Pajama Press

Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

If You See a Bluebird Reviews

Posted on July 26th, 2023 by pajamapress

Kirkus 

“The story thrums with the sadness of places left behind and the danger that forces people to leave. It also hints at the challenges Ali and his family face in their new home. The vivid illustrations demarcate the past and present by contrasting the bright blue skies and rolling green plains of Ali’s new home with the rustic terracotta hues of his homeland. A sweetly sentimental story that places people at the heart of a home.” 

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School Library Journal, Fuse 8

“This book comes with a bit of a pedigree…Bahram is, himself, from Afghanistan and his books take their inspiration from that land.”

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Dr. Larry Recommends

“This is another great title from Pajama Press by award winning author of The Library Bus and A Sky-Blue Bench. Inspiring!”

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Zander Stays Reviews

Posted on July 26th, 2023 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“Zander is tired of the same old, same old. So when the other geese close up the summer home and pack their bags (literally—they have rolling suitcases!), Zander waves goodbye…but when the cold settles in, Zander decides he needs some advice about winter. None of the other animals’ tips seem to apply, however. He doesn’t like nuts like the squirrel…snuggling with bats upside down, and stuffing himself like a bear in anticipation of hibernation don’t feel right either—though the images are sure to provoke giggles…Just when conditions are becoming dire, he’s rescued by a young light-skinned girl named Grace, whose winter adaptations suit him just fine…An author’s note describes the winter adaptations of bears, geese, bats, snowshoe hares, and humans and discusses hibernation and migration. Ritchie’s palette changes with the seasons, with the charming pencil, ink, and digital illustrations centering the goose and his every emotion…Readers are sure to want a goose of their own to overwinter with.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Friends Reviews

Posted on July 21st, 2023 by pajamapress

Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*

“Van Hout used wildly expressive fish to illustrate emotions in 2012’s Happy. Twelve pairs of equally exuberant monster friends do the job in this excellent companion book, each representing a verb. As in Happy, Van Hout’s scribbly, childlike creations are set against a pure black backdrop, letting his neon palette shine all the brighter. While different monsters appear on each spread, there is a clear emotional arc…Van Hout expertly conveys the emotional peaks and valleys of each friendship.”

Kirkus Reviews

“With only a dozen or so words and spectacular images, van Hout captures the landscape of friendship for toddlers through teens and beyond. The colors are jewel-bright on black pages, and each opening shows a pair of figures, usually a larger one and a small one, and a single word. They are animals or monsters or little gnome-like creatures, but they are all vibrantly alive…Like the earlier Happy (2012), this conveys emotional heft and arresting images in an appealing, child-size package.”

School Library Journal

“Colorful childlike drawings…cleverly explore playfulness, boredom, teasing, fighting, making up, cuddling, and so on… Each spread pictorially describes one word. This book has a lot of child appeal, and no doubt youngsters will choose a favorite monster they can relate to. This short book will pair well in storytimes with other picture books about friendship.”

7 Impossible Things 

“Laid out on twelve black spreads, with dynamic and very animated pastel drawings, van Hout shows young readers a series of monster friendships… this time the verbs get to steal the show; each spread is assigned one—”play,” “bore,” “tease,” “fight,” “make up,” and much more—as we witness the ups and downs of very furry friendships.”

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Happy Reviews

Posted on July 21st, 2023 by pajamapress

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“[S]izzling lines of scarlet, orange, aqua, and fuchsia…It’s a delightful amuse-bouche of a book, and an aquatic introduction to everyday emotions. Ages 2– up!”

New York Times Book Review 

Mies van Hout’s Happy is a tour de force of underwater awesomeness and emotion, showcasing what an artist can do with a few pastels, black paper and something fundamental to express. I want to hug itThe creatures accurately represent the emotions, but they’re also unexpected — fresh colors, strange shapes. Most of them look like deep-sea creatures, floating and emoting about the secret lives they live in the black depths of the enormous ocean…simple books about feelings can exhibit complexity, ingenuity and passion.”

