Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘diverse-books’

Small Things is “a must-have, one-of-a-kind addition to every school library and home collection” says CM Magazine

Posted on April 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

SmallThings_Website“Every once in a while, we are privileged with the gift of holding in our hands truly unique and emotionally riveting books which have the capacity to leave permanent footprints etched in the heart. Mel Tregonning’s Small Things is, undeniably, one of those books. While Tregonning’s untimely passing in 2014 has resulted in her being unable to physically witness the impact that her work has had on so many lives, it is safe to say that the legacy she has left behind in Small Things will continue to inspire and promote awareness for years to come….

Sadly, Tregonning was unable to see her project to its entirety, and, therefore, the final illustrations of the book were completed by renowned illustrator Shaun Tan who has forever redefined the genre of children’s literature with his creative, wordless vision and masterful life-like illustrations through such influential books as The Arrival. The similarities between Tregonning’s and Tan’s work are uncanny, and their mutual use of black and white and intricate shading techniques results in an extraordinarily realistic and haunting visual depiction of the actions and emotions of their characters. While evidently unforeseen, this chance merger of two such prolific illustrators of our time has resulted in a wordless masterpiece that, like The Arrival, effortlessly taps into the rawness of the human experience.

In Small Things, the author seems to speak to us from beyond the pages with a poignant reminder that no one is ever truly alone in their internal battles. Furthermore, Tregonning’s young protagonist acts as an example of the newfound hope and healing that can progressively emerge from confiding in others during life’s more challenging phases. Perhaps what makes this book most appealing is its relatability. Readers of all ages will be able to associate with the examples of daily stresses and worries that make us vulnerable and, at times, chip away at the soul, leaving temporary cracks for the light to escape. This beautifully depicted textless narrative which effectively honours not only the life of Tregonning, herself, but also the lives of all those who have been impacted by struggles with mental health, is a must-have, one-of-a-kind addition to every school library and home collection.

Highly Recommended.
—Christina Quintiliani is an Ontario Certified Teacher and Ph.D. Candidate at the Faculty of Education, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON., where she is researching children’s literature.

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“Using Lauren’s voice to tell her story gives it an immediacy and honesty” says Sal’s Fiction Addiction of Slug Days

Posted on April 7th, 2018 by pajamapress

SlugDays_Website“Using Lauren’s voice to tell her story gives it an immediacy and honesty that make it easier for readers to feel the frustrations she sees in her world. Those slug days are hampered by outbursts, confusion, and a lack of patience all around. Lauren also experiences butterfly days when many things go right – her teachers, the kids at school, and her family enjoy her humor, her growing ability to communicate and find joy in some activities….This perceptive and sensitive tale chronicles a week in the life of a young, determined girl who thinks differently than many others. She is learning and we are learning with her.”

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Raising Mom says Wild One “beg[s] to be read aloud and acted out”

Posted on March 28th, 2018 by pajamapress

WildOne_Website“The delightful watercolour illustrations draw the reader (or young child) into the story, and the action is enhanced by the simple rhyming couplets. The story is a celebration of childhood and all the uninhibited movement and excitement that being a young child brings….The simple, yet carefully crafted lines are rhythmic and just beg to be read aloud and acted out….

My three youngsters (aged 3, 3, & 4) really loved acting out the animals mentioned in this book. It is a great bedtime round-up book to start our process into settling down for sleep. They were eager to gather to act out and make the sounds of the animals and worked the last of their wiggles (and giggles!) out in preparation for our next (quieter) book before songs, prayers and lights out. The last animal depicted is a bear, snuggling in for the night, and at this point in the story I have the kids jump into bed and mimic the snuggling. In the weeks that we’ve had this new title, they have each asked for it to be read umpteen times – a sure sign of a fave book.”
—Erin

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Kiss the Book calls Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess “A great story of empathy”

Posted on February 28th, 2018 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“This book in verse is the middle school Schneider Award winner, and is a sweet read. Full of lessons learned from people Iris has met as well as books she has read, this is full of titles named dropped (I love books that do that)! A quick read for either the upper elementary or middle school student. I love the diversity – yes, Macy is deaf, but the disability doesn’t drive the story. A great story of empathy.”

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CM Magazine calls Where's Bunny? “an ideal bedtime book”

Posted on February 27th, 2018 by pajamapress

WheresBunny_Website“Told with sparse language, Where’s Bunny? will appeal to the very young. Its soothing pace makes it an ideal bedtime book. It includes supplementary material – a bedtime checklist and a “clean teeth” checklist….The illustrations are simple, interesting, and cheerful, with an emphasis toward the blue range of the colour spectrum. The children have happy expressions, even during times of potential strife, such as brushing teeth or saying goodnight (as any parent could attest to!). Refreshing, too, is the depiction of children of colour.

Young children are sure to be soothed by the content, pace, and illustration of Where’s Bunny?

Highly Recommended.
—Roxy Garstad is the Collections Librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.

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Children’s Books Heal calls The Theory of Hummingbirds “a powerful and captivating story”

Posted on February 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“Why I like this book: Michelle Kadarusman has crafted a richly textured story about [Alba], who has a leg that is directionally challenged. It is a powerful and captivating story about differences and abilities and ‘learning to love who you are and what you can do.’ It is emotionally honest and filled with heart.

It is important for readers to see themselves in realistic characters like [Alba]….

The author’s use of hummingbirds as a poignant metaphor to help Alba embrace her life in a meaningful way and pursue her big dream. ‘Hummingbirds don’t sit around moaning about their tiny feet and that they can’t walk,’ she says. Like [Alba], the author was born with talipes equinovarus (CTEV), more commonly called club foot.

The plot is paced well with the perfect amount of tension to keep readers intrigued, engaged and guessing.  This is an excellent book for any school library.”

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ILA Literacy Daily selects When the Rain Comes among other books that represent “Cultural Diversity in Children’s and Young Adult Literature”

Posted on February 12th, 2018 by pajamapress

WhenRainComes_website“Rendered in pencil and watercolor, the illustrations depict the drama and danger of the wind, driving rain, and Malini’s effort to protect the rice seedlings and soothe the ox.”

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Hit or Miss Books compliments the “absolutely gorgeous and, surprisingly, lyrical [illustrations]” in When the Rain Comes

Posted on February 10th, 2018 by pajamapress

WhenRainComes_website“The moods of Sri Lanka’s rainy season come alive as Kim La Fave, illustrator of the award-winning Shin Chi’s Canoe, uses a fresh style that is both contemporary and impressionistic to depict the courage of one little girl facing the power of a flash flood….

The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and, surprisingly, lyrical. The writing is, too, but even without words, this book would still be fairly easy to understand as well as moving.”

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Midwest Book Review says Baby Cakes “is especially recommended for children ages 1 to 3″

Posted on February 7th, 2018 by pajamapress

BabyCakes_Website“Told in simple text by Theo Heras, charmingly illustrated on every page by Renne Benoit, and delivered in a sturdy, padded cover with stronger pages that are perfect for little hands, Baby Cakes…is especially recommended for children ages 1 to 3, making it appropriate for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library collections.”

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In a Cloud of Dust is one of Matthew Winner’s top ten picks for books for Universal Human Rights month

Posted on February 7th, 2018 by pajamapress

homecover-in-a-cloud“This look at an experience foreign to most readers in the United States hits on some easy-to-spot universals of children around the world, including the experience of learning, of disappointment, and of playing with friends.”

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