Birds on Wishbone Street Reviews

Posted on September 21st, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

“Del Rizzo illustrates with elaborate clay modeling combined with other media; the three-dimensional look ignites interest and gives the pictures a special warmth. The story centers care for others and nature as well as focusing on people’s shared humanity. While it does not detail Sami’s refugee experience or the various backgrounds of Wishbone Street’s diverse community, its content provides many possible openings for further learning and discussion. The diverse protagonists are all capable, resourceful individuals who may be sad sometimes but have an immense ability to enjoy life.

An exquisite book, in content and illustration, about love, movement, and shared humanity: a keeper.”

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On the Line Teaching Guide

Posted on September 16th, 2021 by pajamapress

Click here to download the On the Line teaching guide.

A Smile Teaching Guide

Posted on September 16th, 2021 by pajamapress

Click here to download the A Smile teaching guide.

Windy Days Reviews

Posted on August 25th, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“Kerbel follows the wind through the seasons, setting scenes with strong descriptive language in two-line verses with simple rhymes or near rhymes, all filled with movement and joy. A diverse cast of young children interact with the wind, which is depicted throughout as streaming white lines pushing through the air in Sato’s wonderfully textured mixed-media collage illustrations that seamlessly match the scenes described. Readers will want to touch the children’s sweaters, pick the luscious-looking apples hanging loosely on the tree, and jump into that beckoning pile of leaves. The concept of wind in all its varieties is explained simply and beautifully with just enough information for curious young readers.

Feel the wind in your hair and enjoy. ”

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Booklist

“Windy days come in all sorts of whimsical forms. Kerbel and Sato’s energetic picture book takes a closer look at just how alive the wind can be. Bouncy, perfectly rhyming couplets capture its varying nature, from gentle and steady to swirly and gusty; breezy enough to fly a kite or strong enough to make whistling sounds on a stormy day. Sato’s elaborate, meticulous cut-paper collage artwork depicts the motion of wind in fascinating vignettes that beautifully capture its movement, featuring cheery, softly rounded kids portrayed with just as much dynamic movement as the book’s subject. The image on each double-page spread expands on the words, helping young readers grasp the concept of each type of movement. Easy to read for beginners, this book will introduce little ones to such words as sweep, blast, blow, blister, roar, spin, dance, sway, swirl, and icy.”

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School Library Journal

“As readers have come to expect from Kerbel, rhyming text and beautiful, textured cutout collage illustrations drive this book about the wonders of windy days throughout the seasons. A cast of children of many races and skin colors marvel at the power of the wind, benefit from the power it gives, and joyfully participate in wind play. The wind, cleverly depicted as a variety of curved, straight, and “curly cued” lines, create movement throughout the pages in tandem with the weather event/season illustrated. In addition, the inclusion of various types of clouds throughout the spreads establishes the relationship among the wind, cloud movement, and weather changes. Sato’s use of various textures creates a three-dimensional, tactile vibe that is sure to pique and sustain the interest of children.”

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CM Magazine

“Wind and leaves takes centre stage in an engaging homage to our fall days in this lovely collaboration between Kerbel and Sato. A variety of leaves flying across the page will entice readers from the front flyleaf into the actual book. Preschoolers will be enchanted by this force of nature.

Delightful rhyming couplets help describe both the work and the fun that winds provide. The economy of words in the text, yet the frequency of expressive adjectives, such as “blustery, gusting, whistling, swirling, roaring”, are used to highlight the sensation of the wind. The result is a treat to all the senses.

There are many books about the concept of wind for early readers, but what makes Windy Days standout is the skillful artwork. With Sato’s using mixed media and paper collage, textiles, and embroidery silk, the illustrations fairly jump off the page with their tactile feel. Sato’s use of joyful expressions on the faces of the diverse youthful participants is another attractive feature. The depth and visual interest of the colourful drawings fit well in this sturdy book with its extra thick paper, rounded corners and padded cover.”

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Metroland Media

“Toddlers will have fun reading about wind and autumn with this nicely illustrated, rhyming story featuring a book with a padded cover, rounded corners and thick pages. The back of the book contains some experiments that young children can do on a windy day.”

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The Kid Lit Mama

“The companion to Snow Days and Sunny Days, this board book featuring collage art and descriptive language is a true joy.”

