No More Plastic Reviews

Posted on March 17th, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus Starred Review

Cover: No More Plastic Author: Alma Fullerton Publisher: Pajama Press“Angered by the death of a whale, beached on the ocean shore she loves, Isley finds a constructive response….Like Isley with her construction, author/illustrator Fullerton has created her illustrations from ‘repurposed plastic, sand, and moss.’ Among the best of the recent books about ocean plastic thanks to its positive approach and practical suggestions included at the end, this title would work well as a group read-aloud….A gentle, effective presentation of an environmental disaster.”

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School Library Journal

“Isley lives near the ocean. One day she awakes to find a dead whale on her beach. Isley is sad then angry when it is announced that the whale died of starvation because it had so much plastic in its stomach. Isley decides to get rid of plastic in her community once and for all. This is a very straightforward book with a clear environmental message about how damaging plastic is to our environment. Isley’s earnest persistence to get rid of plastic is admirable.”

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Atlantic Books

“Alma Fullerton makes a poignant plea in No More Plastic, the story of a girl who takes a firm stand against pollution. When Isley wakes up one morning to sounds of distress, she races to the shore where a beached right whale has died, the victim of the plastic that filled its stomach.
Deeply saddened by the senseless loss, Isley is also angry and becomes determined to help keep the ocean that she loves clean and safe for all the creatures that live there. She convinces her family to say no to plastic.
She makes signs and writes letters. And when the people around her start to forget about how important these efforts are, Isley makes a dramatic statement that reminds her family, friends and neighbours that they must keep working diligently towards the goal of a world without plastic.
In prose that is precise and measured, Fullerton conveys Isley’s anguish, frustration and resolve.”

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Hakai Magazine

“No More Plastic is an inspiring story of perseverance with an important lesson that one little person can make a big difference. The intriguing illustrations—diorama art made out of plastic waste, sand, and moss—help tell the story and drive home the message. The author’s note at the end includes several ideas of things kids can do to make a difference, including writing letters to decision-makers to demand change—a great rainy-day activity!”

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Mrs. Book Dragon

“I really enjoyed the use of diorama art made from plastic waste by the illustrator. It really brought the book full circle and shows how it is up to us to change and save our world. Isley is in all of us.”

Kids’ BookBuzz

“I really like that this book is about helping animals and stopping pollution. I hope this helps people to make better choices… The illustrations in this fun picture book were made from plastic waste, and I found that amazing. I recommend this book. I read it multiple times and noticed new things in the illustrations each time!”

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A Kids Book A Day

“Isley loves everything about the ocean near her home until one day when a dead whale washes up on the beach.  When she learns that the whale starved to death because its stomach was filled with plastic, she becomes angry.  Turning her anger into action, Isley begins a campaign in her community to stop using plastic bags, straws, and other products.  At first people are enthusiastic, but eventually the convenience of plastic causes them to backslide.  Isley begins collecting the plastic she finds on the beach and uses it to create a giant whale sculpture.  The whale serves as a reminder to people in the community, who begin to make bigger changes like banning plastic grocery bags and installing filling stations for water bottles.  Includes an author’s note and a list of ideas for reducing plastics, both locally and globally.”

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Metroland Toronto

“No More Plastic is an excellent environmental picture book aimed at children 4 – 7 but is an important read for everyone. Isley loves the ocean but she is devastated when she finds a dead, beached right whale. The magnificent animal died due to plastic filling her stomach. Isley decides to try and stop people from using plastic. She makes signs, speaks to her family and writes politicians and everyone agrees that there is too much plastic. But they all forget about the tragedy with the whale so Isley gathers up all the plastic on the beach for months and makes “a sculpture as big as a whale.” People stop, think and help – from the grocery store banning plastic bags to the school implementing “zero-waste lunch programs” to the town providing filling stations for water bottles. All working toward “the dream of a plastic-free world.”
No More Plastic is an important picture book which delivers a vital message that cannot be ignored any longer. Complementing the text are beautiful illustrations that Fullerton “made using repurposed plastic, sand, and moss.”

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Sal’s Fiction Adiction

“We are constantly bombarded with proof that we are killing this environment we call home. Wildfires, heat domes, dying oceans and reefs … what will it take for everyone to get on board and begin to make the needed differences we can make to bring change? Reading books like No More Plastic brings an awareness to a young generation and is absolutely essential for their future.

In two final pages, Ms. Fullerton explains that ocean waste is unsafe for all marine life. She goes on to describe how children and their families can reduce the amount of plastic going into landfills, and eventually finding its way to our waters.”

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Outside, You Notice Teaching Guides

Posted on March 11th, 2021 by pajamapress

A fair-skinned girl with rosy cheeks and long, dark braids sits in a tree among golden-brown squirrels underneath the shade of a thick canopy of green leaves.

Click here to download the Outside, You Notice teaching guide.

A Family for Faru Teaching Guides

Posted on March 11th, 2021 by pajamapress

Cover: A Family for Faru Author: Anitha Rao-Robinson Illustrator: Karen Patkau Publisher: Pajama Press

Click here to download the A Family for Faru teaching guide.

Cuckoo's Flight Interviews

Posted on March 5th, 2021 by pajamapress

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

Open Book interview with author Wendy Orr, “Wendy Orr Explores Love, Disability, and Coming of Age in Ancient Greece in Her Captivating New Novel”

Outside, You Notice Reviews

Posted on February 9th, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus ★ Starred Review

A fair-skinned girl with rosy cheeks and long, dark braids sits in a tree among golden-brown squirrels underneath the shade of a thick canopy of green leaves.“Sensations noticed in the outdoors are supplemented by interesting facts about nature in a variety of settings….The detailed text and varied images immerse readers in the feeling of being outside, fully attentive and relaxed. Readers will be encouraged to explore natural settings and observe the creatures in them as well as the experiences within their own bodies. The illustrations use soft coloring, varied perspectives, and active characters to great effect, pulling observers into the worlds of plants, animals, and the people who love them.

This lovely book is more than the sum of its parts.”

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Booklist

“As this blend of fiction and nonfiction emphasizes observation, it also leads up to a mindfulness of being present when outside. The final scene, a soothing bird’s-eye view of a girl looking up at the sky, reminds readers that listening to nature can help them relax and that being outdoors can boost the immune system, among other facts. A charming, gentle nudge to go outside and simply be.”

—Angela Leeper

School Library Journal

“Alladin depicts a journey through backyards, parks, gardens, trails, markets, and playgrounds….Blinick’s illustrations offer a sense of excitement and serenity, showing cheerful children with light and dark skin tones and different physical abilities. The text and art showcase the idea that ‘spending time in nature is good for the health of your body and mind.’…This exploration of the outdoors is fit to use for budding biologists.”
–Nancy Call, ­formerly at Santa Cruz P.L., Aptos, CA

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Seattle Book Review

“We rated this book: [4.5/5]…

This is a thoughtful, reflective story about the healing power of spending time outdoors. Playing in the vibrant sunshine, picking fruit from ripened vines, and exploring in the moist dirt enables children to receive a plethora of benefits Mother Earth has to offer. Their senses are heightened, bodies exercised, and immune responses boosted. An array of other fascinating facts are shared by the author in colorful text boxes. Vibrant watercolor illustrations that are full of detail and allure are in plentiful supply. This light-hearted, relatable, and timely text will bring youth new enlightenments each time they sift through its pages.
—Jennifer Padgett

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Canadian Review of Materials

“The author and illustrator of this nonfiction treasure invite readers on a journey to explore the beauty and joy of nature and the outdoors that so many of us take for granted. This attitude might be especially true of the intended audience of young readers who immerse themselves in playing in nature’s playground without deep thoughts about their surroundings….

Each double-page spread of nature features a softly colourful outdoor scene created by Andrea Blinick using pencil, gouache, collage and chalk pastels. These pictures are populated with diverse families as they visit backyards, gardens, farmers markets and parks. Many of the expressive drawings reflect the viewpoint of an active young child.

Readers of Outside, You Notice are left with wonder and appreciation for the things that surround them. The result is a warm, joyful and inviting environment that awaits us all. If anyone ever doubted the benefits of spending quality time outdoors, this lovely book will dispel that notion. At the end of the book are suggestions for places to visit and explore that are echoed in the book. Further research about this author led to a YouTube presentation by Erin Alladin of how she came to write Outside, You Notice. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxpEji8oEXI)

Highly Recommended.”
Reesa Cohen is a retired Instructor of Children’s Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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Winnipeg Free Press

“In this well-illustrated non-fiction picture book, Alladin explores the many things children can learn outdoors: how some seeds can fly and how others may survive for thousands of years; how petals of some flowers are edible and how their colours and smells attract pollinators; why the smell of rain remains after a downpour, and more.

Both in forests and on city streets, Alladin explains how different trees have different leaves and how soil is full of rich decomposed life that will nourish new seeds.

Andrea Blinick of Toronto has added child-friendly pictures of gouache, coloured pencil, collage and chalk pastel that add to the attraction of this little volume.”

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Metroland Toronto

Outside, You Notice is an infor­mative picture book that encourages children to get outdoors and observe things. These observations are com­plemented with information about a variety of things including animals, trees, flowers, seeds, pollination, wa­ter and soil (i.e. “Soil is a mixture of tiny pieces of rock and tiny pieces of decomposed plants.”)

Some of the many health benefits of being outdoors and being in nature is also included such as feeling less anxiety and improving your immune system. Some of the places shown in the book are: back yard, park, garden, sidewalk, hiking trail and playground.

Outside, You Notice is a nicely illustrated picture book that will have kids looking forward to spending time outside.”

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Youth Services Book Review

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

What did you like about the book? This is a lovely book about the joy of discovering nature in the outdoors. Whether in a yard, a city park, a playground or on the sidewalk, there are things to appreciate if you look….Friendly-feeling gouache, pencil and chalk art with collage shows a warm, accessible natural world to investigate. Children of various races and abilities are depicted. Simple descriptive labels add more information to the main text. I like that readers can just read the main text for the youngest listeners, and can add the informational details for older listeners….

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our ‘to read’ piles? Yes”
Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

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CanLit for Little Canadians

“How often do we notice things, especially things in the outdoors, that are right under our noses? Erin Alladin wants us to open our eyes, ears, noses and touch the world to know the wonders that our world holds outside, no matter what your outside looks like. As children and others participate in the world outside, whether it be a backyard, a park, a playground, a sidewalk or something else, there are so many things to check out, and Erin Alladin makes sure we see it all.

We discover how animals make the outdoors their homes, how they live, and the sounds they make. We learn about life cycles of plants, from seeds and germination, to flowers and fruits. Above ground and below, along water ways and at farmers’ markets, there is so much to see and learn.”

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Children’s Book News (Canadian Children’s Book Centre)

“In this non-fiction picture book, Erin Alladin’s lyrical text encourages the reader to notice sensory details—such as how everything smells greener after the rain and the sound of tumbling water—within a variety of outdoor spaces—from backyard gardens to farmers’ markets and hiking trails. Boxed facts add depth and detail, exploring topics such as seed germination, pollination, and the health benefits of spending time outdoors.

Andrea Blinick’s energetic mixed-media illustrations present a diverse community of humans interacting with nature in positive ways. Young readers will delight in the details to explore in Blinick’s lively scenes, tempting them to taste a strawberry warmed by the sun, dig in dirt up to their elbows, and experience the buzz of a hummingbird flitting nearby.

From microbes in the soil to a rainbow in the sky, Outside, You Notice is an invitation to pay attention to the natural world around us in concrete, physical ways. With themes of healthy living, the science of nature, and curiosity, it will spark wide-ranging and cross-curricular conversations and ignite a passion for outdoor living.

Outside, You Notice is an inspirational and practical call to engage with the outdoors—one that will lead young readers to explore their own environments.” —Karen Krossing is an author for kids and teens.

Mrs. Book Dragon

“Our imaginations go wild when we are outside and this book celebrates and brings that experience to life. I love the lyrical format of Erin’s words and when combined with Andrea’s gorgeous illustrations make this book unforgettable.”

Eden Mills Writers’ Festival Kids’ Reads

“A book review by Rosie, age 4
Welcome, Rosie! Can you tell us what this book is about?
Outside, You Notice is a book about noticing things in nature. Also, if you eat too many carrots you might turn orange.
What do you like about this book?
I like the rainbow kite.
What is your favourite part of the story?
I like the flower page and the little boy picking the dandelions. I liked learning that broccoli is a flower.”

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Fab Book Reviews

“Informative, with short educational (and fascinating!) notes, Outside, You Notice is a lovely read, blending lyrical storytelling with non-fiction material. Andrea Blinick’s art- a mix of chalk pastel, collage, gouache and coloured pencils- is warm, colourful and inviting; a happy match to Erin Alladin’s conversational, friendly text. Whether used as a read aloud for an outdoor/nature theme, or used more specifically as a starting point to learn about nature in city parks, how gardens grow, the magic of soil, or about pollination (and more!), there is so much to explore and enjoy with Outside, You Notice.”

