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

Posted on February 10th, 2020 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“In the United States, 60.2 million households include a dog, resulting in an enormous number of children who’d benefit from learning about responsible dog ownership.

This effort explores three closely related themes: a history of how dogs came to be human companions; an examination of what responsible dog ownership looks like; and profiles of a number of children who are actively crusading to improve the lives of dogs. 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. Topics include nutrition, the problems of confining dogs to crates, and the greater effectiveness of positive reinforcement over punishment in training, providing valuable, manageable information for young dog owners. 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. Many of the children profiled have found small ways to raise money for big projects that have led to significant positive outcomes for dogs in need. 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.”


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

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


“Filippo the flamingo is looking for friendship. Trying to fit into a world that is black and white, bright-pink Filippo attempts to befriend Zac the zebra and Poncho the panda. Zac and Poncho reject him for being pink, arguing that he’s too different. Filippo’s family attempt to tell him his color is something to be proud of, but Zac and Poncho are resolute in their insistence that Filippo can never be their friend. Luckily, Ludo the Lemur, who has stood silently on the sidelines, is much more open-minded, and the two become fast friends, committing mischief and painting the world pink. 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)

Foreword Reviews

Cover: Tickled Pink: How Friendship Washes the World with Color Author: Andrée Poulin Illustrator: Luile Danis Drouot Publisher: Pajama Press“A snooty panda and zebra pair refuse to play with Filippo the flamingo because he is ‘too pink.’ It all seems black and white to Filippo who begins to hate his rosy feathers. His 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

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

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

Kirkus Reviews

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

“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

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

Harvey Comes Home Teaching Guide

Posted on October 31st, 2019 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Harvey Comes Home teaching  guide.


Harvey Comes Home Extra Content

Posted on October 24th, 2019 by pajamapress

Listen to author Colleen Nelson reading the first chapter of Harvey Comes Home.

What Cats Think Book Trailer

Posted on October 23rd, 2019 by pajamapress

Cover: What Cats Think Author: John Spray Illustrator: Mies van Hout Publisher: Pajama Press

The Girl Who Rode a Shark: And Other Stories of Daring Women Interviews

Posted on October 22nd, 2019 by pajamapress

Cover: The Girl Who Rode A Shark: And Other True Stories of Daring Women Author: Ailsa Ross Illustrator: Amy Blackwell Publisher: Pajama Press

The Jasper Local interview with author Ailsa Ross

Explore Magazine interview with author Ailsa Ross

Pink Pangea interview with author Ailsa Ross

CBC North interview with author Ailsa Ross

Matador Network interview with author Ailsa Ross

Open Book interview with author Ailsa Ross



Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent Teaching Guide

Posted on October 18th, 2019 by pajamapress

Click Here to download the Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent teaching guide.

Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez Reviews

Posted on October 18th, 2019 by pajamapress

The New York Times Book Review

Cover: Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez Author: Christiane Duchesne Illustrator: François Thisdale Publisher: Pajama Press

“[A] host of new picture books tackle ‘taking the ferry,’ staring down that overtly thwarting subject, and making it personal, peaceful and approachable.

In Christiane Duchesne and Francois Thisdale’s bewitching Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez, set in a small seaside town, a group of kids watch the mysterious comings and goings of a man who wears a bright red scarf and looks as if he has ‘clouds under his coat.’ His solitary meanderings through the cobblestone streets and his eccentric love of animals — he attaches wings to a cat’s back, strolls with a goldfish bowl on his head — go unnoticed by the adults. But to the children he is a fascination and delight….[Mister Rodriguez’s] absence prompts a strong sense of community as [the children] band together to say their goodbyes…Thisdale’s realistic yet dreamlike illustrations, windswept with mist and surreal painted skies, add to the sense of wonder.”
—Marisha Pessl

Click here to read the full review

School Library Journal

“Children often notice things that adults do not, especially when they are out of the ordinary….The story line speaks to the reality of death in a whimsical way, introducing it by way of it occurring to someone known by the children in the book but not someone with whom they were particularly close. VERDICT Young children beginning to learn about the concept of death will find this book to be an easy introduction to this inevitability in their lives.”
—Mary Lanni, formerly at Denver Public Library

Read the full review in the November 2019 issue of School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly

“[A] surreal allegory…Acrylic and digitally altered artwork by Thisdale (Poetree) offers crisp, photographic realism, with misty skies of purple and green that suggest atmospheric otherworldliness.”

