child. The author playfully uses rhythm, alliteration and similes to delineate Hoogie’s character and exhibit how the middle child feels: “Pumpkin is the big, big girl,” “Tweezle is the itty, bitty baby” and “[Hoogie] feels like the hole in the middle of a donut.”

Whatever Hoogie does is not right. When Tweezle squishes food, “Everyone laughs.” When Hoogie does it, she is told to “not be such a baby.” Similarly, she is “too small” to help dad. “Too big. Too small. No room for me at all,” sums up the pain she feels. In the end just like “the sun in the middle of the solar system,” Hoogie isn’t so invisible anymore. McLellan finishes her story with a deliciously sweet simile!

Continuing in this series, TweezleintoEverything_MedTweezle into Everything follows in the footsteps of the typical baby of the household where Tweezle is the “last yummy cookie.” Charming similes and playful dialogue express Tweezle’s adorable character, constantly trying to prove he is big: “I not baby…I big boy!” He believes he is all grown up he messes his father’s tool shed, or enhances his older sister’s paintings. However, Tweezle is made to feel like the “…mud on the bottom…” of his sister’s shoes. Yet he refuses to give up: “I not bottom.” The book has an unpredictable and heart-warming ending, showing that what Tweezle unexpectedly does is indeed a “big deal.”

This loveable family comes alive with Dean Griffiths cuddly personified monsters. Vibrating hues painted in pencil crayons and watercolours evoke an expressionistic style with realistic elements. The clever use of negative space adds dimension and energy to the characters as well. Consistent rendering makes switching from each book in the series a seamless transition. The difference is the focus on the title characters, e.g. Hoogie holding a donut over one eye exaggerating the fact that she feels “like the hole in the middle of the donut” or Tweezle holding a large beach ball reinforcing his babyish stature.

Hoogie in the Middle and Tweezle into Everything explore the wonder of childhood and the average day-to-day dilemmas and real-life emotions of children with siblings. Wonderful books to read aloud that provide an opportunity for discussion among parents and children.—Lara Chauvin

The Year’s Best with Resource Links

Posted on February 7th, 2014 by pajamapress

Resource Links magazine published its list of “The Year’s Best” books  for 2013 this week. Five Pajama Press books made the list:

Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass

Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass

Nix_C_PRINT_Nov13.indd

Nix Minus One by Jill MacLean

The Stowaways by Meghan Marentette

The Stowaways by Meghan Marentette

Cat Champions by Rob Laidlaw

Cat Champions by Rob Laidlaw

Hoogie in the Middle by Stephanie McLellan and Dean Griffiths

Hoogie in the Middle by Stephanie McLellan and Dean Griffiths

Congratulations to our authors and illustrator whose books were recognized.

Check out the full list here.

Snuggle Up and Read for Family Literacy Day

Posted on January 31st, 2014 by pajamapress

A small school in North Bay, Ontario hosted a remarkable event for Family Literacy Day this week.

Inspired by the Family Literacy Day booklist compiled by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, a teacher at J.W. Trusler Public School decided to organize a “Snuggle Up and Read” event, inviting parents to bring their pajama-clad children to school in the evening for cookies, milk, and story time. The evening’s feature family-themed book? Hoogie in the Middle.
Stephanie meeting her audience

Stephanie meeting her audience

Stephanie McLellan, author of Hoogie in the Middle, heard about the event. Undeterred by a long, snowy drive and the expectation of a small audience (J.W. Trusler only has about 150 students), she decided to attend herself. The school staff, eager to welcome an award-winning author, spread the word to families, baked cookies, and acquired enough milk and books for a crowd.

The next day The North Bay Nugget described the event, which ultimately included over thirty families—more than 100 people: “Children came in their pyjamas and brought pillows, blankets, and favourite books. Board superintendent Amanda Meighan also read the award-winning bedtime story, ‘Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That.’”
Debbie Woods introducing Stephanie

Debbie Woods introducing Stephanie

Debbie Woods, the teacher who organized the event, described families using blankets and pillows to create cozy campsites on the gym floor while they listened to the stories. Stephanie McLellan called it “a fantastic event” on social
media, adding that “Debbie had a goodie bag for every family which included a book…”

Pajama Press salutes Debbie, Stephanie, and the CCBC for doing so much to encourage literacy and a love of books among children and their families.

TVO Parents pick Hoogie in the Middle for Family Literacy Day

Posted on January 24th, 2014 by pajamapress

HoogieInTheMiddle_LRHoogie in the Middle by Stephanie McLellan is one of three  books in its age category to be chosen for TVO Parents’ “Books to Read as a Family” list this Family Literacy Day. Celebrated each year on January 27, Family Literacy Day promotes children’s success by encouraging families to read together.

Click here to read the full list.

Full Pajama Press list recognized in Best Books for Kids & Teens

Posted on December 1st, 2013 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is thrilled to announce that every book in our Spring 2013 list has been recognized in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre‘s Fall 2013 edition of Best Books for Kids & Teens. Those books are:

NixMinusOneNix Minus One by Jill MacLeanStarred Selection

Namesake_LRNamesake by Sue MacLeod

HoogieInTheMiddle_LRHoogie in the Middle by Stephanie McLeallan, illustrated by Dean Griffiths

CommunitySoup_LRCommunity Soup by Alma FullertonStarred Selection

Congratulations to Jill, Sue, Stephanie, Dean, and Alma!

Indies First

Posted on November 29th, 2013 by pajamapress

Saturday November 30th is the annual celebration of Indies First, a movement started by Sherman Alexie to have authors and illustrators support independent bookstores by hand-selling books for the day. Hundreds of bookstores and authors have participated in this event since its inception.