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Olivia (Goodreads)

“What I loved: This was a great poem that was perfectly paced with a couplet on each page. This rhythm is great for young ears, who will enjoy listening to it read aloud. The illustrations are really gorgeous, made out of different textures, featuring young children in different scenes, such as at a fair, on Halloween, stuck inside on a rainy day, and more. This book is perfect for fall with recognizable odes to the fall weather.

The book format is great for young readers and ideal for young toddlers and preschoolers. The pages are thicker than typical picture books as a step in between board and picture books, and the soft cover is fun to touch. Toddlers can turn the pages easily and explore this on their own, as a lead in to typical picture books. The font is easily legible, making it great for reading aloud, and the backmatter adds some educational context for at home, daycare, or preschool.

Final verdict: A lovely poem, WINDY DAYS is a fun way to begin to talk about the weather with toddlers and preschoolers. Intriguing textured illustrations and fun autumn scenes make this a great one for little ones to explore.”

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The Cow Said BOO! Teaching Guide

Posted on August 19th, 2021 by pajamapress

A black and white spotted cow stands on her hind legs, holding a box of tissues in one arm and a single kleenex in the other. She stands in front of a clothesline on a bright day with a jack-o-lantern pajama set on the line. Fall leaves and a pumpkin are on the ground.

Click here to download the The Cow Said BOO! teaching guide.

If Only… Teaching Guide

Posted on August 19th, 2021 by pajamapress

Cover: If Only... Author: Mies van Hout Publisher: Pajama Press

Click here to download the If Only… teaching guide.

Teaching Mrs. Muddle Book Trailer

Posted on August 12th, 2021 by pajamapress

When Elephants Listen With Their Feet: Discover Extraordinary Animal Senses Teaching Guide

Posted on August 9th, 2021 by pajamapress

An African elephant, rendered as a digital illustration, and a girl with brown skin walk side-by-side along a grassy path. The title of the book is When Elephants Listen with Their Feet. Written by Emmannuelle Grumndmann, illustrated by Clemence Dupont. Translated from the French original by Erin Woods.

Click here to download the When Elephants Listen With Their Feet: Discover Extraordinary Animal Senses teaching guide.

A Sky-Blue Bench Reviews

Posted on August 3rd, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

“Gently but poignantly, Collins’ richly hued, cartoon-style illustrations convey Aria’s discomfort, determination, and joy; family members’ and friends’ warm eyes and sympathetic faces are reassuring. Background characters bustle in a rainbow of jewel-toned clothing, their faces bearing a variety of expressions. Though Aria’s accident is unspecified in the simple primary text, an author’s note reveals that Aria’s story, partially based on Rahman’s childhood during Afghanistan’s civil war, honors Afghan children whose lives were changed forever by unexploded ordnance. Most characters’ complexions, including Aria’s, are varying shades of brown.

A timely, eye-opening portrait of resilience, community, and hope.”

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Foreword Reviews

“Aria, a young girl in Afghanistan and an amputee, is nervous about going back to school. With all the benches being burned for warmth during the war, the girls in her school have no choice but to sit on the floor, which is unbearable for Aria and her “helper-leg.” Together with her mother and brother, Aria decides to build a bench herself, painting it skyblue: the color of “courage, peace and wisdom.” DANIELLE BALLANTYNE (November / December 2021)”

Quill & Quire

“Aria, an Afghani girl, is eager to return to school, but her new prosthetic “helper leg” makes sitting on the classroom floor far too uncomfortable. So Aria decides to build a bench for herself. Ontario-based Peggy Collins illustrates this heartwarming story about a resilient young girl who faces a barrier to her education.”

Youth Services Book Review

How beautiful and heart-breaking to read this lovely picture book about a young girl, crippled from an UXO device, who finds a way to be comfortable at school by building her own bench. The ingenuity and determination of Afghani women and girls is explored as Aria finds that she can not sit comfortably on the floor of her all-girls school. After briefly considering not going back she decides she will build her own seating. Thus, with a little help from the local carpenter, Aria and her mother build and paint the sky-blue bench.”

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Bookishrealm (Goodreads)

“Wow! This was a powerful book. A Sky Blue focuses on a young Afghan girl, Aria, as she attempts to go back to school after receiving a prosthetic leg due to mine explosion. When Aria gets to school she’s extremely uncomfortable finding a way to sit during class because of her “helper leg.” Not only does the author address the danger that Afghan children face due to mines left all over the country, but they also weave discussions about the barriers that young Afghan girls and women face in relation to their education. Aria knows that unless she is able to build a bench to help her feel more comfortable in class she won’t have access to the tools she needs to learn how to read and write. The narrative was powerful and impactful and drew specifically on some experiences the author had growing up in Afghanistan.”

