Dragonfly Song Teaching Guides

Posted on August 8th, 2018 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Dragonfly Song reading guide

Dance of the Banished Teaching Guides

Posted on August 8th, 2018 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Dance of the Banished reading guide

A Bear in War Teaching Guides

Posted on August 8th, 2018 by pajamapress

Click here to download the A Bear in War reading guide.

Swallow’s Dance Reviews

Posted on August 1st, 2018 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews ★ Starred Review

“Spiritual and cultural beliefs blossom into a celebration of life—at least until the darkness of fear and ruthlessness of the earthmother rip apart a homeland and a cherished way of life. This mesmerizing, aching tale explores ancient beliefs in gods and nature and their impact on an Aegean island society in the Bronze Age….Orr nimbly shows Leira’s imperiousness and her humanity alike as the girl witnesses the jarring shift in order when once-exalted priests and priestesses find themselves cast adrift. Her mixture of prose and free verse to tell Leira’s story is lyrical and magnetic—and devastating. Not for readers searching for a simple or happy journey, this is a beautiful song of a book that shows that life isn’t always fair, but change is always constant.”

Click here to read the full review

Booklist ★ Starred Review

“As she faces the demands of sheer survival, Leira gradually realizes that the privileges afforded to her, thanks to her social status, are meaningless, and she starts taking on whatever unpleasant job she must to protect herself and her family. There are no miracles and no clear answers for Leira, but she learns to love what she has and that she can cope with anything. Leira’s lyrical first-person narrative advances the story along beautifully with a fitting sense of urgency, and free-verse songs clue readers in to her emotional development. Immersive historical fiction.”
—Donna Scanlon

Click here to read the full review

School Library Journal ★ Starred Review

“Gr 5-8–Leira’s sheltered life of privilege is all she has ever known. Her biggest concern is becoming a woman so she can start her priestess rites. Her people believe the earth goddess will protect them if the proper rituals and sacrifices are carried out, but an earthquake rocks their existence. Leira’s mother is crushed inside their home and suffers severe brain damage, and eventually her family chooses to take their chances by boarding a boat to Crete. As tragedy upon tragedy befalls the sweet but naive Leira in this Bronze Age–set tale, readers will cheer for her to succeed, grow, and to find her way in this new world. Some chapters written in verse make the more emotional plot lines sing. An eye-opening look at how difficult it is when one’s status changes in life, and how attitude can shape outcome. VERDICT Beautiful writing and a fast-moving plot will give young historical fiction fans much to love.”
–Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX

Read the full review in the October 2018 issue of School Library Journal

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“After her home is swallowed by the sea, Leira’s protracted fall from grace is effectively punctuated by seamless narrative shifts among prose, verse, and song, which fans of Orr’s Dragonfly Song (BCCB 01/18) will recognize. What she endures—the uncertainty of her family’s fate and becoming a servant herself—makes for a gripping exploration of privilege during her journey toward womanhood.”

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine

Swallow’s Dance is a sweeping tale of courage, fortitude, hardship and perseverance against all odds. It is also a coming of age story, an intimate glimpse into the life of a young girl adjusting to puberty at a time when her family, friendships and her understanding of her place in the world are brutally torn apart. Wendy Orr has crafted a sympathetic, memorable heroine whose struggles and challenges transcend time from the Bronze Age to modern day. Youth will relate to and sympathize with Leira, and readers of all ages will find hope in Leira’s resilience and ability to adapt and move forward despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Orr delves into the universal themes of family, love, loss, friendship, status and endurance within an engrossing and moving tale. As in Dragonfly Song, Orr includes some of Leira’s thoughts in segments of beautiful lyrical prose that could easily function as stand-alone poetry. While suitable for middle grade students and a wonderful introduction to mythology and discussions surrounding puberty, spirituality, class, mental health, death and disaster, Swallow’s Dance is one of those rare books that is also just a great story, an epic tale for all ages.

Highly Recommended.”
—Cate Carlyle is an author and former elementary teacher currently residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she is a librarian at Mount Saint Vincent University.

Click here to read the full review

Youth Services Book Review

What did you like about the book? Top notch historical fiction for those who like it ancient!…Set during the Bronze Age, the story shows that migration has been a constant since time began, and that it has never been easy to lose your home and those whom you love and start over in a new place, in this case, Crete. Leira narrates, in prose and alternating poetry, the catastrophe and the emotional toll it takes on her and her family. Lots of animal sacrifice, daily ritual worship of the gods, and intense heartbreak for a young person unused to any hardship. The poetic interludes do a good job of describing the emotional journey. The scenes of devastation – earthquake in Santorini, tsunami in Crete – are riveting to experience through the lens of a survivor….

To whom would you recommend this book?  Definitely offer this to fans of Orr’s Dragonfly Song and to fans of historical fiction, ages 10-14.”
—Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Click here to read the full review

Log Cabin Library

Swallow’s Dance is the fictionalized story inspired by the real events of a hurricane that occurred in 1625 BCE on the island of Thera (now known as Santorini) that resulted in a huge tsunami on Crete and the speculation of whether the people of Thera were able to flee to Crete before the city was buried.  Like Dragonfly Song, Swallow’s Dance is told through a combination of prose and free verse. It’s a wonderful mix of survival and a coming of age story.

Leira is a resilient young girl who endures so many hardships once she arrives in Crete. One of her early concerns is that she will never be able to complete her learning to become a woman….Despite everything that she endures, she is still strong, fierce and strives to improve her living situation, to one day be free. You can’t help rooting for Leira as she vows to honor her people and claim who she is.”

Click here to read the full review

Jill Jemmett

“This is a very powerful story. It was quite emotional at times. I had tears in my eyes by the end, but I was pleased with the ending. This story has a traditional Greek form because it is written partly in verse. The sections in verse are particularly descriptive and lyrical. This reinforces the Greek atmosphere of the story.

This is a beautiful and powerful story. I loved it!”

Click here to read the full review

A Good Day for Ducks Reviews

Posted on July 24th, 2018 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“Impressionistic illustrations use light, splashy washes of color with scratchy ink outlines and white backgrounds, conveying both the excitement of the rainy outdoor scenes and the familiar, cozy atmosphere inside. The simple plot, short length, and rich vocabulary make this a fine choice for toddlers just beginning to listen to real stories, but there’s enough interest and action for older preschoolers as well. Just right to enjoy after a rainy-day outing while sipping a cup of hot chocolate and perhaps wearing a pair of bunny slippers.”

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Bookworm

“This is a book in celebration of a rainy day, of siblings, and of the fun of experience. Like Jane’s previous book Wild One, this is a book about children enjoying nature.”

Click here to read the full review

Book Time

“In A Good Day for Ducks by Jane Whittingham we get to embrace our inner child and spend a day in the rain…This book makes me wish for rainy spring – not fall – days.”

Click here to read the full review

A World of Kindness Reviews

Posted on July 23rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“Inspiration for acts of kindness, with illustrations from several artists….In a meta act of kindness, royalties from the proceeds from the book will support a nonprofit group, Think Kindness. A tool to spur kindness conversations…”

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Bookworm

“This book raises funds for Think Kindness and illustrates what kindness looks like….The pictures are well chosen to convey the actions, and show diversity. A great addition to any collection.”

Click here to read the full review

Book Time

“Each page is drawn by a different Pajama Press illustrator. I enjoyed flipping through the pages and recognizing the style of each illustrator….The messages, which include being kind to animals, helping those younger than you and saying sorry when you are wrong, makes it a cute and beautiful book.”

