Harvey Holds His Own Reviews

Posted on May 8th, 2020 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

Cover: Harvey Holds His Own Author: Colleen Nelson Illustrator: Tara Anderson Publisher: Pajama Press“Characters…are lovingly developed, resulting in a deeply engaging coming-of-age story. Anderson’s soft, pencil illustrations set up each chapter.

Another fine effort that wraps up some loose ends but also explores worthy new ground.”

Click here to read the full review

Foreword Reviews

“Colleen Nelson’s heartwarming novel Harvey Holds His Own is about friendship, loyalty, and the importance of staying true to oneself, no matter the obstacles….

Harvey’s love for his people, his desire to protect his territory, and his curiosity for the world around him are authentic reflections of canine personalities. The memories that Mrs. Fradette shares are interesting for their glimpses into the past, and Maggie and Austin both navigate difficult situations with maturity and consideration for those around them.

Harvey Holds His Own is a charming novel whose important life lessons are bettered by the love of a good dog.”
—Catherine Thureson (July / August 2020)

Read the full review in the July/August 2020 issue of Foreword Reviews

A Quiet Girl Reviews

Posted on April 28th, 2020 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

Cover: A Quiet Girl Author-Illustrator: Peter Carnavas Publisher: Pajama Press“This gentle Australian import exhorts readers to listen, pay attention, and, sometimes, unplug…The delicate, sweet line illustrations present brown-haired Mary and her family with beige skin and also depict creative ideas for recycling plastic bottles. A spread with simple mindfulness tips concludes the book.

A cautionary tale about listening closely in order to discover the world’s pleasures.”

Click here to read the full review

The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them Teaching Guides

Posted on March 31st, 2020 by pajamapress

Click here to download the The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them teaching guide.

Queenie Quail Can't Keep Up Teaching Guides

Posted on March 31st, 2020 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Queenie Quail Can’t Keep Up teaching guide.

Finding Lucy Teaching Guides

Posted on March 31st, 2020 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Finding Lucy teaching guide.

Lili Macaroni Teaching Guides

Posted on March 31st, 2020 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Lili Macaroni teaching guide.

Harvey Comes Home Interviews

Posted on March 20th, 2020 by pajamapress

Cover: Harvey Comes Home Author: Colleen Nelson Publisher: Pajama PressMade in Manitoba Book TV interview with Colleen Nelson

Paula Knows What to Do Teaching Guides

Posted on March 16th, 2020 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Paula Knows What to Do teaching guide.

The Elephant Teaching Guides

Posted on March 16th, 2020 by pajamapress

Click here to download the teaching guide for The Elephant.

The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them Reviews

Posted on February 10th, 2020 by pajamapress

Booklist

“In No Shelter Here (2012), animal advocate Laidlaw highlighted the best practices for procuring and caring for dogs. This newer informational book can serve as a stand-alone or a companion guide….Additional checklists, sidebars, and visuals help make this a fetching book for dog lovers.”
—Angela Leeper

Click here to read the full review

School Library Journal

“An emphasis on advocacy characterizes this introduction to supporting man’s best friend….The author’s obvious love of dogs and the impressive feats of the Dog Patrol will inspire young readers to take an interest in animal welfare causes.

VERDICT Dog lovers will relish the rich detail and extensive photography in this engaging guide to canine care and advocacy.”

Click here to read the full review

Kirkus Reviews

“Clear, accurate, engaging, and informative text combines with a substantial collection of high-interest color photographs, several per large page, to round out a thorough exploration of an important issue….Suggestions abound for tasks readers could actually accomplish to improve dogs’ lives. The profiles of young activists add a level of inspiration and ideas for those who want to take further steps and do more than just providing better care for their own dogs….A dog lover’s pledge, a thorough glossary, a detailed index, and a long list of useful websites round out a fine presentation.

Perfect for dog lovers and those contemplating that critical mission.”

