Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Resource Links reviews Community Soup

Posted on November 5th, 2013 by pajamapress

CommunitySoup_Med“This is a book about school age children in Kenya who have a garden outside their school and work together to harvest the vegetables to make a communal soup for all to share. Unfortunately one child, unable to tie up her goats brings them to school where the children have a lot of laughs trying to stop them from eating their vegetables. At one point someone has the idea to milk the goats and add the milk to the communal soup which makes it more delicious.

This is a fun read that helps children understand the way of life of Kenyan school children and how different their life is from our own. It also describes the various vegetables and what goes into making soup and in the end even gives a recipe for making a pumpkin vegetable soup to make at home with an adult.

Curricular applications include learning about Kenya: discovering a world outside their own, how children work alongside parents and teachers and that children have chores to do before attending school, how community gardens work and how everyone gets to share in the work and in the cultivation, and how to make a communal soup and what goes in.

Thematic links: Children Working Together; Community Gardening and Cooking; Goats.”

Carmen Poulin

Learn more about Resource Links.

Waterloo librarian recommends Nix Minus One

Posted on October 21st, 2013 by pajamapress

Nix_C_PRINT_Nov13.indd“You will think about the characters in this book, even when you’re not reading. Animal lovers, especially, won’t be able to put it down.

Note: Nix Minus One is one of 10 works of fiction nominated in the White Pine (Grades 9 – 12) category for the 2014 Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading Awards.”

— Heather Woodley, a collections development librarian with the Region of Waterloo Library.

Click here to read the full review.

Three Pajama Press books featured on Bank Street Best Books list 2013

Posted on May 26th, 2013 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is pleased to announce that all three of the books we published in our first season have been selected for Bank Street College of Education’s “Best Children’s Books of the Year 2013” list.

No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs by Rob Laidlaw and Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch appear in the Information Books section for ages nine to twelve, while True Blue by Deborah Ellis was selected for Fiction ages fourteen and up.

Congratulations to Rob, Marsha and Deborah.

Click here to view the full list.

 

Rob Laidlaw’s Dog Tales: Encountering Wild Dogs

Posted on August 17th, 2012 by pajamapress

Welcome to Dog Tales, a series where author and animal advocate Rob Laidlaw shares stories and facts from his travels and work in dog advocacy. 

4248297963_ea53a8f7c0I’m always amazed at how wild dogs can exist in the midst of heavily urbanized environments. A year ago I even saw a big coyote casually trotting down the sidewalk of a busy downtown street.  But it’s not that surprising when you think about it. Both wild dogs and feral domesticated dogs have integrated themselves into human environments for a very long time and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

One of the dogs that criss-crosses that amorphous dividing line between wild and domesticated is the dingo, a wild dog found everywhere in Australia except on the island of Tasmania. With a short, usually golden-yellow or brown coat, dingoes are stunning dogs that inhabit a wide variety of habitats. They tend to live in pairs, but can occasionally be found in small family groups.

While no one knows for sure how dingoes came to Australia, genetic testing has confirmed that they are descendents of dogs that probably came from southern China many thousands of years ago. Their scientific name is often cited as Canis lupus dingo (meaning it is a subspecies of the grey wolf) or Canis familiaris dingo (meaning it is a subspecies of the domesticated dog). There is a lot of argument about which one is right.

2829178725_491b3721e3When Europeans first arrived on the remote island continent, they discovered dingoes living in relative harmony with Aboriginal people, sometimes serving as camp sentries or as hunting assistants.

When sheep farming was brought to Australia, dingoes found a new and easy food source. Unfortunately, killing sheep led to dingoes being treated as pests and they’ve been mercilessly hunted and killed ever since.

To keep dingoes out of southeast Australia, a 5,614 km (3,488 mile) fence was erected. Construction of the 180 cm (5.9 ft) high fence began in the early 1880s and was completed in 1885. North of the fence, dingoes are treated as wildlife, while south of the fence they were killed as pests. That’s still the case today.