Click here to read the full review

A World of Kindness Teaching Guides

Posted on July 13th, 2018 by pajamapress

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Click here to download the A World of Kindness reading guide

 

A World of Kindness Extra Content

Posted on June 27th, 2018 by pajamapress

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Click here to download the A World of Kindness poster

The Flooded Earth Reviews

Posted on June 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

School Library Journal

Title: The Flooded Earth Author: Mardi McConnochie Publisher: Pajama Press“Originally published in Australia, this adventure novel is a strong series opener with a unique and timely concept. The fast-paced story will keep readers engaged, and solid world building will draw readers into this fascinating cli-fi (climate fiction) tale. VERDICT A timely addition to most middle grade collections.”
—Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ

Read the full review in the September 2018 issue of School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

 

“A high-seas adventure stars 12-year-old twins Will and Annalie, who seek their missing father in a flooded, post-ecological-collapse world….As is typical of the cli-fi genre, McConnochie explores current-world issues within her adventure. Climate refugees and strict immigration laws have created a permanent underclass and a human trafficking problem, which privileged Essie begins to understand when the adventurers are joined by a starving former slave boy….Despite the post-disaster setting, an exciting and old-fashioned sailboat quest with pirates, secret codes, storms, and cannibals. (Science fiction. 10-12)”

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine

“A taut, suspenseful, masterfully written ‘cli-fi’ thriller, The Flooded Earth combines the best of speculative fiction with strong characterization and moral dilemma. The post-Flood world is described in vivid detail, from the high-class world of Annalie’s boarding school to the damp, ramshackle, gang-infested world of their home neighborhood known as Lowtown….

It is interesting that the author has chosen not to set the book in recognizable geography or nations—where is Dux (whose citizens apparently speak Duxan) and the Moon Island archipelago? Yet their world seems very familiar, as if set in the near future after an enormous rupture….[R]eaders will find themselves…exhilarated, and begging for more. Highly Recommended.
—Todd Kyle

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Bookworm

“This is obviously the first in a series of books following the children, and I am dying to find out the next adventures for them. The author is well-known for both children’s and adult fiction in Australia, and I am pleased to discover her.”

Click here to read the full review

Community Soup Teaching Guides

Posted on June 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

CommunitySoup_WebsiteClick here to download the Community Soup reading guide

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Missing Mike Activities

Posted on May 23rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press

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Click here to download the Missing Mike activity page

Elliot Teaching Guides

Posted on May 10th, 2018 by pajamapress

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Click here to download the Elliot classroom reading guide

Missing Mike Reviews

Posted on May 4th, 2018 by pajamapress

School Library Journal

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press

“GR 4–6—When wildfires threaten her small Canadian town of Pine Grove, almost 11-year-old Cara Donovan and her family must abruptly evacuate, leaving behind her beloved dog, Mike, who has run off in the turmoil….This novel-in-verse poignantly captures the harrowing impact of wildfires and the cascade of emotions that engulf Cara. She agonizes over Mike’s fate, vacillates between hope and despair, and learns from the anxiety, grief, and resilience of others. Cara is an appealing, believable narrator whose story unfolds through succinct and vivid descriptions, interactions and vignettes with family and friends, and self-reflection. Her mix of fears, insecurities, optimism, and penchant for crossword puzzles will resonate….An appropriately realistic—but still happy and hopeful—ending brings a satisfying resolution. VERDICT Cara provides a dramatic and youthful eyewitness perspective on wildfires, evacuation operations, the kindness and generosity of strangers, and the traumatic uncertainty of loss. A timely addition to middle grade collections.”

Read the full review in the July 2018 issue of School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“The skillful narrative turns white-knuckle tense as taut verse describes the family fleeing on a road clogged with cars and burning trees…Tense, heartwarming, and masterful.”

Click here to read the full review

Foreword Reviews

“Written in flowing prose, Missing Mike explores the meaning of home….The emotional intensity of the story never falters. It is full of the longing, loss, and desperation of losing everything. Through that sadness and desolation, the book teaches an amazing lesson about hope, kindness, and the importance of family.

Love, friendship, and loyalty are persistent themes; Cara sees how other people define each as they struggle to overcome their losses, and comes to understand that, even if she loses her house and all of her possessions, she can still find home wherever those close to her are found.”
—Catherine Thureson

Read the full review in the September/October 2018 issue of Foreword Reviews

Resource Links

“Rating: E…The verse novel format lends itself well to the frantic and emotional nature of a natural disaster and Shari Green’s writing is carefully crafted. This is a timely book, as wildfires have become a more common occurrence in western Canada and the United States….Dog lovers will also be waiting on the edge of their seats to find out if Mike and Cara are reunited.

Cara’s search for her dog and for a feeling of home will resonate with readers of all ages, and this book would make an excellent addition to a classroom or school library.”

Thematic Links: Natural Disasters; Wildfires; Family; Home; Dogs
—Alice Albarda

Read the full review on page 7 of the June 2018 issue of Resource Links

CM Magazine

“In Missing Mike, a free verse novel, Green takes readers into a wildfire scenario much like that experienced by the residents of Fort McMurry in 2016, an event that was viewed by Canadians across the country via various television or online news outlets….

Green ends Missing Mike…with a number of unknowns regarding the family’s future because of the fire’s larger, long term impact on the community of Pine Grove and its inhabitants.

Green’s choosing to tell this story via free verse was the correct stylistic decision. Her descriptions, particularly those dealing with the evacuation, are absolutely gripping. There’s much to like in Missing Mike. Green also authored two other verse novels, Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles and Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess.

Highly Recommended.
—Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Children’s Book News

“Award-winning author Shari Green has crafted an emotional and lyrically gripping tale capturing readers by the heart strings from page one with the unmistakable voice and keen observations of a young girl wise beyond her years. Indelible characters and realistic dialogue add depth, while short chapters and a free-verse format make for smooth transitions and quick comprehension, especially ideal for reluctant readers.

Missing Mike is a life-affirming, soul-soaring journey of love, loss, family, hope and the true definition of home. A standout book in the collection of any middle-grade reader, it will resonate particularly with those who love stories about the resiliency of the human spirit and the unbreakable bond between animals and their human families.”
—Jennifer D. Foster

Read the full review on page 32 of the Fall 2018 issue of Canadian Children’s Book News

Quill & Quire

“In Missing Mike, Vancouver Island-based writer Shari Green, known for her award-winning middle-grade verse novels Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles and Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, mines the dynamics of loss, change, and belonging when a family is forced to flee from encroaching wildfires….

The recognition of grey areas in life – and the attempts we make to classify and resolve them – is a theme well suited to upper-middle-grade readers; many will identify with Cara’s desire to have a solution for everything. Green highlights this struggle by including crossword clues and answers in the text, some of which Cara finds easier to solve than others. Her troubles resonate as well in the definitions of her puzzle words: for example, what is ‘lost’ can be found, while what is ‘abandoned’ does not always have the same potential for a happy ending.

…[Green’s] ability to convey complex emotions is on point: uncertainty, regret, nostalgia, loyalty, love, and friendship are palpable. Missing Mike is a novel that subtly shifts from being about a missing dog to become an exploration of the emotional journey of losing home and finding it once again.”
—Jen Bailey

Read the full review on page 28 of the June 2018 issue of Quill & Quire

ASLC Lit Picks

“Canadian author Shari Green has penned a timely novel in verse with a dramatic and emotional account of a wildfire and the impact on a family and their community….Middle school readers will enjoy the accessible, lyrical text of this poignant story about human-animal bonds, family dynamics, and strength in the face of adversity, and will appreciate being left with an optimistic ending and a new definition of ‘home.’”

Click here to read the full review

Winnipeg Free Press

“With the rash of wildfires that have threatened many communities this summer, B.C. author Shari Green’s middle-grade novel Missing Mike seems especially topical….

