Cocoa Magic Teaching Guides

Posted on December 1st, 2022 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Cocoa Magic teaching guide

 

Dinos Driving Teaching Guides

Posted on November 8th, 2022 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Dinos Driving teaching guide.

Let's Add Up! Teaching Guides

Posted on November 8th, 2022 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Let’s Add Up! teaching guide.

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It: How 25 inspiring individuals found their dream jobs Teaching Guides

Posted on November 8th, 2022 by pajamapress

Click here to download the If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It teaching guide.

Ballewiena Teaching Guide

Posted on October 12th, 2022 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Ballewiena teaching guide.

Dinos Driving Interviews

Posted on September 13th, 2022 by pajamapress

Lynn Leitch and Scot Ritchie Present Dinos Driving.

Bear Has a Belly Interviews

Posted on September 13th, 2022 by pajamapress

Jane Whittingham presents Bear Has a Belly.

Berani Interviews

Posted on August 16th, 2022 by pajamapress

CBC Books Interview with Michelle Kadarusman

Quill & Quire Michelle Kadarusman Author Profile

Open Book Interview with Michelle Kadarusman

Michelle Kadarusman Presents Berani:

Books + Publishing “Michelle Kadarusman on ‘Berani'”

[Angela Crocombe:] You write Berani in three voices, one of which was the voice of the orangutan, Ginger Juice. How did you research and find the voice of an orangutan to make it sound authentic?

[Michelle Kadarusman:] I’m fortunate to have a good friend, a primatologist, who studied orangutans in Borneo. The work of Leif Cocks, the founder of The Orangutan Project, was also extremely helpful. All of my research pointed to the fact that orangutans and humans are so similar that an orangutan kept in longterm captivity would display the same kind of mental, physical and emotion deterioration that you would find in humans. This is a disturbing fact considering our habit of keeping apes in captivity and one that I wanted to try and communicate by having Ginger Juice’s voice heard from her cage. It was a bit of a creative leap for me and I changed her chapters more than any others when writing the manuscript. I also worked hard with my editor to help develop the tone. Ultimately, I hope her passages would allow readers to build empathy for her plight.

Read the full interview at booksandpublishing.com.au

While You Sleep Reviews

Posted on August 12th, 2022 by pajamapress

Kirkus Starred Review

“A peek into the busy Land of Nod….Maruno narrates in flawless and immersive rhyming verse….Sato uses materials such as silk, paper, and textiles to infuse each spread with tangible, three-dimensional textures and depth. Readers will linger over each tiny, essential detail—nothing is extraneous….Like the materials on many of the spreads, the text and art are expertly stitched together, each visible and impactful on their own and interwoven into a bewitching whole. A perfect bedtime selection for eye-catching, vibrantly colorful dreams.”

Click here to read the full review

School Library Journal

“This lovely picture book shows what one parent tells her little one as she’s going to sleep. The text is written in peaceful rhyming couplets, while warmly colored collage illustrations show the tidying up that goes on while people rest….It’s a cozy, positive bedtime story sure to please parents and children alike….A comforting story for kids who wonder what they’re missing by going to bed.”

Click here to read the full review

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.”

Click here to read the full review

Foreword Reviews

“Rhyming couplets create a whimsical melody while the collage art illustrations will captivate children with their colorful layers and textures—until they drift off to sleep to dream of the brand new world they’ll wake up to.

Click here to read the full review

Manhattan Book Review

“Author Jennifer Maruno has tapped into childhood imagination to find this cute story of what youngsters might dream of happening while they sleep. She has written it in rhyming couplets, which little ones will like. The illustrations by Miki Sato are simply stunning. She uses a combination of drawing and collage to create wonderful illustrations that have the look of three-dimensional art. The little night-helpers really come to life with this method. She fills the backgrounds with terrific details to keep little eyes busy and engaged.”

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine

While You Sleep was the most beautiful picture book I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this year. Miki Sato’s illustrations pull you in and along as three little bunnies take readers through their nightly care routine. The cut paper and mixed media collages evoke a snoozy watercolored world where these stuffed rabbits mend clouds, charge rainbows and weave night….The premise of this sweet book is simply that, as a child sleeps, her three stuffed rabbits magically take care of the world. It is a fanciful little story that children will likely find peaceful and interesting in equal measure….Maruno’s story feels respectful to the young child’s developing imagination….Highly Recommended”

Click here to read the full review

Book Time

“Of the three picture books I read this week, While You Sleep might be my favourite….The collage art by illustrator Miki Sato brings the story to life. I love how she uses not only paper, but also textiles and embroidery silk to create such beautiful pages. Each double page spread is a piece of art and brings the story to life….If you are a parent who reads the same story on repeat, you’ll enjoy this one as Sato creates pages with so much to look at.”

Click here to read the full review

Storytime with Stephanie

“Are you looking for a new book to settle your little reader into a blissful sleep? Jennifer Maruno and Miki Sato have come together in their dreamy new bedtime story While You Sleep that is sure to spark restful nights and good dreams….Maruno’s lyrical, rhyming text ebbs and flows from page to page without missing a beat. While You Sleep has the qualities of the great classic bedtime stories like Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You….Maruno creates a sense of security and calm with her words Readers cannot help but have good dreams while drifting off to thoughts of flowers being painted and butterfly wings being dusted….Miki Sato’s collage style illustrations are a perfect complement to Jennifer Maruno’s text. The illustrations are soft and cuddly, soothing and comforting enveloping readers in a warm cozy visual blanket.”

Click here to read the full review

The International Educator

“[A] gentle bedtime story by Jennifer Maruno with glorious art by Miki Sato. Collage of fabrics, weavings, cotton balls, colourful paper and more create gorgeous images of a child being tucked in bed for the night while the world is being dusted and swept for a new day….A reassuring story for little ones.”

Click here to read the full review

Luminous Libro

5 out of 5 stars….This beautiful book is enchanting! The story sweeps you away into a magical land of dreams as the bunnies stitch up the clouds, polish the sun, and embroider the Milky Way with stars.

The collage art is absolutely stunning! I had to stop and stare at each page, looking for all the little details of stitching and beadwork and fabric and watercolors….Miki Sato, is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists….Something about this art is so gentle; perfect for a bedtime book.”

Click here to read the full review

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

Kirkus Reviews

“The images are detailed—one stunning picture even depicts the tiny insects stuck to a frog’s tongue midlick. The kids portrayed are diverse in terms of race and ability. The repeated refrain of “I do too!” invites readers to pick up the rhythm and to reflect on their own body parts. The book closes with a note about the importance of movement and body positivity for a child’s growth and development along with a list of suggested activities to try together. The format, repetition, and neutral observations make this a refreshing title among body books for toddlers and preschoolers. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A welcome message of appreciation for human (and animal!) bodies.”

Click here to read the full review

Booklist

“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.”

CM Magazine

“In Bear Has a Belly, Jane Whittingham uses beautiful side-by-side photographs of animals and children with their having something in common. Fox has a nose… do you? (Yes!) Frog has a tongue… do you? (Yes!). This wildlife themed exploration of bodies and connection will likely delight the youngest readers among us…Children can point to their own bodies, experiment with sounds, and notice other connections between the animals and the children pictured.

Overall, Bear Has a Belly is a great book with many tools for families and readers to explore on their reading journey. Highly Recommended

Click here to read the full review

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″

Click here to read the full review

Storytime with Stephanie

“I love how Jane Whittingham compares the body parts that animals and humans have in common. Each two page spread features a lyrical, repeating poem about one part of the body. There are photos of the animal’s body part as well as a photo of a child using the same body part….The repeating text on each page allows the youngest readers to join in the story and will allow them to access the book independently at an earlier age plus who can resist the pictures of the cutest little animals and children!

It’s a Toddler Tough book design so the cover is thick and plush, making for easy wipe downs and the pages are card stock so should stand up to even the most aggressive readers. Also, like all Big, Little Concept Books, there is helpful back matter for parents and educators to use this book in a thoughtful way to extend the learning.”

Click here to read the full review

Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“In another of her outstanding books for very young children, Jane Whittingham turns her attention to body parts and their comparisons to nine familiar animals. Repetitive text and bright full-color photographs are ideal for upping the interest while sharing this informative book time and again….Perfect for lap reading in the beginning; it won’t be long until a slightly older child will be reading it independently. Such fun!…The overall design of the book is very appealing. The soft, puffy cover encourages touching and has a pleasant feel for little ones. The sturdy pages allow for many readings. If this is your first Jane Whittingham book, be on the lookout for more….You will not be disappointed.”

Click here to read the full review

The International Educator

“Bear Has a Belly by Jane Wittingham uses gorgeous photos to show how animals and children are similar….This beautifully executed board book will make children familiar with wildlife, with names of body parts and also create a deeper awareness of our connectedness with nature.”