Click here to read the full review

Midwest Book Review

“With informational sidebars, full-color photographs, a glossary and index, and a list of further resources, The Dog Patrol is an ideal instructional handbook and guide for young readers ages 8-12 who seek to improve their canine companion’s welfare at home and beyond — making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library Pets/Wildlife collections.”

Click here to read the full review

Quill & Quire

“Welcoming a pet into your family is a serious commitment and The Dog Patrol offers a comprehensive training manual, specifically designed for kids, on responsible guardianship. Rob Laidlaw, a Silver Birch Award–winning author, biologist, and founder of the wildlife protection organization Zoocheck, expertly delivers practical advice in a calm, friendly tone….With honesty and directness, Laidlaw emphasizes the importance of due diligence: ‘The information you collect might convince you not to get a dog, but that’s okay. If you can’t meet a dog’s needs, it’s probably best to wait.’…

Laidlaw, one of Canada’s most dedicated and respected authorities on animal welfare, provides effective leadership training for young advocates in this essential resource.”

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine

“In The Dog Patrol, Laidlaw makes sure that young readers are educated in a gentle and thorough way about canine needs. The book introduces the history of the canine and how the original gray wolf developed into hundreds of modern dog breeds, each with its own unique characteristics. It discusses how intelligent dogs are, their social needs and the wisdom of adopting a dog, particularly an older one, from a reliable shelter….

The Dog Patrol definitely belongs in elementary school classrooms or libraries…

Highly Recommended.”
—Helen Mason of Ottawa, Ontario, started her career teaching. When she was in her mid-20’s, she began a freelance writing career, has authored 38 nonfiction books, many of them for young readers, and is currently working on a young adult novel.

Click here to read the full review

CanLit for LittleCanadians

“Rob Laidlaw’s book The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them goes beyond the traditional information of different breeds. A well-known advocate for animals, Rob Laidlaw, wanted to not only explain how to care for dog companions but to educate readers about some of the dangers these animals can face….

This book is an excellent read for children who love animals. It will help them to better understand all of the care a companion dog needs, how to understand the signals dogs are giving humans, how to find a reputable adoption centre, and so much more. Many families may not be able to have a dog due to allergies or space restrictions, but they can still be a dog advocate like some of the children in the Dog Patrol profiles highlighted in the book. I am sure Rob Laidlaw’s The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them will inspire readers to support animals in need in their own communities.”
—Elizabeth Cook is a teacher-librarian in the Halton District School Board. She is an avid reader and fan of Canadian literature

Click here to read the full review

Youth Services Book Review

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book? The Dog Patrol functions as both a how-to manual on taking care of a dog and a celebration of kids who have made significant efforts to protect and help dogs. Information is also included about the history of dogs and humans. The book is filled with attractive color photographs with clear captions. Tips include options for adopting a dog, how to find a lost dog, how to protect your dogs’ paws and more….Readers can easily browse through the book or read it cover to cover. Includes a glossary, index and photo credits. This is an excellent resource for anyone thinking about getting a dog, as well as for those who already have dogs. Highly recommended.”
—Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

Click here to read the full review

Christina Ammirati

“Filled with irresistible full-color photos, interesting facts, and expert advice, award-winning author Rob Laidlaw’s latest is a must-have handbook for the middle grade dog lover. The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them, goes beyond the basic necessities about caring for dogs and educates readers on how to enhance the quality of life for their four-legged friends.”

Click here to read the full review

Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“Rob Laidlaw is a champion for all animals. Those who have read his informative earlier titles will be as inspired by this book as they have with the others. Many, many families are already proud owners of a canine pet. If you want the kids to take responsibility for that puppy they so wanted, this book will provide a clear guide for dog ownership….

The writing is conversational, stated clearly and appealing from start to finish. The photos and design invite careful attention to content. The profiles he shares in the Dog Patrol sections are inspiring and informative, always with the focus being on the best possible ways to ensure a happy, productive life for the dogs in our care.”

Click here to read the full review

Music for Tigers Reviews

Posted on February 10th, 2020 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews ★ Starred Review

Cover: Music for Tigers Author: Michelle Kadarusman Publisher: Pajama Press“Kadarusman masterfully creates a lush, magical world where issues associated with conservation, neurodiversity, and history intersect in surprising and authentic ways….Crucially, the author acknowledges the original, Indigenous inhabitants of the land as experts, something rarely seen in books about environmental degradation. Louisa’s narratorial voice strikes the right balance of curiosity, timidity, and growing confidence, and her character’s transformation feels both incredibly natural and incredibly rewarding to behold.

A beautiful conservation story told in a rich setting and peopled with memorable characters.”

Click here to read the full review

Shelf Awareness ★ Starred Review

“The magic and mystery of the Tasmanian rain forest take center stage in Michelle Kadarusman’s novel about a middle-grade Canadian girl finding herself—and a species believed to be extinct—in the wilds of Australia. Incorporating themes of diversity and environmental preservation into her adventure, Kadarusman (Girl of the Southern Sea) creates a story straight out of adolescent daydreams….

As Louisa discovers a new, exciting side of herself, Kadarusman guides readers through the majestic intricacies of a remote corner of Australia. She pays homage to the Australian Aborigines, granting deep respect to their role as caretakers of the Tasmanian rain forest, and paints her characters as respectfully and authentically as the setting. The friendship that evolves between Louisa and Colin, who is on the autism spectrum, adds a layer of complexity to Louisa’s character as well as to the plot itself. Compassionate and endearing, Music for Tigers hits all the right notes.”
—Jen Forbus, freelancer

Click here to read the full review

Foreword Reviews ★ Starred Review

“The wilds of Tasmania are described with tangible reverence, making clear the drive which the characters have for preserving it….Descriptions of the ‘pastel-blue sky’ and twinkling constellations are enchanting, while Louisa’s growing attention to the natural beauty around her mirrors her increasing commitment to the camp and its mission….

A stirring tale that will inspire young readers to take to heart our collective responsibility as stewards of the planet, Music for Tigers is a coming-of-age story with a conservation twist.”
—Danielle Ballantyne

Read the full review in the May/June 2020 issue of Foreword Reviews

Quill & Quire ★ Starred Review

“In her third outstanding middle-grade novel – after Theory of Hummingbirds and Girl of the Southern Sea – Kadarusman continues to be a clear, insightful, and humourous guide to unfamiliar experiences and settings, and in this case species. She’s unearthed the fascinating history of an extinct animal and entwined it with a heartfelt story of a dedicated family whose good deeds have run up against the ever-encroaching, commerce-driven modern world. The dire ecological realities are spelled out by a secondary character, who gives eco-tours and discusses the ways we can protect and respect the rainforest and its original inhabitants, both human and animal.

But Kadarusman is not out to tell a didactic activist story. She’s concerned with character development: how Louisa shifts from her one-track musical mindedness to being engaged with the unique and passionate work that’s so meaningful to those around her, and how Ruff, a dedicated and accomplished vet, eventually comes to understand there’s more to life than marsupials. With a light touch, Kadarusman presents a family coming to an end of a chapter and instead of fighting the inevitable, using this last bit of time to strengthen their connections to one another before starting fresh.”

Click here to read the full review

Booklist

“Author Michelle Kadarusman deftly incorporates Australian history into this middle-grade book that reads like a love letter to the unique flora and fauna of the Tasmanian Tarkine. The author’s note at the end gives more historical information about the Tasmanian tiger and efforts to preserve other endangered species. Music for Tigers is perfect for young readers interested in ecology and preservation.”
—Bridget Ward

Click here to read the full review

School Library Journal

“This is a well-told and timely story, which gently but firmly addresses topics such as environmental impact, endangered species, neurodiversity, friendship, bullying, and being your best self….short chapters and narrative style make a fantastic amount of information highly accessible.

VERDICT A solid choice for middle grade collections providing a balanced and comprehensible voice to the environmental discussion for young people.”
—Emily Beasley, Omaha Public School

Click here to read the full review

Oregon Coast Youth Book Preview Center

“Verdict: Students who enjoy nature stories, especially those who are interested in cryptid species, will enjoy this book. The idea that a large extinct predator species might actually be found is exciting….This character and setting driven plot appeals on many levels and introduces a setting not well represented in children’s books in the United States. I recommend it for middle school and public libraries.”
—Jane Cothron

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine

Music for Tigers seamlessly blends several themes together to create a unique story. The most obvious theme of wildlife conservation is beautifully executed with important messages that we, as humans, can often do more harm than good, even when we try to help….

Another important theme in the novel is that of mental health and personal growth. Both Louisa and Colin are neurodivergent children who have to deal with real life implications of their mental health….

Kadarusman’s novel also provides an uncommon but insightful blending of science and art. Louisa feels at the beginning of the novel that her parents wish she was more interested in biology like them. She feels that they can’t understand her passion for her music because the two things are polar opposites. However, she finds through Eleanor’s journals that the two things can be used together for a very good purpose. Louisa learns that her music can be used along with her parents’ biology to help the animals she’s come to love.

Michelle Kadarusman’s, Music for Tigers is a fun, engaging read for middle grade children, one that will appeal to many different readers because of its diverse themes and subjects. Louisa’s relationships with Colin and Rufus are delightful to read, and the novel covers important topics with delicacy and grace. Music for Tigers is a heartwarming story of personal growth and friendship that will draw readers in with its charm.

Highly Recommended.”
—Deanna Feuer is an English Literature graduate from the University of the Fraser Valley. She lives in Langley British Columbia.

Click here to rad the full review

CanLit for LittleCanadians

Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature. (Cicero)

There is art within the pages of Music for Tigers. It’s the art that comes from seeing and hearing and knowing a place and its people. Just as she did in her earlier books, The Theory of Hummingbirds (2017) and Girl of the Southern Sea (2019), Michelle Kadarusman delivers us with her art, this time to the island of Tasmania, a land rich with stories, of history, of landscape and of life….

Music for Tigers is a statement, albeit a songful one, of our impact on the natural world for our own purposes, destroying critical habitats and species. It implores us to step up and put conservation and preservation measures in place before it’s too late, when even the music of our efforts won’t be enough to save ecosystems and their species.

With Music for Tigers, Michelle Kadarusman reminds us, again, that being human requires much of us but the dividends from benevolence to others, human and not, may be unforeseen but boundless.”

Click here to read the full review

Elizabeth CookCanLit for LittleCanadians guest reviewer

“As an avid traveller, I love stories that help me relive fabulous trips I have taken in the past. While I never made it all the way to Tasmania when adventuring around Australia, where Michelle Kadarusman’s Music For Tigers takes place, I felt as though I had. Her description of the Tasmanian rainforest is breathtaking. Michelle Kadarusman weaves her words in such a way that makes the world down under come alive. The best way I can describe it is that she not only created a beautiful story, it felt like she created a melody with her words. I could feel the rhythm and cadence of the eucalyptus trees and all of the animals contained on the island of Tasmania….

Michelle Kadarusman’s Music For Tigers is a beautiful novel that is a captivating read. It weaves in themes of animal stewardship, environmental protection, family, and friendship into one heartwarming book. This novel would be an excellent read for adults as well as students in Grades 4 and up. If you love protecting animals in their natural environment, you will love this book…just be sure to watch out for those bunyips!”
—Elizabeth Cook is a teacher-librarian in the Halton District School Board. She is an avid reader and fan of Canadian literature.

Click here to read the full review

Christina Ammirati

“This captivating story is full of heart, hope, music, and science. Louisa’s many new relationships evolve so beautifully and I especially adored her interactions with Colin, who has autism spectrum disorder. Kirkus starred reviewed, MUSIC FOR TIGERS is a special coming-of-age story that pays homage to Tasmanian aboriginal people, nature, and the magnificent beings with whom we share the earth.”