Click here to read the full review

Swallow's Dance Interviews

Posted on February 4th, 2021 by pajamapress

Cover: Swallow's Dance Author: Wendy Orr Publisher: Pajama PressAncient History Encyclopedia: “Interview: Swallow’s Dance by Wendy Orr”

Duck Days Teaching Guides

Posted on January 20th, 2021 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Duck Days teaching guide.

Raven, Rabbit, Deer Teaching Guides

Posted on January 19th, 2021 by pajamapress

Click here to download the Raven, Rabbit, Deer teaching guide.

Raven, Rabbit, Deer Activities

Posted on January 19th, 2021 by pajamapress

Cover: Raven, Rabbit, Deer Author: Sue Farrell Holler Ilustrator: Jennifer Faria

 

A boy and his grandfather sit at a table in front of a window to enjoy some milk and cookies. The illustration is done in black-and-white digital line drawings.

Click here to download the Raven, Rabbit, Deer colouring page

Easter Morning, Easter Sun Reviews

Posted on January 13th, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

“Anderson tucks careful, child-friendly details into the simple compositions, rendering flora and fauna with greater realism than the bipedal, clothed felines. The fact that one of the assumed parent cats is a black cat is a nice change from the usual stereotypes around black cats….This Easter story focuses on things like springtime renewal as opposed to delving into the religious background of the holiday. Instructions for preparing decorated eggs close the book.

A simple, secular Easter story best suited for younger readers.”

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School Library Jounal

“Rhyming text paired with jewel-tone images will encourage children to read and rhyme along using picture clues. The truly courageous can pair this with an egg-coloring project. VERDICT Purchase for large collections and include in Easter or spring holidays programming/displays.”
–Heather Maneiro, Glenn Elem. Sch., Durham, NC

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Publishers Weekly

“The creators of Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round reunite for this easy-to-read secular celebration of Easter, which features a community of multicolored cats….A mellow color palette and expressive characters mark Anderson’s approachable art, done in oil-based colored pencil and mineral spirits, rounding out this simple seasonal offering. Back matter includes instructions for Easter egg dyeing.”

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Youth Services Book Review

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

 What did you like about the book? A family of cats and mice come together for an Easter celebration on a beautiful spring day–and there is even an appearance by the Easter Bunny at the end of this story. The rhyming text shows all the wonderful things about Easter – hot-cross buns fresh from the oven, pastel colored decorated eggs, beautiful Easter outfits with fancy hats, an Easter egg hunt, and a yummy picnic outside. All the wonderful things about springtime are included in this story as well including ducklings, baby birds, frogs and beautiful flowers. The fun-filled day ends with an Easter dinner with none other than the Easter Bunny himself.

The illustrations provided by Tara Anderson are done in pastel-hues and feature all the colorful things about spring–this includes bright green grass, purple lilacs, blue skies, and yellow daffodils….

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of three and five, especially if their family is preparing for the Easter celebration….

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our ‘to read’ piles? Yes”
Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian

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CanLit for LittleCanadians

“For those who celebrate Easter, Rosanna Battigelli and Tara Anderson will give life to your celebrations of hot cross buns, Easter egg hunts and family feasts. For those who don’t, Easter Morning, Easter Sun shares springtime festivities that herald a new season of colours, freshness and connection of family and friends. So, we’re all invited to enjoy Easter Morning, Easter Sun….

Rosanna Battigelli delighted us with her debut picture book Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round (2019), which was also illustrated by Tara Anderson, giving us a holiday-themed rhyme perfect for young children. They’ll appreciate the rhythmic verse and repetitive nature of the text, sure to know the words after just a few readings. It’s simple in its vocabulary but meaningful and comprehensive in its story. This is all the more so due to Tara Anderson’s artwork created with oil-based coloured pencils and mineral spirits. There’s a texture to her illustrations, from her medium to her technique, that emulates the grain of a blanket or the grass, the water or the cats’ fur. What’s more, her cats never fail to bring joy and smiles from their expressions and antics, and now we have mice from Tara Anderson that do likewise.

It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Easter or not because Easter Morning, Easter Sun will take you into one cat family’s festivities to partake in their traditions–you can even decorate your own eggs with the recipe provided–and rhyme along as they enjoy their day.”

Click here to read the full review

Cuckoo’s Flight Reviews

Posted on January 12th, 2021 by pajamapress

School Library Journal

Title: Cuckoo's Flight Author: Wendy Orr Publisher: Pajama Press“Orr mixes prose and poetry masterfully throughout the tale. The story is fast paced but has moments of contemplation, and Orr’s skill as a writer show, especially in her poetry….Although sometimes heartrending, the story ends on a hopeful note of change and enlightenment. This Bronze Age historical fiction is a follow-up to Orr’s Swallow’s Dance and revisits the main character Leira, now a grandmother hoping to save her granddaughter. While it’s not necessary to have read the first book, those who have will enjoy reuniting with familiar characters. VERDICT Fans of historical fiction, or even horse stories, will appreciate this fast-paced tale.”
–Ellen Conlin, Naperville P.L., IL

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Kirkus Reviews

“Told mostly from Clio’s point of view, the novel slides effortlessly between prose and poetry. It may take readers a few pages to enter the unfamiliar world, but the engaging storyline and characters make it worth their while. Most impressive is Orr’s ability to translate a worldview vastly different from our own. Memorable.”

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Canadian Review of Materials

“Wendy Orr’s Cuckoo’s Flight is the final installment in a trilogy that included the award-winning Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Set in Crete during the Bronze Age, Cuckoo’s Flight can be saved for last or read as a stand-alone story….

Cuckoo’s Flight is an action-packed, edge-of-your-seat, epic tale while still incorporating the beautiful poetry of Orr’s first two books. Clio is a unique heroine fighting physical and emotional challenges, and proving that perseverance, bravery and ingenuity will always save the day. While this book demonstrates that girls are just as capable as boys (even in Bronze Age Greece!), the historical setting, and suspenseful drama will hook all readers, both young and old. Orr has done it again, and fans of Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance will be pleased with how this final book wraps up the series.

Highly Recommended.”
Cate Carlyle, an author, librarian and former elementary teacher, currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Youth Services Book Review

“Orr’s signature combination of prose interspersed with poetic passages allows the reader to feel intensely what Clio feels. The setting of ancient Crete vibrantly resonates with the acute senses of a young girl coming of age in a turbulent time. Allusions to history and mythology are juxtaposed with the daily challenges and indignities of living with a disability. There is genuine suspense, as internecine fighting and fear of the coming invasion accelerate. This is #3 in the Minoan Wings series, and is a wonderful, immersive experience of coming of age in an ancient civilization. It can be enjoyed without having read the previous titles.”—Youth Services Book Review

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Fresh Fiction

“This dynamic adventure is totally immersive. We smell the stink of rotting murex snails, in the purple-works where slaves produce dye. We hear the whistle of the herder’s pipes, and the crash of waves on the shore. We can taste the dry barley cakes and slippery olive oil. Left to the vagaries of the weather and fortune, the people make promises and offerings to placate any gods that might be listening. They know the barbarian raiders with their black ships care nothing for such sacrifice.

If you want to explore the Bronze Age, let Wendy Orr be your guide. She has previously written Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance in this setting, and Young Adult readers will learn a great deal not just about this period, but about resilience and resourcefulness. I suggest anyone from eight to fifteen would be the ideal readers. Especially if they love horses. Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island, was born in Canada but now lives in Australia. I’m mightily impressed by Cuckoo’s Flight and I’ll be reading more of her work”

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The Canadian Children’s Book Centre

“Wendy Orr skillfully weaves a story that teaches as well as entertains: comprehensive historical information demonstrates how the villagers’ professions were intertwined, resulting in communities that were largely self-sufficient. In addition, the close association between the changing seasons and village tasks illustrates a relationship with nature less obvious in present times. The detailed descriptions of the environment allow readers to immerse themselves fully in the story’s setting.

Cuckoo’s Flight employs a writing style which alternates prose and narrative poetry. As such, it would be an excellent method of introducing diversity in narrative techniques. The title is highly recommended for readers who are entertained by historical fiction and adventure stories with unexpected endings.”

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Historical Novel Society

“Set in a convincingly rendered Bronze Age, a setting beautifully woven into the story (pointing out, for instance, that at that time, in that location, fifty people was a large number to be attacking your village!), this is a fine addition to any historical fiction fan’s bookshelf. A story of family, faith, and friendship told in elegant, jewel-bright prose with neither a wasted word nor yet too few, Cuckoo’s Flight is excellent. It led me to the author’s other novels, which are also a delight to read.”

