Pajama Press

Archive for the ‘Peach Girl’ Category

“Readers looking for a strong female protagonist will enjoy Momko’s adventure in Peach Girl” says New York Botanical Gardens

Posted on August 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

Peach Girl - written by Raymond Nakamura, illustrated by Rebecca BenderPeach Girl introduces Momoko, an ambitious little girl who sets out to make the world a better place!…The illustrations by Rebecca Bender are bright, exciting and compliment the narrative very well. Plenty of peachy colors assist the light and fun tone. Readers looking for a strong female protagonist will enjoy Momoko’s adventure in Peach Girl.”

Click here to read the full review

Happy Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Posted on January 27th, 2017 by pajamapress

On Multicultural Children’s Book Day we are pleased to celebrate books written by or in collaboration with people of various cultures. Knowing this collection should be larger, we encourage submissions from authors and illustrators from every background.

This is the fourth year running for Multicultural Children’s Book Day mission is to raise awareness for the children’s books that celebrate diversity, and to get more of these books into classrooms and libraries. You can find out more about this very important initiative here.

Here are some of our titles that we recommend to those looking to introduce new, diverse books to their bookshelves.20170127_120033

Peach Girl by Raymond Nakamura, illustrated by Rebecca Bender

Adrift at Sea by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and Tuan Ho, illustrated by Brian Deines

Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis

Next Round: A Young Athlete’s Journey to Gold by John Spray

Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Raymond Nakamura on Family Heritage

Posted on May 24th, 2016 by pajamapress

Raymond Nakamura is a Vancouver-based educational consultant, avid science blogger and the author of Peach Girl. He explored his Japanese heritage while spending time at a marine station and teaching ESL in Southern Japan. To celebrate Asian Heritage Month, we asked him if he’d be interested in writing a short piece for us about his family’s experiences as Japanese-Canadians.

Peach Girl - written by Raymond Nakamura, illustrated by Rebecca BenderPeach Girl is my reimagining of a well-known Japanese folk tale about a girl born from a peach, who is here to make the world a better place, one ogre at a time. Recently, a librarian at Strathcona Elementary in Vancouver invited me to read it at her school, as part of their multicultural festival. By coincidence, my mother went to that school as a young girl in the 30s and 40s. I asked the librarian if she’d be interested in my mother’s story and she encouraged me to include it.

My mother was born a few blocks from the school, around Powell Street, the largest Japanese Canadian community in Canada at that time. Her parents had come from Japan to make a new life for themselves. They ran a taxi company and an electrical appliance store.

Monday to Friday, my mom, her younger sister, and friends walked to Strathcona. After school, they walked to the Japanese school on Alexander street to study some more. And twice a week, she went to Japanese dancing lessons.

Soon after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Canadian government forced the relocation of everyone of Japanese descent on the coast of British Columbia, including my mother and her family.

While telling the story of my mother and then of Peach Girl to students at Strathcona, another librarian dug up the archived attendance cards of my mother, uncle and aunt. The last entry on each index card in May of 1942, indicated in pencil that they had moved to Minto. That was the ghost town where my mother and her family lived during World War II.

The world is now a different place from when my mother grew up. This opportunity helped me better appreciate the connection between my mother’s story and that of  Peach Girl, which deals with overcoming fear and facing the unknown with hope.

If you’d like to see more of Raymond’s writing, consider following his website or his Twitter.

Four Pajama Press Authors on the 2016 TD Book Week Tour

Posted on September 1st, 2015 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is excited to announce that four of our authors and author/illustrators will be touring as part of TD Canadian Children’s Book Week 2016.


Rebecca Bender, author and illustrator of the Giraffe and Bird books and illustrator of Peach Girl by Raymond Nakamura

Wallace Edwards, author and illustrator of the forthcoming Once Upon a Line

Sarah Ellis, author of A+ for Big Ben and Ben Says Goodbye


Margriet Ruurs, co-author of A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison

TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is an annual festival that celebrates Canadian children’s books and the importance of reading. This year 30 authors, illustrators, and storytellers will travel to events in every province and territory, presenting to over 28,000 participants.

Visit the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the  TD Book Week website to learn more.