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Kirkus Reviews 

Beautiful, vibrant fish…illustrate emotions in this art piece for children and for adults…The line, color, and texture make each page a pleasure to return to…at the end, readers will pronounce themselves…‘delighted.’”

New York Journal of Books 

Happy is a kaleidoscope of emotional colors splashed on a black canvas of solidarity. A dramatically colorful, 32-page, hardcover picture book for children ages two and up, Happy takes the reader on a journey of emotional discoveryHappy provides ample opportunities for extensive discussion about the expression of emotions—a true, potentially interactive delight for young readers and their caregivers.” 

School Library Journal  

“This attractive book could be used one-on-one or in a small group to discuss what causes one to feel a particular way and to introduce the vocabulary of emotions.”

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Foreword 

“This sweet book about recognizing emotions on the faces of others…will inspire thought and conversation about what it’s like to feel these often perplexing things. Day-glow pastel drawings on a black background drive home the power of single-word text entries.

CLCD – Children’s Literature

“Emotions can be so complex and a challenge to communicate…Happy makes this complicated subject more manageable and enjoyable with simplistic one-word text and stunningly beautiful pieces of art with fish. This book goes beyond the basics of happy, sad, and mad to incorporate an enriched emotional vocabulary such as startled, curious, and content. It makes a great gateway book to dive into complex conversations about our feelings, and the feelings of others, to help create a more empathetic child, classroom, and community…The artwork of the fish is so unique, it will easily catch attention from older preschoolers as well. This book would be a great addition to art projects using chalk or oil pastels…therefore older children could also benefit.”

Book Time

“Who knew a fish could have so many expressions. Apparently illustrator Mies Van Hout did…I laughed out loud when I flipped the page over for furious (so good), angry and startled. Bored was pretty fantastic as well. Of all the one-word books out there, this one might be one of my favourites.”

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See It, Dream It, Do It Reviews

Posted on July 19th, 2023 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“Skydiving instructor, paleontologist, and electrical engineer are just a few of the options highlighted in this career guide. Nelson, MacIsaac, and Ritchie have built on their earlier work, If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It (2022), with profiles of 25 new people pursuing their dreams. Laudably, the subjects are diverse in terms of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and ability… The bubbly style of the writing conveys these people’s excitement for their chosen paths; readers will immediately be pulled in and come away spurred to mull their own ambitions. “Spin-Off Job, “Pro Tip,” “Why Not Try,” and “Inspiring Individual” sidebars enliven the text…Solid inspiration to help young people think big about their futures.”

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School Library Journal, Fuse 8 

“Personally, I don’t think enough attention is paid to those kids that fret constantly about their future….It would have done me quite a bit of good to see a book like See It, Dream It, Do It. Career books are always very popular in a library, of course, but I feel like this book offers a level of reassurance that is different….With a nicely diverse selection of experts, maybe I just like this book because it appeals to elementary school/middle school me, but doggone it that kid still exists and we have to give her something!”

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Dr. Larry Recommends

“Noteworthy is consideration given to people from diverse cultures and diverse genders [dreaming of] all sorts of jobs, helping readers to consider cool career paths and give some consideration of their own dream jobs. This is an informative and engaging nonfiction compilation.”

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We the Sea Turtles Reviews

Posted on June 27th, 2023 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

Turtles swim in and out of this collection of nine gentle stories. Canadian novelist Kadarusman uses short stories to deftly explore emotional turning points in young lives. At some point in each of these moving narratives, the young protagonists encounter turtles, usually sea turtles….All have a strong environmental component; the writer’s own love for the natural world is evident. The settings are well depicted, and the racially, nationally, and economically diverse characters are distinctive. The collection is bracketed by accounts of several sea turtles’ long journeys and an imagined first-person reflection from one. “We the sea turtles are ancient stewards of our planet.” Like the turtles, these stories range widely around the world, from Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada, to Malaysia and Singapore….An exploration to be savored.