Green’s novel, written in blank verse, is full of dramatic images of the fire that engulfs the town, and helps emphasize the trauma wildfires can have not only on buildings but on the people who live in them. Good for ages eight to 12.”
—Helen Norrie

Click here to read the full review

CanLit for LittleCanadians

“With high summer temperatures and low precipitation predicted for the western provinces this year, there could be record wildfires again like the ones that imposed extensive evacuations on Fort McMurray in 2016. The circumstances of those forced evacuations and the tragedies and stories embedded within cannot be easily told or read but Shari Green, herself an evacuee in 2016, has the voice, the words, and the heart to tell it in her newest middle grade novel Missing Mike….

Missing Mike was…a heartbreaking story to read. Cara’s love for Mike is so deep that her anguish at being separated from him is palpable. She envisions a multitude of scenarios that Mike might be enduring or anticipates where he might be, alternating that distress with reflections on the things she and he did together. But more than the story about a missing dog, Missing Mike is about home and the different configurations it might take. Cara who spends some time working on crosswords, realizes that the synonyms for home are not always structures. They can be feelings and people and more.

Shari Green, who has impressed all readers with her exceptional novels in verse (Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, Pajama Press, 2016; Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, Pajama Press,  2017) does not disappoint with this latest middle grade novel in free verse. The genre is a tough one to write but Shari Green has perfected it. She gets the voices dead on with a limited vocabulary and still tells an honest story about a family’s response to disaster and specifically a young girl’s determination to be reunited with the dog she loves and finding home whatever and wherever it may be.”

Click here to read the full review

Midwest Book Review

“Showcasing author Shari Green’s genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling, Missing Mike will prove to be of extraordinary interest for children ages 9 to 12, making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections for young readers.”

Click here to read the full review

Youth Services Book Review

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book?…Reading a book like this makes me SO GLAD I just made a dedicated #novelsinverse section in my library! I loved this book, especially Cara and Mike’s devotion to each other and the lyrical language throughout. I love how Mike is an “ugly dog” with only one eye and part of an ear missing—it’s clear that he has a big heart and lots of love for his owner and that’s what matters. I can’t wait to purchase this one for my library and recommend it to students….

Anything you didn’t like about it? No.

Who should buy this book? All elementary schools and middle schools

Where would you shelve it? my new books in verse section!

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!”
—Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

Click here to read the full review

Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“Having spent a good part of the summer here listening to reports of the destruction caused by wildfires on the west coast of Canada and the United States, this book is an excellent way to get kids thinking about the dire consequences of such events in peoples’ lives. It is a moving account of the terror and anguish felt by those who live where those fires rage….

The tense telling will keep readers intent on reading (or hearing) more. While there are bright spots along the way, Cara and her family are faced with uncertainty, fear, and a hope for a return to their community. When they finally get the okay to go back, they are faced with the tragic and uplifting results of the catastrophe. To say much has changed is an understatement. Cara, who has been reflecting on the meaning of ‘house’ and ‘home’, discovers they are distinctly different things.”

Click here to read the full review

Fab Book Reviews

“Canadian author Shari Green, author of the critically acclaimed and award-winning novel-in-verse Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, returns with Missing Mike, a middle grade novel (also in free verse) about a young girl’s unbreakable bond with her rescue dog Mike and what happens to Mike, her family, and their community when a devastating, seemingly unstoppable wildfire hits their town….

Overall, Missing Mike is a touching, lyrical story with the beautiful, boundless relationship of Cara and Mike as its core and achor. Shari Green’s writing style is effortless and candid, a perfect match for Cara’s natural and appropriately trusting, childlike narrative. Readers who love stories about human-animal bonds, children’s novels told in free verse, or middle grade titles that explore family dynamics and strength in facing adversity might find much to love about Missing Mike. Those who enjoy the writing of authors such as K.A. Holt, Katherine Applegate, Barbara O’Connor, Beth Vrabel or Alison Hughes might also want to check this moving middle grade novel out.”

Click here to read the full review

Storytime with Stephanie

“My newest favourite thing is a novel in verse. Until this year, I had never read one before and now I have four under my belt. The latest being Missing Mike by Shari Green, published by Pajama Press Inc. I LOVED it!