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The Undercover Book List Reviews

Posted on July 27th, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“Two 12-year-olds confront their vulnerabilities.
A light-skinned girl with brown hair in a ponytail sits atop a cloud with a book in her lap and dozens of pieces of paper falling down from her cloud. Below her is a light-skinned boy with orange curly hair who is sitting atop some pillows, is also reading a book, and is receiving all pages that are cascading down on him.
Told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of seventh graders Jane (in the first person) and Tyson (in third-person omniscient), this story unfolds with clever aplomb. Although they are in the same class, Jane and Tyson don’t hang out together. Top-student Jane loves to read—especially mysteries—and misses her best friend, Sienna, who has recently moved across the country; underachiever Tyson pulls pranks that get him sent to the office and plays video games obsessively at home, to the detriment of his schoolwork. But when Sienna leaves an anonymous farewell note/clue in the school library for Jane, it is Tyson, hiding in the stacks, who sees Jane find the note, and he decides to jump in to the correspondence, also anonymously, as a prank.”

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Publishers Weekly

“Alternating chapters catalogue Tyson and Jane’s earnest perspectives (“It feels like people are always leaving me”) in Nelson’s (Harvey Holds His Own) gentle yet well-paced story. Featuring the duo’s interspersed missives, the narrative explores what it means to be accurately perceived, by both others and oneself, while simultaneously serving as a satisfying love letter to Louis Sachar, Rebecca Stead, Jacqueline Woodson, and other cherished authors, and emphasizing books’ transformative power. Back matter includes their Undercover Book List.”

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Booklist

“With her father posted in the Middle East and her best friend moving away, Jane’s seventh-grade year is unsettling. Still, she follows through on a suggestion for making a new friend: in a particular book at the school library, she places an anonymous note recommending her favorite titles and inviting the next reader to reply by doing the same.

Nelson, a Canadian author, offers an appealing dual narrative that switches, chapter by chapter, between the two very different classmates’ points of view. The writing is straightforward but lively. Early on, Tyson sums up Jane in this wry sentence: “Teachers probably arm-wrestled each other to get her in their classes.” Both characters are convincingly portrayed in this rewarding middle-grade novel.”

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Foreword Reviews

“The book’s narration alternates between Jane and Tyson’s points of view, exploring themes of transformation, and of the strength it takes to embrace change. Tyson and Jane learn that change brings strength, too, once it’s been embraced. Their transformations are fast: both exhibit understandings of human psychology of the sort that eludes many adults. The obstacles they face, including vandalism and illness, are handled in a straightforward manner, but without sacrificing emotion (though a story line concerning a classroom activity is unresolved). Both strong Jane and sensitive Tyson prove to be excellent role models by the book’s gratifying ending. In the diverse novel The Undercover Book List, two classmates overcome their initial antagonism to find commonalities, which lead them to unexpected solidarity.”

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Quill & Quire

The Undercover Book List, like Nelson’s Harvey novels, takes an honest look at the emotional lives of preteens. Jane is dealing with loss, fear, and loneliness, while Tyson struggles to shake off his reputation to allow his true self space to grow. Nelson approaches their inner lives with respect and empathy, using books as the healing agent that brings them together.

The plot races along, switching between Jane’s and Tyson’s points of view with each successive chapter. Jane’s chapters are in the first person, while Tyson’s are in third person, which has the effect of making Tyson’s character seem distant in comparison to Jane.

The Undercover Book List will resonate with children who feel unseen, who dream of a friend who understands them, or who are figuring out what kind of person to be. It’s an absorbing, entertaining, and sensitive story that champions reading and the love of books.”

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CM Magazine

“This is every mother’s dream situation! Confiscate your kid’s game box and have him turn to reading as a compensation? Wow! Tyson isn’t stupid, but, until now, he’s not been motivated to do anything that takes more effort than a quick joke would. The anonymity of communicating by letter is a way for him to be a different sort of person and without having to worry about being laughed at or teased. So what if the situation is a bit idealistic rather than realistic — every life can use a bit of fantasy (and it doesn’t have to be in the form of a video-game avatar)!

