Pajama Press

Archive for May, 2016

Going for a Sea Bath “will surely get a giggle,” writes The National Reading Campaign

Posted on May 11th, 2016 by pajamapress

GoingForASeaBath_Website“This picture book builds gradually with all the animals ending up in the bath – or falling out of it! Kids will love the chaos that ensues, which Delisle reflects through each character’s and creature’s actions, positions, and expressions. Going for a Sea Bath is an off the wall read which will surely get a giggle.”Jen Bailey

Click here to read the rest of the review.

The National Reading Campaign callsThe Hill a “…climatic tale of survival”

Posted on May 11th, 2016 by pajamapress

TheHill_Website“…Finding their common humanity despite their differences might be the hardest thing Kyle and Jared have ever done, as well as the most rewarding. Through a fantastical, yet modern and timely tale, Bass shows how the power of circumstance can bond even the most stubborn with life-changing results.”Amy Mathers

Click here to read the full review.

Canadian Children’s BookNews recommends A Year of Borrowed Men

Posted on May 10th, 2016 by pajamapress

A Year of Borrowed Men | Michelle Barker & Renné Benoit | Pajama Press“Because German Men were conscripted to fight during World War II, the families left behind were obligated to by the Nazi government to take in French prisoners of war to perform needed work. This is why three captives came to stay with seven-year-old Gerda, her mother and siblings at their farm. The rules were stringent: the French were to assist with the operation of the farm, sleep in the out-buildings and be treated as enemies. Anyone showing kindness to these “borrowed men” could be imprisoned. It was, however, challenging for Gerda to be so hard-hearted. On one particularly cold day, she invited them to share dinner with her family inside their warm home. For this act, her mother received a stern reprimand from the local police. From then on, compassion was demonstrated in more subtle ways, ensuring that the captives were well fed and treated with dignity. When the war ended, they parted as friends.

Based on her mother’s childhood memories of Germany during World War II, Michelle Barker’s book is a poignant account of one family’s brave acts of kindness in an atmosphere thick with fear and distrust. The story is told from little Gerda’s perspective, and we witness how a prohibited relationship grew from Feinde (enemies) to Freunde (friends). “The borrowed men knew some German words but we did not speak French. We had to use our hands to show them what we meant. Sometimes I drew pictures for them.” An Author’s Note and family photographs provide further context regarding Gerda’s experiences.

Renné Benoit’s watercolour, coloured pencil and pastel illustrations convey a pastoral environment imbued with the bleakness of war. In the midst of fear and strife, we see comforting moments in one family’s life. The simple acts of preparing meals, gathering around a candle-lit Christmas tree to sing carols and sharing conversation and scarce resources with strangers offer hope that goodness can sometimes triumph over evil.”


This review originally appeared in the Spring 2016 edition of Canadian Children’s BookNews.

Canadian Children’s Book News: “Wallace Edwards has done it again!”

Posted on May 10th, 2016 by pajamapress

OnceUponALine-COVER-FAKE-FOIL_RGB_1000px“Wallace Edwards has done it again! The introduction to Once Upon a Line lets us know that the fantastical paintings in this book were created by Great-Uncle George using an enchanted pen from the East. He only had to draw a single curving line, and it would turn into a painting. Each page has an illustration incorporating that line and a start to a story, beginning with ‘Once upon a line,’ an obvious and intriguing reference to ‘Once upon a time.’ As with his other books, Edwards creates many levels of meaning by combining all that you see on the page in unexpected ways.

This is a great book for anyone with a wild imagination. On each page Wallace draws the reader into both the illustration and the words. Readers are challenged to find the “magic line” in each picture. In most cases, the story is different, not always exactly what is shown in the picture. For example, we get a dandy rat who loves his “brand new ultra-modern house,” a gleaming white toilet sitting among flowers. The words continue, “‘I have never had such a beautiful home before,’ he said. Just then, a little bird said…” This sentence could lead anywhere, and is an invitation to go somewhere new each time you read it.

Although each page has its own theme, there are a few where connections are made to the previous illustration. At the back of the book is a guide showing where the magical line is in each of the pictures, and a reminder that the enchanted pen is also in each one, too.

Once Upon a Line has all the marks of a Wallace Edwards gem: his distinctive style of illustration, humour, appealing characters and just enough information to get you started on your own story.”


This review originally appeared in the Spring 2016 edition of Canadian Children’s BookNews.

CM Magazine calls The Hill “…an interesting and unique” teen survival story

Posted on May 9th, 2016 by pajamapress

TheHill_Website“The blend of realism and mythology is a difficult mix to pull off, but Bass succeeds admirably. The Hill is an interesting and unique addition to the ever-expanding body of teenaged wilderness survival novels…the added elements of Cree traditional beliefs and cross-cultural tensions help Bass establish her own niche within this field.”—Dr. Gregory Bryan

Click here to read the full review.