Missing Mike is a fabulous novel in verse set against of the wildfires that devastated Western Canada last summer….

There is so much going on in this story: the fear and sadness of the unknown, the heartache of missing/losing a pet, the separation between siblings as they grow into teenagers. While reading this story you will feel the fear, anxiety, and desperation Cara feels. Shari Green’s writing is so powerful you become a player in the story….

One of the most wonderful things about a novel in verse is the ease through which the reader is guided through the story. Chapters are short, sometimes only a few words long since they are all poems. These verses combine into a beautiful story that flows from one moment to the next. Also, they are a quick read and kind of perfect for all the different types of readers you will encounter. Novels in verse a great for reluctant readers because they feel short and unintimidating. They are great for avid readers as a novel in verse offers a different perspective and a different type of reading journey from the standard prose. A novel in verse is fantastic for dormant readers (once avid readers who no longer read for pleasure) to offer a shake up and something to reinvigorate their reading.

Missing Mike is such a timely and beautiful novel and deserves a space on your library/classroom/home bookshelves.”

Click here to read the full review

Yolanda Ridge

“Having just spent the summer breathing in the smoke blanketing the entire province of BC, with fires burning close enough to my home that I packed up photos and essentials in preparation for evacuation, this story really resonated. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down and I’m pretty sure I didn’t take a full, deep breath until I finished. Luckily as a novel in verse, it’s a pretty quick read….

Missing Mike is filled with the kindness of strangers which gives the book hope. The conclusion is a satisfying mix of reality and happy ending….I loved this book because it placed my fears into a story of survival and resilience where the main character discovers what home really means.”

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Bookworm

“The book is written in free verse, which adds an interesting flow to the story. And I loved that Cara was a crossword fanatic, mulling over word definitions and able to consider how a word might mean different things to different people. A big part of Cara’s musings throughout the book are around the word “home” and how the word can mean sometime different to people given their experiences, personalities, and situations. A book that will get the reader thinking.”

Click here to read the full review

Book Time

“It is one of my biggest fears: A natural disaster strikes and I can’t go home and get my pet or somehow he escapes and I am forced to leave, effectively abandoning him. It breaks my heart just thinking about it….

Missing Mike is another great read by Shari Green….Missing Mike is a quick read and full of heartache, but also kindness and we discover, along with Cara, what home means.”

Click here to read the full review

Missing Mike Giveaway

Posted on April 6th, 2018 by pajamapress

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Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win 1 of 20 pre-publication copies of Missing Mike by Shari Green

Sun Dog Reviews

Posted on March 27th, 2018 by pajamapress

School Library Journal

SunDog_Website

“Del Rizzo’s polymer clay and acrylic wash artwork is colorful, textured, and three-dimensional….VERDICT The captivating text and illustrations invite repeated reading. An inspiring tale of determination, courage, and devotion.”
—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ont.

Read the full review in the September 2018 online issue of School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“At the top of the world in the Arctic Circle, a young sled dog, Juno, seeks adventure….Kerbel weaves facts about the Arctic Circle within a tender story of the devotion between a boy and his dog. Del Rizzo’s vibrant, colorful polymer clay and acrylics capture the beauty of their home. The modeled clay gives Juno, the boy, and environs a sculptural, tactile quality. The boy has beige skin and black hair, there is an inuksuk in one picture, and their town is a tidy one of wood-frame houses. Juno may be a puppy in the Arctic Circle, but children everywhere will relate to her.”

Click here to read the full review

Resource Links

“Rating: E…

The story is very exciting and full of local colour. The amazing illustrations are done with polymer clay and acrylic paint. They are beautifully rendered in wonderful colours and textures. They reflect the puppy nature and local scenery with great affection.

This book could possibly be an award winner!”