An added bonus is the book list at the end, giving all the titles that Jane and Tyson discuss as well as the ones that just got a mention. It would make for a wonderful display in a school library, a Tyson-path and a Jane-path, with arrows leading from one book to the next to the next; I only wish I were still working in a library. Give The Undercover Book List to a reader and open up a whole new bunch of possible authors to be enjoyed or give it to a non-reader and see what happens. You might be surprised!”

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Youth Services Book Review

“Told in alternating chapters from each main character’s perspective, The Undercover Book List is a treat for book lovers as it recommends titles such as Harbor Me, The Book Thief, and several others.  Both characters learn and grow a great deal over the course of the book and readers will really enjoy their development.  Jane grapples with separation, from Sienna and from her military Dad, with worry about her grandfather, and anxiety about her social status at school.  Tyson wants to find his niche between his overachieving siblings and to shed his reputation as class clown without losing his cool guy friends.  The two bond over books and help each other through these challenges with humor and genuine friendship (it is noteworthy that romance between the two is never suggested), supported by a wonderful cast of secondary characters including friends, family members and school staff.  The author includes a list of the book suggestions that Jane and Tyson share.”

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CanLit for Little Canadians

“Readers know the richness that stories can bring into their lives. We meet new friends, travel to different places and times, and we learn.  By bringing together a reader and non-reader, Colleen Nelson, an astute writer and undoubtedly understanding teacher, has written about every child out there. The ones that love books will always find something to read but can get so much insight from the perspectives of others. Those that haven’t become readers yet often just need the scaffolding of the right book or the right person to bring them to reading. With the Undercover Book Club, Tyson and Jane both find their people among those they would have dismissed originally and enrich their lives beyond just reading.

Colleen Nelson has a natural skill at giving young readers characters who are real, though not always likeable at first, and who are able to change with their experiences and perspectives. ”

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The International Educator

The Undercover Book List, Colleen Nelson is a fabulous middle grade novel. It’s a story grounded in a school library and books, focused on friendship. Jane loves to read but misses her best friend who moved away. Tyson is into video games and does not like to read. But through the secret messages left in books in their school library, both main characters change and make new friends. A great story for book worms and kids who have to move and make new friend.”

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Book Time

“I really liked this book and it’s on my to-be-read-to-my-son pile. And while I liked Jane, the main character in the book, it was Tyson I liked the most and who I saw the most change in. My heart actually broke for Tyson a couple of times. Not only do his teachers believe the worse, so too, do his parents who laughed when Tyson said he read a book; they didn’t believe him. No wonder the kid can’t be bothered. I loved how hard Tyson tried and how it changed him in the end.”

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kathiemacisaac

“I loved the idea of two kids getting to know each other through notes left in books. Tyson had a reputation as a prankster and poor student, and watching his transformation was my favourite part of the story. I also loved Jane’s willingness to stay connected with Sienna and how they supported each other through their transitions. Both Jane and Tyson have challenges at home that ring true to middle-grade experiences and add depth to the character’s stories. There are some excellent ideas to use in the classroom, such as the Other Words for Me board and starting a Kid Lit Quiz team. The short chapters and overall book-length of 258 pages will appeal to a wide range of readers, and I would recommend this story for Gr. 4-7.”

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Storytime with Stephanie

“Coming just in time for the start of the school year, Colleen Nelson’s brilliant and charming new middle grade novel, The Undercover Book List, will inspire the readers and non-readers in your life.

I love that The Undercover Book List is written from two perspectives, Jane and Tyson. They are both incredible characters, going through their own struggles which shape their outlook on life. Tyson has no self confidence and always goes for the easy laugh to protect from being vulnerable. He doesn’t realize all of his potential. Jane is the sweetest person, kind and generous and is confident. When she takes a chance on Tyson, she helps him see himself in a more positive light.

I really enjoyed Tyson. He was such a great character and it was wonderful to watch him grow in confidence and understanding throughout the story. There are many Tyson’s out there. Children who just see themselves as one thing instead of multitudes. He becomes a leader and a good friend. Jane is a character who knows what is right and fights for it. She is a fierce friend and doesn’t give up on people easily. The two of them, Tyson and Jane, teach each other a lot over the course of the story an help each other navigate the tricky middle school dynamics, unbeknownst to each other.