Click here to read the full review

Book Gaga

“Kadarusman weaves beautifully themes and issues such as environmental fragility and protection, understanding and respecting neurodiversity differences, reverence for family and history and more into an engaging and at times suspenseful storyline….Michelle Kadarusman orchestrates it all with compassion and storytelling verve. Music For Tigers is uniquely good and genuine, truly ‘fair dinkum’…!”

Click here to read the full review

Homeschool by the Beach

“There is nothing better than getting so entranced by a book that you are able to finish it in one day. Music For Tigers completely captivated me from the very first pages. It was full of lovely and diverse characters, adventure, mystery, messages of conservation, and so much heart! A truly beautiful combination!…

I absolutely adored this book. Author Michelle Kadarusman is a beautiful storyteller. This was the first book I have read of hers and I am eager to read more. She transported me to the wilds of Tasmania…I could almost see the ginormous spiders!! I love that she tackled so many important topics in the pages of this book. Topics like species extinction, environmentalism, neurodiversity, and anxiety are woven beautifully throughout the pages.

The relationships in the story were so beautiful. Being able to watch the bond grown between Louisa and Uncle Ruff was so heartwarming. I also loved seeing such a special friendship build between Louisa and Colin. It is such a breath of fresh air to read a book with characters that are so relatable and so real. I also absolutely loved the strong message of conservationism!”

Click here to read the full review

Girl of the Southern Sea Teaching Guides

Posted on January 24th, 2020 by pajamapress

Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle KadarusmanClick here to download the Girl of the Southern Sea teaching guide.

Tickled Pink: How Friendship Washes the World with Color Reviews

Posted on January 22nd, 2020 by pajamapress

Booklist

Cover: Tickled Pink: How Friendship Washes the World with Color Author: Andrée Poulin Illustrator: Luile Danis Drouot Publisher: Pajama Press

“Poulin offers readers a nice opportunity to reflect on identity and difference while exploring other sentiments, such as jealousy, rejection, sadness, empathy, and building confidence. The jungle settings are gracefully depicted in Drouot’s jaunty, cartoonish figures and a grayscale palette that enables pink to stand out strikingly. Pair with Pete Oswald’s Mingo the Flamingo (2017) or Jacqueline Woodson’s The Day You Begin (2018).”
—Vivian Alvarez (February 7, 2020)

Quill & Quire

“In this heartwarming story, award-winning author Andrée Poulin (The Biggest Poutine in the World) uses Ludo’s incredible tenderness to  remind young readers how important it is to be kind, while also showing how tumultuous a child’s journey to self-confidence can be – especially when their peers see only flaws. And Poulin seems to relish the opportunity to debunk the stereotype that ‘pink is for babies and princesses’…

By making Filippo the only splash of colour in the book’s black-and-white setting, illustrator Lucile Danis Drouot masterfully sets the tone for the flamingo’s loneliness. But as his confidence blossoms, so does Drouot’s use of pink. Eventually, the storybook world is just as rosy as he is.”

Click here to read the full review

Foreword Reviews

“This story illustrated in shades of grey with bold pink accents, the dispirited bird hears insightful words from his family; with the friendship of a fun-loving lemur, he learns that the world is a much better place because of its beautiful variety of colorations, but especially pink.”
—Pallas Gates Mccorquodale (March / April 2020)

Read the full review in the March/April 2020 issue of Foreword Reviews

San Francisco Book Review

Tickled Pink: How Friendship Washes the World with Color is a heartwarming tale…This book about acceptance, feelings, and friendship is a wonderful addition to any childrens’ library.”

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine

“Good children’s picture books do not lecture. Big ideas are embedded in interesting, cheerful, easy-to-read-and-understand stories. Through a simple story, Andrée Poulin, the award-winning author of more than thirty books for children, reveals to young children the importance of accepting yourself even when you feel different as well as the value of true friendship which empowers you to see the beauty of the world. Readers’ hearts sink and rise with Filippo’s experience and emotions. Like the title indicates, readers will feel tickled pink reading to the end….

