Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘biography’

Adrift at Sea will “help shed light on events of the past that share a similarity to those that are happening in the world today” says The Children’s War

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“The plight of refugees have been in the news a lot these days because of the war in Syria. As more and more borders are closed to them, it might be a good time to remember another group of refugees who arrived on North America’s shores and have contributed so much to their adopted country.

When the Vietnam War ended in 1975, and the communist government took over South Vietnam, daily life became so difficult and unbearable that families were willing to risk escaping their country in rickety boats not made for long sea voyages. But these boats were the only way out, unless you were rich….

Adrift at Sea
 is told from Tuan’s point of view, and aimed at readers about the same age as he was when he escaped Vietnam. Such a young narrator may not capture the truly difficult and risky trip in the kind of detail a book for older readers might, but he still very clearly depicts the fear, the hot sun, lack of water, and relief at being rescued at an age appropriate level that any young reader will be able understand.

Skrypuch has included a number photos of the Ho family, both in Vietnam and in Canada. She has also included a brief history of the ‘boat people’ as the refugees came to be called. The refugees faced not only the kinds of problems that the Ho family dealt with, but there were storms, pirates and always the threat of dying of thirst and hunger, and sometimes, they found that they were not welcomed everywhere.

Using a color palette mainly of oranges, yellows and blues, Deines’s highly textured oil on canvas illustrations capture all the secrecy, fear, and perils, all wrapped up in the dangerously hazy, hot, and humid weather that these refugees faced in their desire for freedom and a better life.

Adrift at Sea is a powerful historical nonfiction story that can certainly help shed light on events of the past that share a similarity to those that are happening in the world today.

This book is recommended for readers age 6+”

Click here to read the full review

The International Examiner calls One Step Ahead, “a poignant story of compassion, perseverance and recovery.”

Posted on April 20th, 2016 by pajamapress

One Step At A Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch“…as a poignant story of compassion, perseverance and recovery, Skrypuch’s writing provides a platform for opening a dialogue on the repercussions of war and violence, as well as global health in regard to polio. As such, the story is perfect for bringing together multiple generations of readers.”—International Examiner

Click here to read the full review.

A Brush Full of Colour wins the 2015 Information Book Award

Posted on November 9th, 2015 by pajamapress

ABrushFullOfColourPajama Press is pleased to announce that A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison by Margriet Ruurs and Katherine Gibson is the winner of the 2015 Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award.

The results were announced on Saturday, November 7th at the Vancouver Roundtable’s Illustrator Breakfast. The award will be formally presented on January 27th, 2016.

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale and published by Annick Press, was selected as the 2015 Information Honour Book.

A Brush Full of Colour is a picture book biography of Ted Harrison, Canada’s most iconic painter of the Yukon. In addition to the Information Book Award, it has been nominated for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, the Rocky Mountain Book Award, the Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award, and the Hackmatack Award.

Click here for more information about the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award.

Canadian Children’s Book News reviews “inspirational” A Brush Full of Colour

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 by pajamapress

ABrushFullOfColour“Ted Harrison, one of Canada’s most recognized and celebrated artists, died in January, 2015. Using a distinctive style that particularly resonates with children, he portrayed the Canadian west coast and Yukon landscapes in vibrant, non-traditional colours. A Brush Full of Colour follows the life and career of Harrison, from his youth in a coal-mining town in northeast England.

…This inspirational and informative biography includes many stunning examples of Harrison’s luminous artwork as well as resources, sources and a foreword written by the artist himself: “I urge you to keep on reading, writing, and painting. Develop your own style and keep it honest and true to who you are. Find inspiration in the world around you, and you will make the world a happier and more creative place.”