All of the book recommendations within the story are stellar! I loved seeing the familiar titles pop up and even got a couple to add to my list. Colleen Nelson added shout out to books written by some of our most favourite Canadian authors. Honestly, I would have loved an undercover book club when I was a middle schooler. May have made the lonely eighth grade year more tolerable. Heck, I would love to have an undercover book club now! Perhaps I will start leaving notes in my library books!

The Undercover Book List is an awesome story, fabulous for the start of a new year to inspire readers and non readers to just pick up a book and enjoy.”

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Julie (Goodreads)

“One of my favorite kind of books are books about books…and this one did not disappoint! By the end I wanted to join both an Undercover Book Club and a Kid Lit Quiz team. I particularly enjoyed the unlikely friendship and how their story revealed the power of books.

Also, this quote…”flexing their intellectual muscles by firing off the names of the Newbery Award winners in chronological order,”…I am OBSESSED with it! It’s the answer to the prompt, “Tell me you’re a reader without telling me you’re a reader.””

Laurie Hnatiuk (Goodreads)

“I love the way Colleen has tackled a friend moving away. The unique way in which Colleen Nelson sets this up is a breath of fresh air. Instead of focusing on the friend who moves away, the author focuses on the friend who isn’t moving. Ms. Nelson reminds us that the friend staying behind also faces challenges and periods of difficulty, things that sometimes we may overlook.
Readers also meet a familiar character. We all know someone like Tyson Flamand. The clever individual who acts one way because they are not confident to show us their true selves. In The Undercover Book List, readers see the growth of Tyson as he gains confidence and realizes he can contribute and doesn’t need to hide behind the elaborate pranks. I appreciated the honesty of showing how Tyson knows how to suggest relevant and current books for Jane to read when he doesn’t consider himself a reader. Some individuals will see themselves and make connections to both Tyson and Jane. What a great way to talk about how we can get around from working to fake read and know excellent books to recommend to finding books that will engage those individuals who see themselves as nonreaders.

Using the duo perspective, readers get to know Jane and Tyson individually while speculating how they will become friends without the characters knowing they will be friends. Kids will enjoy this aspect of the story and will be able to connect and share with their personal stories. Writing from this dual perspective keeps readers engaged and wanting to learn more about each character and the storyline moving.”

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Michelle Kadarusman (Goodreads)

“Book nerds unite! The Undercover Book List provides a simply wonderful premise for young book lovers – and for those who don’t think they are bookish, they will be by the end of the story. Love, love, love the depiction of friendships old and new that grow and blossom under Nelson’s deft hand. A heartwarming page turner that achieves what all exceptional literature does, it inspires the reader to read more. All the stars for this middle-grade gem.”

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A Smile Reviews

Posted on July 27th, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

In paper collage art, three children with light-coloured skin walk in a row along a cobblestone path. The eldest in front carries a parcel, the little boy in the middle carries a daisy and walks with a big smile on his face, and the girl at the end of the train carries a cake. A brown cat follows behind them, and a beaming yellow sun smiles down on the children.“Using brightly colored forms, cheerful collage illustrations provide a lively, child-centric, visual context for this uncredited English adaptation of the poem “Un sourire,” attributed to Follereau, a French humanitarian who worked with people who had Hansen’s disease. Opening with smiling parents waking their children in the morning, the simple text reminds readers “a smile costs nothing” and can be given to others.”

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School Library Journal

“Every sentence reads as truth, and Hadadi, working in a primary palette of good cheer, welcome, and bright colors, invites readers into the pages. Three joyful children go on a walk, visit a bakery, espy an older man giving someone less fortunate coffee and pastries—and more importantly, conversation—and witness how a smile given freely can change the tenor of the day. The publisher’s note explains Follereau’s philosophy, and helps anchor this airy work to serious goals. VERDICT A quiet idea, amplified, that to be kind, all children need is a smile.”

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Independent Book Reviews

“This is a gorgeous children’s picture book about smiling.
Simply perfect for anyone at anytime – it will certainly make you smile!”

North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award

“Whilst accompanying the poem, the illustrations tell their own story as well, showing the kindness, hope and joy a simple smile can bring to everyone. Each spread is bright and bursting with life, full of details to notice and enjoy. Hoda Hadadi’s pictures showing a day in the life of two smiling children would make a wonderful starting point for story telling and collage work.”

