Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘picture-books’

Youth Services Book Review gives Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night a 5 star review!

Posted on July 23rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night Author: Rob LaidlawRating: 1-5: (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? For a fairly slim volume (48 p.), this book contains so much information about bats! Taking a global perspective, Laidlaw presents details about a surprising number of the 1,300 species of bats that exist, including physical characteristics, habitats, raising their young, threats, and the benefits of preserving a healthy bat population….

To whom would you recommend this book? Recommended both as a topic for animal-related research projects and for display at Halloween time for readers in upper elementary and middle school. For additional batty information aimed at this age group, pair with Bat Scientists from the Scientists in the Field series or Hanging with Bats by Karen Taschek….

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Top half of the pile if non-fiction animal topics interest you, but don’t be surprised if you wind up putting up bat boxes in your backyard afterwards.”
—Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Click here to read the full review

Fab Book Reviews calls Sun Dog “a gorgeous picture book”

Posted on July 16th, 2018 by pajamapress

SunDog_Website“Kerbel’s writing is so fluid and measured; while so much activity happens over the course of the picture book, Kerbel’s writing is focused, utterly inviting, and perfectly action-packed (yet not frightening for younger readers) when the climactic action occurs. Del Rizzo’s clay and acrylic art is so meticulously detailed and dynamic (from larger scenery to the smallest particulars)- I am in awe. There is one spread in particular in Sun Dog featuring the story’s polar bear that is incredible- quite a work of art….The combination of Kerbel’s storytelling and Del Rizzo’s art make for terrific reading, and I hope we get to see further collaborations from the duo.

Overall, what a gorgeous picture book! With a terrific combination of warmth, playfulness and love, and moments of excitement and danger that lead to a sunny ending, Sun Dog is sure to please readers and/or an audience of young and old.  With such appealing and vibrant art, and a beautifully written, well-paced story, Sun Dog would make for great read aloud material (for preschool ages and up), as well as for quiet reading and sharing.”

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Resource Links calls Wash On! "very imaginative"

Posted on July 4th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Wash On! Author: Michèle Marineau Illustrator: Manon Gauthier Translator: Erin Woods Publisher: Pajama Press“The story is diverting and very imaginative. The award winning author has created an energetic romp with a likeable but naughty heroine whom children will relate to. The illustrations are mixed media. Children will revel in the chaotic nonsense.”
—Isobel Lang

Read the full review on page 5 of the June 2018 issue of Resource Links Magazine

Resource Links rates Sun Dog as an Excellent picture book in the June 2018 issue

Posted on June 15th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Sun Dog Author: Deborah Kerbel Illustrator: Suzanne Del Rizzo Publisher: Pajama Press“Rating: E…

The story is very exciting and full of local colour. The amazing illustrations are done with polymer clay and acrylic paint. They are beautifully rendered in wonderful colours and textures. They reflect the puppy nature and local scenery with great affection.

This book could possibly be an award winner!”

Thematic Links: Sled Dogs; Arctic Circle; Tundra; Courage
—Isobel Lang

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

"Best Pirate is a rollicking good tale" says San Francisco Book Review

Posted on June 11th, 2018 by pajamapress

BestPirate_WebsiteBest Pirate is a rollicking good tale that takes readers across the seas and to a mysterious island to find a fabled treasure. And while it is a tale of young pirate Augusta’s bravery and daring, it is also one of quick thinking and unexpected kindness….

Detailed, full color illustrations bring the story to life and immerse readers into the various lush settings….Young readers will love the fast-paced story, the beautiful pictures, and the read-aloud fun of the pirate dialect.”

Click here to read the full review

Sun Dog is “a beautifully illustrated, impeccably written tale” says Storytime with Stephanie

Posted on June 7th, 2018 by pajamapress

SunDog_WebsiteSun Dog by Deborah Kerbel and Suzanne Del Rizzo is a beautifully illustrated, impeccably written tale about a little sled dog pup who dreams of running with the big dogs….

Sun Dog is a lovely little story that will speak to all little children, who are just desperate to be bigger and older. One of the most common things I hear in my day job as a preschool teacher and mom is “I wish I was a grownup!” Juno is every child who is clamouring to have more responsibility and autonomy. Plus, she is just so darn cute!…Children will love and be inspired by the [polymer clay] illustrations by Suzanne Del Rizzo. All of the illustrations are so vibrant and full of incredible details and mixes of colours to capture the beautiful sky in the far north.”

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Canadian Bookworm calls Sun Dog “a lovely story of the connection between Juno and her boy”

Posted on May 27th, 2018 by pajamapress

SunDog_Website“This is a lovely story of the connection between Juno and her boy, but also of the high Arctic days, and the animals who call that part of the world their home.

The illustrator of this book uses polymer clay as one element of the illustrations and I loved the effect. She brings alive Juno’s playfulness (I particularly liked the picture with the sock) and the beautiful environment Juno and her boy live in. The flowers look so real, I wanted to smell them!

A great book, especially for youngsters with their own special dog.”

Click here to read the full review

Ben and the Scaredy-Dog “demonstrates that children have enormous potential to learn coping strategies for all manner of fears and anxieties” praises CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on May 26th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Ben and the Scaredy-Dog Author: Sarah Ellis Illustrator: Kim La Fave Publisher: Pajama Press“…Ben and the Scaredy-Dog solidifies the boy’s place in guiding those in preschool and kindergarten to understanding more about the big world of siblings, change, friendships and dogs….

Sarah Ellis demonstrates that children have enormous potential to learn coping strategies for all manner of fears and anxieties. Ben’s fear of dogs is valid, especially for very little children and very big dogs, but by comparing how Ben’s siblings see dogs–Robin sees their playfulness, Joe sees them as loving creatures–with how the little boy sees them–‘When Ben looks at a dog he sees jaws and teeth. That’s a dog to Ben. Jaws and teeth.’–Sarah Ellis legitimizes all perspectives. Even the baby-steps approach to dealing with Max lends credence to the ability for children to learn how to cope while trying a multitude of strategies, including self-talk and mindfulness.

I love Kim La Fave’s illustrations of Ben and company. His emphasis on perspective–looking up from a child’s point of view and at their eye-level–encourages empathy for Ben’s distress and concerns. Even with the bright colours of the kids’ clothing and Max’s soft expressions, Ben’s fear is validated. But, with that lightness of line and colour, Kim La Fave pulls together Ben’s thoughtful personality, Erv’s playful exuberance and Max’s big puppy nature.

It’s nice to know, courtesy of Ben and the Scaredy-Dog, that anyone can be scaredy-dog about something and that it can be lightened with a little help from inside and out.”

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Sal’s Fiction Addiction calls Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night “impressive and well-researched”

Posted on May 23rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night Author: Rob Laidlaw“Young readers love knowing as much as they can about bats. Rob Laidlaw writes terrific nonfiction on topics that kids love to read. It’s a win-win situation. No one will be disappointed when sharing this new book.

Rob’s writing style is conversational, and personal. He provides clear information, based on up-to-date study and creates a book that is perfect fare for his target audience….

The information provided throughout is easy to follow, answers most common questions and leaves readers with a good amount of knowledge concerning these oft-maligned creatures. The final section provides ideas for being a friend to bats. Making sure that buildings are safe for bats to make their homes there, bat mapping, understanding how important bats are to a healthy world, raising money to help fund bat research, and celebrating their place in the world. A list of 14 Ways You Can Help Bats, and a list of the many organizations that help bats around the world are presented. A glossary and index follow.

Impressive and well-researched, as are other books by Rob Laidlaw, there is much to like about this fine book.”

Click here to read the full review

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….”

Click here to read the full review