The Umbrella House Reviews

Posted on March 16th, 2023 by pajamapress

Booklist

“Ruby’s first-person narrative explores her worries about the battle against gentrification, a relevant theme for kids in many cities, as well as her shifting friendship with Scout. Nelson, who has lived in New York, creates a cast of interesting characters with Umbrella House (a real place with a colorful history) and its neighborhood as the setting. A well-paced story with a satisfying conclusion.”

Click here to read the full review

A Flower is a Friend Reviews

Posted on March 15th, 2023 by pajamapress

Kirkus Starred Review

“Nature creates marvelous and beneficial partnerships….Beginning with this quietly lovely book’s first spread, blossoms proudly announce themselves in clear, simple prose and describe how they help their friends….A thought-provoking question (“Why would a morning glory be happy to see a dragonfly?”) about a specific flower-creature relationship at the bottom of each page stimulates visual literacy and creative and critical thinking. The remarkable digital illustrations, so photographically, lusciously lifelike that one can almost smell floral aromas wafting from the pages, call for readers’ close scrutiny and attention to detail and suggest answers to the questions. If they don’t bring responses to readers’ minds quickly, the fact-packed backmatter about the flower-creature bonds will do the trick….A garden of gorgeous delights.”

Click here to read the full review

Booklist

“This appealing picture book takes viewers on a close-up tour of a garden to meet the flowers and their helpful friends, the insects, spiders, snails, birds, mice, and bats that visit them….Wishinsky’s age-appropriate text talks of friendships between flowers and animals and uses questions to engage her audience. Beginning with the dust jacket’s image of a mouse peeking out of a tulip flower, Patkau’s vibrantly colorful illustrations are eye-catching and helpful. An intriguing picture book on flowers and their friends.”

Click here to read the full review

Percy’s Perfect Friend Reviews

Posted on March 6th, 2023 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“A little boy adjusts to his first day at a new school with the help of a fluffy pink stuffed feline….Button, an early childhood educator, explores a difficult but important skill for children—entering a situation as a newcomer—and shows how imaginative play can lead the way. Percy effectively manages an unsettling moment by making a creative suggestion. Equally important is the positive response from Percy’s classmates, who welcome him into the fold….Bright, expressive, realistic drawings bring to life a diverse group of children….A wonderful example of how to resolve social snafus through the power of play.”

Click here to read the full review

I Love My City Reviews

Posted on February 10th, 2023 by pajamapress

School Library Journal 

“This comprehensive and invitingly designed book beckons readers to explore the phenomenon of the modern city in a wide range of societies throughout the world….On each page, comprehensively detailed digital illustrations bring the topics to life, moving seamlessly between colorful spreads and overhead diagrams. The design of the text enhances the presentation, with paragraphs thoughtfully laid out on brick walls, lakes, and clouds of smoke. As explained in the introduction and conclusion, the creators seek to foster an understanding of cities (home to half of the world’s population) as a vital element of the global community—a worthy goal for young citizens everywhere….An excellent addition to nonfiction collections.”

Click here to read the full review

Booklist

“This engaging tome introduces middle-grade readers to various aspects of cities….The accessible text is accompanied by colorful graphics, including oversize fonts, information bubbles, diagrams, cutaways, maps, and many busy two-page spreads filled with diverse city dwellers going about their daily activities. The book takes a global view, citing examples from all over the world and from different times in history. Another highlighted theme is the emphasis on ecological sustainability and earth-friendly development….This visual treat will be useful for research projects and should also catch the attention of browsers.”

Click here to read the full review

Kirkus Reviews

“Almost 70% of us will live in a city by 2050, so our urban past, present, and future are topics of interest. Good questions are posed in this book translated from French, beginning with where and when cities were first constructed…”

CM Magazine

I Love My City is a hands down winner. As it claims, it is a book about everything urban with examples drawn from around the world, beginning with the oldest known city, Jericho in Palestine, and extending to look at future city designs, such as sustainable development….The words of authors France Desmarais and Richard Adam are translated into a fluent and comprehensible text by Nicholas Aumais. Colourful illustrations by Yves Dumont fill the pages with lively characters, a variety of types of architecture, and diagrams that portray the complex systems of urban life. The illustrations are always continuous across the double page spread, helping the reader see the connections….There is nothing to not like about I Love My City….The title does not do justice to the valuable information presented in a very accessible format within the pages….Get your hands on this edition of I Love My City now. Your “curious kids” will thank you. Highly Recommended

Click here to read the full review

Montreal Review of Books 

“If you’ve ever wondered how city water is filtered or how cities are governed, this book will give you the facts. To inspire a conversation with young readers about the role cities can play in curbing climate change, the authors focus on sustainability, renewable energy, and improved waste management. Yves Dumont’s Busytown-esque illustrations help visual learners get the picture….city-curious kids will learn a lot.”

Click here to read the full review

YA Books Central 

“I Love My City is an informative non-fiction picture book that details how a city goes from concept to creation. The pages are jam-packed with what steps need to occur for a city to develop. There are many things to consider when creating a city from public services to traffic and this book delves into it all….The colorful illustrations are the perfect balance to all of the detailed text.

This book is a fantastic resource for readers who want to learn more about what is involved in developing a city.”

Click here to read the full review

Storytime with Stephanie

“Cities are places that are fast paced, jam packed and full of diversity. For those wanting to know more about cities, I Love My City by France Desmarais, Richard Adam and Yves Dumont contains anything you ever wanted to know about cities and how they operate.

Through historical facts and current practices, authors France Desmarais and Richard Adam bestow a wealth of knowledge about cities upon the reader….It’s comprehensive and general so that readers in any part of the world can gain more understanding about the places where large segments of the population live and work.

I like that the book is straightforward and very factual….I can see this book being used in a school setting where readers are learning about urban environments….The open-endedness of the information allows readers to take in the information and apply it to their own location wherever they are in the world and allows for comparison between cities and urban and rural settings….Yves Dumont’s illustrations add colour and interest to the book….I love the cross sections of city waste and water services, the colourful buildings and the city dwellers…”

Click here to read the full review

CanLit for LittleCanadians 

“In a well-organized and comprehensive story, France Desmarais and Richard Adam explain how and where cities were first established. They cover the different types of cities across the globe, from favelas to megacities. They also look within those cities for those who manage cities, from City Halls to urban planners and all the services needed to ensure functioning hubs. Water filtration, wastewater systems, renewable and non-renewable sources of energy, and transportation are all covered in some depth but never so expansive that the reader will bore or get lost….Beyond the content, though, are Yves Dumont’s illustrations that show the breadth of cities through time and space. Whether it’s the plans of cities to integrate all housing, transport and services, or stylized depictions of power plants, or busy couriers on bikes and commuters on public transport, Montreal’s Yves Dumont brings cities to life. He gives them colour and motion, purpose and serenity. He makes them everything to everyone, just as are the cities which have evolved in our world.

Teachers don’t need to wait until World Cities Day (October 31) to use I Love My City in their classrooms. With discussions from history and civics, architecture and energy, I Love My City will be a useful teaching tool and readable book of non-fiction for young readers every day of the year.”

Click here to read the full review

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

Quill & Quire Starred Review

“[T]his enchanting book is sure to calm the most wakeful child into a dreamy sleep….Like all good go-to-sleep books, While You Sleep acts as a lullaby, soothing the child with the rhythm of the words and the sleepy, whimsical images, transforming the darkness of night into a magical realm where all will be well till the morning….Maruno’s delightful story about the industrious bunnies and the world that needs nightly upkeep is inspired and original, and her rhymes are sweet and satisfying….Sato’s use of collage is clever and inventive, and children will enjoy picking out familiar materials….While You Sleep casts a magic spell that will help lull little ones to sleep, and might just nudge a sleepy grown-up in that direction, too.”

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

Booklist

“The dreamy, lyrical couplets pair beautifully with the enchanting, lushly layered illustrations composed of fabric, yarn, embroidery, and paper that altogether artfully and imaginatively create a fanciful, dynamic atmosphere full of fun details: the girl wanders through a garden of bright, oversize flowers, paintbrushes, and color pencils; the girl’s cat eyes the yarn the bunnies use to decorate the night sky; and so on. There’s much to engage and charm in this whimsical, sweet, and reassuring bedtime read.”

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

Children’s Literature

The power of storytelling and its transcendence into the world of dreams are at the center of this enchanting story….Through gifted word play, Maruno transforms what many parents and caregivers experience as a difficult task—that of getting a child in bed—into a delightful journey. Maruno has created a tale that feels like a love letter, or a poem, from a parent to a child. Any child will love listening to this as they get lost and travel away with it in their sleep. Sato’s magnificent collage-based illustrations are filled with color, texture, complexity, and feeling. The combination of text and art make this book one that should not be missed. This is a story that takes all readers into a world of wonder and inspiration, and it is a memorable book that leaves a lasting impression while conveying the meaning of love, along with the power of the imagination and bedtime stories. Needless to say, this is the perfect bedtime read and a must-have book!…Reviewer Rating: 5”

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

Open Book

“Infused with wonder and faith in the fantastical, While You Sleep is told is song-like rhyming couplets that rock readers into their own dreamy world, perfectly captured in Miki Sato’s ethereal collage art, which makes use of not only paper but also textiles including embroidery silk.

A book about believing the world could be just a little bit better and more beautiful when we wake, While You Sleep is hopeful and magical. Maruno, who honed her ear for rhyme and feel for storytelling as a parent and educator, knows how to look at the world through a child’s eyes. The book has already earned a coveted starred review in Kirkus, signalling a rare and special picture book from a writer who intuitively understands the genre.”

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

CanLit for LittleCanadians

“While You Sleep is a very contemplative story…about softness and security, wishes and hopes. It’s imaging how things come to be and appreciating how they are. And, by telling her story through rhyme, Jennifer Maruno gives While You Sleep a dynamism of flow, making it a journey of childhood dreams of what might be….Using paper, textiles and embroidery silk, Miki Sato makes the child’s worlds…touchable and deep both in dimension and spirit….With deftness of cut and placement of shape, Miki Sato and her night-helpers make this child’s world heavenly….Infused with sweetness and gratitude for a world of natural beauty, While You Sleep will be a great bedtime read and reminder that our world is one to cherish.”

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

Getting Kids Reading

“Soft, rich mixed-media collages beautifully illustrate each fanciful concept. You won’t have to work hard to make the book sound as good as it looks….The rhyming couplets easily drip from the pages in a way that is comforting and soothing. The whole effect is cozy and cuddly (think Goodnight Moon) and your little reader is bound to fall asleep by the time you reach the final sentence.”

Click here to read the full review

Charlotte Offsay (Instagram) 

“Soothing playful text and adorable cut out illustrations make for a sweet bedtime read and encourage littles everywhere to close their eyes and recharge.⁠”

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.”

Youth Services Book Review Starred Review

“Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5….What a great book about body parts for the young child! Sharp, vivid closeup photographs of animals and kids demonstrate that they both have ears, eyes, a nose, etc. Simple, sing-song text invites the reader to interact with the book….Animals shown are familiar to little kids, such as a rabbit, a squirrel or a bear, and the kids are a nicely diverse crew, with different skin colors, races, and abilities. The book is larger than a standard board book, which would make it perfect for story time.”

Click here to read the full review

Children’s Literature

“Little ones will quickly connect to these full-page, up-close photographs of adorable animals and diverse young children. Toddlers and preschoolers will love the repetition of simple text and finding similarities and differences between their physics attributes and that of these gorgeous animals. This is a perfect gift or addition to a toddler or preschool classroom….What a benefit this book will be to read aloud with your little one and connect them to animals and other children in our world….Reviewer Rating: 5”

School Library Journal, Fuse 8

“It would take a soul blacker than mine to resist a cover like this….This is a body parts book where you find out about a portion of an animal’s anatomy and then see a human with that part as well. And, naturally, when reading this in a lapsit or in a storytime you can make sure the toddlers are pointing to their own faces or hands or ears or what have you. As charming as its cover implies.”

Click here to read the full review

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