While You Sleep Reviews

Posted on August 12th, 2022 by pajamapress

Publishers Weekly

“In rhyming couplets, a caregiver encourages a child…to embrace bedtime so that a crew of bunny helpmeets can begin their work tidying up the world. As a child’s caregiver turns off the light and offers a bedtime kiss, lines describe the “chores,”…being completed by toy stuffed rabbits come to life: “Comb the grass, straighten the trees,/ Place a dot on the black-eyed peas.” Other imagery draws heavily on sewing metaphors, aligning with Sato’s collaged illustrations, which rely on paper, textiles, and embroidery silk: when “the woven night of black and gray” is described as being “embroidered with a Milky Way,” the child is shown yawning beneath an inky knit blanket and a purple embroidered sky. Throughout, the textured scenes remix details from the child’s waking life into suitably snuggly dreamscapes.”

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The U-nique Lou Fox Interview

Posted on August 9th, 2022 by pajamapress

Bear Has a Belly Reviews

Posted on August 8th, 2022 by pajamapress


“Whittingham’s book for very young children has a repetitive text…Each clear, full-color photograph shows one of nine animals on the left side of the page; on the right is a smaller picture of a child revealing their corresponding body part along with the words “I do too!”…At the book’s conclusion, five simple activities, which use the text for inspiration, are suggested for playtime. This entertaining activity book will work well for one-on-one sharing and as a toddler storytime selection, since it encourages children to shout out the refrain while pointing to the body part being named. Due to the repetition, this title could also serve as a beginning reader for slightly older children.”

YA Books Central

“This was a darling book filled with vibrant photographs of animals and children. This book is perfect for building a vocabulary of body parts and animals for young children or English language learners…I appreciate the suggested activities at the end for how parents can extend learning after reading this story…Overall, this book was very cute and made me want to get up and move just like the book demonstrated.

Overall rating 5.0″

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Berani Teaching Guides

Posted on July 28th, 2022 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Berani teaching guide.

Room for More Teaching Guide

Posted on July 21st, 2022 by pajamapress

The Room for More teaching guide cover page includes a story summary, author and illustrator bios, themes, and curriculum connections.

Click here to download the Room for More teaching guide.

Cocoa Magic Reviews

Posted on July 13th, 2022 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

It was magic when Daniel made his first batch of chocolates at age 4, with his Great-Uncle Lewis—“the Cocoa King of Charlottetown”—keeping his hands steady as Daniel poured the chocolate into the mold. Four years later, the duo’s chocolate-making has become routine as they melt, pour, scrape, and mold together for “one precious hour every morning” before Daniel goes to school. A new classmate’s loneliness prompts Daniel to hide a beautifully wrapped chocolate caramel in her desk to cheer her up.

When Great-Uncle Lewis goes off to a chocolatiers’ conference for five days, Daniel frets about the “cocoa magic” fading. His classmates surprise him with their own act of kindness. Drawing inspiration from her background as a clinical social worker, Bradley crafts a story laced with empathy and kindness. Grimard’s soft, mixed-media illustrations evoke a sense of coziness as well as the historical Charlottetown setting…Endpapers mimic a box of chocolates—a delicious touch…Sweet as sugar.

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This is the Boat That Ben Built Interviews

Posted on July 6th, 2022 by pajamapress

This is the Boat That Ben Built picture-book front cover

“Finding Our Place in the Universe” Bookflap dialogue between author Jen Lynn Bailey and illustrator Maggie Zeng

Let’s Add Up! Reviews

Posted on July 6th, 2022 by pajamapress

YA Books Central

“The author uses easy, simple words that are easy for young children to understand, but not so simple that it is a chore for a parent to read aloud. The illustrations are cute and vivid, and they provide that necessary step for visual learners. I enjoyed that the author included fun activities for kids at the end of the book, perfect for kinesthetic learners. Let’s Add Up! would be a great addition to any beginner reading/counter library – whether at home or a school setting.

Good Points: Easy To Read, Vivid illustrations, Educational

Overall Rating: 5”

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The U-nique Lou Fox Teaching Guide

Posted on June 1st, 2022 by pajamapress

Click here to download The U-nique Lou Fox teaching guide.

Whistling for Angela Teaching Guide

Posted on June 1st, 2022 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Whistling for Angela teaching guide.



Dinos Driving Reviews

Posted on June 1st, 2022 by pajamapress

CM Magazine

“Scot Ritchie…has contributed his signature illustrations to bolster this…picture book written by first-time author Lynn Leitch. Spread by spread, one brightly-coloured dinosaur after another can be seen steering some kind of motor vehicle across the viewer’s horizon…The author has ended the book with a page directed at parents and care-givers with ideas for expanding on the use of the book through discussion and activities. Ritchie’s illustrations are definitely the star here. Dinos Driving would be an entertaining addition to picture book collections for young ones interested in both dinosaurs and things that go. Recommended

Click here to read the full review

YA Books Central 

“Each page introduces a species of dinosaurs, such as velociraptor or brachiosaurus, and states what kind of car they would drive…I recommend this book to parents or teachers of young children in the age 3-8 range who enjoy dinosaurs and are beginning to explore repetitive beginner books with increasing independence. Overall rating 4.5″

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“Velociraptor, Iguanodon, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Bradchiourus ( and more )  all weigh in the kind of vehicle that they want to drive.  The illustrations animate the text and tickle kid’s imaginations.  The book is enriched with preschool- friendly facts and activities.  Eight dino-mite dinosaurs will take you on a ride of your life.  I love the whole exciting vibe of the book and I highly recommend it.”