The story can be interpreted in several ways, depending on the readers. Maybe you come from a minority group and sometimes struggle with identity and belonging; maybe you are an introvert who tries very hard to put yourself out there and socialize with peers; maybe you have different interests than others around you and feel out of place every now and then. Anyone who has the feeling of ‘not fitting in’, whether constantly or occasionally, will see themselves in Filippo.

Tickled Pink: How Friendship Washes the World With Color, a heartwarming and delightful read on a serious topic, is beautifully illustrated and well-written in delivering a positive message to young children. It would make an excellent addition to libraries, schools and family collections.

Highly Recommended.”
Emma Chen is a Family Literacy Coordinator in a local non-profit literacy organization in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Click here to read the full review

Midwest Book Review

Tickled Pink: How Friendship Washes the World with Color is a delightfully crafted picture book for children ages 4-7 and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers.”

Click here to read the full review

Winnipeg Free Press

“In Andrée Poulin’s Tickled Pink: How Friendship Washes the World with Color (Pajama Press, $24, hardcover) Zak and Poncho tell Filippo that pink doesn’t mix with black and white. Pink is for crying babies, and fussy princesses, they say….Lucille Danis Drouot from Montreal has supplied the lively and colorful illustrations to produce an amusing and thoughtful picture book.”

Click here to read the full review

CanLit for LittleCanadians

“I’m tickled pink by any book that supports diversity and acceptance of differences as the norm so I’m especially thrilled about a picture book that supports this message in as subtle and eloquent a way, as well as playful, as Tickled Pink: How Friendship Washes the World with Color….

The story in Tickled Pink is far from black and white. It goes beyond a story of excluding those who are different. It demonstrates how much we all want to be included….I’m glad Andrée Poulin gave Filippo a quiet and insightful friend in Ludo who proves that it’s not the black-and-white animals that lack understanding, but just one zebra and one panda. (Okay, there may be others out there, there always are, but it’s clear that it’s not all black-and-white animals.) For intolerance to be eliminated, everyone needed to see beyond the colours.

Artist Lucile Danis Drouot keeps her palette, until the very end, black, white, gray and pinks to emphasize the separation that Zak and Poncho highlight but she adds a playfulness in her animals’ activities–vine-climbing, soccer, volleyball, and badminton–that embeds the message in gentleness and whimsy. A final spread resplendent in pinks brightens the world in happiness and friendship.”

Click here to read the full review

Youth Services Book Review

What did you like about the book? …The illustrations perfectly complement the story as the bright pink flamingos stand out against the monochromatic setting and characters….This is a sweet French import about being one’s self and making friends….

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a good choice for storytimes about friendship.”
Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Click here to read the full review

 

What Cats Think Interviews

Posted on November 19th, 2019 by pajamapress

Cover: What Cats Think Author: John Spray Illustrator: Mies van Hout Publisher: Pajama PressOpen Book interview with author John Spray

The Elephant Reviews

Posted on November 15th, 2019 by pajamapress

School Library Journal

Cover: The Elephant Author-Illustrator: Peter Carnavas Publisher: Pajama Press

“With kindness and caring, Olive seeks creative solutions to help both Grandad and Dad find healing and let go of their heavy companions….Sweet black line illustrations throughout the book complement the narrative and tone. VERDICT A warm-hearted book of emotional learning, creative problem-solving, and genuine care for others. Recommended for anyone in need of hope for a path to happiness.”

Click here to read the full review

Kirkus Reviews

“A gentle story of depression and hope is told in this middle-grade Australian import….Carnavas takes the tough topic of caregiver depression and gives it a delicate, graceful touch. His plot weaves tightly together, and the ending twist is a lovely completion. Black-and-white spot illustrations throughout give a visually accessible feel, as do the short chapters….A delicate, lovely story about caregiver depression that will validate and empower readers.”