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CM Reviews

“Most of the stories are…snapshots of moments in time for kids living in very different circumstances which will be illuminating for readers…We the Sea Turtles doesn’t pull punches about the gravity of the global climate crisis or the destructiveness of natural disasters…The hope comes from action, and, in most stories, the protagonist, rather than remaining passive, finds an active way to confront the future…Ultimately, We the Sea Turtles is a book about the wonder of nature and the tenacity and beauty of its creatures, in particular the sea turtle. By encouraging kids to love and be inspired by their natural surroundings, author Michelle Kadarusman hopes to encourage a generation of children to play a positive role in the future of our planet. There is lots of fruitful content for thought and discussion. Highly Recommended.”

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Dr. Larry Recommends

“This anthology explores relevant themes like eco-anxiety, natural disaster, and the change people are forced to make when they are uprooted. Kadarusman expertly presents scientific information guided by the sincere environmental concerns that many young people reflect upon. The author takes readers around the world (e.g., Georgian Bay, Canada; Manhattan, NY; New South Wales, Australia; Komodo Island Indonesia) and describes ‘hot off the press’ narratives of such global issues as flood, fires, pollution and extinction. This is a wonderful blend of fiction and nonfiction writing. This is an ideal read-aloud source for grade 4 to 6 classrooms.”

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Look Up High! Things That Fly Reviews

Posted on June 22nd, 2023 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“An invitation to fledgling readers to admire various types of flying craft (while practicing their prepositions). A jet plane “soars across the sky,” a glider “glides behind a plane,” and other flyers from a toy airplane to the International Space Station go above, below, between, and around in big, bright stock photographs as Allenby repeatedly urges readers to “Look up high!”…It’s a quick read but well designed to put wind beneath the wings of children working to get their minds around language and parts of speech….A short flight, soon past—but with plenty of lift.”

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CM Reviews

“In the firm belief that our youngest readers need colourful, engaging primary language books, I hope you have room on your shelf for this one. Look Up High! Things That Fly has beautiful colour photos showing a jet plane, hot air balloon, glider, water bomber, airship, helicopter, toy plane, and a space station. …The rhymes are repetitive, changing only the name of the thing that flies. Soon young readers or listeners will be able to fill in the name of the flying thing and join in the rhyme… Look Up High! Things That Fly concludes with four fun and easy activities to do with a child to reinforce the concepts of positional prepositions…Highly Recommended.”

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The Imaginary Alphabet Reviews

Posted on June 22nd, 2023 by pajamapress

The Wall Street Journal, Closer Look Feature

“Each letter of the alphabet in this vivid collection gets a sentence along with a humorous tableau full of details that are meant to coax the young reader to identify other objects with names that begin with the same letter. The illustration for “I” is particularly funny, with its depiction of two lizards on skates expressing themselves against a backdrop of frozen islands.…There’s a prismatic intensity to Ms. Daigneault’s pictures that gives them a giddy feel.”

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Foreword★ Starred Review

“Dreamy colored pencil illustrations elevate this alphabet book to a work of art. ‘Inspired Iguanas Improvising on Ice’ and a ‘Unique Unicorn Using a Unicycle’ are just a few of the quirky creatures children will come across in this book; more advanced readers can also search the illustrations for hidden elements listed at the back. White-speckled quails, brown-spotted ocelots, and everything in between are depicted in meticulous detail within illustrations that will enchant adults and children alike.”

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Shelf Awareness, Maximum Shelf

“A menagerie of merry and meticulously embellished animals mingles with witty wordsmithing and a whimsical search-and-find component to create an extravagant abecedary for an extensive audience in Sylvie Daigneault’s glorious, oversized picture book, The Imaginary Alphabet.…Its limited lexicon is sophisticated enough to satisfy linguists while still approachable for its intended audience of early and emerging readers. Animal lovers and I Spy series enthusiasts, especially those who appreciate elaborate detail in picture book art, should find special joy in perusing these pages. This ornate, alliterative, and interactive alphabetical adventure invites discovery as it delights admirers with its eccentric animal reveries.”