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Picture Book Snob

“This is perfect for gently introducing children to the importance of kindness and altruisim, as well as easy ways to practice what they’ve learned. It’s a fabulous bedtime story and Hoda’s art will encourage young people to be creative themselves. This is ideal for use in a classroom and for basing activities around too. This book would also make a marvellous and memorable gift, for adults as well as children. It’s sure to put a smile on the face of anyone who reads it.”

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Library Lady

“The cover depicting a trio of smiling children beneath a beaming sun and jolly smiling clouds instantly lifts your spirits and the endpapers continue the theme with a garden of flowers each of them smiling happily. The reader follows the children as they spread their smiles among the people they meet; the rich man with his downcast face, the young unemployed man lost in sadness and the little girl with the burst balloon. As we turn the pages we watch as their days are transformed by this small act of kindness.”

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Cuckoo's Flight Teaching Guides

Posted on July 19th, 2021 by pajamapress

Cover: Cuckoo's Flight Author: Wendy Orr Publisher: Pajama Press

Click here to download the Cuckoo’s Flight teaching guide.

Harley the Hero Teaching Guide

Posted on July 14th, 2021 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Harley the Hero teaching guide.

Listen Up! Train Song Reviews

Posted on July 8th, 2021 by pajamapress

School Library Journal ★ Starred Review

A red freight train runs along a track with a hilly and forest-covered landscape behind it.

“PreS-K–Train lovers will delight in this board book featuring photos of trains. Each spread corresponds with musical text. A refrain of “Let’s sing a…song all down the track” makes this title a perfect match for story hours about things that go. Onomatopoeic words for various trains and train parts will encourage listeners to repeat and follow along.”

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Kirkus Reviews

“Locomotive-loving storytimers rejoice! Your newest read-aloud is here. “Whoooooo! Chooooooo!”

In this bouncy follow-up to Allenby’s Shape Up, Construction Trucks! (2020), rhythm carries readers along the rails. “Where do the trains go? / There and back. / Let’s sing a train song / All down the track.” After this opening, double-page spreads introduce different train-related vocabulary and associated onomatopoeia. Large, colorful, close-up stock photographs of trains ac uses it company the different sounds they’re capable of making. The engines go “Chuff-a-gruff-a!”; the metro sings “Whoooosh! Swoooosh!”; the boxcar says “Rattle-tattle!”; and more. Participation possibilities abound with the consistently inventive train sounds, and the bright and colorful images will be easy to see from across a room….Notes at the end of the book offer adult readers different ways to connect the book to rhythm and song….

All aboard! The littlest readers with a yen for the rails are bound to bounce with delight.” (Picture book. 2-4)

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CM Magazine

“The physical hardiness of the book is noted, including a hard, padded cover and rounded corners, and extra-heavy paper, making it robust enough for frequent use by young library patrons. The title is well-suited to reading out loud in storytime settings as the text is rhythmic and repetitive, yet there is enough variety to interest young listeners from page to page. Onomatopoeia is frequently utilized in words such as “hisssss!” and “screeeeech!” which add an exciting and interactive quality. The text is greatly enhanced by the full-colour photographs which are rich in detail and successfully depict movement. Some seasonal variety of outdoor scenes would enhance the overall impression of this title as all the outdoor photographs showcase trains under partly cloudy skies in the fullness of summer or very early Autumn. Nevertheless, Listen Up! Train Song is a delightful and fun book that will be of great interest and entertainment to very young children.”

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Youth Services Book Review

“An excellent way to introduce rhyming to young readers. The book explores the different types of sounds trains and train parts make. On each two page layout you get a large zoomed in photo of a train/train part or even a railroad crossing sign. On the opposite side of the picture there is a short large-text script that asks the readers what sound the picture makes and then encourages them to make up their own song based on the photo. The book is very realistic and simple which makes it a perfect read to pair with a hands-on activity.”

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Fab Book Reviews

“Allenby’s book encourages participation and imagination, singing, and practicing rhyming, with detailed back matter that proffers “sound and rhythm” based activities that adults/caregivers/parents can try out with little ones. (My youngest proudly made up his own sweet train song after a few reads of this title!). Listen Up! Train Song is a solid, participatory read, and a highly recommended companion title for any young readers who love transportation or train books, or who have loved Shape Up, Construction Trucks!”

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Canadian Bookworm

“This picture book shows different kinds of trains, different parts of trains and connects them to different sounds. It plays with onomatopoeia by showing kids how the sounds that the trains make are described by words that sound similar and encourages them to explore this concept.