Thematic Links: Sled Dogs; Arctic Circle; Tundra; Courage
—Isobel Lang

Read the full review on page 4 of the June 2018 issue of Resource Links

CM Magazine

“Kerbel’s poetic detail places the reader in a calm town on top of the world at a time before anyone else is awake and where the wind is lighter than a whisper….Del Rizzo’s textured illustrations in polymer clay pair incredibly well with the acrylic wash of the sky, creating a dreamy image of the midnight sun. Each illustration adds a new dimension to the story, encouraging readers to find hidden meaning in the illustration’s detail….This interesting and unique story could lead to scientific conversations with younger children about life in the Arctic, diverse tundra animals, and the sun cycles in a fun and engaging way, as well as the take-home message of displaying true bravery. In addition to the text, which depicts the romantic landscapes of the tundra and the magical feeling of being on top of the world, Kerbel also includes information on the endpapers about the majestic midnight sun and the atmospheric optical phenomenon called sun dog, both being her inspiration for Sun DogHighly Recommended.
—Mallory Dawson is the Teen Advocate Librarian at Vaughan Public Libraries

Click here to read the full review

Midwest Book Review

“Suzanne Del Rizzo’s dimensional art in polymer clay and acrylic wash offers both an intimate romp with a young puppy and a sweeping celebration of the vast and beautiful tundra, making Sun Dog an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 4 to 7.”

Click here to read the full review

Youth Services Book Review

What did you like about the book?…The story is a nice introduction to the arctic. The eye-catching illustrations are rendered in polymer clay and acrylic, bringing the arctic to vivid life.

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a story that will appeal to children interested in the arctic and those who like sled dogs. Pair it with Over in the Arctic by Marianne Berkes and Kumak’s Fish by Michael Bania for a fun arctic themed story time.”
Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Bookworm

“This is a lovely story of the connection between Juno and her boy, but also of the high Arctic days, and the animals who call that part of the world their home.

The illustrator of this book uses polymer clay as one element of the illustrations and I loved the effect. She brings alive Juno’s playfulness (I particularly liked the picture with the sock) and the beautiful environment Juno and her boy live in. The flowers look so real, I wanted to smell them!

A great book, especially for youngsters with their own special dog.”

Click here to read the full review

Fab Book Reviews

“Kerbel’s writing is so fluid and measured; while so much activity happens over the course of the picture book, Kerbel’s writing is focused, utterly inviting, and perfectly action-packed (yet not frightening for younger readers) when the climactic action occurs. Del Rizzo’s clay and acrylic art is so meticulously detailed and dynamic (from larger scenery to the smallest particulars)- I am in awe. There is one spread in particular in Sun Dog featuring the story’s polar bear that is incredible- quite a work of art….The combination of Kerbel’s storytelling and Del Rizzo’s art make for terrific reading, and I hope we get to see further collaborations from the duo.

Overall, what a gorgeous picture book! With a terrific combination of warmth, playfulness and love, and moments of excitement and danger that lead to a sunny ending, Sun Dog is sure to please readers and/or an audience of young and old.  With such appealing and vibrant art, and a beautifully written, well-paced story, Sun Dog would make for great read aloud material (for preschool ages and up), as well as for quiet reading and sharing.”

Click here to read the full review

Storytime with Stephanie

Sun Dog by Deborah Kerbel and Suzanne Del Rizzo is a beautifully illustrated, impeccably written tale about a little sled dog pup who dreams of running with the big dogs….

Sun Dog is a lovely little story that will speak to all little children, who are just desperate to be bigger and older. One of the most common things I hear in my day job as a preschool teacher and mom is “I wish I was a grownup!” Juno is every child who is clamouring to have more responsibility and autonomy. Plus, she is just so darn cute!…Children will love and be inspired by the plasticine illustrations by Suzanne Del Rizzo. All of the illustrations are so vibrant and full of incredible details and mixes of colours to capture the beautiful sky in the far north.”

Click here to read the full review

Book Time

“The story is a cute one and you can’t help but love Juno, who is as curious and adventurous as her boy. It’s nice to read stories about life in the north.”

Click here to read the full review