Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘family’

Booktime blogger Lisa Day wonders is she could be “brave enough to simply get in the car and drive” like the sisters do in Road Signs That Say West

Posted on May 11th, 2017 by pajamapress

roadsignsthatsaywest_website“I often wonder if I was brave enough to simply get in the car and drive, if I would have had the adventures sisters Hanna, Claire and Megan had in Road Signs That Say West.

That is not to say their adventures were far-fetched or unlikely, because they certainly were not, I just feel as though I am bit more like Megan – practical and responsible (but less grouchy) or Claire, up for adventure, but who likely wouldn’t do it on her own, then say Hanna, who is spontaneous and free spirited.”

Click here to read the full review

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is “Highly Recommended” by CM Magazine

Posted on April 4th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“…One of the striking things about the characterization of Macy is that she is profoundly deaf, communicating primarily through sign language. Green’s portrayal is highly authentic, and the various interactions Macy experiences are seamlessly introduced.

Both Macy and Ms. Gillan love books, and this connection offers a chance for intergenerational reading. Ms. Gillan responds to Macy’s favourite title, The Tale of Despereaux, just as Macy finds solace in a book of Ms. Gillan’s, Anne of Green Gables….

Told as a verse-novel, in a light yet poignant style similar to Green’s previous title, Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, there is much to admire here including a clear plot line, rich character development, and sudden, incisive humour. In addition, it’s clear that Macy is a young girl living in contemporary times rather than a projection of the author’s own childhood, and the book’s details, including its school and community settings, feel modern and accurate….Choices in formatting enhance readability, extending this book to a wide age and ability range….

Highly Recommended.

Bev Brenna, a literacy professor at the University of Saskatchewan, has 10 published books for young people.

Click here to read the full review

Adrift at Sea will “help shed light on events of the past that share a similarity to those that are happening in the world today” says The Children’s War

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“The plight of refugees have been in the news a lot these days because of the war in Syria. As more and more borders are closed to them, it might be a good time to remember another group of refugees who arrived on North America’s shores and have contributed so much to their adopted country.

When the Vietnam War ended in 1975, and the communist government took over South Vietnam, daily life became so difficult and unbearable that families were willing to risk escaping their country in rickety boats not made for long sea voyages. But these boats were the only way out, unless you were rich….

Adrift at Sea
 is told from Tuan’s point of view, and aimed at readers about the same age as he was when he escaped Vietnam. Such a young narrator may not capture the truly difficult and risky trip in the kind of detail a book for older readers might, but he still very clearly depicts the fear, the hot sun, lack of water, and relief at being rescued at an age appropriate level that any young reader will be able understand.

Skrypuch has included a number photos of the Ho family, both in Vietnam and in Canada. She has also included a brief history of the ‘boat people’ as the refugees came to be called. The refugees faced not only the kinds of problems that the Ho family dealt with, but there were storms, pirates and always the threat of dying of thirst and hunger, and sometimes, they found that they were not welcomed everywhere.

Using a color palette mainly of oranges, yellows and blues, Deines’s highly textured oil on canvas illustrations capture all the secrecy, fear, and perils, all wrapped up in the dangerously hazy, hot, and humid weather that these refugees faced in their desire for freedom and a better life.

Adrift at Sea is a powerful historical nonfiction story that can certainly help shed light on events of the past that share a similarity to those that are happening in the world today.

This book is recommended for readers age 6+”

Click here to read the full review

Elliot is “a powerful book about a difficult subject” says RaisingMom.ca

Posted on March 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

Elliot_WebsiteMY EXPERIENCE:

…I appreciated the way that rabbits are used as anthropomorphic representations, perhaps softening this jarring subject matter. The gouache and pencil drawings are child-like and effectively portray the wide-range of emotions that Elliot feels throughout the course of the hectic back-and-forth of his journey from birth family to foster family and back and forth again until he is placed in his ‘forever home’. I think this is a powerful book about a difficult subject that is an important read-aloud to those kids who are going through similar circumstances as well as any child who knows someone who is being fostered.

