Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘war’

Getting Kids Reading says the language use in My Beautiful Birds “will get your child hooked on reading”

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_websiteMy 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.”­
—Bennett Duncan

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

Kirkus Reviews praises “heartfelt picture book” A Year of Borrowed Men

Posted on January 22nd, 2016 by pajamapress

A Year of Borrowed Men | Michelle Barker & Renné Benoit | Pajama Press“A tender memoir of human decency during wartime as seen through the eyes of the author’s then-8-year-old mother. The setting for Barker’s story is rural Germany toward the end of World War II. Her mother’s family has been sent three French prisoners of war to help at the farm, as German menfolk were in short supply. These are the borrowed men. “When the war was over, we would have to give them back.” This sentence, early on, conveys the youthful sense of fairness that permeates the book: the Frenchmen should be treated with respect, fed well, allowed to celebrate holidays. Barker’s grandmother did just so and quickly learned she would be imprisoned if she continued….Readers will learn some French and German, get a look at life on a farm during wartime, and get the slightest bitter taste of how war changes people: the village policeman used to be kind, ‘but since the war began, he had changed, and we knew enough to be afraid of him.’ An author’s note reveals that Barker’s grandfather would not return from war, nor would her uncle, who is an important character of the story. The addition of old family photos from that time is poignant. This heartfelt picture book helps readers appreciate wartime’s toll.”

“This moving book will enlighten,” The Calgary Herald says of Dance of the Banished

Posted on November 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“Based on true events, this story takes place in Anatolia and Canada in 1914, during the break-out of the First World War. When Ali moves to Canada to secure a better life for himself and Zeynep, they communicate by journals. It’s a love story filled with tragedy when Ali is forced into a Canadian internment camp, and Zeynep faces horrors as the Ottoman Army marches through her villages. This moving book will enlighten and appeal to readers ages 12 to adult.”

—Barbra Hesson

Bear on the Homefront is “Heartwarming,” says The Calgary Herald

Posted on November 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnTheHomefront_RGB_72dpi“In the first book of Teddy, A Bear in War, we follow the little bear as he’s shipped off to keep Aileen’s Daddy company during the war. Her father never returns but Teddy does, and he now sits in a glass case at the Canadian War Museum. In this second book, Aileen is working as a nurse. She presents Teddy to children who have come to live temporarily in the safety of Canadian homes. These two heartwarming stories, with softly coloured illustrations, will be read and appreciated by ages five to adult.”

—Barbra Hesson

Bear on the Homefront Family Event November 9

Posted on October 21st, 2014 by pajamapress

BearHomefrontMcMichael

Amy’s Marathon of Books posts long-awaited Graffiti Knight review

Posted on October 20th, 2014 by pajamapress

GraffitiKnight_Med“…Wilm himself is a teen with a profound sense of responsibility. So many things that occur during the story aren’t really his fault, but he is his harshest critic and holds himself accountable even when he doesn’t need to. He also has a well-developed reflective nature which leads to powerful insights into his true nature and the situation of his friends and family. As a result, he’s an excellent choice for a narrator.

There’s a lot to love here and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what I could have written. But when it comes to the story of Wilm what I loved the most was how Bass was able to make each character complicated, hard to completely admire or condemn. They all seem to have complex motivations for their actions which made for an intense and thought-provoking read.

Both an eye-opening piece of historical fiction and a page-turning, suspense-filled story, Graffiti Knight is an enlightening read that’s hard to put down.”

Click here to read the full review.

Bear on the Homefront “an appealing look into a little-known part of WWII”—Booklist Online

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-res“This companion to A Bear in War (2009) extends the story of a Canadian girl’s teddy bear, who rode out WWI in the uniform pocket of the girl’s father and was returned after the he died in battle. Now, during WWII, the little girl has grown into a nurse assigned to a train carrying “guest children” across Canada. These children have been sent by their British parents to escape Nazi bombings.

Nurse Aileen befriends a brother and sister who are being sent to a farm couple in Winnipeg and gives Teddy to the boy to comfort him. As before, Teddy narrates the story and also speaks directly to the boy and his sister. Deines’ watercolors impart a nostalgic feel to the story, which lasts until the end of the war, when the two children return home and Teddy returns to Aileen. Though lacking the photos that helped make the first book so fascinating, this is an appealing look into a little-known part of WWII.”
— Connie Fletcher

Canadian Children’s Book News Recommends Bear on the Homefront

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-res“This is the second picture book about a teddy bear’s adventure created by the team of Stephanie Innes, Harry Endrulat and Brian Deines. The first book, A Bear in War, follows the adventures of a teddy bear on the front lines during World War I. In this second book, Bear on the Homefront, the reader follows this same teddy bear’s adventures, except the story takes place on the homefront during World War II.

During the second World War, as a result of the heavy bombings, many English children were shipped to allied countries to keep them safe. In Bear on the Homefront, Grace and William Chambers are sent to Canada to live with a family on their farm in Winnipeg. In Halifax, they are met by a nurse named Aileen Rogers, who accompanies them on their journey. To help alleviate the fear and stress the children are feeling, Aileen gives them her beloved teddy bear to comfort them while they’re in Canada. The teddy bear recounts the events that happen during his time with the children until he is returned to Aileen once again.

The story is created using events from Aileen Rogers’ diary and making her real-life teddy bear the narrator. Giving the teddy bear a voice and telling the story from his perspective makes the book more appealing to young readers and enables parents and educators to introduce history in an interesting way. The book can also be used with older readers as a means of introducing some of the events that occurred in World War II and providing further opportunities for children to research the events and facts for the time period presented in the text.

The beautiful and calming illustrations by Brian Deines enhance the text and hold the reader’s attention. Bear on the Homefront is a wonderful way to introduce children to history. It can be used to generate discussions about feelings that accompany life changes and to encourage children to seek out further information about world history.”
—Delia Cipollone Antonacci is a Professor in the Library and Information Technician Program, Seneca College

SLJ reviews “heartwarming” Bear on the Homefront

Posted on October 1st, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-res“In this companion piece to Bear in War (2012), Teddy the stuffed bear provides comfort to two young children who have been evacuated from England to Canada during World War II. In the first book, Teddy is the real-life connection between Aileen Rogers and her father who was fighting on the front lines in World War I. When her father was killed, Teddy was returned to Aileen who kept it as a memento of her late father. Teddy turns up again in this story when Aileen is grown and working as a nurse with English evacuees in Canada. Sensing the uncertainty and loneliness in the two children she is escorting to their temporary home, Aileen gives Teddy to Grace and William for their time away from England. This story offers children a glimpse into what life had to have been like during that time period when youngsters were forced to leave their families so that they might survive the war. The host family has a working farm that the children help with over the five years of the war. When it is time to go back home, the children decide that Teddy needs to return to Aileen as well. The story is touching without any hint of sentimentality. The soft, warm palette of the art is beautifully rendered in oils and adds the perfect touch to this heartwarming story.”

—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA