Pajama Press

Archive for the ‘Elephant Journey’ Category

Elephant Journey “A sensitive account of animal activism and rehabilitation”—Publishers Weekly

Posted on March 21st, 2016 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Website“Born in southern Africa, elephants Toka and Iringa were later captured and brought to a Toronto zoo; a third elephant, Thika, was born in captivity. When the zoo’s cramped conditions and cold climate began to impair the elephants’ heath, public outcry resulted in their 2013 relocation to a California sanctuary. In subdued oil paintings, Deines focuses on the elephants’ long, difficult journey, riding in crates on flatbed truck trailers through dangerous weather conditions. Seeing Toka, Iringa, and Thika finally free to explore their new home—80 acres of glowing grasslands—will likely bring relief to sensitive readers. Photographs and additional rescue details round out a sensitive account of animal activism and rehabilitation. Ages 6–9.”

Elephant Journey nominated for Hackmatack Award

Posted on March 18th, 2016 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_WebsiteElephant Journey: The True Story of Three Zoo Elephants and their Rescue from Captivity, written by Rob Laidlaw and Illustrated by Brian Deines, has been nominated for the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award. Elephant Journey is an account of the road travelled by Toka, Thika, and Iringa, three African elephants, from the Toronto Zoo to the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in California.

The Hackmatack Award is Atlantic Canada’s reading program for students in grades four to six. Participants will read a shortlist of ten fiction books and ten non-fiction books in either English or French, then vote for their favourites. You learn more at the Hackmatack Award website.

In 2014, No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs, also by Rob Laidlaw, won the Hackmatack Award in the English Non-Fiction category. Its sequel, Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends, was nominated the following year.

Vegbooks recommends Elephant Journey by Rob Laidlaw and Brian Deines

Posted on March 3rd, 2016 by pajamapress

“Rob Laidlaw, one of my favorite children’s authors covering animal protection topics, recently released his latest title, Elephant Journey, which follows Toka, Thika, and Iringa in their travels and experiences. (I received a copy of this book to review.)

ElephantJourney_Website…This lifelong journey to sanctuary was no small feat, and the majority of the book’s pages focus on the last leg of the journey from the zoo to California: the fabrication of special transport units, the Canadian-US border crossing, and overcoming mountainous, snowy terrain. Subdued oil paintings by Brian Deines based on actual footage from the trip make this a calm, easy-to-follow and hopeful storyline. And this wouldn’t be a Laidlaw title unless their was some science, which comes in the form of an index, photographs and additional information at the end of the book.

So much of what PAWS does goes without the recognition it deserves. This 40-page book does a beautiful job of telling a powerful story that demonstrates why sanctuaries, animal activists, and nonprofits are so important: because they help real animals who have endured so much, like Toka, Thika, and Iringa, and are making great strides towards creating a world free from harm, free of captivity.

Recommended.”

Click here to read the full review.

Elephant Journey is a Toronto Public Library Top Pick for December

Posted on December 22nd, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“This picture book tells the true story of Toronto Zoo’s three elephants, Toka, Thika and Iringa, who were relocated to the PAWS sanctuary in California in 2013. The gorgeous oil paintings by Brian Deines show the beauty and intelligence of these wonderful animals, but also reflect the hardship they experienced living in captivity and in a climate so different from where they were born. Toronto readers may recognize local touches in the artwork, including landmarks at the Toronto Zoo and a Toronto police cruiser. This uplifting tale has a hopeful ending and is a great introduction to elephants and animal activism for younger kids.”

Click here to read the full round-up

Victoria Times Colonist’s favourite picture books of 2015

Posted on December 22nd, 2015 by pajamapress

“I often don’t like kids’ books that are too obviously tackling a particular social issue…

By “issue” books, incidentally, I don’t mean stories with a message. Good stories often have a moral or message, and in the best ones, it never feels forced…

Here are a few of my top picks for 2015 out of the review copies the Times Colonist received this year. All have been lab-tested on my seven- and nine-year-old, are suitable for ages five and up, and combine good storytelling and clear writing with imaginative illustrations, and usually a little humour.

A Year of Borrowed Men | Michelle Barker & Renné Benoit | Pajama PressOne of my favourites is A Year of Borrowed Men, by B.C. author Michelle Barker, about a German family’s complex relationship with French prisoners of war brought in to work on their farm in the Second World War. Based on a true story and illustrated by Renné Benoit (Pajama Press), A Year of Borrowed Men is told from the point of view of a young girl who likes the men and struggles to understand why they are not supposed to be “Freundes” or friends. If you like books that inspire lots of questions from your kids, this is a good one. Some of them might be hard to answer, though.