Click here to read the full review

Book Time

“Bear a has a belly, a soft, round belly, while owl has eyes, big round eyes….In the Parental Guide, author Jane Whittingham offers tips and tricks to make this “toddler tough” picture book from Pajama Press interactive, including playing a game of Simon Says or noticing similar body parts on a pet…”

Click here to read the full review

Kids Book Buzz

“This adorable book is perfect for young readers who are learning their body parts….Each animal is adorable, and who doesn’t like cuddly animals? The real-life pictures of animals are sure to keep readers engaged in this book….The pages are very thick and super durable, making this a perfect book for young readers who are still learning to turn paper pages without ripping them, like my sister. This book is sure to be a favorite with young readers.

Reviewed By: Liam – Age 10”

Click here to read the full review

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

School Library Journal

“Setting the tale in the 1920s, the soft, warm-toned illustrations on a background closer to parchment than white give this an old-fashioned, historical feel, as does the classroom furniture, the students’ clothes, and the uncle’s mustache….Delicious endpapers feature 24 unique, beautifully decorated candies….The SEL element is strongly laid out, with a nice twist at the end, for a well-intentioned but likely additional purchase.”

Click here to read the full review

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.”

Click here to read the full review

Booklist

“This sweet story follows a young boy, who, through a small act of kindness, leads a movement at his school….Grimard’s soft, muted artwork captures the old-fashioned feel of the story and its 1920s time period, but its message of giving is timeless. Bradley brings her experience as a social worker to this tale of empathy and kindness.”

Click here to read the full review

Quill & Quire

“Cocoa Magic is a gentle, nostalgic story that uses chocolate as a metaphor for caring and generosity….This is a very sweet story – and not because it’s about chocolate! Being able to notice the feelings of others and figure out how to help them feel better with acts of generosity is a key skill for children to learn, and this story uses gift-giving as a way to make those skills concrete. Even though the book is set in a very specific place and time, the message is universal.

The illustrations have a glowing warmth that suits the story’s tone….And the chocolates look good enough to eat, too! Cocoa Magic has a timeless feel – it could easily have been written anytime in the hundred years between the time it is set and now – and is sure to resonate with kids and their parents.”

Click here to read the full review

Children’s Literature

As a clinical social worker, the author has noticed that empathy can be cultivated through the power of a seemingly small act of kindness. Soft illustrations accompany the story well, and the font is clear and legible for children. While some children’s books about big topics like empathy miss the mark of a child-friendly vocabulary, this book is well-pitched to reach its intended audience and spark big themes. This could even serve as a good holiday read for young children who might struggle with the joy of gift-giving over merely gift-receiving….Reviewer Rating: 4”

CM Magazine

“Grimard particularly shines with the drawings of the sweets which are beautiful and decadent and, even on the page, drool-worthy.

The author, who is a social worker, includes a note…about how empathy can be something we are born with but also something that we can learn, and that empathy can be manifested as kindness….it’s a wholesome story with beautiful illustrations and a lesson that everyone can learn from.”

Click here to read the full review

Edible Inland Northwest

“This charming picture book is…beautifully illustrated, and manages to be both about chocolate and empathy. Recommended for ages 4-7.”

Click here to read the full review

The International Educator

“Cocoa Magic by Sandra Bradley, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, is an old fashioned story of kindness and empathy….A story about doing little things for others to build empathy and compassion, with the most delicious looking end pages I’ve ever seen!”

Click here to read the full review

CanLit for LittleCanadians

“There is much kindness in giving gifts in secret, in not expecting thanks or acknowledgement. It’s giving for the sake of giving and not for reciprocity or reward. With the holiday season upon us, Sandra Bradley‘s book of Cocoa Magic, deliciously illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, reminds us of the goodness of giving….What a wonderful story of empathy!…Sandra Bradley, a clinical social worker and therapist, makes the story of Cocoa Magic one of kindness without expectation of reciprocity. She shows the positive nature of giving both on the recipient and the giver….Gabrielle Grimard‘s illustrations, created with watercolour, gouache, coloured pencil and digital media, are filled with the sweetness of love, kindness, generosity and confections….There may be magic in the cocoa and the sugar but most of it comes from the empathy demonstrated through the gift giving. Perhaps at this time of year, that’s the important message to cherish from Cocoa Magic.”

Click here to read the full review

Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“Does chocolate spring to mind as the Christmas season gets under way? Why chocolate? It’s one of those gifts that seems to make everyone happier. That premise certainly works in this charming story that takes place in a Prince Edward Island school in the 1920s….Mixed-media illustrations by Ms. Grimard offer young readers a real feel for this time in history while also showing the emotions felt with such wonderful acts of goodness.”

Click here to read the full review

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