Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘book-review’

Pickle Me This said “the recipe inside [Baby Cakes] makes for a nice extension of the book…inspiring the reader to try something new”

Posted on November 20th, 2017 by pajamapress

BabyCakes_Website“…when I’d recently read Iris Baby Cakes, by Theo Heras and Renne Benoit, she’d declared, ‘That’s such a good book, Mommy.’ Mostly because she’s obsessed with cupcakes, but still. Plus there was a recipe for cupcakes in the endpapers; I said, ‘We’ve got to make these.’ And so on Saturday night, we did.

This book would make a great Christmas gift from 3-5-year-olds. With simple vocabulary, a brother and sister work together to make cupcakes (with the unhelpful assistance of their pet cat). The story lists the equipment necessary—‘Here are a big bowl and measuring cups and spoons.’—and goes through the recipe, ‘Sprinkle salt, but not too much.’ And ‘Creaming the butter is hard work.’ And is it ever! The recipe inside makes for a nice extension of the book, bringing the story to life and inspiring the reader to try something new. That the brother and sister in the story bake together without the help of grown-ups (except for with the oven) inspires independence. Plus, the cupcakes were delicious.”

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Canadian Bookworm says “everyone looks like they are having fun [in the kitchen]” in Baby Cakes

Posted on November 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

BabyCakes_Website“This picture book shows a young child and the family cat helping mom make cupcakes….The illustrations are cute and everyone looks like they are having fun. It’s a nice idea for kids who like to help in the kitchen….[T]here has been much discussion of late of more children’s books where the children can see themselves in the books they read, requiring more diverse characters in kids’ books, especially where the characters are just themselves without commentary on race or ethnicity and I was pleased to see this book as a great example of filling that need.”

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CM Magazine gives 4/4 stars to Dragonfly Song and calls it “a work of beauty”

Posted on November 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website[4/4 stars]…Wendy Orr’s Dragonfly Song is a work of beauty. From the stunning cover to the mythological imagery and lyrical prose, readers are drawn in and carried along on an intense ride. Since Aissa is mute for much of the story, her thoughts and observations are inserted in the form of short poetic phrases. This change in format does not remove the reader from the story in any way, and these pieces could, in fact, stand alone as beautiful poetry. Those with no knowledge of Greek mythology will benefit from the opening author’s note, but prior knowledge is definitely not a requirement to enjoy this book. Orr’s language is gripping and enchanting, and Dragonfly Song would make a perfect read-aloud chapter book for middle grade teachers. While the academic cross curricular subject areas are obvious, including history, mythology, religion, spirituality, even bullying, I enjoyed this story simply as a pleasure read. Readers will find that Dragonfly Song and its fearless heroine will stick with them long after the final chapter.

Highly Recommended.
Cate Carlyle is a librarian at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, NS.

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CanLit for LittleCanadians loves the simplicity and lightness of the illustrations in Wild One

Posted on November 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

WildOne_Website“From morning to bedtime, this little girl is go, go, go! She’s not just a wild thing, she’s the Wild One!…

Wild One is Jane Whittingham’s first picture book and it’s a charming recount of a child’s day filled with play and activity. Kids love pretending that they are animals–how often do they imagine themselves to be bears growling or dogs barking or snakes slithering?–but here Jane Whittingham demonstrates, playfully, that we belong in the animal kingdom, sharing many attributes with animals far and wide….[Noel Tuazon’s] style here is appropriately light, subtle and simple, as complements the story of a preschooler’s life. The detail is unnecessary as the pairing of an activity with an animal is all that is needed, especially for the very young for whom this book is written.”

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Wild One is “a sweet read-aloud” says Kirkus Reviews

Posted on November 14th, 2017 by pajamapress

WildOne_Website“An exuberant little girl, the titular ‘wild one,’ romps energetically all day before finally collapsing into a well-deserved slumber….The rhyming text flows smoothly and has a jaunty rhythm that lends itself well to reading aloud. The playful watercolors start off saturated with bright colors that become muted as the child’s day comes to a sleepy end. A sweet read-aloud featuring a fearless and athletic girl to share with funny little monkeys.”

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Kirkus Review calls The Night Lion “A comforting, enabling, picture-perfect bedtime read.”

Posted on November 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheNightLion_Website“Following a scary nightmare, a little boy receives a toy lion, and that makes all the difference…The final spread of Morgan confidently raising his sword echoes Sendak’s Max as king of the wild things. A comforting, enabling, picture-perfect bedtime read.”

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The Theory of Hummingbirds is “a sweet, gentle novel says Youth Services Book Review

Posted on November 10th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_WebsiteRating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5

Everything works out in the end, but in a way that feels natural and realistic. A glossary of hummingbird facts and an author’s note add dimension to the story. This is a sweet, gentle novel about friendship….Recommend to readers who are moving beyond early chapter books into middle-grade fiction. Also recommend White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan and Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.”
—Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA

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Log Cabin Library says the action in Dragonfly Song is “thrilling to say the least”

Posted on November 9th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_WebsiteWhy I wanted to read this: Wendy Orr is the author of Nim’s Island, which I’ve read and enjoyed and once I read the premise of Dragonfly Song I was intrigued by how it is based on the legend of King Minos of Crete. and the Minoan civilization….

Dragonfly Song is written in both free verse and prose, which I thought was an interesting choice at first, yet Orr’s transitions come together smoothly, developing Aissa’s character and giving insights into her inner thoughts. Aissa was so resilient and even a bit silently rebellious, which I really appreciated about her character….[D]espite everything she grows into this strong girl determined to win her freedom and show everyone what she is capable of.”

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Wild One is praised by Booktime for being “a cute story” that also “feels and looks” great

Posted on November 8th, 2017 by pajamapress

WildOne_Website“[A] cute story by Burnaby, British Columbia, librarian Jane Whittingham…The illustrations look like they have been done in watercolour, which I love, and the little girl, and the animals she turns into, are realistic and cute. I can see how a child would stretch like a cat or hang like a bat.

What I also like about this book, and Pajama Press does it often, is the actual feel and look of the it. It has nice weight to it, padded cover, rounded corners and extra-heavy paper.”

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Canadian Bookworm says Wild One “will likely become a favourite for little ones”

Posted on November 7th, 2017 by pajamapress

WildOne_Website“This fun picture book shows a young girl going through her day energetically, and compares her escapades with the actions of various animals, from bats to eels….This is a good book for bedtime as well, as it ends with the girl tucked up in bed, ready for sleep….A short, fun read that will likely become a favourite for little ones.”

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