Peach Girl is a Toronto Public Library First & Best Selection

Posted on November 19th, 2014 by pajamapress

PeachGirlCoverPeach Girl, the lively picture book writtenby Raymond Nakamura and illustrated by Rebecca Bender, has been selected as a Toronto Public Library “First & Best” book for 2014. The First & Best list, which features ten new Canadian books for children from ages 0–5, is carefully selected to increase young children’s reading readiness. Because, as the Toronto Public Library website says, “the first books you share with your child should also be the best!”

Click here to view the full list.

The International Educator reviews Peach Girl

Posted on November 12th, 2014 by pajamapress

PeachGirlCover“Based on an old Japanese tale, this picture book has the feel of a magical fairy tale. Momoko, the girl who magically appears out of a peach, bravely sets off to save the world from an ogre. Together with her animal friends, Momoko eventually finds the ogre who, it turns out, does not eat children but enjoys tea with peach dumplings.”

Peach Girl “will be cherished by many generations to come”—Resource Links

Posted on October 27th, 2014 by pajamapress

PeachGirlCover“When a Japanese farmer and his wife see young Momoko push her way out of a giant peach, they immediately begin to care for her. Using various parts of the fruit, they provide her with clothing, protection, and food. “Peachy” she declares, before she starts off to make the world a better place. As she journeys through the forest, looking for the ogre the couple warned her about, she meets a monkey, a dog, and a pheasant. Although each animal is frightened of the ogre who is bigger than a tree, has teeth like knives, and eyes that shoot flames, they agree to help Momoko for a serving of her peach dumplings. Although the trip is not easy (they have to build a boat) and their fear of the ogre never dissipates, the friends find the ogre’s house and make their presence known. When the strangers begin to talk with one another, they realize no one is as scary as they thought, and because they all love peach dumplings and good company, new friendships are formed.

Inspired by the Japanese story, Peach Boy, this tale (illustrated with acrylics) stars a courageous girl who makes the world a friendlier place through her actions and beliefs. She brings strangers together (Next time, I’ll bring my folks too) and shares what she can; even if it’s all she owns. Set in old Japan, the beautiful picture book with full page paintings, will be cherished by many generations to come.”

Peach Girl Free Audiobook

Posted on October 15th, 2014 by pajamapress


Enjoy the Peach Girl audiobook read by Raymond Nakamura, with Risa Nakamura as Momoko.

You can also check out the Peach Girl book trailer here.

Peach Girl Audiobook Sound Design by Rance Nakamura
Recorded & Mixed by Rance Nakamura
Peach Girl Theme composed by Rance Nakamura
©2014 Rance Nakamura ℗2014 Rance Nakamura All Rights Reserved.

Smithsonian BookDragon extols the Peach Girl’s heroism

Posted on October 1st, 2014 by pajamapress

PeachGirl_RGB“…Vancouver-based educator and science blogger Raymond Nakamura’s feisty Momoko is a truth-seeking explorer who doesn’t let gossip about overbearing size, sharp teeth, burning eyes, much less cannibalistic tendencies, deter her from having fabulous experiences. Artist Rebecca Bender celebrates Momoko’s girl power, and makes sure to imbue our intrepid hero with energetic charm and never-flagging spirit. Cleary, we should all be so tenaciously broad-minded as we face the ever-changing wide world. That said, global improvement also includes paying attention to what’s closer to home. Momoko might be a fearless explorer, but she also doesn’t forget her daughterly duties: she’s quick to acknowledge and appreciate her parents’ enabling support by planning on bringing the oldsters along her next time out. A family that seeks together … has a much better time all around!

Oh, such courage and devotion both! Momoko is surely a 21st-century original hero with epic potential. Move over Momotarō … Momoko is here to inspire a new generation of exuberant heroes indeed! Go, girl, go!”

Click here to read the full review.

Kirkus calls Peach Girl “winningly good-natured”

Posted on July 16th, 2014 by pajamapress

PeachGirl_HR_RGB“Armed with only her wits, her courage and some delicious peach dumplings cooked by the farmer, she meets a monkey, a dog and a pheasant who, lured by the dumplings, accompany her on her quest…The acrylic paintings feature a winsome girl, three friendly animals and a jolly green giant whose friendliness belies the tales told of him…this story has a satisfying ring and a tasty ending. A winningly good-natured version of a familiar favorite.”

Click here to read the full review.