LIKES:

  • sensitive discussion/presentation at a kid-friendly level of a very difficult topic
  • focus is on Elliot’s emotions and blame or judgement is not placed on birth parents
  • illustrations are sensitive, gentle, yet effectively explore the range of emotions this journey evokes…

WHY/HOW USE IT WITH KIDS:

  • …excellent read-aloud with children who have friends or classmates who are being fostered to help them understand what may be going on with their peers and what ‘foster care’ means”

Click here to read the full review

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracle is “Recommended” by School Library Connection

Posted on January 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website“Eleven-year-old Bailey and her brother Kevin are spending the summer with grandma Nana Marie while their parents go to Marriage Repair camp….After rescuing a beached dolphin, Bailey realizes that she can resolve some situations by her own actions, but must accept those she has no control over. This title is written in free verse, with dialogue written in italics and spacing used to indicate new voices. All of these techniques enhance the rich descriptions of the ocean setting and present a realistic story to the reader. Recommended.”
—Josie Stanmyre

Read the full review in the January/February 2017 issue of School Library Connection

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles gets a glowing review from Library of Clean Reads

Posted on January 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website“…Written in light and lyrical free verse, Shari Green’s warm and wistful novel brings Bailey face to face with both hard and beautiful truths about growing up and growing into her own ability to shape the world.

…This is the first time I read a book in verse and I simply loved it. Although I no longer read middle grade fiction with my kids (they’re teens now) I will read a middle grade book from time to time if it catches my interest. This one did right from the start….

…I was impressed at how easily the author developed such unforgettable characters using free verse, all while building a great plot with excellent pacing.

I know I would have loved this book as a tween, and I highly recommend it. It’s delightful and poignant and one of my favorite books so far of 2017.”

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

“Naif-styled rabbits” tell the story of adoption, foster care and finding a forever family—Publishers Weekly

Posted on February 17th, 2016 by pajamapress

Elliot_WebsiteElliot– a young rabbit with a tendency to cry, yell, and misbehave– moves between several homes in this story of adoption, foster care, and finding a “forever family.” Debut author Pearson never blames Elliot for his behavior (it’s unclear if he’s meant to have a developmental disorder), instead focusing on his parents’ inability to understand their son. After Elliot’s parents seek help, he is sent to live temporarily with an unfamiliar but loving family. Elliot later returns to his parents, but this proves short-lived; following a stint with a second foster family, Elliot is told that his parents could never take care of him, because they did not know how. A muted palette of gray, blue, and manila reflects the somber, uncertain mood, and Gauthier’s (“Magic Little Words”) naif-styled rabbits resemble cutout paper dolls dropped into the scenes, suggestive of the way Elliot is shuttled around. Elliot eventually finds a family that understands him, and while the book’s somewhat oblique language may require supplemental explanation from adult readers, Pearson’s refusal to sugarcoat his journey should resonate with children in similar situations.Publishers Weekly

Click here to read the full review: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-927485-85-9

Bear on the Homefront Launch at the Canadian War Museum

Posted on February 17th, 2015 by pajamapress

Bear on the Homefront by Stephanie Innes and Harry Endrulat, illustrated by Brian DeinesThis winter, Teddy, the famous stuffed bear who travelled to the front lines of World War I and back again, received a new home in the Canadian War Museum’s newly renovated “Homefront” exhibit. Teddy’s World War I exploits are recorded in the picture book A Bear in War.

On Sunday, March 15th, a new book about Teddy’s World War II experience, Bear on the Homefront, will be launched at the Canadian War Museum. Children and their families can join co-author Stephanie Innes and illustrator Brian Deines for a book reading, art display, craft activity, and book signing. The event gets underway at 10:00 a.m.

In Bear on the Homefront, Teddy helps English guest children travel to host families on the Canadian home front during the Second World War. When two homesick children need a friend, Teddy bravely leaves his beloved Aileen to comfort them. But the war seems endless. Will Teddy and the children ever return to their homes again?

You can find more information about the Bear on the Homefront launch on the Canadian War Museum website.

 

A Brush Full of Colour at the North York Central Library

Posted on November 19th, 2014 by pajamapress

On November 15th, about fifty parents and children gathered at the North York Central Library to hear author Margriet Ruurs talk about the life and art of iconic Canadian painter Ted Harrison. After an engaging presentation, Margriet signed the library’s copies of the picture book biography she recently co-authored, A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison, and settled in to join the families in making art inspired by Harrison’s colourful style.

Click here to see our digital gallery of the beautiful Harrison-style drawings and colouring pages created at this event.

BrushTableErinBookMargrietRavensMargrietMapLibraryDisplayMargrietPresenting   GirlDrawing2 GirlGrinning2  MargrietBoySigningMargrietTreeColouringMargrietBoysLaughing GirlDrawing1 MargrietColouringBoys1

 

 

This event was made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. OMDC-Web