Pajama Press

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Kids’ Book Buzz: Reviews by kids, for kids

Posted on November 17th, 2015 by pajamapress

Kids’ Book Buzz is a website where children’s books are reviewed by their intended audiences: kids! Here’s what they had to say about some of our latest titles.

Kiss, Kiss

Kiss, Kiss | Jennifer Couelle & Jacques Laplante |Pajama Press “This book is very nice because it shows you all sorts of nice kisses. Kisses show someone that you love them, and some kisses are long, and some are short, some are loud and some are wet. This shows people kissing, and dogs kissing, and birds kissing, and even fish kissing. But it isn’t sloppy or gross, because the pictures are just little cartoon pictures. Some of the words rhyme but it isn’t really a poem and there aren’t very many words. I like the pictures where the mom or dad is giving the child a kiss, or the grandma. There are lots of hearts because the kisses show love. Sometimes a mom might give a kiss to help her child feel better if he got a scraped knee, and sometimes a kiss is to say hello or goodbye. Then at the end it says “I Love You!”

You will like to read this book because the pictures are really fun with lots of colors and funny animals and kissy lips. Maybe you will give this book to someone you love.”

Reviewed by Liesel, Age 4

Princess Pistachio and the Pest

Princess Pistachio and the Pest by Marie-Louise Gay, translated by Jacob Homel“A little girl named Pistachio wants to explore a cave with her friends, but instead, her mother wants her to take her little sister to the park. Pistachio thinks that is going to be so boring. First, she gets accused of being a thief, which is so embarrassing. Then, she falls into a witch’s garden and almost gets turned into a toad. Worst of all, she gets kicked out of the park because a warden thinks she meant to take money from the fountain, but it was her little sister, Penny. Everything terrible that happened that day was all Penny’s fault. But it was not boring. When she tells her mother what happened, her mom decides to call someone to look after them, since it’s too much for Pistachio. She calls the witch!  Pistachio is horrified. Even though she hated her day with her sister, she tells her mother not to worry. She’s sure they will have fun together.

I really liked this book. It’s hilarious, and it’s a short chapter book with pictures. It’s very exciting too. No book could be boring with witches, police, and thieves, especially not this one.”

—Reviewed by Paloma, Age 9

Once Upon a Line

OnceUponALine-COVER-FAKE-FOIL_RGB_500px“Once upon a Line is like no other book I have ever read. There really isn’t a story written, but instead you need to use your own imagination to finish off a story. Each page is a different picture and story for you to make up. They said the pictures were from a Great-Uncle George, who was a magician and had a magic pen. They say that every picture starts with a line and you need to find the line in each picture, as well as find the magic pen.

Once upon a Line was a great book. I liked looking for the starting line and magic pen on every page. I loved sitting with my mom and sister and we each took turns continuing the story for every picture. Some stories were easy to continue and others were harder. The illustrations were very detailed, colorful and some where really funny. My favorite page was the prince who dreamed in color and dreamed up a dragon. It was really fun making up your own story and using your imagination.”

—Reviewed by Jewel, Age 7

Giraffe Meets Bird

Giraffe Meets Bird by Rebecca Bender“There’s this giraffe that meets this bird. The bird was in its nest, in its egg, and when it hatched, giraffe saw it, because Giraffe is so tall. Giraffe thought the bird was cute and nice when he saw it, and Bird and Giraffe both learned what the other one liked, and had to learn to be nice. But they didn’t always get along, because sometimes they didn’t like what the other one did. Bird didn’t like Giraffe telling him what to do, and Giraffe didn’t like Bird bonking his head. So then they didn’t seem to like each other. But then when there was trouble coming, they went into this tree and helped each other because they were friends.

I liked this book because I like looking at the pictures, and there are fun things to look at in it. I like the part where the lion family comes and where the giraffe jumps into the tree. I was glad that Giraffe and Bird decided to be friends, even though they didn’t always get along. The pictures are really nice. This is a good book about being good friends.”

Reviewed by Liesel, Age 4

Bad Pirate

Bad Pirate by Kari-Lynn Winters and Dean Griffiths“Bad Pirate is about dog pirates that think being a pirate is about being saucy, bold, and selfish. The captain’s daughter, Augusta, is kind, nice, and helpful. Her dad and the other pirates think that is very, very bad. Augusta finally tries to be selfish, and then when there is a storm, her selfish act puts the whole ship in danger. So, she goes to help fix the sail, even though its not her job, and when her dad growls at her, she has to get saucy with him. Will he get mad at her? Will he let her fix the sail or will he let the ship sink? You have to read the book to find out!

