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Uncertain Soldier wins the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People

Posted on November 18th, 2016 by pajamapress

We are thrilled to extend our congratulations to Karen Bass, author of Uncertain Soldier. This suspenseful YA novel, set in northern Alberta during World War II, has won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. This is Bass’ second Geoffrey Bilson Award win, and this is Pajama Press’ third year in a row to see a title win the award.

Karen Bass accepted this prestigious award Thursday night at the 12th annual TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards celebration. Hosted at The Carlu in Toronto, this gala is a highlight of the publishing year in the Canadian children’s book industry. The Geoffrey Bilson Award, named for a Canadian author and history professor, is one of six major prizes awarded at the gala each year. This is the first award win for Uncertain Soldier, which was nominated for the 2016 Forest of Reading Red Maple Award, and the 2016 IODE Violet Downey Book Award.

Pajama Press is proud to mention that Bass’s most recent release, The Hill, is a 2016 White Ravens Selection. Other accolades for The Hill include a 2016 Junior Library Guild Selection, and a 2017 Forest of Reading Red Maple Award nomination. We are also excited to announce Two Times a Traitor, a new Middle Grade novel by Karen Bass to be published in the fall of 2017.

Pajama Press would also like to congratulate Michelle Barker and Renné Benoit for their nomination for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for A Year of Borrowed MenAlma Fullerton and Brian Deines for their nomination for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award for In a Cloud of Dust, and all the other award nominees and winners of the evening. Our nominated titles were in such good company; it is truly an honour to be recognized alongside some of the best books in the country. Special congratulations to Melanie Florence and François Thisdale for winning the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for Missing Nimâmâ.

Pajama Press thanks the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and TD Bank for their continued dedication to children’s literacy in Canada.

Three Pajama Press titles nominated for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

Posted on September 8th, 2016 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is thrilled to announce that three of our titles have been nominated for the 2016 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards.

A Year of Borrowed Men, written by Michelle Barker and illustrated by Renné Benoit, has been nominated for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

AYearOfBorrowedMen_WebsiteThe picture book, which is written from the WWII memories of Michelle’s mother Gerda, celebrates the ability for humanity to win out over hostility during a dark time in world history. Gerda’s father has been conscripted into the German army, and the “borrowed men” sent to work the family’s farm in his place are prisoners of war forced to labour in their enemy’s homeland. Still, the seven-year-old girl finds small ways to defy authority and build a forbidden friendship. This book has also been nominated for the 2017 Chocolate Lily Book Award.

In a Cloud of Dust, written by Alma Fullerton and illustrated by Brian Deines, has been nominated for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award.

homecover-in-a-cloudIn this picture book set in Tanzania, a young girl named Anna is determined to get an education in spite of the long walk that leaves her no daylight in which to do homework at the end of the day. Working through the lunch hour instead, she misses a visit from the bicycle library. Luckily, her compassionate classmates find a solution that lets everyone get home faster than ever before. In a Cloud of Dust has previously won the Rainforest of Reading Award, been nominated for the Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award, and been a Foreword Reviews Best Children’s Books of Fall 2015 selection.

 

Uncertain Soldier by Karen Bass has been nominated for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

UncertainSoldier_InternetUncertain Soldier is a suspenseful YA novel about a WWII prisoner of war struggling with conflicting loyalties. All his life Erich has learned that keeping his head down is the best way to avoid trouble. But when his silence could cost a friend dearly, it may be time to stand up at last. Uncertain Soldier has previously been nominated for the IODE Violet Downey Book Award and the Forest or Reading Red Maple Award. In 2014, author Karen Bass won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for her novel Graffiti Knight.

From the Canadian Children’s Book Centre press release:

“The nominated books exemplify some of the very best work by Canadian authors and illustrators across the country. The winners of the English-language awards will be announced at an invitation-only gala event at The Carlu in Toronto on November 17, 2016. The winners of the Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse will be announced at an invitation-only gala at Le Winsor in Montreal on November 1, 2016. Overall, $135,000 in prize monies will be awarded.

This year, TD and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre are once again partnering with CBC/Radio-Canada to present the Fan Choice Award/Choix du public littérature jeunesse. Young readers are invited to choose their favourite book from the titles shortlsited for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse. The awards will be presented to the winning authors at the Toronto and Montreal galas.”

Click here to read the full press release and the lists of nominees.

For more information about these awards, please visit the Canadian Children’s Book Centre website.