—Senta Ross

A Brush Full of Colour a “wonderfully visual celebration”—Booklist

Posted on February 1st, 2015 by pajamapress

ABrushFullOfColour“Best known for his colorful paintings of the Yukon, Ted Harrison grew up in England’s drab, gray coal country. His military duties during World War II took him to India, Egypt, and Kenya. After the war, he taught art in Malaysia and New Zealand before he and his wife moved to Canada, where they fell in love with the Yukon. Inspired by the landscape, he moved away from his traditional, formal art training and developed his own distinctive style, notable for its simplified forms, unusual colors, and underlying sense of joy. Harrison has illustrated several books, including O Canada (1993) and Robert Service’s The Shooting of Dan McGrew (1988). Ruurs and Gibson’s beautifully designed volume combines a clearly written account of Harrison’s life and work with photos of his early years and, later, many of his paintings. Seldom does an artist’s biography for children offer so many beautiful reproductions of the subject’s work. Pair this inviting book with Ashley Bryan:Words to My Life’s Song (2009), another wonderfully visual celebration of an artist following his own path.”

—Carolyn Phelan

“An outstanding…biography about the life of Ted Harrison”—School Library Journal

Posted on February 1st, 2015 by pajamapress

ABrushFullOfColour“Gr 3-6–An outstanding, well-organized biography about the life of Ted Harrison, one of Canada’s most recognized and popular painters. The book chronicles the man’s life, from his birth in the coal mining town of Wingate, County Durham, England, where his father gave him pencil and paper and told him to draw; to art school and military service post–World War II, which gave him the opportunity to see the world; to teaching art in Malaysia; and finally immigrating to Canada and combining all the designs and techniques he had seen around the world and finding his own style. Harrison vowed that his paintings would only depict positive images. He developed a colorful, vibrant technique that reflected the joys of life. While many love his work, others are more critical. However, Harrison remains upbeat: “‘We must be who we are in everything we do, no matter what others say.’” This book is filled with quotes from Harrison and examples of his work, all demonstrating his love for vivid colors and flowing lines. VERDICT A joy to look at and an inspiration to read.”
—Paula Huddy, The Blake School-Highcroft Campus, Wayzata, MN

Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable presents A Brush Full of Colour

Posted on November 19th, 2014 by pajamapress

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A Brush Full of Colour an “outstanding biography”—CM Magazine

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by pajamapress

ABrushFullOfColour_HR_RGB“This outstanding biography does more than just inform the reader of Ted Harrison’s life in a well organized way. A Brush Full of Colour is indicative of the spirit and passion of its subject and richly illuminates a national treasure! It does justice to Harrison’s artwork by including many reproductions from his early efforts to more recent drawings that are named, dated and commented upon as to the content of the drawing and its meaning. Many include a question posed to the reader. One of the highlights of this lovely book is a preface by Harrison where he refers to his art as ‘my simplistic artistic style’. He also includes a lovely tribute to meeting, over the years, students and lovers of art that have influenced him. Harrison urges readers to ‘keep on reading, writing and painting’.

An index and bibliographical references are included.

Highly Recommended.

Click here to read the full review.

Good News Toronto shares books to help kids through new beginnings

Posted on January 16th, 2014 by pajamapress

OneStepAtATimeGood News Toronto has shared a list of books to help kids deal with new beginnings. Among them is One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch:

“One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (published by Pajama Press)is the true story of Tuyet, an orphaned refugee from wartorn Vietnam who is adopted by a Canadian family. Life in a strange country with a new language presents many challenges, including the first of six operations to repair her left leg, which was deformed by polio. Through incredible determination and strength of character, along with the support of her family, Tuyet learns to walk without the aid of crutches. Readers 8 to 11 years old will marvel at Tuyet’s perseverance and laugh at moments when she reveals her unfamiliarity with Canadian customs, such as when Tuyet doesn’t understand why her first-ever birthday cake is ‘on fire.’”

Click here to read the full list.

Orphans in Childrens’ Literature review of Last Airlift

Posted on June 11th, 2013 by pajamapress

Last Airlift is a great addition to the classroom library because it is non-fiction, which I would promote as much as possible.  The story provides integration with history as it will provoke discussion of the Vietnam War.”

Click here to read the full review.

-Leslie Mayer