Pajama Press

Archive for November, 2013

Atlantic Books Today Reviews The Stowaways in their Holiday Issue

Posted on November 23rd, 2013 by pajamapress

TheStowaways_C_July14.indd“Debut author Meghan Marentette has crafted a charming adventure tale with a plucky protagonist. Children will identify with Rory’s natural inquisitiveness and his eagerness to learn more about The World Beyond…this is a simple, engaging narrative that can be read to children or enjoyed by newly independent readers.”

— Lisa Doucet

Click here to learn more about Atlantic Books Today.

The Stowaways Book Trailer

Posted on November 22nd, 2013 by pajamapress

TheStowaways_C_July14.inddIn her debut novel, Meghan Marentette tells the story of the inventive and curious Stowaway mice. As Rory and Gran set out to find Grampa, they may also find their greatest adventure yet.

Click here to watch the book trailer.

Spectacular launch for The Stowaways in Halifax

Posted on November 21st, 2013 by pajamapress

On Sunday November 17th it was standing room only as 100 reading fans descended on the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia in Halifax to celebrate with Meghan Marentette as she and fellow author Jill MacLean launched their new books.

The Stowaways, Meghan’s debut novel about a family of adventurous mice, has been causing excitement since its release in October. It has been featured in Canadian Family Magazine, on Global Television, and in the Fall 2013 Books for Everybody catalogue. Meghan Marentette has been welcomed enthusiastically by fans at the Pajama Press Fall Book Launch and Art Show, at a special Meet-and-Greet at the flagship Indigo store in downtown Toronto, and—of course—at her Halifax book launch. Click on the thumbnails below to see pictures of that exciting event.

Sal’s Fiction Addiction reviews Cat Champions

Posted on November 20th, 2013 by pajamapress

CatChampions“…the best part of the whole book comes when Mr. Laidlaw describes the ‘champions’ in detailed profiles, for the work they do to ensure that cats are safe, well fed and loved…There are ideas galore that can be shared to help improve the lives of the many kittens and cats that are in need of help throughout the world. Just one of them might appeal to you and your family. Check it out!”

Click here to read the full review.

Interview with Victoria Allenby

Posted on November 15th, 2013 by pajamapress

V.AllenbyVictoria Allenby is the author of Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That, a picture book illustrated by Tara Anderson that CM Magazine has “Highly Recommended” as “a perfect choice for bedtime and storytimes for young children.” This week Victoria chatted with Pajama Press publicist Erin Woods about her own story. This transcript is part of that conversation.

[E] Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That came out in September—your first book. How has the experience been so far?
[V] It’s been surreal, really. I mean, I’m an author? Like, a real one with books on the shelves of stores where I shop? But it’s true. I really am. My mom called me one day to tell me that my hometown indie bookstore had Nat face-out on a rack, which means the owner must have really liked it. I almost stopped breathing. That’s the store that taught me what good taste in books was when I was growing up.
So that’s a pretty high commendation for you.
The highest. Absolutely.
I know this is the oldest interview question there is, but where did Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That come from? What inspired it?
Ugh, this is so embarrassing. Do I have to? Okay, alright, it was Internet pictures of cats. I know, right? Lame-o. But when someone posts a funny cat picture I can’t stop myself from clicking it. I can’t.
So you were looking at funny cat photos?
Yeah. There was a… I don’t know, a collection someone had posted. Cats sleeping in awkward poses or something. And I have a cat. I had a cat growing up and I have one now. They’re ridiculous, the way they can sleep anywhere, any way. I’m kind of really jealous of that. Anyway, I thought, who can’t relate to a poem about a cat sleeping all over the place?
Fair enough. And you’ve brought up another point I wanted to talk about: poetry.
Oh, I like poetry.
I love poetry.
It’s very important to you?
Yes. Well, I don’t think about it like that, I mean, not like a religion is very important or whatever. But it’s something I’ve always done. I can’t help it.
How long is always?
Oh, since I was five? Six? My family has some very old poems of mine somewhere.
Are they any good?
Uhhh… well. The word choice is funny. And the spelling is terrible. And the subject matter is….. Metrically, though, they’re not bad. Rhythm was easy for me. I think I was born with rhythm. Like some people are born with… with freckles. Are babies born with freckles?
…I don’t know.
Do you think it’s important for kids to learn about rhythm and rhyme?
Yes. Absolutely. It trains their ear. It makes them enjoy language. It makes reading easier. They can, you know, predict what’s coming next because of the way the sentence sounds. And they can memorize the book and pretend they’re reading, which is the first step.
Are you a big reader?
Oh, yes. Huge. Monstrous. I’m a—a—oh, what’s it’s name… Japan… Godzilla! I’m a Godzilla of a reader.
That big! What do you read?
Oh, anything. History, poetry, YA if it isn’t too full of vampires or mean girls. I’m on a fantasy kick right now. Last year it was urban homesteading.
Do you think you’ll ever try your hand at writing any genres other than picture books?
Possibly. I do have novels and partial novels scattered around from my high school years. They’re horrible, though. It’s a very different skill set to write a novel than a picture book.
So what’s next? Do you have any more picture books in the works?
Oh, I’ve written about a hundred manuscripts and I hate them all [Laughs]. No, that’s not true. I have two that I’m kind of nursing along, fixing a word here and there, getting them ready for the world. But it’s actually a scary thing, submitting your second manuscript. Way scarier than your first. Now there’s a precedent. Now you’re supposed to know what you’re doing, and what if you don’t? What if you do get it published, but then the reviewers say, “Well, it’s not bad, but it isn’t as good as the first one.”?
Do you think that will happen?
Noooo… well, I think about it happening a lot. Do you think if I worry enough I can stop it from happening? Murphy’s law?
That sounds reasonable to me.
Good. Then it won’t happen. My second book will be spectacular.
I’m glad to hear it.
Me too! What a relief.
This interview has been edited for length