ElephantJourney_InternetElephant Journey: The True Story of Three Zoo Elephants and their Rescue from Captivity, by Rob Laidlaw with art by Brian Deines (Pajama Press), is another thought-provoking read for kids. Told in easy-to-understand language, it’s the story of a complicated effort to retire three elephants from the Toronto Zoo to an open-air animal sanctuary in California. As with Borrowed Men, this one will provide many opportunities for discussion with kids, starting with: Why would people want to keep the elephants in Toronto, even if it’s not good for them? It includes real-life photos, always a plus…”
—Patricia Coppard

Click here to read the full post.

Resource Links praises Elephant Journey by Rob Laidlaw and Brian Deines

Posted on December 22nd, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“A book that combines the true story of transporting three elephants from the Toronto Zoo to a new home in California in 2013, and factual information about elephants. The details about this removal from the zoo to a Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in Calavaras County, California are precise. Details of the death of one of the elephants from degenerative foot and joint problems eighteen months after the move are included to illustrate the potential problems of housing animals in zoos. The limited size of enclosures and artificial surfaces employed cause defects that may occur when the animal can[not] roam and keep their bodies fit.

The art of Brian Deines shows the similarities between the Californian highlands and the savannahs of Africa, in contrast to the snowy concrete world of the Toronto Zoo, which adds much to the character and enjoyment of this book.”
—Mavis Holder

Elephant Journey a 49th Shelf Favourite Picture Book of 2015

Posted on December 14th, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“This book captures the real-life journey of three elephants from the Toronto Zoo to their new home at an animal sanctuary in California, the story also framing the difficulties of wild animals in captivity and our changing understanding of zoos and their purposes. From acclimatizing the elephants to their travel crates, to transporting the crates by crane onto transport trucks, and then those transport trucks’ long, winding journey across the continent (which includes the drivers dousing the wheels with water as the brakes start to overheat while they’re climbing up and down mountains in Utah and Nevada), Laidlaw’s words and Deines’ illustrations work perfectly together to bring this tale to life.”

Click here to read the full post.

Seven Metroland Media outlets recommend Elephant Journey

Posted on December 14th, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“A heartwarming nature adventure for children, Elephant Journey: The True Story of Three Zoo Elephants and their Rescue from Captivity chronicles the steps in relocating the last three surviving elephants at the Toronto Zoo to their more appropriate home at the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California.

Rob Laidlaw, author and founder of Zoocheck, has written an entertaining account of this journey for young children where he shows how the less than an acre enclosure, with Canadian winters, was nothing like the native African home the animals should be enjoying.

After considerable work and effort by many people, the three elephants—Toka, Thika and Iringa—were transported to a much more suitable and healthier place. The PAWS sanctuary boasts “eighty acres of natural land” where the animals can explore “hills, trees, streams, and grasslands” compared to the “barely one acre of mostly barren ground” in Toronto the animals were forced to endure for years.

At the end of the inspirational story the author has included information about elephants and the dramatic events that resulted in their rescue and better life at the PAWS sanctuary.

Complemented with excellent illustrations by Brian Deines and photographs, Elephant Journey is an important book, with an important message, that parents, teachers and other educators would be wise to share with their children.”

This review was published in:

Inside Halton
Our Windsor
MuskokaRegion.com
DurhamRegion.com
NorthBayNipissing.com
ParrySound.com
Simcoe.com

Elephant Journey is an important book.”—CM Magazine

Posted on December 14th, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“…Elephant Journey is an important book. For those who grew up with the elephants at the zoo, for those who only visited Toko, Thika, and Iringa once or twice, or for those who have never had (and may never have) a chance to experience the elephant exhibit in Toronto, this book is a worthwhile read. It’s a positive look at the decisions made by activists in both Canada and the US to help the elephants live a happier and healthier life, and it’s an fascinating look at the incredible journey the elephants made to reach their new home in California.

Highly Recommended.”

Click here to read the full review.

Elephant Journey “An appealing animal-rescue book”—Booklist

Posted on December 14th, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“Toka, Iringa, and Thika, three female elephants at the Toronto Zoo, showed signs of illness, people became concerned about their living in a cold climate with so little room to roam. In a clearly written narrative, Laidlaw explains how the three elephants were moved from the zoo to an animal sanctuary in California. Led into crates that were loaded onto a flatbed trailer, the elephants made the long journey west, where they were greeted by other elephants and released onto an 80-acre preserve of grasslands with hills, trees, and streams. Based on photos of the elephants’ journey, Deines’ oil paintings illustrate the text very effectively. An animal-rights activist and the author of children’s books such as Saving Lives and Changing Hearts: Animal Sanctuaries and Rescue Centers (2013) and Wild Animals in Captivity (2008), Laidlaw mentions his personal involvement in the project in the four-page appended section. Illustrated with color photos, this section comments on elephants in general as well as the facts behind the narrative. An appealing animal-rescue book.”

— Carolyn Phelan

Click here to read the review on BooklistOnline.com