This year marks the first time Canadian independent bookstores are getting involved. Pajama Press is lucky enough to have three of our own taking part:

Stephanie McLellan, author of Hoogie in the Middle and Tweezle into Everything

Tara Anderson, illustrator of Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That

Sue Macleod, author of Namesake

They will be at Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore on Saturday between 11am and 3pm.

Drop by to ask them for a recommendation of their favourite children’s book. And while you’re at it, you can also pick up a copy of one of their books. It’s all to help support the wonderful independent bookstores.

The Canadian Booksellers Association is planning to make the event even bigger next year. And we’re really looking forward to it!

The 2013 Pajama Press Annual Book Launch and Art Show

Posted on November 25th, 2013 by pajamapress

On November 7th Pajama Press celebrated nine books published in 2013 at the Annual Pajama Press Book Launch and Art Show, an event Open Book Toronto called one of “the season’s hottest literary events.” The launch included great food, Ontario wine, excellent company, book signings, and walls filled with framed original picture book art.

Thank you to everyone who came out to make the evening wonderful, including authors and illustrators Jill MacLean (Nix Minus One), Sue MacLeod (Namesake), Alma Fullerton (Community Soup), Stephanie McLellan (Hoogie in the Middle, Tweezle into Everything), Karen Bass (Graffiti Knight), Tara Anderson (Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That), Meghan Marentette (The Stowaways), and Rob Laidlaw (Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends). Special thanks to the young Cat

Champions who also came out, to our photographers, and to Claude Viens, chef extraordinaire.

Alma Fullerton and her art. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton and her art. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton, Brian Deines and Rob Laidlaw. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton, Brian Deines and Rob Laidlaw. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton and Gillian O'Reilly. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Alma Fullerton and Gillian O’Reilly. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Alma Fullerton and Jill MacLean. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Alma Fullerton and Jill MacLean. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Brian Deines and Wallace Edwards. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Brian Deines and Wallace Edwards. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Camillia Kahrizi and Kate Edwards. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Camillia Kahrizi and Kate Edwards. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Charlotte Teeple, John Spray and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Charlotte Teeple, John Spray and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Christine Vyhnal, Erika Miklasevics, and Sam and Penny Klarreich.

Christina Vyhnal, Erika Miklasevics, and Sam and Penny Klarreich.

Claude Viens. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Claude Viens. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Dean Griffiths' art. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Dean Griffiths’ art. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Dean Griffiths's The Stowaways "Character Sketch". Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Dean Griffiths’s The Stowaways “Character Sketch”. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Dean Griffiths The Stowaways "Dedication Page". Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Dean Griffiths The Stowaways “Dedication Page”. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Cat Champions, Eddie Nikkifork and Jasmine Polsinelli. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Cat Champions, Eddie Nikkifork and Jasmine Polsinelli. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Emily and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Emily and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Former Fitzhenry & Whiteside crew, Max Arambo, Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Penny Taylor. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Former Fitzhenry & Whiteside crew, Max Arambo, Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Penny Taylor. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Gail Winskill and Claude Viens. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Gail Winskill and Claude Viens. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Gail Winskill giving her speech. Photo credit: Lisa Meyers.

Gail Winskill giving her speech. Photo credit: Lisa Meyers.

Harry Black and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Harry Black and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Jane Glassco and Mary Anne Cree. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Jane Glassco and Mary Anne Cree. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Karen Bass, Martin Gould, Gisela Sherman and Marsha Skrypuch. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Karen Bass, Martin Gould, Gisela Sherman and Marsha Skrypuch. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

The crowd listening to the speech. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

The crowd listening to the speech. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Max Arambo. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Max Arambo. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Meghan Marentette and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Meghan Marentette and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Meghan Marentette. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Meghan Marentette. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

"Or where sunbeams"  by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

“Or where sunbeams” by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Rachel Seigel, Susan Menchinton and Arthur Gale. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Rachel Seigel, Susan Menchinton and Arthur Gale. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Rebecca Bender, Eva and Greg Higgison. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Rebecca Bender, Eva and Greg Higgison. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Staff, authors, illustrators and cat champions. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Staff, authors, illustrators and cat champions. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Sue MacLeod, Jill MacLean and Alma Fullerton. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Sue MacLeod, Jill MacLean and Alma Fullerton. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Tristan, Erin, Sarah and Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Tristan, Erin, Sarah and Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

"When Strange Shadows" by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

“When Strange Shadows” by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

"When the Lights" by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

“When the Lights” by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Aliya Stacey and Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Aliya Stacey and Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Brian Deines. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Brian Deines. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Erin Woods. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Erin Woods. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Gail Winskill, Terry Jones and Liz Sloan. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Gail Winskill, Terry Jones and Liz Sloan. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Karen Bass. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Karen Bass. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Kieran Zierer Clarke. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Kieran Zierer Clarke. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Stephanie McLellan at Word on the Street

Posted on November 5th, 2013 by pajamapress

Stephanie McLellan presented both Hoogie in the Middle and Tweezle into Everything at Word on the Street 2013.

Watch her in action:

 

The Pajama Press Annual Fall Book Launch and Art Show

Posted on October 18th, 2013 by pajamapress

We are looking forward to welcoming guests and authors and illustrators from across the country to our Annual Fall Book Launch and Art Show on November 7th, 2013. The evening will include refreshments, book sales and signings, and framed art sales from our talented illustrators. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to erinwoods@pajamapress.ca by October 31st. We hope to see you there!

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