The book is written in a song pattern with repetitive lines linking the different verses. The photographs have close-ups of some of the train parts making sounds like horns and brakes. There are also some train-related items like crossings that have noise that get included here. Parts of the trains like engines and boxcars have their own particular noises.”

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Alissa Tsaparikos (Goodreads)

“The sparse text is set in a simple rhythm that encourages audience participation. Back matter includes tips on practicing rhyme with children and how this acts as an early literacy activity. This book would work great in a transportation or train themed storytime.”

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Andrea (Goodreads)

“Excellent storytime book for young children. Rhyming, repetitive text is well paced. Close up pictures show the train parts being talked about in each rhyme, helping young children visualize just what makes each noise.”

The Cow Said BOO! Reviews

Posted on July 7th, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“Button’s rhyming text hits at just the right pace, encouraging participation from little readers. A black and white spotted cow stands on her hind legs, holding a box of tissues in one arm and a single kleenex in the other. She stands in front of a clothesline on a bright day with a jack-o-lantern pajama set on the line. Fall leaves and a pumpkin are on the ground.Kids will love being in on the joke that the cow isn’t really a ghost, and the silliness of the animal sounds when they all catch the cow’s cold will certainly elicit many a giggle. Carter’s illustrations include subtle hints at fall and Halloween even though the text doesn’t explicitly mention the season: Pumpkins dot the field, there’s a jack-o’-lantern shirt on the clothesline, and leaves float across the pages. The real visual highlight, however, is the progression of frames showing the fox sneaking through the field of snoozing animals. The glow of the moonlight acts as a spotlight on the fox, drawing readers’ attention to the action the animals don’t notice. The rear endpapers present five illustrated steps to “wash your hooves and paws!” and keep colds away.

An infectious seasonal read-aloud.”

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School Library Journal

“The rhyming text and repeated refrain are sure to engage the smallest readers and listeners. Bright, energetic watercolors show all the action and some of the funny contrasts in the story. There are also timely suggestions for handwashing and helping others stay healthy. A terrific story time read-aloud, this works for Halloween events or any time of year.

VERDICT A silly rhyming story that will have toddlers giggling along.”

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CM Reviews

“Button’s rollicking rhyming text is humorous and catchy. This simple story begs to be read aloud with gusto and presents a great opportunity for teachers and parents to encourage active participation from youthful listeners.

The lively pictures, with their abundant frenetic activity, match the fun-loving text. The rendering of the sick cow will bring giggles galore to youngsters. This original art is created with coloured pencil, water-colour and digital media.

Aided by the farm cat and friends, the endpapers of The Cow Said Boo! provide helpful hints for cold prevention.”

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Canadian Children’s Book Centre

“A cow’s congestion causes consternation on the farm. Woozy and miserable from a head cold, the bleary bovine doesn’t feel or sound like herself. Her usual genteel salutations of “moo” come out as “BOO!” When she accidentally stumbles into some washing hung out to dry and gets tangled in a bedsheet, she doesn’t look like herself anymore either. Her barnyard pals don’t recognize her and react with alarm. In the evening, too stuffed up to sleep, the cow spies a foxy intruder and knows exactly what to do to bravely save her friends.

Alice carter’s watercolour illustrations have autumnal background details, with bales of hay, pumpkins in the field, and a whimsical jack-o-lantern T-shirt blowing in the clothesline. To show their appreciation, the animals comfort their under-the-weather hero with sweet gestures: the goat offers tissues, the pig plays a song on a ukulele, and the horse brings a bowl of soup.

This boisterously fun picture book offers plenty of wordplay and a healthy dose of humor, from the rooster’s musings of “What do we cock-a-doodle-do?” to the catchy refrain of “the cow said BOO!” Perfect for reading aloud, there are many opportunities for active participation, including a review of handwashing hygiene on the endpapers to “Scare away colds.””

Seattle Book Review

“Author Lana Button has written an adorable little story that will have little listeners giggling as poor Cow tries to “Moo,” and can’t seem to do anything the way she wants. Absolutely charming illustrations by Alice Carter are filled with fun details that will keep little eyes searching the illustrations for more silliness. This book will have youngsters asking for it to be read over and over, but it’s so much fun, adults won’t mind at all.”

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Youth Services Book Review

“This is a fun story in rhyming text about a cow with a cold.  Because her nose is stuffy, the cow’s “Moo” sounds like “Boo.”

