Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘diverse-books’

Canadian Children's Book News calls The Theory of Hummingbirds an "endearing story"

Posted on June 18th, 2018 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“In her first middle grade novel, author Michelle Kadarusman skilfully uses emotional honesty to capture the turmoil of not fitting in and the hard journey to acceptance in terms children can easily understand. Alba’s spirited nature keeps her afloat through the tough times having a clubfoot has caused, but she is not immune to wanting to be like her classmates, or dreaming of breaking free from her disability.

Alba and Levi’s friendship is a joy to read about. Able to ground each other when needed, they also support putting aside skepticism and doubt for the sake of the other….Drawing on a tale from Peru, Kadarusman ends The Theory of Hummingbirds with the constructive message that all we can do is what we can do. Even a hummingbird dropping beads of water on a raging fire makes a difference, and Alba’s endearing story is sure to change readers as well.”
—Amy Mathers

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Midwest Book Review “unreservedly recommend[s]” Where's Bunny? for daycare and preschool collections

Posted on June 3rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Where's Bunny? Author: Theo Heras Illustrator: Renné Benoit Publisher: Pajama Press“Humor, helpfulness, and heart combine as Baby’s big sister helps to see him – and, of course, his stuffed bunny – through the nighttime routine from bath to bed. Little listeners ages 1 to 3 will connect with familiar sensory language of warm, tickly water and blanket snuggles, and they will be able to enjoy it time and again in this study-format…Where’s Bunny? will make bedtime a happy time for the whole family and is unreservedly recommended for daycare center and preschool collections.”

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Where's Bunny? “is a great choice for little ones” says Canadian Bookworm

Posted on June 2nd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Where's Bunny? Author: Theo Heras Illustrator: Renné Benoit Publisher: Pajama Press“At various points in the book, the question “Where’s bunny?” is asked, and each time this is asked, there is an opportunity to look for the bunny in the drawing on that page. Most children have a stuffy of some kind that is a favourite bedtime pal, and this let’s that be part of the ritual as well….Bedtime books are a great way to introduce routine to children, and make getting ready for bed a pleasant time….I also liked that the book showed diversity without being about diversity.

This book is a great choice for little ones.”

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Small Things “offers a significant potential gift: understanding, and the possibility of recovery” says The Times Literary Supplement

Posted on May 11th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Small Things Author: Mel Tregonning Publisher: Pajama Press“When giving children books, well-meaning adults may feel impelled to offer challenge, too – opting for text-dense vocabulary boosters at the reader’s diagnosed level, with the difficulty ramped up a little for luck. However gentle, though, this sort of nudge is not an unalloyed blessing. It may pluck children out of storylines in which they were ecstatically resident; deny them the elegant plotting of a well-turned mystery, the satisfying structure of a pony story or the terseness of a comic adventure….

A frequent casualty of the utilitarian focus on advancement and sheer length is illustration, and the reader’s respect for it. The children told “You’re too old for picture books” are not only banished abruptly from an enchanted kingdom. They are also held back from winkling out images’ stored secrets of detail, and from learning the artist’s language of window-frame, colour, light, shade, emphasis, the single line that communicates mood, or loss, or season – everything we mean by “visual literacy”. Sophisticated, demanding concepts may also be com­municated, via illustration, to readers unable or unwilling as yet to parse the complex language required.

Small Things, a wordless graphic novel by Mel Tregonning, and finished, after her death, by Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin), is an extra­ordinary example: an illustrated book that communicates difficult, painful ideas solely via intricate monochrome graphite drawings….[T]o the ten- or twelve-year-old besieged by incipient anxiety or depression it offers a ­significant potential gift: understanding, and the possibility of recovery….The image of a small, vulnerable body breaking down by degrees, while deeply discomfiting, honours the weight of what it conveys; and the book as a whole celebrates the helpfulness of uncon­ditional love, while successfully avoiding a superficial, unduly swift resolution….”

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Slug Days is included in A Mighty Girl‘s list of “20 Books About Autistic Mighty Girls”

Posted on April 30th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Slug Days Author: Sara LEach Illustrator: Rebecca Bender Publisher: Pajama Press“Author Sara Leach’s experience teaching kids with ASD allows her to create a realistic portrayal of life through their eyes. This empathetic chapter book, filled with black and white illustrations on nearly every page, is perfect for sparking conversation with elementary school children about understanding and embracing differences.”

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Ben and the Scaredy-Dog “offers a surprising perspective on overcoming one’s fears” says Resource Links Magazine

Posted on April 26th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Ben and the Scaredy-Dog Author: Sarah Ellis Illustrator: Kim La Fave Publisher: Pajama Press“Rating: E…Ben and the Scaredy-Dog offers a surprising perspective on overcoming one’s fears. As we see Ben be brave we also see another character overcome his own fears.

Readers of all ages will enjoy this relatable and fresh story constructed in short, effective prose….La Fave’s colourful yet airy illustrations depict diverse characters and allow for the readers’ own experiences and imagination to fill in the setting. A fun read!

Thematic Links: Fear in Children; Fear in Animals; Dogs; Animals; Friendship; Bravery; New Experiences”
—Ana Malespin

Read the full review on page 4 of the April 2018 issue of Resource Links Magazine

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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