To learn more about Victoria, visit her website here.

Meghan Marentette interview on Global TV

Posted on November 14th, 2013 by pajamapress

Meghan  Marentette‘s mouse adventure novel The Stowaways has been scampering into hearts across the country. Today the well-travelled mice made an appearance with their author on Global TV Halifax. You can watch the interview below, complete with some shots of Dean Griffiths’ wonderful illustrations.

Sal’s Fiction Addiction enjoys Community Soup

Posted on November 14th, 2013 by pajamapress

CommunitySoup_Med“It’s lovely for young readers to catch a glimpse of village life in Kenya. The sentences are short and tell their story with a lively pace. The textural cut paper and collage illustrations add a lovely touch, and will invite close attention to the happenings in the village as the communal soup is prepared. Bright backgrounds match the brilliance of the children’s attire and the soup recipe shared at the back had my mouth watering…it is that time of year for the comfort it brings…”

Click here to read the full review.

Kirkus reviews Tweezle into Everything

Posted on November 13th, 2013 by pajamapress

TweezleintoEverything_Med“Tweezle is tired of being the baby monster of the family. He’s a big boy now—and has some not-so-helpful ways of showing it!

McLellan and Griffiths’ previous work, Hoogie in the Middle (2013), had middle monster Hoogie feeling invisible and frustrated. Now Tweezle takes a stand against his birth order. Everyone calls him “little,” but he wants to do something BIG. He tries to help in the kitchen, but the dishes crash to the floor. He tries to help outdoors, but he ends up knocking everything over in the shed. His sisters shout at him: “You’re the lint at the bottom of my pocket!” and “The mud on the bottom of my sneakers!” After this, little Tweezle mysteriously goes missing. His family finds him helping a baby bird that has fallen from the nest. Tweezle has had a big idea after all.Although furry, green and whiskered, Tweezle shares many commonalities with toddlers who are gaining independence. Older siblings in particular will recognize the ways Tweezle’s good intentions sometimes work against him.

…[T]his tale about an endearing monster family spotlights some very real moments of childhood growth. (Picture book. 3-6)”

Meghan Marentette at Indigo Bay & Bloor

Posted on November 12th, 2013 by pajamapress

Before the Signing_BlurredOn Saturday, November 12th, debut Halifax author Meghan Marentette wrapped up her visit to Toronto with a book signing at the Bay & Bloor Indigo. Meghan charmed the staff and was charmed by the shoppers—which you can read about in her latest Goodreads blog postThe Stowaways was pretty charming, too, as was illustrator Dean Griffiths‘ framed painting of main mouse Rory.

The Stowaways have been making a great impression all over Canada, getting reactions from reviewers such as: “I hesitate to compare it to The Wind in the Willows, but it is in the same league…Highly Recommended” (CM Magazine), and “Not since Stuart Little has the heart of a valiant mouse beat quite so fiercely as that of Rory Stowaway” (National Reading Campaign).  Canadian Family Magazine selected it as a “Wish List-Worthy Book” in their November, 2013 issue.

Home again in Halifax, Meghan will be appearing on Global Television on Thursday, November 14th at 8:15 am Atlantic time. This appearance comes just before her book launch at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia on Sunday, November 17th. As their name suggests, the Stowaways are going places!

Click a thumbnail below to view the full-sized picture.

Student-Made Book Trailer for A Good Trade

Posted on November 8th, 2013 by pajamapress

While perusing the internet this morning, we came across a beautiful book trailer for Alma Fullerton’s picture book A Good Trade. Created by Sarah from Hugh Cairns V.C. School in Saskatoon, this trailer manages to perfectly capture the essence of this book. Take a look.

We think her book trailer is quite impressive, and may be even better than ours.

Click here to see our book trailer for A Good Trade.