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine

“With The Elephant, Peter Carnavas has created a brilliant work of art, cunningly folded into the deceptively small package of a short illustrated novel for young readers aged seven through eleven. This joyful, hopeful exploration of family dynamics affected by grief and mental illness uses simple yet powerful symbolism to create a child-centered platform from which readers can identify and/or empathize with the characters. Anyone looking for effective ways to open discussions about mental illness with child readers – or to provide what will surely prove a highly effective support resource – will welcome The Elephant with immense gratitude….

The warm, plain, rich written text is more than sufficient to mark The Elephant as excellent, but Carnavas’s playful, emotionally evocative line drawings catapult the work into the exceptional realm.

This book is also exceptionally child-centred, showing genuine respect for children’s experiences, values, and capabilities. In particular, the use of symbolism provides a developmentally appropriate metaphor for how depression might seem to a young child….The Elephant is a must-buy for everyone who knows anyone touched by mental health issues – which is everyone. This book belongs in every home, library and classroom.

Highly Recommended.”
Michelle Superle

Click here to read the full review

Youth Services Book Review

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? …The story is lovingly illustrated with drawings throughout….A beautiful story beautifully told….

To whom would you recommend this book? Those who liked The Runaways by Ulf Stark or who like the Dani stories by Rose Lagercrantz would likely enjoy this sweet story….

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our ‘to read’ piles? Yes.”
—Katrina Yurenka

Click here to read the full review

Kids Make Mess

The Elephant is a great book for a lot of reasons. From a structural standpoint, it helps ease young readers into the novel format. The chapters are clearly separated and digestible in size, and the text is sophisticated enough to keep kids intrigued while remaining at a level they can understand and enjoy. Thematically, The Elephant deals with issues of loss and depression without getting too heavy. The death of Olive’s mother is never explicitly explained, but as Olive and her family deal with their grief, certain details are revealed and Olive is forced to confront her own feelings. Ultimately, she learns a lot about life, loss, and love. Great for kids 7+.”

Click here to read the full review

Christina Ammirati

“Exquisite, moving, and utterly unforgettable, THE ELEPHANT (3/17/20 from @pajamapressbooks) is award-winning picture book author, Peter Carnavas’ middle grade debut. With short chapters and charming, fine lined and shaded illustrations, Carnavas tells the story of Olive, her dad, granddad, and one unwelcome guest…a big, gray elephant. This unique metaphor is a poignant and clever way to describe her father’s big, heavy sadness that has followed him around for as long as Olive can remember….I absolutely loved this darling story and it’s tender approach in dealing with loss, depression, and despair. You’ll need your tissues for this one, perhaps multiple times, but the warm message of love, family, and moving forward together will ultimately warm your heart.”

Click here to read the full review

Kiss the Book Jr.

“The imagery and simple, child view of this story are amazing. I love how Carnavas illustrates sadness and happiness in a clear and uncomplicated way….Olive is an inspiring girl, and I found the charming illustrations to be the perfect complement to her story.”
—Carolina Herdegen

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Bookworm

“This is a great book to help kids understand when someone in their lives is struggling with depression. The use of the various animals brings the idea of depression to life in a physical way, and the way people work together to make things better for everyone shows that there is often a way forward past the depression.

The illustrations for this book are simple, yet show so much. From the jacaranda tree that Olive loves to sit in to think, to Olive, Arthur, her teacher, her dad, and her granddad, to the grey animals (especially the elephant with its tiny black top hat) and the various objects that play a role, the line drawings bring the story to life for young readers.

I loved it.”

Click here to read the full review

Jill Jemmett

Rating: ★★★★★

This story is a great metaphor for depression or mental health problems. Olive can physically see how her father’s depression is dragging him down, as if he has a giant elephant following him. This was a creative way to teach children about mental health. It also shows that sometimes you need others to help you get rid of the elephant.

I loved this book!”

Click here to read the full review

Kids BookBuzz

“We rated this book: 5/5…

This was was an interesting story. I like how Olive sees imaginary animals whenever people are sad. This is a sweet story, but also sad sometimes….It is a good read-out-loud book.”
—Madie, Age 6

Click here to read the full review