On December 23rd, 2013, CBC Radio in Nova Scotia aired a short radio drama voiced by Halifax author Meghan Marentette along with the CBC’s Carmen Klassen and Diane Paquette. The script was adapted from The Stowaways, Marentette’s popular new children’s novel about a family of adventurous mice.
Click below to listen to Chapter 11 of The Stowaways.
“…The text is just right for little ones, and for those wanting to read books on their own. It evokes movement, and typical feline behaviors. The mixed media artwork (pencil crayon, watercolor, gouache, acrylics and glaze) adds charm and delight to the reading. The bright colors and textured images are sure to interest young listeners, while adding a parallel story to the one told in words.
They are sure to want to hear it again and again. So, be prepared!”
PreS-Gr 2–McLellan’s playful, heartwarming story about a cuddly monster family examines how birth order affects sibling relationships. As the youngest, Tweezle is coddled by Mom and Dad, who call him their “sweet baby.” Tweezle repeats the phrase, “I’m not baby…I big boy!” throughout the story, as he tries prove to his older siblings, Hoogie and Pumpkin, that he is just like them. Tweezle attempts to make pancakes, wash dishes, and help with the garden. Onomatopoeic words (“splash and a crash/blam and a slam”) mimic the chaos that follows poor Tweezle as he attempts to win his siblings’ acceptance. When he rescues a baby bird, the family celebrates Tweezle’s good deed, acknowledging that is was a “big” deal for such a “big” guy. Bright colored pencil and watercolor illustrations adorn each spread, while a soft-hued palette adds calmness. Expansive white space allows readers to appreciate details in the facial expressions. A great addition to both school and public libraries that help teach sibling acceptance and understanding.
—Krista Welz, North Bergen High School, NJ
“It’s a great read for the family or for the classroom. There is certainly fun involved, and excitement, and even a bit of tension. What more can we ask? Long winter nights or January afternoons at school just beg for a fitting story to share. This could be it!”
“…I didn’t actually think I was reading a time travel novel when I opened Sue MacLeod’s Namesake – and then I was like, “Hmm.” I was impressed with the characterization and drawn in by some home truths about the character’s life, and I didn’t realize I was enjoying a time travel novel until it was too late. It was a good thing I didn’t give it a pass on general principles, either…”
This gripping page-turner set in 1947 East Germany explores the aftereffects of war and occupation.
World War II is over and Germany partitioned among the victors. For most in the Soviet-occupied zone, life is grim and anything but peaceful. Hunger’s a constant companion, trust in short supply. Most despise their Russian masters and even more, the German police—Schupos—who do their bidding. With their elders embittered and broken, friendship sustains 16-year-old narrator Wilm and his friends, Karl and Georg. Pretending to spy on the Schupos blows off steam, but after the Schupos beat up Wilm’s amputee father and Wilm learns of the brutal sexual assault on his sister, Anneliese, the game turns real. Supported by Karl and Georg, Wilm starts by scrawling graffiti calling the Schupos “puppets” and vandalizing police vehicles. Risk-taking proves energizing and deeply satisfying—also addictive and eventually desensitizing. It’s at odds with his growing interest in building bridges. The engineer who mentors him lends him books and encourages his interest, but their connection weakens as Wilm’s acts of sabotage escalate. The authentic setting, compelling characters and taut, suspenseful plot claim attention throughout. Bass refuses to oversimplify human beings. When motivations are tangled and complex, actions, even the best-intended, have unforeseen consequences.
A different kind of war story, highly recommended.
Pajama Press is thrilled to announce that every book in our Spring 2013 list has been recognized in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre‘s Fall 2013 edition of Best Books for Kids & Teens. Those books are:
“Nat the cat is an expert sleeper…most of the time.
In the morning, the humans in the family bump and clatter and honk and hurry, but from somewhere comes a snore. Who could that be? It’s Nat the orange tabby cat; he can apparently sleep anywhere. “Flopping halfway off a shelf, / Folded over on himself, // With his paws all tucked inside, / Or with limbs flung open wide— / Nat the cat can sleep like that!” He can sleep through anything and almost anywhere—but when night comes and the house is quiet, Nat springs into action; he can never sleep through the night. And his humans probably don’t either, since Nat plays with someone’s toes in bed, races down a shadowy hallway and even rides a hobbyhorse. Canadians Allenby and Anderson have captured a cat any young ailurophile will recognize. The simple rhyming text listing the odd (yet realistic) places Nat can sleep during the daytime and all the silly mischief he and his black-and-white kitten sidekick get up to at night will hook young listeners. The watercolor, acrylic and pencil illustrations of floppy, goggle-eyed Nat and his buddy are a just-right pairing.
Good kitty fun that will demand repeated reads. (Picture book. 3-6)”