 

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CCBC Interviews Suzanne Del Rizzo

Posted on June 1st, 2016 by pajamapress

CCBC has interviewed Suzanne Del Rizzo, the illustrator of Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates, for their June 2016 newsletter. She discusses how she became an illustrator, her creative process, the books she and her kids are loving just now, and what’s next for her.
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SkyPig_WebsiteSky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie.”

Click here to read the rest of the review.

Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator

Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator

Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator
Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator

Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator
Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. – See more at: https://bookcentre.ca/publications/newsletter/june-2016/#illustrator”

Dance of the Banished wins the Geoffrey Bilson Award

Posted on November 19th, 2015 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_websitePajama Press is honoured to celebrate a win for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People for the second year in a row. Dance of the Banished by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch received the award on November 18th at the Canadian Children’s Literature Awards Gala at the Carlu in Toronto.

“In Canada we are writing fantastic historical fiction for kids,” Skrypuch said, speaking in particular to her fellow finalists Patrick Bowman (Arrow Through the Axes, Ronsdale Press) and Caroline Pignat (The Gospel Truth, Red Deer Press and Unspeakable, Razorbill Canada).

This is not the first award for Skrypuch, who has written more than a dozen historical picture books, chapter books, and juvenile and young adult novels. In these books. as in Dance of the Banished, Skrypuch employed her exceptional research skills to bring to light aspects of history that are little known or understood.

A second Pajama Press title was also a finalist for an award at the gala. A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison was shortlisted for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for the most distinguished English-language Canadian children’s book of the year. This picture book biography, co-written by Margriet Ruurs and Katherine Gibson and illustrated with Ted Harrison’s own art, details the artist’s life from his childhood in an English coal mining town to his final home in British Columbia. It recently won the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award and is nominated for several more, including the Forest of Reading Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award. A Brush Full of Colour is published under the Ann Featherstone imprint.

Pajama Press extends warm congratulations to our talented authors, and appreciation to the TD Bank Group and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for their administration of these awards.

Four Pajama Press Authors on the 2016 TD Book Week Tour

Posted on September 1st, 2015 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is excited to announce that four of our authors and author/illustrators will be touring as part of TD Canadian Children’s Book Week 2016.

R.Bender

Rebecca Bender, author and illustrator of the Giraffe and Bird books and illustrator of Peach Girl by Raymond Nakamura

Wallace Edwards, author and illustrator of the forthcoming Once Upon a Line

S.Ellis.website

Sarah Ellis, author of A+ for Big Ben and Ben Says Goodbye

M.Ruurs_Cropped_RGB

Margriet Ruurs, co-author of A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison

TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is an annual festival that celebrates Canadian children’s books and the importance of reading. This year 30 authors, illustrators, and storytellers will travel to events in every province and territory, presenting to over 28,000 participants.

Visit the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the  TD Book Week website to learn more.

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

Four Pajama Press books selected in Best Books for Kids & Teens

Posted on November 21st, 2014 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is pleased to congratulate the authors of four of our Spring 2014 titles on being selected for the Fall 2014 edition of Best Books for Kids & Teens.

MoonAtNine_C_Oct5.inddStarred Selection: Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis

RevengeFly_C_Dec5.inddStarred Selection: Revenge on the Fly by Sylvia McNicoll

WhenEmilyCarrMetWoo_RGB_72dpiWhen Emily Carr Met Woowritten by Monica Kulling and illustrated by Dean Griffiths

Skydiver_C_Dec5.inddSkydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World written and illustrated by Celia Godkin

 

Best Books for Kids & Teens  is a publication of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Click here to learn more.

Canadian Children’s Book News Recommends Bear on the Homefront

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-res“This is the second picture book about a teddy bear’s adventure created by the team of Stephanie Innes, Harry Endrulat and Brian Deines. The first book, A Bear in War, follows the adventures of a teddy bear on the front lines during World War I. In this second book, Bear on the Homefront, the reader follows this same teddy bear’s adventures, except the story takes place on the homefront during World War II.

During the second World War, as a result of the heavy bombings, many English children were shipped to allied countries to keep them safe. In Bear on the Homefront, Grace and William Chambers are sent to Canada to live with a family on their farm in Winnipeg. In Halifax, they are met by a nurse named Aileen Rogers, who accompanies them on their journey. To help alleviate the fear and stress the children are feeling, Aileen gives them her beloved teddy bear to comfort them while they’re in Canada. The teddy bear recounts the events that happen during his time with the children until he is returned to Aileen once again.

