Posted on July 23rd, 2015 by pajamapress
“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.”
Posted on July 23rd, 2014 by pajamapress
“Because of the effects of the now-outlawed pesticide, DDT, few peregrine falcon chicks were hatching in the wild in the 1970s, which resulted in the breed’s disappearance from much of North America. This story describes the challenges a mature male and female peregrine falcon face when raising their young in the wild, and the determined efforts of scientists and volunteers who appropriate their first clutch of eggs to a sanctuary where the chicks will have a better chance of survival.
Author-illustrator Celia Godkin, renowned for her award-winning picture books concerning environmental issues, once again inspires young readers with an informative account about the natural world – in this case the successful conservation of a species. The operation of a bird sanctuary is outlined, from the arrival of the peregrine eggs to the release of the chicks. Also included are additional facts and websites about these magnificent birds.
Godkin’s beautiful and dramatic oil-on-canvas illustrations, be they of the sweeping vistas in the wild or of the skyscraper-filled cities where peregrines thrive, depict these fascinating creatures from a variety of perspectives. Readers will gain a deeper understanding of the fragile balance and immense survival challenges facing this breed from egg to chick to adult, and how humans, ultimately, have the power to right the wrongs of the past in order to help these raptors, the fastest birds in the world, to flourish.”
– Senta Ross
Learn more about Canadian Children’s Book News here.
Posted on January 25th, 2013 by pajamapress
“Every morning at dawn, Kato leaves his Ugandan village to begin his challenging barefoot hike to fetch water. Carrying two jerry cans, the boy traverses through grass, down hills, and past cattle in fields guarded by soldiers. When he reaches the village well, he fills the cans with a day’s supply of water. After splashing his weary, dusty feet, Kato begins his long trek home, conveying the heavy containers on his head and in his hand. An aid worker’s truck near the village square catches his attention. The child becomes so excited by what he spots inside the vehicle that he dashes home to look for something special to present to the aid worker in exchange for the life-altering gift… a single white poppy from his garden for brand new shoes!
Alma Fullerton introduces us to the life of a young boy living in a war-torn country. Readers will quickly deduce that Kato’s days are fraught with hardship and danger as well as joy. The text is brief and subtle, yet descriptive enough so that we can feel Kato’s energy as well as his weariness, hear the splash of water and the laughter of the children, and sense the menacing presence of the watchful soldiers. Witness Kato’s elation when he finds the perfect gift to give to the aid worker: “Rushing through his chores, Kato runs to the garden and stops when he spies the single white poppy. Tenderly, he kneels to pick it. Between bouncy children, Kato weaves, cradling the poppy, careful not to crush it.”
Karen Patkau’s evocative digital illustrations provide further illuminating details about Kato’s environment: the Ugandan village where he lives, the territory traversed en route to get water, the changing hues of the sky, the brilliant colours of the children’s clothing, the friend with the artificial leg, the exquisiteness of the white poppy. The artwork is a perfect match for Fullerton’s understated text. Together they provide an enriching insight into one boy’s life in a distant country, and the preciousness of peace and goodwill.”
—Senta Ross is a former elementary teacher and teacher-librarian in Kitchener, Ontario.
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