Pajama Press

Archive for July, 2015

Canadian Children’s Book News reviews “inspirational” A Brush Full of Colour

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 by pajamapress

ABrushFullOfColour“Ted Harrison, one of Canada’s most recognized and celebrated artists, died in January, 2015. Using a distinctive style that particularly resonates with children, he portrayed the Canadian west coast and Yukon landscapes in vibrant, non-traditional colours. A Brush Full of Colour follows the life and career of Harrison, from his youth in a coal-mining town in northeast England.

…This inspirational and informative biography includes many stunning examples of Harrison’s luminous artwork as well as resources, sources and a foreword written by the artist himself: “I urge you to keep on reading, writing, and painting. Develop your own style and keep it honest and true to who you are. Find inspiration in the world around you, and you will make the world a happier and more creative place.”

—Senta Ross

Publishers Weekly praises Uncertain Soldier

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 by pajamapress

UncertainSoldier“German sailor Erich is not a Nazi, despite being part of the Third Reich’s military. Max, a Canadian boy from a German family, does not support Hitler, but peers in rural Alberta subject him to vicious torment anyway. When Erich is taken prisoner, he crosses paths with Max at a logging camp where several of the POWs are sent as labor. The two find support in each other as they face a world that views them as trespassers. Not only does Erich suffer as an enemy alien, his fellow German prisoners suspect him of being an Allied sympathizer, because he speaks English. Can he prove his worth in a risky effort to uncover who has been sabotaging the Germans with dangerous logging accidents? Can both boys ever find peace and acceptance in a world where war-driven fear and resentment overshadow people’s humanity? …readers will likely find the two main characters’ journeys to safety and justice in a cruel world compelling.”

Uncertain Soldier “a taut, adrenaline-fuelled novel”—Canadian Children’s Book News

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 by pajamapress

UncertainSoldierUncertain Soldier, by the award-winning author of Graffiti Knight, is a taut, adrenaline-fuelled novel of enmity and loyalty set in rural Alberta in the years 1943 and 1944. The conflicts and prejudices of World War II play out with violent consequences in Canada as well as overseas…. Bass writes with a visceral power. As she skillfully ratchets up the tension, both Erich and Max find the courage to stand up for their friends, and themselves, and to break the circles of bullying and prejudice that have held them (and their tormenters) prisoner. Wrestling with complex issues of friendship, loyalty, politics and violence, Uncertain Soldier would be an excellent choice for a teen boys’ book club.”

Dragon Lode journal calls Moon at Nine a “riveting love story”

Posted on July 15th, 2015 by pajamapress

Moon At Nine by Deborah Ellis - the true story of two girls who fell in love in post-revolution Iran “In this riveting love story based on true events, Deborah Ellis transports readers to Iran in 1988 just nine years after the Islamic Revolution. There readers meet fifteen-year-old Farrin, born into a wealthy aristocratic family. Farrin’s life is filled with great privilege except at her private high school for gifted girls where Pargol, a student monitor, often bullies her. Farrin gains a friend when Sadira arrives at the school. Eventually their relationship grows into something more than friendship, and the girls plan to run away together after Sadira’s parents arrange a marriage for her. Both girls are arrested, and readers can see how the perspective of the book’s characters change with shifts in power and position. In the afterward (sic.), the author explains how homosexuality is still illegal in more than 70 countries and punishable by death in six. Readers will find this powerful book both compelling and chilling.”

—Terrell A. Young, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

The Dragon Lode is a juried journal published by the International Reading Association Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group. Click here to learn more.

“Cat lovers…will celebrate” Cat Champions, says Dragon Lode journal

Posted on July 15th, 2015 by pajamapress

Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends by Rob Laidlaw“Cat lovers around the world will celebrate this well-written nonfiction selection. Animal advocate Rob Laidlaw, weaves interesting facts, photographs, and profiles of the real cat champions. All around the globe, there are children and teens who volunteer and care for abandoned cats. For example, some of the cat champions include the students of Clay High and Dryden High School who built cat shelters to help feral cats during the cold winter months. In six chapters, Laidlaw includes information about various cat breeds, cat adoption, foster parenting, and fundraising efforts. The back matter includes a cat lover’s pledge, additional resources, glossary, and index. This informative book celebrates our feline friends while also raising awareness about kids who make a difference.”

—Mary Napoli, Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, PA

The Dragon Lode is a juried journal published by the International Reading Association Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group. Click here to learn more.

School Library Journal falls in love with Princess Pistachio and the Pest

Posted on July 6th, 2015 by pajamapress

Princess Pistachio and the Pest by Marie-Louise Gay, translated by Jacob Homel“It is the first day of summer vacation, and Pistachio has big plans with her friends. There are caverns to explore in the cemetery! But Pistachio’s plans are thwarted when her mom tells her she must take her baby sister Penny to the park instead. A grumpy Pistachio and an exuberant Penny, wearing a superman cape and bunny ears, no less, head off to the park—and a series of mishaps happen along the way. This entertaining transitional reader is perfectly suited for children ready to try chapter books. Translated from French, the text is rollicking and descriptive, offering strong vocabulary words such as careens, ecstatic, and flabbergasted. Gay’s pen-and-ink illustrations are awash with soft watercolors in blues, purples, and warm yellows, allowing Pistachio’s orange hair to pop off the pages. Penny is the perfect complement to Pistachio—full of energy and a daredevil side that keeps her big sister on her toes at all times.

VERDICT Fans of other high-spirited girl characters like Junie B. Jones and Clementine will fall in love with Princess Pistachio.”

Bad Pirate delights School Library Journal

Posted on July 6th, 2015 by pajamapress

Bad Pirate by Kari-Lynn Winters and Dean Griffiths“Among the sea dogs (literally dogs in pirate clothing) on her father’s ship, August Garrick is a very bad pirate. Her kind, polite, and helpful actions win her a lecture. “To be a good pirate, yez gots to be saucy,” says captain Garrick. “And yez gots to be bold. But most important, me sea pup, yez gots to be selfish!” Scully, a bull terrier with a wood leg, will see to it, or the captain will feed him to the fish. So Augusta throws Scully’s peg-leg out a porthole while he’s sleeping, hoping this selfish act will make her father proud. That night a terrible storm comes up and rips the sails. The ship lists and takes on water. Just as the crew is ready to abandon ship, Augusta climbs the rigging and takes charge. “Less speed!” she calls. “Lads, help me reef the sails!” They obey her, and the ship is saved. Her proud father hugs her. “Augusta, yez be the best pirate I’z ever known—saucy, bold, and selfless!” This book with its nautical terms and pirate speak is a delight to read aloud. The full color artwork is rich in detail, and the expressive canine faces of captain and crew will bring smiles.

VERDICT This seagoing tale with its endearing heroine will be a sure hit with youngsters.”

Through the Looking Glass reviews Princess Pistachio

Posted on July 6th, 2015 by pajamapress

Princess Pistachio, an early reader by Marie-Louise Gay“Young readers are going to love this amusing chapter book, which introduces us to a girl who is sure that she is a princess who is being raised by the wrong family. It is amusing to see how Pistachio deals with her naysayers, and how she learns that there are actually more important things in life than being a princess.”
—Marya Jansen-Gruber

Click here to read the full review.