However, the biggest threat to the dingo now is hybridization (breeding with domesticated dogs). Pure dingoes are very rare and many wildlife experts consider them an endangered species.

Primitive dogs, often dingo-like, can be found around the world. The New Guinea Singing Dog is a primitive dog that is thought to have been brought to the island several thousand years ago. Left alone, they developed into their own breed. Other early dogs are North America’s Carolina dog, sometimes called the American dingo,  Israel’s Canaan dog and the Pariah dogs of India.

5850114465_abdd12623b_mWild and feral dogs have been with us for a long time and for much of that time they’ve been mercilessly persecuted. That’s been the history of coyotes in North America—people waging an endless war against them. But coyotes have beaten the odds and they’ve survived and prospered. I hope the other dogs do too.

Rob Laidlaw’s Dog Tales: the Issue of Dog Fur

Posted on August 6th, 2012 by pajamapress

Welcome to Dog Tales, a series where author and animal advocate Rob Laidlaw shares stories and facts from his travels and work in dog advocacy.

Animal Aid Udaipur April 16, 2010 338 (151)According to the Humane Society International an estimated 2 million dogs and cats are killed for their fur every year. While the trade in dog fur is mostly in Asia, it seems to be growing in Russia and Eastern Europe as well.

After the dogs and cats are killed and their skins are dried, their fur may be dyed so it doesn’t look like your neighbourhood companion animal, and then mislabeled as rabbit, Asian wolf, fox or mountain cat. If it goes to buyers in other parts of the world, they may not have any idea they’re receiving the fur of dogs and cats, some of them former pets.

A few years ago, dog and cat fur trim was discovered on garments in the United States. That led to the government passing the Dog and Cat Protection Act, which banned the importation of dog and cat fur. A number of European countries, such as Belgium, Denmark, France and Italy, have also instituted bans.

In some countries however, the dog and cat fur industry is alive and well. According to the Bulgarian SPCA in 2006, there was at that time a massive industry based on the killing of dogs. Another group said almost 10,000 dogs were collected and killed in the City of Sofia every year, some of them shipped straight to fur factories from the dog pounds.

Dogs used in the fur trade may be picked up as strays, obtained from pounds, or bred specifically for fur. They may even be stolen pets.

Stopping the dog and cat fur industry is going to require a combination of education to change attitudes and new laws that prohibit the production, sale and trade of fur from companion animals. Animal welfare groups in many nations are hard at work trying to achieve both. I’m optimistic that one day, possibly soon, we’ll see a time when the only dog and cat fur we encounter is on a live, happy dog or cat.

 

Rebecca Bender captures the “paradox” of childhood friendship –Toronto Public Library

Posted on July 17th, 2012 by pajamapress

Giraffe and birdjpegHave you ever been totally puzzled by the peregrinations, bumps and grinds that children experience in their friendships? It was always endlessly fascinating for me to watch the way children bicker and argue with those children they declare to be their best friends. Both with my own children and those I taught, it was evident that there were constant readjustments being made in the relationships that children have with each other.

With that I would like to welcome a relatively new author who is DontLaughAtGiraffe_Cable to capture that paradox. Rebecca Bender has just two picture books in print, and is a relatively new voice in Canadian literature, but what a voice it is. She has captured this unusual nature of friendship between children in both of the picture books available.

…Giraffe and Bird…resonated so well with children that it won the 2012 Blue Spruce award voted on by thousands of children across Ontario.

This title has been followed up by a hilarious sequel, Don’t Laugh at GiraffeIn this book, Rebecca examines the delicate nature of embarrassment and friendship… How Bird handles this situation is a wonderful blueprint for friendship and problem solving.