Augusta is brave because she stands up to her dad, and is kind even when he tells her she should be selfish. I like this book because it was cool. I love pirates, and I like all the different characters. I really like all the details of the illustrations, they look like real dogs. And I like all the different breeds. I also like the ship. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes pirates, or wants to be nice, even if sometimes their friends aren’t.”

—reviewed by Lily, Age 6

Celebrate A Brush Full of Colour in Vancouver with Kidsbooks: November 6

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by pajamapress

KidsbooksPoster_Website

School Library Journal praises “nonstop action” in Graffiti Knight

Posted on May 1st, 2014 by pajamapress

GraffitiKnight_Med“It is 1947, and life is hard for 16-year-old Wilm and his family. The city of Leipzig, in southeast Germany, is controlled by the Soviets, who are brutal masters. The Germans are constantly hungry because the Soviets have significantly reduced their food rations. Even worse, the German police, Schupos, are puppets of the Soviets. Wilm and his friends like to skulk around and pretend to battle the enemy, but the war becomes real when he experiences just how powerless his community really is against them…The last quarter of the book is nonstop action…Wilm is a flawed but engaging protagonist, prone to headstrong actions, and he matures believably over the course of the story…Bass does a fine job of opening readers’ eyes to the harsh realities that so many German civilians faced after their country’s defeat, regardless of whether they had supported the Nazi regime.”

—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

Cat Champions nominated for Hackmatack Award

Posted on March 21st, 2014 by pajamapress

CatChampionsPajama press is proud to announce that Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends   by Rob Laidlaw has been nominated for the 2014/2015 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award.

This award is an annual reading program that encourages literacy and the love of reading among children in grades 4, 5, and 6 in Atlantic Canada. The companion book to Cat Champions, No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs, is nominated for the 2013/2014 award; those results will be announced later this spring. Learn more at www.hackmatack.ca.

Congratulations to Rob and to all of the nominated authors!

REVIEWS

“…the kids’ actions should inspire readers to get involved with rescue efforts in their own communities. This title would be useful for its information on young people and their determination to protect cats everywhere.”—School Library Journal

“The straightforward message, good examples and plentiful resources may well combine to inspire new advocates.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Written in a clear unpreachy style and brimming with lovely full-colour photos, this is an ideal volume for any young cat lover…”—Quill & Quire

“…the book’s centerpiece is the “cat champions,” or young people (some eight or nine years old) who have gone above and beyond to make life better for felines.…The list of organizations where kids can learn about ways they can help is extensive and useful.”—Booklist

“[A] book that will empower youth to help homeless cats… Attractive sidebars contain tidbits of information that will be of interest to cat lovers…Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine ****/4

“The information is easily accessible and the stories are engaging and heart-warming… This is a wonderful book for any animal lover.”—Resource Links

CM Magazine highly recommends Moon at Nine

Posted on March 7th, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C_Oct5.inddBasing her book on a true story, Ellis has written a heartbreaking tale of prejudice and injustice. Ellis contrasts the sanctioned horrible treatment of human beings with an illegal love story...The characters are complex and carefully drawn…

While we recognize some progress in our country in terms of gay and lesbian rights, Moon at Nine is a sobering reminder that being gay or lesbian is still a criminal offence in many countries in the world, and for many, the penalty is death. Ellis has given us this reminder with yet another beautifully written story, the love story of Farrin and Sadira.

Highly Recommended.”

Click here to read the full review.

Nat the Cat is “sure to win youngsters’ hearts”—School Library Journal

Posted on March 1st, 2014 by pajamapress

NatTheCat_Med“Nat, an orange tabby cat, spends his day sleeping in spite of the bustle going on around him. In fact, he can sleep anywhere–in drawers, on the stairs, even in a “cooking pot” or “flopping halfway off a shelf.” But “when the nighttime quiet falls,/when strange shadows fill the halls,/” Nat comes to life, joined by a black-and-white kitten. They careen around on toys, jump on beds, and enjoy the night sky perched on a window sill. Young readers will enjoy the brief rhymed text and find themselves chiming in on the repeated refrain, “Nat the cat can sleep like that!” And they will especially relish telling the unwritten story depicted in the large, mixed-media illustrations. In the three-quarter-page pictures that appear beneath the text, occasionally interspersed with double-page bleeds featuring close-ups of the two felines, the energetic kitten who plays with Nat at night tries repeatedly to rouse him during the day. He dangles string toys in front of the lazy cat’s face, rolls balls, plays the piano, tries to entice him with games–all to no avail. But whether sleeping or cavorting through the house, these two kitties are sure to win youngsters’ hearts.”