The illustrations, created with colored pencil, watercolor and digital media, are filled with detail and expression. This is a cute story for teaching hygiene to little ones. The plentiful pumpkins and autumn leaves make this a good choice for a not-so-scary Halloween read aloud.”

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Parents Magazine

“In this infectious Halloween read-aloud, the cow’s friends think she’s a ghost because her cold makes her “moos” come out as “boos.” Rhyming text and a repeated refrain swoop kids into the silly antics. The kindness that the cow receives from her pals and how she pays it forward is the real treat. Ages 4 to 7

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The International Educator

“Not specifically about Covid, but about communicable diseases in general and especially helpful in Kindergarten classes, The Cow Said Boo by Lana Button, illustrated by Alice Carter is a fun farm romp when poor cow catches a cold and can’t say ‘Moo!’ but says ‘Boo!’ instead. The other animals nurse cow back to health but once cow is better, rooster says “cock-a-doodle-CHOO!” A nonfiction back page talks about washing hands to prevent colds.”

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@jmebills

“What do you get when you cross a cow, a cold, and a bedsheet?

A hilarious picture book of course! …

I found the rhyme scheme in this book delightful, as well as the illustrations.

It is the perfect silly-fun for Halloween! (Although, I am sure we are going to enjoy it all year round 😁!)”

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CanLit for Little Canadians

“Lana Button gives us a story in which a difficulty becomes a blessing, reminding young readers that face-value is just that. Sure, the cow looked like a ghost and frightened her friends with her nasally voice but she used that to her advantage to help her farm pals in the end. Ultimately, they appreciate her efforts, cheering her and even nursing her back to health, though they all catch their own colds and speak with transformed voices. (They would be wise to follow the illustrated instructions on the back end-papers for scaring away colds by washing hands.) Lana Button gives us some silliness and some wisdom, a great way for young children to learn important lessons like how to keep colds at bay and not being too quick to judge.

Ottawa’s Alice Carter created her art with coloured pencils, watercolour and digital media to give The Cow Said Boo! the simplicity and mischievousness that speaks to young children. They know about getting colds and how it feels but Alice Carter makes it more goofy than ridiculous and definitely less miserable than the common cold. From her blue skies and sickly yellow green fields–yes, sickly is a colour–there’s some subtle messaging but the animals are the stars with their brightly-hued coats and cartoonish faces and forms. Moreover, because young children are familiar with animals and their sounds, especially on farms–even if they’ve never visited a rural community–Alice Carter’s depictions of Lana Button’s characters will make them smile.”

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Little Bookworm Club

“When Cow gets a terrible cold making all his moo’s sound like boo’s and has an unfortunate mishap with a sheet all the farm animals mistake him for a ghost. They run and hide away, but Cow finds a crafty way to reveal his true identity and save his friends from some real danger.”

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Storytime with Stephanie

The Cow Said Boo is a delightfully perfect fall story. It has a lovely rhyme to it that rolls right off your tongue. To me the best rhyming stories are ones you can just pick up and catch the beat right from the first page. Also, there is some excellent repetition throughout the story in the line, “the cow said Boo!” making it perfect for a read aloud. You can get your listeners to help you with that part of the story and even say the Boo part, which in my experience children LOVE to do. Another excellent thing about this rhyming tale is that after children have heard the story a few times, they will be able to retell it. If you are a teacher having a retelling station featuring this book would be amazing and so fun for your little readers!

Alice Carter’s illustrations are lively and colourful and very very funny. Children will love seeing the animals’ expressions when they think the cow is a ghost in the farmyard. Also, there is a lot of Halloween imagery making it a fantastic, non-scary story to share at Halloween time. Also, the illustrations are nice and bold, meaning if you are sharing the story with a group, the illustrations will be highly visible.”

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Sherly Books

“I love the story & how the end papers help kids “scare away colds” with the cutest hand-washing instructions ever. And your littles will love all the sound words like “cock-a-doodle Choo”! A perfect read-aloud, but probably not at bedtime because there will be far too much giggling! Highly recommended”

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The Kid Lit Mama

“🎃The Cow Said BOO! | @pajamapressbooks | @lanabutton & @alicecarterillustration | This playful picture book tells a story of the day a cow had a cold so bad that her “moo” came out as “boo.” The cow’s tough day will take a turn as the cow becomes a hero amongst her farm friends!”

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