Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘we-need-diverse-books’

The Pirate Tree calls Water’s Children “a luscious picture book”

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 by pajamapress

waterschildren_websiteWater’s Children…is a luscious picture book that celebrates the many ways water is universal to us all. Water is life – and play – and food – and beauty:

“… child of water … tell me about the water your see, the water you drink, the water that bathes you.”

Water’s Children does just that in rich colors and cerulean images of earth, sky, and sea, children from a diversity of countries around the world show us the unique importance and the joy of water in their lives….”

Click here to read the full review

When the Rain Comes “provides a suspenseful slice of South Asian life” says OmniLibros

Posted on May 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

WhenRainComes_website“The free verse text provides a suspenseful slice of South Asian life. Paint and pencil impressionistic illustrations depict the rain’s ferocity. Back matter gives additional information about Sri Lanka, its geography, and the importance of rice to the culture.”

Click here to read the full review

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is one of Shari Green’s “insightfully poignant tales” says CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on May 15th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“Shari Green, author of Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, has found her story as a writer of extraordinary middle grade novels in verse. Though I suspect she can write just about anything–middle grade, young adult, speculative fiction, non-free verse–her talent is definitely in writing insightfully poignant tales in the impassioned and crisp free verse style. As in her earlier book, Shari Green uses few words, but the right ones, to grow a story of such sensitivity for and awareness of her characters and readers that all will leave the story fulfilled. Her characters’ stories connect with us in ways we cannot put into words. I was astounded that a little girl could gain so much wisdom, courtesy of Iris and Shari Green of course, about life’s stories that she has a middle-aged woman such as myself in tears and heeding her advice.

Hearts are waiting, worrying, hurting
–in need of a message
you can send.
 (pg. 226)

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is a message from the writing goddesses that everyone’s life is just a story or series of stories that need to be told to be fully appreciated but no worries here because one of their scribes, Shari Green, has taken on that task capably and, like Iris, with wholehearted extravagance.”

Click here to read the full review

A “graceful, even uplifting book” says The New York Times of My Beautiful Birds

Posted on May 15th, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_website“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

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is a “quick read” with wonderful characters says Booktime

Posted on May 14th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“I love books about people who love books. In the words of Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables  by Lucy Maud Montgomery), the characters are kindred spirits, who understand the happiness books bring, and that the stories within its page give readers exactly what they need.

Canadian author Shari Green must be a true book lover because her characters in Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess certainly are….

The book is written in free prose, which makes it a quick read.

Macy is a wonderful character, and it’s amazing to watch her grow and come to terms with a life that is being forced on her.

Iris is also fabulous. Not only is she a book lover, she is also the believer in the power of cookies, and in her younger days delivered messages with cookies, each type telling the recipient something different – chocolate chunk cookies, Iris says, tells people everything will be OK; sugar and spice cookies (with a recipe at the end of the book) says you are loved, that you belong.

An important message in this book, and in life.”

Click here to read the full review

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess “offer[s] readers a very personal look at a young girl struggling to find her way” says Sal’s Fiction Addiction

Posted on May 10th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“This verse novel is admirable. Its wonderful characters, memorable plot, perfectly chosen language and form, familiar settings, unwelcome changes and humor offer readers a very personal look at a young girl struggling to find her way. She does it with the help of family and friends. The stories, notes and cookies that Macy shares with her ‘rainbow goddess’ leads to a very unexpected friendship - and the heart of this very special book.”

Click here to read the full review

Water’s Children “will rouse thoughtful discussions of unfamiliar depictions of water” says CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on April 28th, 2017 by pajamapress

waterschildren_website“…Quebec author, visual artist and publisher Angèle Delaunois takes the reader across the world to witness the importance of water to the children of different countries….Canada is represented by two spreads, one from Quebec and one from Nunavut, both which speak in terms of what is most familiar to young Canadian readers….

While other texts and illustrations will be familiar or at least obvious such as the Russian child of a fishing village and the rain experienced by an urban child in Germany, many spreads will rouse thoughtful discussions of unfamiliar depictions of water….

The artwork of Montreal animator, graphic artist and illustrator Gérard Frischeteau rings with authenticity, depicting each global child in both personal and expansive landscapes, often providing details about daily life and family….

In fact, ‘Water is Life’ is a special touch in Water’s Children. On watermarks adorning each spread, the term ‘water is life’ is translated into a corresponding language, including French, Inuktitut, Catalan, German, Portuguese, Tamil, Arabic and Wolof with a final listing of all regions and languages represented in the book.

I know I’ve listed the reading audience as 4 to 8 years of age but don’t follow that. Water’s Children’s audience should read “All ages” or “Everyone” because it is an extraordinarily inspirational examination of the importance of water throughout the world. You can save it for World Water Day (March 22) but I recommend it for this weekend’s Earth Day (April 22) and anytime meaningful attention be paid to a global resource i.e., always.”

Click here to read the full review

When the Rain Comes “offers a powerful portrait of a child’s bravery and perseverance” says The Hornbook

Posted on April 25th, 2017 by pajamapress

WhenRainComes_website“A perilous flash flood threatens a young Sri Lankan girl’s life and her village’s livelihood in this compelling picture book. Fullerton’s spare and lyrical text opens with Malini waking up, excited to learn how to plant rice seedlings and contribute to her community’s well-being….Endnotes explain the realities of child labor, poverty, and a dependence on rice as a staple crop in Sri Lanka, and the book as a whole offers a powerful portrait of a child’s bravery and perseverance.”
—Megan Dowd Lambert

Read the full review in the May 2017 issue of The Hornbook

When the Rain Comes is featured in School Library Journal‘s collection “Reading Around The World | Picture Books”

Posted on April 25th, 2017 by pajamapress

WhenRainComes_website“…Filled with ear-pleasing rhythms and onomatopoeia, Alma Fullerton’s vivacious free verse paints Malini’s character with deft strokes, and stirringly describes the action. Kim La Fave’s color-splashed illustrations set the scene and create a strong sense of motion, as the ox looms large above the girl, the monsoon unleashes, or Maili returns to the arms of her worried family. When the Rain Comes provides a vivid glimpse at life on an island country in Asia, as well as a satisfying look at a child who discovers the inner fortitude needed to overcome difficult circumstances.”

Click here to read the full review and the rest of the article

My Beautiful Birds is featured on School Library Journal‘s Collection “Reading Around The World | Picture Books”

Posted on April 24th, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_website“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.”
—Joy Fleishhacker

Click here to read the full review and the rest of the article