Click here to read the full review

Quill & Quire

“There’s no dearth of death in today’s children’s books. These days you can as easily find books on the loss of a parent as on the loss of a goldfish, and everything in between. And that’s okay. Stories are an excellent way to process a delicate but perennial, once-verboten topic.

Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez has found another gap to fill: what about the death of a neighbour, or those people you see every day but don’t know all that well? Those who, when they suddenly disappear, take a part of the community with them?…

No tears, no sentimentality, no explicit mention of death – it’s possible to read this book as a quirky story about a magical musician. It can also be appreciated just for illustrator François Thisdale’s gorgeous, painterly spreads, with their becalming greens, blues, and ochres. Either way, it boils down to the simple acknowledgement of a life, apparently well lived, by some young witnesses.”

Click here to read the full review

Resource Links

“Rating: E…The topic of death is a difficult subject for children, but Christiane Duchesne’s picture book has broached the topic in a light and nonchalant manner. For the children in the story, they see Mister Rodriguez as heading on a new journey and their only wish is for him to be happy. This method of introducing death in a picture book allows death to be not seen as a scary thing, but one that must be accepted and understood….

Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez is an uncomplicated picture book delivering a message that young children can relate to without the sadness and gloom normally associated with death. The title may initially indicate that Mister Rodriguez is going on a different voyage, not the one that readers eventually discover in the story. Overall, Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez is a perfect selection for sharing with young children, in a classroom, or a library setting.”
—Carmelita Cechetto-Shea

Read the full review on page 5 of the December 2019 Final Issue of Resource Links

Kirkus Reviews

“Observed by village children, an elderly man prepares for death in this misty allegory.”

Click here to read the full review

Midwest Book Review

“A beautifully crafted and charmingly entertaining picture book for children ages 5-8 by the team of author/storyteller Christiane Duchesne and illustrator/artist Francois Thisdale, Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.”

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine

“The real magic of Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez is in the illustrations by Montrealer Francois Thisdale. The blue and grey backdrops of sky and sea are at once misty and luminous, grounded by the pretty shuttered buildings and the solid human figures, emphasizing the juxtaposition of the reality of a continental town with some pretty unusual plot elements.

Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez is a rather special picture book for larger collections.”
Ellen Heaney is a retired children’s librarian living in Coquitlam, British Columbia

Click here to read the full review

CanLit for LittleCanadians

“Though the children did not weep for their loss of Mister Rodriguez, knowing that he was happy, I wept. I wept for an extraordinary man whose time had come to pass to the other side but who eased the passage of others with him. Though there is much for young readers to interpret about Mister Rodriguez and his existence on this plane and the next, they will appreciate the richness he brought to the lives of children who took pleasure in ‘seeing’ him walk through or above the street, his cap low on his forehead, his bright red scarf a beacon of his brightness and his overcoat light billowing ‘as if he had clouds under’ it. Christiane Duchesne’s text leaves open what the children actually see and what actually happened to Mister Rodriguez but still laces it with the heartfelt emotion of a dear friend’s passing.

Because of the surreal, perhaps supernatural, texture of Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez, François Thisdale’s illustrations, created with acrylic and digital media, have the perfect blend of the ethereal and the realistic. The foggy coastal town is ghostly with its overhanging mist and crashing waves and a man who may be intangible….

Picture books about death and dying are plentiful and all aim to help children understand loss and grief. But Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez presents the concept of death in a wholly unique fashion, leaving open what happens after we leave the physical world. Mister Rodriguez, along with a lovely assortment of companions, may transition from one world to the next under the watchful of a group of children but it’s evident that his life is far greater than just a physical presence in this world.”
—Helen K

Click here to read the full review

Waiting for Sophie Teaching Guide

Posted on October 11th, 2019 by pajamapress

Cover: Waiting for Sophie Author: Sarah Ellis Illustrator: Carmen Mok Publisher: Pajama Press

Click here to download the Waiting for Sophie teaching guide

Penguin Days Teaching Guides

Posted on October 11th, 2019 by pajamapress

Cover: Penguin Days Author: Sara Leach Illustrator: Rebecca Bender Publisher: Pajama PressClick here to download the Penguin Days teaching guide

Road Signs That Say West Teaching Guide

Posted on October 11th, 2019 by pajamapress

Cover: Road Signs That Say West Author: Sylvia Gunnery Publisher: Pajama Press

First page of the teaching guide for Road Signs That Say West by Sylvia Gunnery

Click here to download the Road Signs That Say West teaching guide