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Shelf Awareness

“The featured animals span an impressive array of size, skin, or fur texture, and varying degrees of likely familiarity to young readers. Descriptive vocabulary includes words like ‘clumsy,’ ‘orchestrating,’ and ‘velvety,’ striking a playfully erudite tone without veering into pretentiousness….The author/illustrator uses layers of colored pencil, digitally enhanced, to achieve her attentive artwork, which feels elegant and spacious while sustaining a fanciful tone with childish appeal. This is a dreamy addition to personal shelves and library collections.”

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School Library Journal 

Unassuming at first glance, this sophisticated yet whimsical, alphabet book lures readers into a fantastical alliterative rabbit hole and is visually captivating, with the utmost attention to detail….Daigneault’s digitally enhanced colored pencil drawings are vivid dreamscapes of nature, magic, and imagination that play along with each alliterative description that proceeds. Readers of all ages will linger and absorb the many whimsical plants, animals, and objects woven throughout each carefully crafted illustration….Early elementary aged children will be drawn to the stunning ­illustrations and gamelike details of the book, but the most interest will likely be shown by grown-ups nostalgic for Graeme Base’s Animalia….An enchanting, artistic interpretation of the alphabet, sure to delight readers from A to Z.”

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Publishers Weekly

Alliterative lines accompany elaborate colored pencil drawings in this fantastical animal abecedarian for fans of Graeme Base….Daigneault’s absorbing drawings incorporate vivid detail in depicting a wide range of subjects, and back matter guides readers seeking to identify objects tucked throughout. Ages 5–10.”

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Kirkus Reviews

An alliterative animal abecedarium for avid apprentices. This whimsical yet elegant alphabet book unfolds in a series of 26 vignettes. Daigneault crafts scenes bursting with opportunity for further exploration of each sound. “C,” for example, is “Clumsy Camel Cutting a Crunchy Cake.” The accompanying illustration depicts the long-legged shaggy beast perched on a chair, cutting a toppling cake, while a curious cat looks on (clouds dotting the sky and a candy shop in the background). The letter C on the opposing page is formed out of a prickly cactus. Readers will delight not simply in the sounds, but also in the strange juxtaposition of the quirky subjects, drawn in lavish, ornate style….Fun with phonics.”

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Youth Services Book Review

“Every member of the alphabet receives meticulous attention in this lovely look and find book. Beautiful endpapers preview all the letters; each featured in a large, serif font and decorated with relevant items, which preview how they will appear on the subsequent pages. For each, an alliterative sentence appears on the left page, under a capital letter, while the right page features a fanciful and tightly composed scene with intricate pencil drawings….A complete list of every pictured item closes out the book, which will encourage kids to flip back and forth through the pages.”

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CM Review

“Sylvie Daigneault strives for a fresh approach to the well-populated alphabet book genre… The result is a playful and exuberant picture book that also functions as a treasure hunt as sharp-eyed readers are encouraged to find every alphabet clue hidden within the pages, a total of almost 300 “little gems”…Young children will enjoy exploring the vivid and meticulously detailed coloured pencil illustrations for their own sake while older children will enjoy the challenge of trying to identify every hidden alliterative clue while expanding their vocabularies…Highly Recommended.”— CM Reviews

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The International Educator 

[The] Imaginary Alphabet by Sylvie Daigneault brings back memories of Wallace Edwards’ Alphabeasts….The large picture book is beautifully executed with heavy pages and gorgeous art. Playful words invite readers to find more objects starting with each letter of the alphabet in the luscious illustrations. A list in the back helps to identify over 300 items. A fun new alphabet book for readers of all ages.”

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McLean & Eakin

“Beautiful illustrations and quirky alliteration guarantee this book will be well loved. It’s simple enough for the first stages of learning the alphabet, but complex enough to grow with a child with features like search & find.”

Parnassus Books 

“Clever wordplay and stunning illustrations make this a fabulous alphabet book.”

Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“The alliteration is a real treat and the artwork is stunning in this truly lovely new alphabet book….the joy to be found on each page is glorious….Every letter has its time in the spotlight. Most animals will be familiar to young readers; others will give older readers a chance to test their knowledge of the less familiar, and of some included objects. Colored pencils are used exclusively, and enhanced digitally, creating scenes that whet the appetite for more.” 

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Toronto.com

“Young readers learning their alphabet will enjoy this exquisitely illustrated nature alphabet book….Whether reading about “Inspired Iguanas Improvising on Ice” or “Wild Wolves Wandering the Wintery Woods” children of all ages will enjoy this book….This is definitely one of the best alphabet books that I’ve seen.”

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Dr. Larry Recommends 

“I love alphabet books. I love books that celebrate words. I love books with illustrations that enrich curiosity, wonder and imagination. This is a triple crown winner for me….300 words and one glorious trip to an art gallery with Sylvia Daigneault’s exquisite, fantastical illustrations. This is a WOW! of a book.

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The Umbrella House Reviews

Posted on March 16th, 2023 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“Seventh graders Roxy Markowski and Scout Chang-Poulin are longtime best friends. They live in Umbrella House, a real co-op in New York City’s East Village. In 1988, the then-abandoned building was occupied by squatters who restored it, after which the city government legalized the situation. Several decades later, this realistic, contemporary novel, narrated by Roxy, tells another story. A developer is buying up properties and needs the city council’s permission to acquire the building. Long-term inhabitants of the East Village, which is known for its artists, musicians, and activists, see this as unwanted gentrification….The kids join with neighbors to save their building….Blending fact, fiction, social issues, and friendship, this novel ably highlights young people’s strengths….An uplifting account of creative kids working to preserve a city landmark.”

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Booklist

“Ruby’s first-person narrative explores her worries about the battle against gentrification, a relevant theme for kids in many cities, as well as her shifting friendship with Scout. Nelson, who has lived in New York, creates a cast of interesting characters with Umbrella House (a real place with a colorful history) and its neighborhood as the setting. A well-paced story with a satisfying conclusion.”

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Publishers Weekly

“Taking inspiration from the real-life Umbrella House in Manhattan…this story blends present-day drama and nostalgia for grittier times. Nelson (The Undercover Book List), who, according to an end note, lived in N.Y.C. in the early 2000s, sketches the events in approachable, page-turning prose. With its gumshoe kids and a grassroots heart reminiscent of Seedfolks, Nelson’s novel both commends activists’ can-do spirit and emphasizes the heights to which one can go when backed by unwavering communal support..”

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Quill & Quire 

“With a delightful blend of themes about justice and the importance of art, The Umbrella House reads like a cozy concoction of Karina Yan Glaser’s The Vanderbeekers series and Tanya Lloyd Kyi’s Me and Banksy. There is also a comforting current of hope that gently but resolutely runs through the novel. Even when plans go awry or things seem to turn grim, readers cannot help but feel a flutter of possibility that David can indeed (and should) take on Goliath.

A contemporary story based on the real-life Umbrella House in New York City, Nelson offers readers a strongly written and beautifully heartening novel, rich with a wide cast of appealing characters.”

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Youth Services Book Review

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5…This book is a page-turner of discoveries, friendships, family, history, and graffiti art as activism and protest….The Umbrella House is a dynamic story of tenacity–a fight for justice and compassion around housing and the politics of who deserves to be housed.  Colleen manages to create some mystery and angst, which all contribute to the fast-paced, plot-driven narrative.  These middle schoolers evoke a hope for change while also navigating the complexities of growth in friendship as they relate to self-discovery and passion.

A thoughtful author’s note, map, photos, and sources are included to guide the reader in learning more about the history behind the Umbrella House and the Lower East Side. This book should not be missed.  Display it proudly alongside other books inspiring social change, drawing attention to gentrification, housing insecurity, graffiti murals, and community pride.”

