Posted on May 24th, 2017 by pajamapress
“A gentle yet moving story of refugees of the Syrian civil war, My Beautiful Birds illuminates the ongoing crisis as it affects its children. It shows the reality of the refugee camps, where people attempt to pick up their lives and carry on. And it reveals the hope of generations of people as they struggle to redefine home.”
Click here to read the full review
Posted on May 23rd, 2017 by pajamapress
We are thrilled to extend our congratulations to Jan L. Coates and Suzanne Del Rizzo, the author and illustrator of Sky Pig. This inventive picture book about a pig who wants—against all popular truisms—to fly has won the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. This is Coates’ and Del Rizzo’s first time being nominated for the award.
Jan Coates accepted the award Thursday night at the 8th annual Atlantic Book Awards Gala, hosted at Paul O’Reagan Hall in Halifax. The Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration, named for a long-time buyer for the now inoperative independent bookstore, The Book Room, is one of ten major prizes awarded at the gala each year. This is the first award win for Sky Pig, which is also nominated for the 2017 Shining Willow Award, and is a 2016 Best Books for Kids and Teens selection.
Pajama Press would also like to congratulate all the other award nominees and winners of the evening. Our nominated titles were in such good company; it is an honour to be recognized alongside some of the best artists and books rooted in Atlantic Canada.
Pajama Press thanks the Atlantic Book Awards for their continued dedication to promoting excellence in Atlantic Canadian writing and book publishing.
Posted on May 15th, 2017 by pajamapress
“If you’ve been wondering how to present the refugee crisis to children without losing faith in humanity, take a look at this graceful, even uplifting book. Del Rizzo’s stunning dimensional art, made mostly of clay, can’t help feeling playful, and the story brims with hope.”
Click here to read the full review
Posted on April 24th, 2017 by pajamapress
“Suzanne Del Rizzo’s My Beautiful Birds articulately conveys the experiences of a child displaced by war in Syria….Intricately detailed and lifelike, the polymer clay and mixed-media illustrations combine with the understated first-person narrative to communicate Sami’s circumstances, heartbreak, and healing process. Through this emotionally accessible story…readers begin to understand Sami’s plight, and to gain awareness and insight into the lives of the many children facing calamity across the globe. An author’s note provides background and a link to resources about the Syrian conflict and the refugee crisis.”
Click here to read the full review and the rest of the article
Posted on April 23rd, 2017 by pajamapress
“My Beautiful Birds, written and illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo, is a beautiful book that will help get your child reading….
This is a good book to read to your child as a bedtime story. The way language is used in the book is beautifully poetic, and even soothing….[The language use] will get your child hooked on reading, as they realize that a vivid image can be painted in their head from just a simple line or paragraph. The child won’t be able to wait until the next plot advancement or change in scenery.
…Also, this story tells a tale that could have taken hundreds of pages, and beautifully condenses it into 32 pages.
Which brings us to the stunning clay art pictures….The emotions conveyed in just the pictures alone will further strengthen the picture in your child’s mind that has been depicted by the strong descriptive vocabulary.”
Click here to read the full review
Posted on April 12th, 2017 by pajamapress
Pajama Press is excited to announce that one of our titles and illustrators have been nominated for a 2017 Atlantic Book Award.
Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates and illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo is nominated for the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration
In Sky Pig, Jan Coates weaves a story of sweetness and whimsy, ingenuity and empathy. Plasticine artist Suzanne Del Rizzo brings dimension and energy to the tale of a pig who wants—against all popular truisms—to fly. He may never reach the sky on homemade clockwork wings, but Ollie still dreams as hard as ever a pig can dream. And Jack, a true friend, realizes that just because a pig can’t fly in the ways they have tried doesn’t mean he can never soar. An uplifting picture book for anyone who has tried and tried again.
From the Atlantic Book Awards website:
“The Atlantic Book Awards Society (ABAS) is a registered non-profit organization with the mandate ‘to promote and acknowledge excellence in Atlantic Canadian writing and book publishing through an annual awards ceremony and related events.’
Currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the board of the Atlantic Book Awards Society is committed to being a truly regional organization with representation from all four Atlantic provinces.”
More information about the Atlantic Book Awards can be found on their website
See the full 2017 Atlantic Book Awards shortlist here
Posted on April 5th, 2017 by pajamapress
Pajama Press is thrilled to announce that three of our titles have been nominated for the 2017 Willow Awards.
