Archive for the ‘Tweezle into Everything’ Category
Posted on February 28th, 2014 by pajamapress
A most beautifully written and illustrated book about a little boy monster who lives with his parents and big [sisters]. To the family Tweezle seems like a little troublemaker but in reality he only wants to help out doing big kid stuff like his siblings
Being the baby of the family, Tweezle tries to do the things big kids do but always gets into trouble because he is too little. Stuff gets broken and a lot of messes need to be cleaned up but Tweezle doesn’t mean to be a troublemaker. When he finds a baby bird in trouble and fixes a nest for it, his family realizes that Tweezle means well and that he is growing up and not just a baby.
This book would be a helpful tool to read to an older sibling in preparation of a newcomer in the family. It could help explain to small children what happens when a new smaller child tries to play with them that sometimes they cannot do the same things as they do.
Rated E: Excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!
Posted on February 20th, 2014 by pajamapress
Award-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, Tweezle 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
Posted on January 31st, 2014 by pajamapress
A small school in North Bay, Ontario hosted a remarkable event for Family Literacy Day this week.
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.
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…”
Posted on January 27th, 2014 by pajamapress
“Not only will the message in this cute story win over the youngsters in your life, but the illustrations are sure to capture their attention and imaginations. Bursting with colour and movement, the pictures of the monster family are a lot of fun. I love how bright they are!
…Tweezle into Everything is a wonderful family read, especially for young children who may be struggling with either being the youngest, or having a young sibling who always seems to be getting into everything.”
Click here to read the full review.
Posted on December 30th, 2013 by pajamapress
PreS-Gr 2–McLellan’s playful, heartwarming story about a cuddly monster family examines how birth order affects sibling relationships. As the youngest, Tweezle is coddled by Mom and Dad, who call him their “sweet baby.” Tweezle repeats the phrase, “I’m not baby…I big boy!” throughout the story, as he tries prove to his older siblings, Hoogie and Pumpkin, that he is just like them. Tweezle attempts to make pancakes, wash dishes, and help with the garden. Onomatopoeic words (“splash and a crash/blam and a slam”) mimic the chaos that follows poor Tweezle as he attempts to win his siblings’ acceptance. When he rescues a baby bird, the family celebrates Tweezle’s good deed, acknowledging that is was a “big” deal for such a “big” guy. Bright colored pencil and watercolor illustrations adorn each spread, while a soft-hued palette adds calmness. Expansive white space allows readers to appreciate details in the facial expressions. A great addition to both school and public libraries that help teach sibling acceptance and understanding.
—Krista Welz, North Bergen High School, NJ
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:
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!
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.
Posted on November 13th, 2013 by pajamapress
McLellan and Griffiths’ previous work, Hoogie in the Middle (2013), had middle monster Hoogie feeling invisible and frustrated. Now Tweezle takes a stand against his birth order. Everyone calls him “little,” but he wants to do something BIG. He tries to help in the kitchen, but the dishes crash to the floor. He tries to help outdoors, but he ends up knocking everything over in the shed. His sisters shout at him: “You’re the lint at the bottom of my pocket!” and “The mud on the bottom of my sneakers!” After this, little Tweezle mysteriously goes missing. His family finds him helping a baby bird that has fallen from the nest. Tweezle has had a big idea after all.Although furry, green and whiskered, Tweezle shares many commonalities with toddlers who are gaining independence. Older siblings in particular will recognize the ways Tweezle’s good intentions sometimes work against him.
…[T]his tale about an endearing monster family spotlights some very real moments of childhood growth. (Picture book. 3-6)”
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: