Pajama Press

Archive for November, 2016

CanLit for LittleCanadians says “kids will…fall in love with Rebecca Bender’s adorable creatures” in How Do You Feel?

Posted on November 11th, 2016 by pajamapress

HowDoYouFeel_website“Pajama Press has started putting out these lovely padded-cover books for preschoolers that are so much more inviting to hold than ordinary board books. With its soft, cushioned cover, the parade of animals within and the repetitive text, How Do You Feel? will become a popular read-aloud book for parents and teachers of preschoolers and kindergarteners. The rhythm and predictability of the text offers great opportunities for little ones to suggest answers to each question. It’s a great teaching tool. I can just imagine parents and teachers asking, just as they often play that game asking what a dog or cat says, how a snake or a kitten feels.

But, kids will see beyond the content of the book and fall in love with Rebecca Bender’s adorable creatures. Every one of them has darling eyes–all bright, some laughing, several inquisitive–and bodies of evocative textures that will delight little ones who will want to reach out and touch. They’ll be surprised to only stroke paper but Rebecca Bender’s illustrations will still give readers starting points for further discussions. It could be about the sense of touch–and the other senses as well– or about synonyms and the thesaurus or about similes and metaphors. How Do You Feel? may be targeted for the pre-reader who will be charmed by the whole package of art and text, but teachers should look beyond the cuteness and see the book as having applications far beyond the very youngest. That’s how I feel. How do you feel?”
­—Helen K

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CanLit for LittleCanadians says “Everything about Little Fox, Lost is sublime”

Posted on November 10th, 2016 by pajamapress

LittleFoxLost_Website“This is certainly a week for Pajama Press on CanLit for LittleCanadians with Little Fox, Lost being the third book from this publisher that I’ve reviewed in the past 4 days. That says a lot about Pajama Press’s releases. Except for review copies, which I get from many publishers, I receive no renumeration for any reviews. I just review those books that I believe need to be read and Little Fox, Lost is such a book. Written by French author Nicole Snitselaar and illustrated by Venezuelan Alicia Padrón, and translated by Pajama Press’s own Erin Woods, Little Fox, Lost is a beautiful, soft book in textual sentiment and physical texture (it has that wonderful cushioned cover) with illustrations evocative of the majesty and solitude of a forest in winter….

Little Fox, Lost has a happy ending to a fearful situation for both parent and child, and I suspect that the rhythmic verse in Little Fox, Lost could become a go-to teaching tool for telling a child what to do when lost. If there is a tune with it, that verse could become widespread in child safety measures. But, in the meanwhile, read Little Fox, Lost with your children at home and at school to inform them about what to do if lost and reassure them that they will be found. Because of Alicia Padrón’s stunning artwork, children will lulled into the story and captivated by her delicate creatures and expansive landscapes. There’s a softness and quiet that comforts and envelops the reader in a blanket of safety and support, and even have you looking forward to winter and snow. (I just wish my scanner could depict more accurately the colours within.)

Everything about Little Fox, Lost is sublime, from the lyrical text and its message, to the artwork, the cover, the framing of the words on the page, and the endpapers. Little Fox, Lost is lovely, through and through, and deserving of appreciative readings, over and over.”
—Helen K

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All the World a Poem “is a lovely book” says San Francisco Book Review

Posted on November 8th, 2016 by pajamapress

AllTheWorldAPoem_Website2“We rated this book: 

…What is a poem? Does it rhyme or not? Are the verses long or short? There is no simple answer, and this book doesn’t really purport to answer that question. What it does is introduce to children the idea of poetry being everywhere and found in so many gifts of nature—flowers, the sky, birds, the ocean, and more. The entire book is written in a variety of poetic forms, some rhymed, some not, but all quite accessible to children.

Author Gilles Tibo has written a charming picture book that will help youngsters find their way to poetry as both readers and writers of the form. The writing is fun and whimsical and lyrical. The illustrations by Manon Gauthier—a combination of several media including collage, pencil, and gouache—are absolutely charming and match the whimsicality of the text. This book will find its way into a great many classrooms and school libraries, but it deserves to be in lots of children’s homes as well. This is a lovely book.”
—Rosi Hollinbeck

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Sal’s Fiction Addiction reviews Adrift at Sea

Posted on November 7th, 2016 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“…Today we are all aware of the refugee crisis that grips the world. Too many people are forced to flee their homes in search of safety and a better life, away from the strife and danger in their own villages, towns, cities, countries. We see their faces, hear their stories and share their hopes for a happier future.

In 1981, the ‘boat people’ from Vietnam are struggling to deal with what has happened in their own beloved country. They, too, see their only hope is in leaving….

The authors include personal photographs of Tuan’s family, before their escape and following their settling in Canada, to help readers understand this historical moment in time. Added information includes a map, archival and family photos, and an explanation for the need to leave….

The dangers were many, their journeys harrowing, and the time spent in refugee camps often too long. Still, they stayed the course and eventually many settled in ‘the United States, France, Australia, and Canada.’

Brian Deines (as he always does) has created truly beautiful artwork using oils on canvas to bring Tuan’s story to this book’s readers. From the lush, tropical street in Ho Chi Minh City, the dark seashore, the blistering heat of a sun-filled sky, the clear blue beauty of the sea beneath them where dolphins play, to the almost overpowering arrival of the aircraft carrier, we journey with the family as they make their courageous way to a new life.”