Click here to read the full review

The Egyptian Mirror Teaching Guide

Posted on June 1st, 2022 by pajamapress

Click here to download The Egyptian Mirror teaching guide.



Berani Reviews

Posted on June 1st, 2022 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“Inspired to help orangutans facing habitat destruction for palm oil agriculture, Malia disregards her teacher’s warning and circulates a petition through her private school in Surabaya, Indonesia.

The seventh grader garners peer support, but the petition falls afoul of the government’s pro–palm oil stance, resulting in both Malia’s and her teacher’s suspensions. Meanwhile, Ari has moved to the city to work in his uncle’s restaurant and attend middle school. Ari feels guilty for his good luck and even more guilty as he looks after Ginger Juice, the sad-eyed orangutan trapped in a too-small cage at the restaurant. Ari feels helpless until he learns about Malia’s petition, which offers information about rescuing captive orangutans. All the while, Ginger Juice dreams of the jungle and her lost mother. Told through alternating viewpoints, Malia’s and Ari’s chapters detail the corruption, inequities, and prejudices that are obstacles to activism as well as the differences between Ari’s village life and Malia’s privileges…the portrayal of Malia’s experiences as the biracial daughter of an Indonesian father who has passed away and a White mother from Toronto is nuanced and well integrated into the larger plot.

A stirring introduction to the plight faced by orangutans.”

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“Seventh-graders Malia and Ari seem unlikely to cross paths. Malia has had a privileged upbringing at one of Indonesia’s best schools, and Ari is grateful to be attending a less prestigious academy in a neighboring town. But one subject binds them together: orangutans…When the kids’ lives finally overlap, a series of events change their lives—and Ginger Juice’s fate—in ways they never could’ve imagined. The expansive story, nimbly told from both human and orangutan viewpoints, gives glimpses into different class, race, and even species experiences while introducing readers to life in Indonesia and the plight of the orangutans. Ari and Malia are warm and well-intentioned guides, and it’s impossible to resist Ginger Juice’s gentle charms. A compelling call to action and a crucial reminder that, while doing what is right is not always easy, it is always worthwhile.”

The International Educator

“Berani by Michelle Kadarusman is a perfect book for international schools. This is a novel takes place in Indonesia and is told in 3 voices… Each one of them needs courage to stand up for their convictions and follow their hearts, despite the consequences this may have. A fantastic read that shows kids (and readers of all ages) to believe in their values and that they, too, can change the world.”

Click here to read the full review

Kathie MacIsaac

“This author was a Governor General’s Award finalist for her 2019 book, GIRL OF THE SOUTHERN SEA, and I will pick up anything she writes. Still, the stunning cover of BERANI designed by Peggy Collins will draw readers to this story told from three different points of view that focus on environmental activism in Indonesia…These three perspectives weave together into a moving and inspiring story about standing up for what you believe…Fans of THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN will especially want to add this book to their TBR shelf.”

Book Time

“Michelle Kadarusman’s latest middle grade book, Berani, was a great read…The book is told in three voices – Malia, who has had a privileged upbringing in Indonesia and uses her voice to share the plight of her country’s orangutan; Ari, who knows he is lucky to be working in his uncle’s shop so he can go to school and play on the chess club; and Ginger Juice, his uncle’s orangutan, which is being kept in a too-small cage and is growing more desolate by the day.

Each voice is unique, and each story is connected to the other…I look forward to reading it again.”

Click here to read the full review

Storytime with Stephanie

“Michelle Kadarusman always writes from the heart. The love she has for the places she writes about is evident throughout all her stories and none more than in Berani. I really appreciate how she takes readers on a journey, to the special places of her childhood and her heart but also grounds them to her current home in Canada. Readers have the opportunity to travel and learn about the wide world around them while still having the connection to home. In really enjoyed Berani’s three different voices, providing readers with three different perspectives of the lives of other living in Indonesia. Each voice was clear and it was easy to navigate the story, never forgetting who the story was centering at any given time because of each character’s clear voice.

I especially loved the discussions about Malia’s activism. There are always consequences of social activism. There is an incredible opportunity for discussion, through this story, about orangutans, habitat destruction, farming culture, livelihood and the world’s reliance on single industries. In Canada, we can link the discussions about habitat destruction and livelihood by comparing with the logging industry or the oil and gas industry.

If you enjoyed The One and Only Ivan, put Berani on your TBR list. I think you will love it even more.”

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Mrs. Book Dragon 

“What an awesome book! Multiple POVs (including an animal point of view), short chapters, student activism, and doing the right thing even when it’s the hardest thing…[Michelle Kadarusman] has such a talent for creating worlds…book was a treasure to read.”

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“Berani by [Michelle Kadarusman] captivates, inspires, and gives hope. This tale takes you to Indonesia through three perspectives interwoven with culture, environment, and character growth.”

Dr. Larry Recommends

“This fine novel, set in Indonesia is a story of activism and animal rights, choices and consequences…The three perspectives are woven together as readers enter the worlds of three conflicted, fearful  characters…the author builds readers’ compassion as they learn about the circumstances and choices of each character who bravely confront the odds of class, culture and climate change. This is a wonderful novel and my guess [is] it will be on several Canadian award lists in the year ahead.”

Click here to read the full review


Whistling for Angela Book Trailer

Posted on May 26th, 2022 by pajamapress


Watch the book trailer here!

Harvey Takes the Lead Teaching Guide

Posted on May 24th, 2022 by pajamapress







Click here to download the Harvey Takes the Lead teaching guide.