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Canadian Materials 

“Featuring two young people with lots of initiative and a mature appreciation of their community, The Umbrella House is a compelling read. Scout and Ruby are well-developed characters; Scout is less confident than Ruby, but both are equally talented, thoughtful and committed. A believable cast of eccentric local characters brings wisdom, encouragement and a variety of skills and memories to aid the children with their film. The unique charm of the East Village is clearly shown, revealing its history, vitality, artistry and the relationship between local businesses and residents….The Umbrella House is a fast paced read that is both enjoyable and encouraging. With a little mystery, a lot of love, some endearing characters, a portrait of a traditional part of New York and a triumph of community over greed The Umbrella House will appeal to children aged 8-12. Highly Recommended

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YA Books Central 

“New York City has so much rich history, and I know so little of it! I’m always glad for books like Tarpley’s The Harlem Charade or Rodriguez and Bell’s Doodles from the Boogie Down that offer a tantalizing glimpse into a more urban existence. It’s fascinating that a city would choose to cut holes in the roof of a building and fill the pipes with cement rather than trying to sell or tear down an abandoned edifice. The artistic culture that Roxy’s grandmother is part of certainly benefitted from it, and the portrayal of a neighborhood in transition is an interesting one.

Roxy and Scout are very dedicated to their news reporting, and Veracity News is an interesting outlet. Many writers get their start in Young Voices competitions, so seeing the struggles that the two had to get their episode produced will appeal to young reporters….The Umbrella House will be a good choice for readers who enjoyed Dilloway’s Five Things About Ava Andrews, Giles’ Take Back the Block, Watson’s This Side of Home, or Broaddus’ Unfadeable.”

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The International Educator

The Umbrella House by Colleen Nelson is a wonderful new novel for middle graders to sink their teeth into. I really enjoyed reading this engaging story….Through the story, you get to know the lovely, diverse mix of eclectic residents….An enjoyable read that is well written.”

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Book Time 

“I loved the sounds of East Village: it seemed like a real neighbourhood where people look out for each and where shop local is a real thing. The characters were electric, their stories unique and there were lots of things going on.”

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Storytime With Stephanie

“An ode to community activism and the East Village in New York City (NYC), The Umbrella House by Colleen Nelson is a middle grade novel that will have readers thinking about what they can do to protect their own communities…At 218 pages, it’s the perfect length and a real gritty story that is relevant in more places than just NYC these days…It is a beautiful story that will engage readers and leave them yearning for a trip to NYC to see the Umbrella House for themselves. Also, a huge shout out to the incredible Peggy Collins for her BEAUTIFUL cover illustrations. The book simply pops.”

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Jill’s Book Blog

“I had never heard of The Umbrella House before reading this story. There was a brief note at the beginning of the book that explained the history of the building. It was an abandoned building that was made uninhabitable, but squatters still moved in. Eventually the squatters improved the building, making it habitable again, and turned it into a co-op building. It was so nice to learn about this through a middle school story. The story showed first hand why it’s important to save historical buildings that embody the personality of a neighbourhood. The Umbrella House is a fun and empowering story!”

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A Flower is a Friend Reviews

Posted on March 15th, 2023 by pajamapress

Kirkus Starred Review

“Nature creates marvelous and beneficial partnerships….Beginning with this quietly lovely book’s first spread, blossoms proudly announce themselves in clear, simple prose and describe how they help their friends….A thought-provoking question (“Why would a morning glory be happy to see a dragonfly?”) about a specific flower-creature relationship at the bottom of each page stimulates visual literacy and creative and critical thinking. The remarkable digital illustrations, so photographically, lusciously lifelike that one can almost smell floral aromas wafting from the pages, call for readers’ close scrutiny and attention to detail and suggest answers to the questions. If they don’t bring responses to readers’ minds quickly, the fact-packed backmatter about the flower-creature bonds will do the trick….A garden of gorgeous delights.”

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School Library Journal 

“This appealing work of creative nonfiction introduces readers to symbiotic relationships between flowers and various members of the animal kingdom….Wishinsky’s understated prose strikes a balance between straightforward facts and quiet lyricism, mining interest from simple truths found in the natural world. Patkau achieves striking realism in her mixed-media collage illustrations, from the delicate folds at the center of a pale rose to the blotchy markings on a frog’s smooth skin. VERDICT Young readers will enjoy the accessible tone and engaging illustrations of this scientifically minded book; this is first-rate for browsing shelves or to round-out classroom collections.”

