Penguin Days highlights “love, acceptance, and friendship,” says Kirkus Reviews

Posted on November 27th, 2018 by pajamapress

Kirkus ReviewsCover: Penguin Days Author: Sara Leach Illustrator: Rebecca Bender Publisher: Pajama Press

“Lauren, who has autism spectrum disorder, is back for a second outing following Slug Days (2017)….A scratchy dress, a little vomit, and an accidental fall into the calves’ stall will all get in the way, although Lauren’s dislike of new situations and a bad case of stage fright are the biggest challenges. Lauren relates her prickly feelings in a believably forthright voice that offers readers welcome insight into her perspective….

Bender’s soft, gentle illustrations expand and illuminate Lauren’s narrative. Plenty of white space and short chapters make this empathetic effort extra accessible to a broad audience….

Another fine and enlightening peek into Lauren’s unique, often challenging world that displays her differences but highlights the needs she shares with all children: love, acceptance and friendship. (Fiction. 5-9)”

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My Beautiful Birds illustrations “remin[d] me of many amazing sunsets and cloud-filled skies,” says That’s Another Story

Posted on November 26th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: My Beautiful Birds Author: Suzanne Del Rizzo Publisher: Pajama PressThat’s Another Story

“The story is told in a way that helps younger children connect to the feelings of sadness and fear of the refugee experience.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful, reminding me of many amazing sunsets and cloud-filled skies I have experienced.”

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ASLC Litpicks says My Beautiful Birds is a “must for every school library…”

Posted on November 25th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: My Beautiful Birds Author: Suzanne Del Rizzo Publisher: Pajama PressASLC Litpicks

“Canadian Suzanne Del Rizzo has created a gorgeously layered and textured vision of a refugee camp in Syria based on a true story….Politics and worldviews are conspicuously absent, as Del Rizzo’s incredibly detailed paint, Plasticine and polymer clay illustrations make Sami and the camp come to life. The camp is shown as a clean and safe place, with none of the darker elements of refugee life. This allows the focus to remain on the consequences of war for one young boy and his triumph over adversity, and brings the story to a level that young children in this country will be able to access and empathize with. A must for every school library.”

—Lissa Davies

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Small Things “black and white panel illustrations tell a thousand words…” says Vancouver Family Magazine

Posted on November 23rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Small Things Author: Mel Tregonning Publisher: Pajama PressVancouver Family Magazine

“It may be impossible to know if childhood anxiety is on the rise, or if society is simply and finally calling it what it is. But in either case, the challenge is clear: many kids experience intense fear and uncertainty in an increasingly changing world. Small Things by Mel Tregonning (Pajama Press Inc., 2018) confronts this reality with stunning illustrations that depict a boy whose worry follows him around like so many clinging monsters, and eats away at him like chipping China. The book is wordless, but the black and white panel illustrations tell a thousand words about the plight of anxiety and ultimately the healing power of acceptance and connection.”

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Small Things offers “hope,” says ASLC Litpicks

Posted on November 22nd, 2018 by pajamapress

ASLC Litpicks

“This large graphic novel styled picture book tells the story of a young boy whose anxiety manifests itself as tiny beings, who gnaw away at his very identity. The powerful imagery of anxiety and worry as beings is told entirely through wordless illustrations. They eat away at him, affecting his social interactions, school work and increases his sense of loneliness. When he opens up to his sister, he learns that others may be experiencing similar feelings. ‘Small things’ can grow, as anxiety can, to become something too big to deal with on one’s own. Though this book offers no easy answers, it does end with hope after sharing his worries with his family.”

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“The young protagonist…has some real spunk and AGENCY” says Worlds of Words about When the Rain Comes

Posted on November 21st, 2018 by pajamapress

Worlds of Words

“What a beautiful book about such a terrible phenomenon! The reality, however, is that flooding happens across the world and has the potential for great destruction. The young protagonist in this picturebook has some real spunk and AGENCY. I think this is a wonderful book to share with young people, showing Malini’s responsibility but also the danger of flooding.”

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Kirkus Reviews call Bender’s illustrations in Penguin Days “soft, gentle…and illuminate Lauren’s narrative.”

Posted on November 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Penguin Days Author: Sara Leach Illustrator: Rebecca Bender Publisher: Pajama PressKirkus Reviews

“Lauren, who has autism spectrum disorder, is back for a second outing following Slug Days (2017)…..

Lauren relates her prickly feelings in a believably forthright voice that offers readers welcome insight into her perspective. Her emerging understanding of facial expressions helps her relate her parents’ and teacher’s periodic frustrations with her difficulties, yet their occasional annoyance is neatly juxtaposed against her thoughts and feelings….

Bender’s soft, gentle illustrations expand and illuminate Lauren’s narrative.”

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Bringham Young University calls When the Rain Comes “Excellent…”

Posted on November 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

Brigham Young University, Children’s Book & Media Reviews

“Rating: Excellent…

Told in free verse from Malini’s point of view, this tale reveals the coming-of-age of a young Sri Lankan girl. A note at the back of the book explains more about life in Sri Lanka, the importance of rice as a staple food, and the two monsoon seasons which affect the area. Readers unfamiliar with this small country would likely benefit from reading the note first to provide context for the story. Poignantly written, When The Rain Comes provides insight into the diversity of life through Malini’s weighty struggle to ensure prosperity for her community in the coming year.”

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How Do You Feel? “is a sweet children’s book” says Brigham Young University

Posted on November 18th, 2018 by pajamapress

Brigham Young University, Children’s Book & Media Reviews

“This is a sweet children’s book with acrylic and colored pencil illustrations. Each animal uses a simile to describe how they feel: ‘I feel slimy, like a slippery watermelon seed.’ Some of the comparisons should help children who haven’t had direct contact with some of these animals to understand what they feel like.”

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Booklist calls the Too Young to Escape narrative “impressively credible.”

Posted on November 18th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Too Young to Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits to be Reunited with Her Family Authors: Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and Van Ho Publisher: Pajama PressBooklist

“Skrypuch continues her collaboration with the Ho family in telling the stories of their escape from Vietnam after the war. Here the youngest daughter, Van Ho, pieces together memories of being the one who was left behind at the age of four….

As a work of fragmented and painful memories from the time Van was between the ages of four and eight, the narrative is impressively credible, capturing her feelings of confused abandonment, visceral descriptions of her life in Ho Chi Minh City, and gradual adjustment to being separated from her immediate family….”

—Amina Chaudhri

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