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CanLit for LittleCanadians gives a positive review to Timo’s Party

Posted on November 7th, 2016 by pajamapress

TimosParty_Website“…Timo’s Party is an exceptional early reader for imparting an engaging life lesson. But author Victoria Allenby never preaches or instructs the reader how to live life well, or be a good friend or be brave. Instead, she swathes that message in Timo’s daily experiences, taking advantage of a true story-telling opportunity. It’s easy to see beyond the anthropomorphized animals–with their clothes, speech, and human endeavours–as just a bunch of friends whose lives the reader is pleased to share. Though not a fully-illustrated book, Dean Griffiths’s artwork helps take the reader into the friendly world of Toadstool Corners. From the plaid jacketed Timo with his subtle smile and relaxed ears, to the rose-toqued badger Rae and the bustling Hedgewick, Dean Griffiths gives life to the animals in Timo’s Party, taking them from characters to neighbours. And, let me say, we are all pleased to have been invited to this party, and look forward to more good times in Timo’s neighbourhood.”
—Helen K

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Book Time calls When the Rain Comes “a beautiful book”…twice!

Posted on November 7th, 2016 by pajamapress

WhenRainComes_website“What a beautiful book. The illustrations are different, both from anything else I have seen to within its pages. Sometimes it’s fast and swirling, other times Malini and the other characters in the book are smooth and more lifelike. It’s a cool effect. The story was also pretty amazing. My heart started racing and I could feel Malini, and the ox’s, anxiety rise and settle down. A beautiful book.”
—Lisa Day, Book Time

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All the World a Poem gets a positive review from Ingram Library Services

Posted on November 7th, 2016 by pajamapress

AllTheWorldAPoem_Website2“A picture book of poetry for the very young takes the reader from butterfly wings to the sea, from grazing sheep to the stars above, and from the silence of the night to sharing with their best friend. Lyrics, some rhyming some not, bring wonder and beauty of nature to each page accompanied by light-hearted, earthen-toned paper collage illustrations. Tibo leaves the reader with the message, ‘If all the world is a poem, then anyone can be a poet!’ This title fits nicely into any poetry unit for early childhood and primary grades. Recommended for ages 5 to 8.”
—Jeanne Martin, M.Ed., Collection Development

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Kirkus reviews Adrift at Sea

Posted on November 2nd, 2016 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“A young Vietnamese boy and his family flee Vietnam in search of a better life. Along with co-author Skrypuch, Vietnamese-Canadian Ho recounts his family’s flight from Vietnam in 1981. At the book’s outset, 6-year-old Ho returns home from school to learn that he, his mother, and his two older sisters will leave Vietnam that very night. Each hour of the Ho family’s flight is fraught with danger. Soldiers shoot at them on the beach when they make a run toward a skiff. Their boat springs a leak, and soon after, the motor dies, leaving 60 passengers adrift in the middle of the sea with little water and food. Throughout the harrowing passage, Ho’s mother is by his side, comforting him. On the sixth day of their four-day journey, an American aircraft carrier spots their boat and offers the Vietnamese passengers refuge….[D]etailed authors’ notes include history, photographs, and maps. The warm undertones in Deines’ oil paintings evoke tropical Vietnam…”

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The Hill “…Suspenseful, fast-paced, and hard to put down”—Kirkus Reviews

Posted on November 2nd, 2016 by pajamapress

TheHill_Website“The crash landing of his father’s private jet in the Canadian wilderness leaves rich white kid Jared stunned and the pilot badly injured, but it soon becomes clear that those are the very least of the 15-year-old’s problems. Kyle, a Cree boy of the same age, comes to Jared’s aid but isn’t able to stop him from climbing up a tall hill that’s forbidden for the Cree to visit in hopes of getting a cell signal. Going up there literally opens a world of trouble. That world they unwittingly step into is inhabited by Wîhtiko, a legendary Cree creature that is large, strong, terrifying-looking, and determined to eat the two boys. Thus begins a four-day chase through the deep woods, with little food and growing peril. Wesakechak, a shape-shifting Cree trickster, provides occasional help, but mostly the boys are dependent upon Kyle’s well-honed woodland skills, as Jared finds that his modern tools have little to offer away from the grid. The cultural tension between the two boys is prolonged, but eventually, after Jared uses one of his few skills to save them, they make a lasting peace. The pace is relentless, the amply creepy threat is believable, and the setting is fully realized. There is enough Native American culture to add welcome flavor and depth; Bass, not Cree herself, explains her cultural and linguistic research in an author’s note. Suspenseful, fast-paced, and hard to put down. (Adventure. 11-18)”

 

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A Year of Borrowed Men is one of six books Orange Marmalade recommends to read to children about WWII

Posted on November 1st, 2016 by pajamapress

AYearOfBorrowedMen_Website“…Based on her mother, Gerda’s, childhood memories, author Michelle Barker tells the story of their family’s farm in Germany and of the French prisoners of war who were sent to help run it while their own men were away soldiering.

Little Gerda has a tender heart towards these seven men, who are supposed to be treated as prisoners. Her mother also has a hospitable heart, yet even inviting the men to eat indoors on a severely cold night, rather than in the pig kitchen, brings accusations from snoopy neighbors, a visit from the police, questioning at headquarters, and threats of imprisonment for any further kindness.

Read this brave, kindhearted story with children ages 4 and up. Warm, homey illustrations strike a gentle tone throughout. An Author’s Note tells more about the harrowing war experiences of the author’s mother.”

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