Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘bullying’

Imagination Soup encourages French Toast as a “book to talk about differences, similarities, and kindness”

Posted on June 23rd, 2017 by pajamapress

FrenchToast_Website“Phoebe’s grandmother, Nan-Ma, helps her talk out why the kids call her ‘French Toast’ then helps Phoebe celebrate her own skin tone as well as the variety of skin tones in her Jamaican, French-Canadian family using with beautiful food metaphors. Use this book to talk about differences, similarities, and kindness.”

Click here to read the full list “New Stories for the Readers on Your Lap”

Youth Services Book Review says French Toast “would be a good addition to a multi-cultural library”

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 by pajamapress

FrenchToast_WebsiteRating: (1-5, 5 is an excellent or starred review) 4

What did you like about the book? This is a beautiful book about a little girl who is half Jamaican and half French Canadian….The illustrations are wonderful and the descriptions of the food are perfect.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I liked everything about this book.

To Whom Would You Recommend this book? This is recommended for children ages 4-7. It would be a good addition to a multi-cultural library. Kindergarten children will also enjoy the story read aloud to them. It will stimulate discussion on race.

Who should buy this book? This would be good for elementary school libraries and public libraries that have a children’s section….

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes”
Sandra Pacheco ESL teacher, Washington, D.C.

Click here to read the full review

“The author [of French Toast] explains the concept of diversity in a positive life affirming way” says Resource Links

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 by pajamapress

FrenchToast_Website“…A gentle loving explanation of how everyone has different skin tones expressed in warm delicious ways. Bullying is part of the story but Phoebe’s approach of not letting her bullies know that their nickname bothers her helps to defuse any power they have over her.

The illustrations are beautiful and the illustrator does beautiful portraits of his characters using digital media and acrylic….The author explains the concept of diversity in a positive life affirming way that children and adults will appreciate.”

Thematic Links: Grandmothers; Self-esteem; Bullying; Racially Mixed People; Identity; Diversity; Immigration; Blindness
—Isobel Lang

Read the full review on page 12 of the February 2017 issue of Resource Links

French Toast gets a positive review from The International Educator

Posted on February 21st, 2017 by pajamapress

FrenchToast_Website“When you are blind, you don’t see skin color and you truly know that everyone is the same. Phoebe doesn’t like it when kids from school call ‘Hey, French Toast!’ or tease her for her accent. Her Nan-ma is blind and asks Phoebe to describe the colors of family and friends. Their talk helps Phoebe to look at things in a different light. …Phoebe discovers that Nan-ma doesn’t even know her own skin color until she tells her it is like maple syrup. Suddenly being called French Toast isn’t so bad anymore…”

The International Educator gives French Toast a positive review

Posted on February 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

FrenchToast_Website“When you are blind, you don’t see skin color and you truly know that everyone is the same. Phoebe doesn’t like it when kids from school call ‘Hey, French Toast!’ or tease her for her accent. Her Nan-ma is blind and asks Phoebe to describe the colors of family and friends. Their talk helps Phoebe to look at things in a different light.…Phoebe discovers that Nan-ma doesn’t even know her own skin color until she tells her it is like maple syrup. Suddenly being called French Toast isn’t so bad anymore…”

Read the full review on page 40 of the February 2017 issue of The International Educator

Winnipeg Free Press recommends French Toast as a gift for young readers this holiday season

Posted on December 16th, 2016 by pajamapress

FrenchToast_Website“This is a delightful picture book from an Ontario writer that celebrates the joys of diversity….Montreal artist François Tisdale’s illustrations, in warm brown colours of honey and maple syrup, help make this little book delicious.”

Click here to read the full article

French Toast “feeds the spirit and bakes up multiple servings of compassion and open-mindedness” says CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on December 16th, 2016 by pajamapress

FrenchToast_Website“…French Toast starts out as less about the food and more about labelling but Kari-Lynn Winters, with illustrator François Thisdale, turns the story around to be about the goodness of food and relationships that nourish us. Kari-Lynn Winters…impresses with her splendid foray into understanding and acceptance of skin colour, diversity and multiculturalism (Phoebe’s family is Haitian) and one that warms the heart and fills the belly with virtue and affection.

…François Thisdale, whose artwork is a magical blend of drawing and painting with digital imagery, balances the reality of Phoebe and her grandmother’s relationship and emotional situations with a dream-like landscape. His colours and textures fuse so many elements that the book becomes more art than merely a child’s picture book. And then there are the images of glorious food that cultivate nourishment for the soul, inspiring Phoebe and her grandmother, and anyone who reads the book, to see family and skin colour from a fresh perspective.

French toast may not be part of your holiday buffet but French Toast should definitely be on everyone’s bookshelf and story-telling list for the holidays and every day of the year when acceptance is vital i.e., always. It feeds the spirit and bakes up multiple servings of compassion and open-mindedness, helpings we should all scoop out enthusiastically.”

Click here to read the full review

French Toast “that lets you explore a sophisticated topic in a way that is helpful and positive” says Getting Kids Reading

Posted on November 29th, 2016 by pajamapress

FrenchToast_WebsiteFrench Toast is a delicious treat of a picture book that lets you explore a sophisticated topic in a way that is helpful and positive, but not simplistic….

This is a slow unravelling of racism and bullying and how we see ourselves. A slow unravelling, as only the best picture books can do. French Toast is a meal you will want to go back to, and savour with your child, again and again. You will get something different from it each time you share it.

The illustrations, by François Thisdale, are warm and, while they seem perfectly normal on first glance, are surprisingly, deliciously, quirky (often, for instance, the sizes of things are just a bit — or sometimes a lot — out of scale). Stunning. And the text flows like warm maple syrup. French Toast will warm you up. (Okay, I’m done with the extended food metaphor — plus, now I’m hungry.)…

Disclaimer: I know Kari-Lynn personally. (But that’s definitely not why I wrote this, and I believe it didn’t affect my review. This is a truly stunning picture book that I highly recommend.)”
—Joyce Grant

Click here to read the full review

Nix Minus One and Pink Shirt Day

Posted on February 28th, 2013 by pajamapress

Yesterday was Pink Shirt Day in Canada. To promote the anti-bullying campaign, Lost in a Great Book reviewed Creeps and Nix Minus One, both YA novels with a bullying thread. Here is what the reviewer had to say about Nix Minus One:

Nix Minus One by the remarkable Jill MacLean tells us about Nix, a boy in rural Nova Scotia who is trying to find his place in the world. Nix used to be ‘the fat kid’ – the one that everyone teased – and while he may have lost weight, he still faces his bully every day. Things are a little better for Nix, but he still feels set apart from his peers, preferring to work in his father’s wood shop or to slowly build a connection with a neighbour’s abused dog instead of doing things with his classmates. Nix is a normal teen with realistic responses; when catastrophe strikes, he deals with his anger and grief in completely logical ways although it’s painful to read. MacLean writes teen boys incredibly well – last year’s Red Maple selection, Home Truths from the perspective of a school bully was equally as poignant, but with Nix she has gone even further, creating a wounded boy who seeks friendship and solace in alternative ways because he has been so badly burned before. The book is also written in free verse, lending a sense of lyricism to the narrative, and you quickly fall into Nix’s thoughts. There’s more to the story than just this plotline, but the bullying is an integral part of who Nix has become.”

Click here to view the full post.