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Booklist

“This appealing picture book takes viewers on a close-up tour of a garden to meet the flowers and their helpful friends, the insects, spiders, snails, birds, mice, and bats that visit them….Wishinsky’s age-appropriate text talks of friendships between flowers and animals and uses questions to engage her audience. Beginning with the dust jacket’s image of a mouse peeking out of a tulip flower, Patkau’s vibrantly colorful illustrations are eye-catching and helpful. An intriguing picture book on flowers and their friends.”

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Youth Services Book Review Starred Review

“Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5….This stunningly beautiful picture book tells of the relationship between a selection of flowers and some of their pollinators and ‘friends.’ Birds and bugs help the flowers and flowers in turn help the creatures to survive and thrive….The interconnectedness of nature is explained in easy-to-understand descriptions and the colorful illustrations of familiar and not-so-familiar flowers are beautiful to look at….Included in the back are explanations for all the flowers and their ‘friends’ and even an index.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers who enjoy or want to learn more about nature and gardening will love this book.

Who should buy this book? Pre-schools, day-cares, and public libraries will want to get this book.

Where would you shelve it? Non-fiction picture books, great to use in a display for spring or summer

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes”

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CM Magazine

“Within the familiar colourful array of blooms in a mixed flower bed lies a wonderful invitation to embrace science….In a dozen examples that encompass morning to night, the symbiosis between flowers and the small creatures that interact with them is shown in delicate, glowing digitally created images. They are paired with minimal text: a verb and noun that describe the relationship (e.g. kiss a butterfly), and a question (e.g. why do butterflies and zinnias love being together?). Pause to consider some reasons, take a guess, explore what you may already know—and simply enjoy the vibrant illustrations. And then turn to the back matter for facts about the biological interactions that keep an ecosystem functioning….There is ample opportunity in this simple book for reader involvement: the questions posed throughout make A Flower is a Friend a gentle interactive exercise, and a double spread flower garden illustration invites a search for the friends of flowers sprinkled among the blossoms. Enjoy both quiet moments with the pictures and the fun of discovery with the text in this thoughtful book. Highly Recommended”

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The International Educator

A Flower Is A Friend by Frieda Wishinsky, art by Karen Patkau is a lovely celebration of flowers….The art invites the reader to study the images closely to discover more animals. The back pages give nonfiction details about each animal mentioned like bats and spiders. A perfect book for nature lovers.”

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CLCD – Children’s Literature

“This quiet, cozy, informative, and beautifully illustrated children’s book explores the relationships between flowers and wildlife. Using sparce, poetic language, the left page describes the things flowers do, like dance in the wind and drink the rain. At the bottom of the page, a question about the relationship between flowers and wildlife is posed. These questions help engage readers, asking them to think critically, and promote conversations…The soft, digital renderings give the book a calm feeling while the vibrant colors attract readers…Perfect for schools and libraries, this fantastic introduction to nature, gardening, and ecosystems will captivate children ages 3 – 6 with its realistic artwork and accessible language.”

Larry Swartz 

“Master nonfiction author Frieda Wishinsky helps readers think about the way that flowers care for those around it….Each page of text features a question that helps readers think about the wonders of nature and the beauty of flowers. Full page, close-up illustrations by award-winning illustrator Karen Patkau are spectacular. In an afterward to the book, succinct information about each of the animals we have met throughout the book. This is a gorgeous gem of a nonfiction title.”

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CanLit for LittleCanadians

Page after page of glorious digital art….A Flower is a Friend will be a lovely book for teaching STEM with regards to the growth and changes in plants and the interrelationships of living things….Coupled with Karen Patkau’s illustrations, A Flower is a Friend transforms from creative non-fiction to gorgeous coffee table book that any reader would love to peruse.”

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