In this picture book, Phoebe, the daughter of a white French-Canadian mother and a Jamaican English-speaking father, dislikes her school nickname of “French Toast.” Gently prompted by her blind grandmother, she uses descriptions of familiar foods from both cultures to explain the family’s varied skin colors—and realizes she can take ownership of the nickname proudly. Quill & Quire says it is “simply told and cleverly imagined” in their starred review.
Sky Pig, written by Jan L. Coates and illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo, is also a finalist for the Shining Willow Award.
In Sky Pig, Jan L. Coates weaves a story of sweetness and whimsy, ingenuity and empathy. Plasticine artist Suzanne Del Rizzo brings dimension and energy to the tale of a pig who wants—against all popular truisms—to fly. He may never reach the sky on homemade clockwork wings, but Ollie still dreams as hard as ever a pig can dream. And Jack, a true friend, realizes that just because a pig can’t fly in the ways they have tried doesn’t mean he can never soar. An uplifting picture book for anyone who has tried and tried again. Sky Pig is also a 2016 Best Books for Kids and Teens selection.
The Hill by Karen Bass is a finalist for the Snow Willow Award.
Jared’s plane has crashed in the Alberta wilderness, and Kyle is first on the scene. After a night spent on the hilltop the teens discover something odd: the plane has disappeared. And worst of all, something is hunting them. Karen Bass, the multi-award-winning author of Graffiti Knight and Uncertain Soldier, brings her signature action packed style to a chilling new subject: the Cree Wîhtiko legend. Inspired by the real story of a remote plane crash and by the legends of her Cree friends and neighbours, Karen brings eerie life—or perhaps something other than life—to the northern Alberta landscape. The Hill was also a White Ravens 2016 selection, and a 2016 Best Books for Kids and Teens selection.
From the Willow Awards website:
“The mission of The Willow Awards is to promote reading by granting a “Willow Award” to the Canadian and/or Saskatchewan book(s) voted by Saskatchewan students to be the best of those nominated in designated categories for a specific year.”
For more information about these awards, please visit the Willow Awards website.
See the full list of 2017 Willow Awards finalists here.
Posted on March 28th, 2017 by pajamapress
“My Beautiful Birds written and illustrated by @suzannedelrizzo and published by @pajamapressbooks. This is a beautiful story about Sami and his family fleeing home and headed to a refugee camp….This is such a beautifully illustrated book with such a heartwarming story….Stories like these remind me how blessed I am that my children have food, clothing and shelter and don’t have to worry about adult responsibilities at such young ages. Suzanne was inspired to write this story after reading an article about a little boy who found peace with wild birds at a refugee camp in Syria….”
Read the full review on the @allbookedupnow Instagram account
Posted on March 17th, 2017 by pajamapress
“Every year, more and more families find themselves forced to flee their homes and relocate. Recently, this has become more relevant than ever with the war in Syria displacing hundreds of thousands of families to nearby countries and refugee camps. My Beautiful Birds tells the story of a family escaping Syria from the perspective of a little boy named Sami….
This is a wonderful story for all children, as learning about the growing-up experiences of others is always helpful. The book would be especially useful, however, for children who are going through major life changes themselves. It contains not only lessons on relocation and moving, but also on making new friends, acclimatizing to new environments, moving on from the past, and much more!
Suzanne Del Rizzo weaves the story together beautifully with the help of her own illustrations…The images are multi-dimensional and seem to almost jump off the page. They are extremely captivating and add even more depth to the already engaging story that accompanies them. In addition to all of its many amazing aspects, My Beautiful Birds is a stunning tool to teach children about what goes on in the world outside their own backyards.”
Read the full review on page 29 of the Spring 2017 issue of Canadian Children’s BookNews
Posted on March 6th, 2017 by pajamapress
“This is a story of a pig and his friend, Jack. Jack helps Ollie as much as he can, but when he realizes that pigs just can’t fly, he comes up with an idea that makes everyone cheer. The illustrations are made from plasticine, polymer clay…They’re creative and fun and children will be able to recognize milkweed fluff and watch gears in the pictures. This is a great story of never giving up and one of friendship.
Anything you didn’t like about it? I liked everything about this book.
To Whom Would You Recommend this book? This is recommended for ages 3-6. The pictures are large and the text is simple, so it would make a great read-aloud for a young audience at a story time….
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes”
—Sandra Pacheco, ESL teacher, Washington, D.C.
Click here to read the full review