The story is created using events from Aileen Rogers’ diary and making her real-life teddy bear the narrator. Giving the teddy bear a voice and telling the story from his perspective makes the book more appealing to young readers and enables parents and educators to introduce history in an interesting way. The book can also be used with older readers as a means of introducing some of the events that occurred in World War II and providing further opportunities for children to research the events and facts for the time period presented in the text.

The beautiful and calming illustrations by Brian Deines enhance the text and hold the reader’s attention. Bear on the Homefront is a wonderful way to introduce children to history. It can be used to generate discussions about feelings that accompany life changes and to encourage children to seek out further information about world history.”
—Delia Cipollone Antonacci is a Professor in the Library and Information Technician Program, Seneca College

The Stowaways and Graffiti Knight shortlisted for Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

Posted on September 4th, 2014 by pajamapress

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre announced the finalists for its 2014 children’s literature awards in a press release last night. Pajama Press congratulates Karen Bass, author of Graffiti Knight, and Meghan Marentette, author of The Stowaways, for their nominations to these auspicious awards.

GraffitiKnight_MedGraffiti Knight is a finalist for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. The jury said, “The clash between the Soviet victors and the German people after World War II is masterfully captured in this exciting story of a teen in Berlin [sic] who deals with uncertainty at home and school by challenging his city’s new social order… Bass has created a character that engages readers with his anger, compassion and remorse… A well written and intriguing book possessing strong plot, characters and themes within a historical context.”

 

TheStowaways_C_July14.inddThe Stowaways is a finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy. The jury said, “Meghan Marentette has written a book ripe for reading aloud and sharing with the family… The Stowaways most importantly reminds us of the thrill and joy — and even the necessity — of adventure… Endearing characters, themes of innovation, adventure and courage, and a beautiful package combine to destine this charming animal fantasy to become a Canadian classic.”

The winners will be announced at the awards given at the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards gala in Toronto on November 6.

Revenge on the Fly featured in Canadian Children’s Book News’ “All Kinds of Friendship”

Posted on July 23rd, 2014 by pajamapress

RevengeFly_C_Dec5.indd“The world of 1912 may seem completely different but is equally captivating in Sylvia McNicoll’s Revenge on the Fly. It is late spring when young Will Alton and his father arrive in Hamilton. Poor immigrants, Will and his father have journeyed from Ireland where mother and baby sister were taken by disease. Will is heartsick and struggles against the discrimination he and his father face as poor Irish newcomers. Not long after his arrival, his school is visited by Dr. Roberts, Hamilton’s public health officer. The lowly fly, he tells his students, is responsible for spreading germs that cause disease and so much death. The local paper is sponsoring a fly-catching contest with a top prize of $50. Kill flies and stop the spread of disease, he exhorts Will’s class. It is a message that Will latches onto with deadly seriousness, and he is galvanized into action. Perhaps it was the dreaded fly that was responsible for the deaths of his mother and sister. He is determined to win the competition to avenge them and so he can give the money to his father to better their situation.

The contest pits Will against Fred Leckie, a particularly nasty and privileged classmate. Fred will do anything to win, including paying off peers with orange segments (a juicy detail) to bring him their flies. Will struggles to beat Fred on his own, but it is when two unlikely girls befriend him that Will actually starts to have a fighting chance. Wealthy and kind Rebecca has no time for the likes of Fred Leckie and believes in Will, seeing beyond their socio-economic differences. She forces Will to question his motives for entering the contest and gently pushed him to consider some of his actions. Ginny is poor and belligerent, a prickly friend who decides to help Will win the contest. Ignoring her rough exterior, Will likes her spunk and devotion to her younger siblings. “And Ginny…seemed as tough as a horseshoe, her loyalty made her gentle and kind, just in a different way than Rebecca.” The friendship of both girls helps Will to understand that winning is not everything, and that true friends are far better than friends bought and paid for.

Vividly narrating the story in Will’s voice, McNicoll brings this intriguing bit of Canadian history to life, deftly weaving rich historical detail into the tale, immersing young readers in the sights, sounds and smells of early 20th century Hamilton. Will’s struggles with friendship and against bullies is timeless, and young readers will be cheering for him all the way.”

– Tracey Schindler

Learn more about Canadian Children’s Book News here.