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Georgia H. (NetGalley)

“This is a beautifully written story, the words just flow magically across the page and before you know it you’ve finished the book.

I enjoyed the setting, a bronze age island, which is described perfectly.

I loved the bond between the girls and their horses and how that was so crucial to the ending.”

Click here to read the full review

The Egyptian Mirror Reviews

Posted on January 6th, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

The Egyptian Mirror's book cover features a silhouette of a running person and dog through a misty and darkly wooded area. Written by Michael Bedard.“Bedard’s fourth stand-alone novel set in the town of Caledon again focuses on a good-versus-evil plot structured around supernatural events. The place and setting are strongly developed as each clue quietly builds to a suspenseful climax, and the slow pace contributes to an old-fashioned feel. The technology in Simon’s world points to a 1980s setting: Computers, ultrasounds, TVs, and landline phones exist but not the internet or cellphones….A quiet story for patient readers.”

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The Globe & Mail

“In his ominously spooky novel, The Egyptian Mirror (Pajama Press, 9-12), Michael Bedard deftly weaves readers into this mystery, which the 13-year-old unintentionally finds himself caught up in as he delves deeper and deeper into the uncanny goings-on in the life of the scholarly old archaeologist next-door.”
—Jeffrey Canton

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Youth Services Book Review

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book?…This is an engrossing read, combining mysterious supernatural events with a mysterious illness, and the reader is unsure if they are related. A ‘vast malevolence’ from ancient Egyptian mythology will ensnare the imagination of readers who like mythological fantasy tie-ins. It’s a quieter, more introspective fantasy than many recent mythological fantasies….

To whom would you recommend this book? For ages 10-14, for fans of quieter fantasy and of Egyptian mythology”
Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

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Winnipeg Free Press

“Do you enjoy stories with a hint of dark magic, spells that threaten to trap you into a world of ancient sorcery? Then The Egyptian Mirror by acclaimed Toronto author Michael Bedard is the book for you….Bedard builds a feeling of impending disaster that threatens Simon and his friend Abbey as they watch a strange woman and an unfriendly black dog move into the old man’s home.”

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Mom Read It

“The Egyptian Mirror is a good mystery with a touch of the fantastic. The friendship between Simon and Mr. Hawkins develops easily, and the curiosity about the mirror allows Simon to learn more about history, which helps him later on in the story. Simon and Abbey are likable, smart characters who take action while still being protective older siblings who pitch in to help out their families. The novel’s pacing is good; a little slow at points, but always building toward a strong conclusion. Give this to your burgeoning mystery readers.”

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Ms. Yingling Reads

“This was a shivery sort of mystery; not a lot happened, but it was all very intriguing and sucked me right in. Simon and Abbey were both great characters, and I especially love their interactions with their younger siblings. The mirror collection, and Mr. Hawkin’s house, will appeal to readers who like classic fantasy mysteries with old English manor houses. I love anything with an Egyptian component; Curry’s The Egyptian Box (2002), LaFever’s Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos (2007) and Hoover’s Tut (2014), Northrop’s Tombquest series (2015), and Egypt is still part of our 6th grade social studies curriculum.”

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School Library Journal

“Bedard’s story is an intriguing premise that doesn’t quite hit its mark….What should be a dark, exciting mystery is overshadowed with a lackluster narrative, providing an adequate but humdrum tale.”
–Emily Walker, Lisle Lib. Dist., IL

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When Elephants Listen with Their Feet: Discover Extraordinary Animal Senses Reviews

Posted on January 6th, 2021 by pajamapress

Kirkus Reviews

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.“Grundmann and Dupont highlight the ways in which various nonhuman animals display extraordinary sensory capabilities that human bodies lack….Small lessons in the science behind senses are interspersed amid the many short paragraphs about animals all over the planet. The text is graceful and often humorous, with an extensive vocabulary and fairly complex sentence structure….Overall, the book thoughtfully and exuberantly excites wonder in its readers. Sensational sensory stories.”

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School Library Journal

“This book highlights the extraordinary ways some creatures’ unique senses are highly developed. The text is organized by the five senses….The brief descriptions are clear and contain an appropriate amount of scientific terminology. Each section begins with a short introduction to the sense, usually comparing it to humans’ use of it. Text boxes feature a realistic image and are attractively laid out on the page to provide a clean, uncluttered format. An index of animals offers additional information about each creature and the corresponding page number. VERDICT A solid contribution to any elementary study of the senses.”
–Maggie Chase, Boise State Univ., ID

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Canadian Review of Materials

When Animals Listen with Their Feet is an enjoyable, informative text for children that manages to capture facts and curiosity at the same time. Using the senses as a framework, the author and illustrator take the reader on a journey through the wild kingdom by way of intriguing facts and images.