Click here to learn more about School Library Journal.

CanLit for LittleCanadians reviews Deborah Ellis’ Moon at Nine

Posted on February 20th, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C_Oct5.indd“…Deborah Ellis is Canada’s most modest and accomplished author of social justice stories for young people, and Moon at Nine can be added to that auspicious collection.  Based on a true story, the girls’ relationship in Moon at Nine is personal and precious but never explicit, unlike the merciless response of others to it.  Prohibited love may be ill-fated, but in the 1980′s Iran of secrets, surveillance and suppression,  it was perilous.  Still, in Moon at Nine, Deborah Ellis thoughtfully embeds a sliver of chaste love into that dispiriting world and, without contriving an unrealistic happy ending, offers a glimmer of possibility.”

Click here to read the full review.

Preschool Reads Award won by Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That

Posted on January 28th, 2014 by pajamapress

NatTheCat_MedPajama Press is pleased to announce that Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That, written by Victoria Allenby and illustrated by Tara Anderson, has won the 2014 Preschool Reads Award.

Developed by Wee Read Guelph, Wellington, and Dufferin County, the Preschool Reads program is a reader’s choice award for young children who listen to a shortlist of four titles and vote for their favourite. This year’s shortlist also included:

  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
  • The Yoga Game by Kathy Beliveau and Farida Zaman
  • Where do you Look? by Marthe and Neil Jocelyn

Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That is featured in the January/February 2014 issue of Chirp Magazine, the theme of which is “Time for Bed!” Reviewers have also been charmed by this determinedly dozy feline. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“…Allenby and Anderson have captured a cat any young ailurophile will recognize. The simple rhyming text listing the odd (yet realistic) places Nat can sleep during the daytime and all the silly mischief he and his black-and-white kitten sidekick get up to at night will hook young listeners. The watercolor, acrylic and pencil illustrations of floppy, goggle-eyed Nat and his buddy are a just-right pairing.

Good kitty fun that will demand repeated reads.”—Kirkus Reviews

“In Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That, author Victoria Allenby’s poetic text and illustrator Tara Anderson’s whimsical art lulls kids – and kitten – to sleep, making it a lovely bedtime read

But it’s more than a bedtime story: it’s a tale of friendship and acceptance. It’s a story in which kids safely explore relational differences and boundaries through the eyes of cats.

…. Parents and teachers will love Allenby’s word play. Her use of repetition and alliteration is calming and her steady cadence is mesmerizing. Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That is a story of love and limits… and it might just induce a good night’s sleep.”—The National Reading Campaign

“The rhyming word choice is spare in this delightful picture book for younger children, and deliberately so….Tara Anderson’s illustrations are whimsical and fun… Although the illustrations complement the story, they also tell a story of their own, encouraging children, and their grownups, to read the story again and again.

The mood of the book is playful, easily appealing to a preschool audience. Victoria Allenby’s title is a perfect choice for bedtime and storytimes for young children. Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine ****/4

“This rhyming story has a playful tone, great for reading aloud to preschoolers. The adorable illustrations by Tara Anderson, rendered primarily in pencil crayon, will appeal to the target audience a great deal, and may even inspire them to try their hand at similar drawings. The onomatopoeia in words like “whoosh,” “shush” and “hush” further add to the light heartedness of the book, and will be fun for kids to imitate.”—Resource Links

Click here for full reviews. You can also download Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That  worksheets to help kids learn about prepositions and rhyming.

Happy reading!

Amy’s Marathon of Books is in Halifax with Namesake

Posted on January 17th, 2014 by pajamapress

Namesake_C_Dec13v2.indd“…Where reading non-fiction books can at times be dry and daunting, fiction opens up the same topics in a new way, providing characters a reader can personally connect with interspersed with historical facts.

Sue MacLeod’s Namesake is a spectacular example of this. I loved the way she took some liberties with Lady Jane’s story, while still staying true to the historical aspects. MacLeod also manages to make Jane and Lady Jane’s characters equally fleshed out and relatable.

…I would recommend this book more for early teen readers, but it’s a must read for lovers of historical fiction.”

Click here to read the full review.

 

Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That is “just right”—Sal’s Fiction Addiction

Posted on December 31st, 2013 by pajamapress

NatTheCat_Med“…The text is just right for little ones, and for those wanting to read books on their own. It evokes movement, and typical feline behaviors. The mixed media artwork (pencil crayon, watercolor, gouache, acrylics and glaze) adds charm and delight to the reading. The bright colors and textured images are sure to interest young listeners, while adding a parallel story to the one told in words.

They are sure to want to hear it again and again. So, be prepared!”

Click here to read the full review.