Your children will go through many situations with their friends that they will have to grapple with and find solutions for. Having books on hand that show this as a normal process in friendships will support them in these journeys, and open the conversations with thinking about how to solve their own problems in a creative and positive way.
Peggy Thomas, Toronto Public Library

Click here to read the full post

Don’t Laugh at Giraffe lives up to expectations at Sal’s Fiction Addiction

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by pajamapress

I was very much looking forward to seeing this second tale about Giraffe and Bird. I so enjoyed Rebecca Bender’s first story about the two (dare I say it?) friends. They were funny the first time, and she is able to keep the humor fresh.

…The artwork is so expressive and appealing to the book’s young audience. They will see the emotional reactions of each character clearly and know just how they are feeling. The colors are bright, the setting is lush and lovely, and the characters close-up and personal. I think that my favorite is a double page spread of the two friends facing the sadness of Giraffe’s gaffe and the solution. But, I also love the constantly changing design and the many perspectives that give this funny (and tender) story life. As with the first, the author makes some sparkling decisions about word choice, encouraging an expressive and engaging shared reading.

We can only hope that we will meet these two again!

Click here to read the full review

Don’t Laugh at Giraffe is “Highly Recommended” by CM Magazine

Posted on June 4th, 2012 by pajamapress

internal artYoungsters who first met this delightful animal odd couple in Giraffe and Bird…will be pleased that the sometimes squabbling duo are back again in another story about friendship. As author/illustrator Bender demonstrated in Giraffe and Bird, she knows when a picture, rather than words, should carry the story. …A fun read, but one which still speaks to the meaning of friendship.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, CM‘s editor, livesin Winnipeg, MB.

Click here to read the full review

 

A starred review for Don’t Laugh at Giraffe from Quill and Quire!

Posted on May 24th, 2012 by pajamapress

* Don’t Laugh at Giraffe

“The amusing duo that tickled funny bones and captured hearts in Rebecca Bender’s 2010 picture book debut, Giraffe and Bird, return in Don’t Laugh at Giraffe.

The book opens with a fun montage of all the ways Giraffe and Bird irritate each other. Giraffe barely tolerates Bird’s chirpy morning song. Likewise, Bird plugs his ears when Giraffe clears his extra-long throat. Nonetheless, they are friends, which makes Bird’s part in embarrassing Giraffe at the watering hole that much harder to bear. Afterward, Bird feels horrible, so he comes up with a clever way to win back his friend and show the power of a well-placed joke.

As with her first book, Bender excels at bringing to life the precious, amusing intricacies of friendships (particularly young friendships) in a captivating, likeable story. The annoyances the two pals visit upon each other are instantly relatable, and readers of all ages will recognize bits of themselves in stately Giraffe and silly Bird.

Bender’s visuals are equally charismatic. Rich, lush colours provide backdrops for wonderful close-ups of the characters’ faces as they express a range of emotions. The look on Bird’s face when he sees Giraffe sipping water from a mud puddle will melt the coldest of hearts. A stunning two-page spread (pictured above) of Giraffe’s head, with tiny Bird atop his nose, is especially impressive.

Don’t Laugh at Giraffe is a warm, gentle tale with a good message and plenty of funny moments, making it a great choice for sharing. After all, the story reminds us, it’s always better to laugh with a friend than at one.” – Sarah Sorensen, a writer in Toronto.

CanLit for LittleCanadians praises Don’t Laugh at Giraffe

Posted on May 23rd, 2012 by pajamapress

Rebecca Bender‘s experiences in design and publishing (now as art director/designer at Pajama Press) have served her well, helping her create the touchable, plush animals that are Bird and Giraffe.  Bold acrylics fill the pages (try and find large sections of white anywhere) bringing the richness of the settings to act as companions for the distinct characters on which she focuses.  But Rebecca Bender goes beyond just drawing animals in bold colours:  she creates personalities with expressive visages (hard to do on a small bird) and morphologies, with lessons to teach and learn.  Recognizing that we’re all a little bit Giraffe and a little Bird makes them even more endearing.” –Helen Kubiw

Click here to read the full review.