The text is informative, and the images match and complement with simple, yet true to life depictions. Children who love facts and who enjoy the animal world will find this book a pleasure to read. Teachers for grades K-4 will find this a wealthy resource for research units or writing/drawing activities.”

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YA (and Kids) Books Central

When Elephants Listen With Their Feet is a seriously cool collection of animal facts around the senses….There are some new facts that I did not know as an adult, and I love learning something new. This would be a great book for children who love to know unusual and cool facts….

A seriously awe-inspiring collection of facts about animal senses, When Elephants Listen With Their Feet is a delightful book to explore and learn. Highly recommend for older elementary school aged / middle grade readers who love cool and unusual animal facts.”

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Midwest Book Review

“Exceptionally ‘kid friendly’ in tone, commentary and presentation, When Elephants Listen With Their Feet: Discover Extraordinary Animal Senses is especially recommended for family, elementary school, middle school, and community library Wildlife picture book collections for young readers ages 8- 12.”

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Youth Services Book Review

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

What did you like about the book? This non fiction picture book shows how animals use their senses to interact with their environment, for food, mating, defense and more….I learned many facts I didn’t know, such as: the golden mole has no eyes; the Atlantic herring passes gas to communicate; the salmon can smell under water; a blue whale’s tongue weighs 3 tons; and birds have no nerve endings in their feet….

The text is conversational and informative without being didactic – I would say that this French translation is very successful. Charming realistic illustrations complement the text, and I appreciate that most of the humans in the book have non-white skin, which is rare in non fiction. There are indexes at the end, so this book can be used for elementary school animal reports. This is a great book to sample bit by bit to learn fascinating animal facts.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? For ages 8-12, especially kids who love fun animal facts….

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, if you are looking for a fresh source on animal senses.”
Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

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The International Educator

“A 40 page picture book, it has attractive art and lots of text boxes to encourage curious, budding biologists. From fish that pass gas to communicate to the taste buds of pigs and everything in between, this book is full of fascinating facts about senses.”

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Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“The tone of the text is conversational, the design well-organized and eye-catching, and the information provided is often quite remarkable. Initially organized according to the senses, the text then moves on to describe vibrations, electromagnetism, and the final part of the book deals with ‘superhero animals’. This gives readers a look at some pretty spectacular ways that animals have adapted to their environment….An animal index provides further tidbits of info and page numbers for each to allow readers to return to reread the parts of the book that hold specific interest.”

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San Francisco Book Review

“Emmanuelle Grundmann has found a new way to help kids learn lots of new, fascinating facts about a wide variety of critters. She looks at how animals use their five senses to help them navigate, communicate, hunt, stay safe, and more….Facts are laid out in text blocks with wonderful drawings by Clémence Dupont to support the text. This is a picture book for older youngsters, second through fifth grade. It is fascinating and fun. Don’t miss it.”

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Mr. Alex’s Bookshelf

“Not an encyclopedia, but maybe an illustrated primer on some of the wild and interesting things animals can do with their senses, WELWTF has an abundance of information for budding scientists to pour over should they want to engage in some animal exploration.

There is no discernible story, and only a very loose organizational structure (e.g. Superhero Animals, Good Vibrations, On the Nose, etc.) yet, the book’s charming illustrations do lure you in and the accompanying text does provide interesting, if not perfunctory data:”

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Jill’s Book Blog

Rating: ★★★★★ This picture book is about the amazing things that animals can do with their bodies. It goes through all five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell) and the unique ways that animals use the senses to interact with the world around them.

I didn’t know most of these fun animal facts before reading this book, so I found it fascinating. I think adults and children will enjoy this beautiful picture book!”

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Raven, Rabbit, Deer Interviews

Posted on December 14th, 2020 by pajamapress

Cover: Raven, Rabbit, Deer Author: Sue Farrell Holler Ilustrator: Jennifer FariaCanLit for LittleCanadians interview with author Sue Farrell Holler and illustrator Jennifer Faria

The Library Bus Teaching Guides

Posted on November 17th, 2020 by pajamapress

Click here to download the teaching guide for The Library Bus.