Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

A Brush Full of Colour an “outstanding biography”—CM Magazine

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by pajamapress

ABrushFullOfColour_HR_RGB“This outstanding biography does more than just inform the reader of Ted Harrison’s life in a well organized way. A Brush Full of Colour is indicative of the spirit and passion of its subject and richly illuminates a national treasure! It does justice to Harrison’s artwork by including many reproductions from his early efforts to more recent drawings that are named, dated and commented upon as to the content of the drawing and its meaning. Many include a question posed to the reader. One of the highlights of this lovely book is a preface by Harrison where he refers to his art as ‘my simplistic artistic style’. He also includes a lovely tribute to meeting, over the years, students and lovers of art that have influenced him. Harrison urges readers to ‘keep on reading, writing and painting’.

An index and bibliographical references are included.

Highly Recommended.

Click here to read the full review.

Princess Pistachio is Anne of Green Gables for youngest readers, says CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by pajamapress

PrincessPistachio_HR_RGB“…Children have always been taken with Marie-Louise Gay’s Stella and Sam series of books, by the wonder and wisdom of an older sister and the innocent inquiry of her little brother.  Now, these readers can enjoy Marie-Louise Gay’s signature illustrations in the more challenging stories of Pistachio, the girl who is definitely more like a pixie than an angel.  She may still have Stella’s dramatic flair but it’s wrapped up in a scampish nature that is all Pistachio.

But, what will exalt Princess Pistachio to the upper echelons of early chapter books is the voice that Marie-Louise Gay has given the little girl and the richness of the text in general.  Delightful play with words and challenging vocabulary enriches Princess Pistachio above most early readers….

With a second book, Princess Pistachio and the Pest, already scheduled, I believe that Marie-Louise Gay and Pajama Press have just created an Anne of Green Gables for the very youngest of youngCanLit readers, and one who will poke at our hearts and funny bones alike.”

Click here to read the full review.

The National Reading Campaign recommends Dance of the Banished for adults as well as teens

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“…Zeynep, fierce and bold, and Ali, caring and principled, live in the same village in Anatolia and plan to marry. Unexpectedly, Ali is sent to Canada and Zeynep is left behind. Each writes in a journal for the other, but as war comes to both countries it is unlikely their words will ever be shared. Still, they keep on. Zeynep writes an eyewitness account of the genocide from the point of view of the Alevi Kurds, telling a little known side of this tragic story. Ali, in turn, gives an accounting of life in an internment camp in, surprisingly, Kapuskasing. For each, the journal entries are a coping mechanism, a way to bear witness to the atrocities of war and ultimately, to bring justice.

Skrypuch’s compelling characters give an authentic voice to this well researched story. It is definitely a book for adults as well as teens. And although it is a story of war it includes moments of great joy, making it much more than a tragedy…”—Penny Draper

Click here to read the full review.

Celebrate A Brush Full of Colour in Vancouver with Kidsbooks: November 6

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by pajamapress

KidsbooksPoster_Website

When Emily Carr Met Woo “will delight children and adults alike”—CM Magazine

Posted on September 19th, 2014 by pajamapress

WhenEmilyCarrMetWoo_RGB“…Dean Griffiths brings Woo and Emily to life with mixed-media paintings. Illustrating the story of another artist must surely be an intimidating task, but Griffiths captures Carr’s emotions clearly. Anyone who has visited Victoria will happily recognize some landmarks that Griffiths deftly includes.

When Emily Carr Met Woo will appeal to children who love animals, as well as art lovers. As an introduction to Emily Carr, who is often depicted as “a strange bird” or otherwise odd (even for an artist), the use of her mischievous monkey Woo will delight children and adults alike. When Emily Carr Met Woo is a definite addition to any home or classroom which values Canadian heritage. Highly Recommended.

Click here to read the full review.

Booklist praises the “lyrically written” Revenge on the Fly

Posted on September 15th, 2014 by pajamapress

RevengeOnTheFly“In 1912 Ireland, 12-year-old Will Alton has lost his mother and baby sister to disease. After immigrating to Canada, Will’s father gets a job in a stable, while Will goes to school. When a local newspaper claims that flies are the harbingers of disease and runs a contest with cash prizes for the most flies caught during a three-week period, Will sees an opportunity to avenge the deaths of his loved ones and also help his father make ends meet. Interspersed with Will’s clever and resourceful attempts to catch flies by the hundreds are his experiences at school, where he is known as the new kid, the poor kid, and the focus of the local bully. McNicoll has brought a little-known chapter of Canada’s history to life in this novel of a young boy learning what it means to grieve, to win, and to be a man. Reminiscent of the historical novels of Karen Hesse, this quiet story is lyrically written with a believable young protagonist and a thoughtful message of hope in the midst of trouble.”

Dance of the Banished “meticulously researched and sensitively written”—Urve Tamberg

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“…Meticulously researched and sensitively written…In her nineteenth book, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch again gives a revealing and compassionate voice to an under-represented group of people, and shines a light on little-known events in history. Writing about historical injustices for young adults requires a solid grip of the events, sensitivity, and the ability to juggle multiple perspectives in order to create a compelling story that not only keeps us turning the pages, but also brings forward truths that may have been forgotten or buried. Dance of the Banished enlightens us about the plight of the Alevi Kurds during World War 1, saddens us as we find out about the massacre of the Armenians, and maybe even embarrasses us as we discover how “foreigners” were treated in Ontario. Her characters are human, and multifaceted, and make us think about how we would react in times of great stress if our homeland, families, or loved ones were in danger. The answers are never easy, and Marsha does not shy away from difficult and heart-wrenching choices.”

Click here to read the full review.

School Library Journal reviews Revenge on the Fly

Posted on September 2nd, 2014 by pajamapress

RevengeOnTheFly“If readers can stomach the grisly notion of flies being annihilated by the thousands, and several more raised for slaughter, then McNicoll’s novel offers a unique and unconventional view of the fight against disease plaguing the world at the beginning of the 20th century. It is the summer of 1912, and 12-year-old immigrant Will Alton has moved to Hamilton, Ontario with his father, where the local school sponsors a fly-catching contest to help rid the city of the ominous disease that is taking the lives of millions, young and old. Will yearns to avenge the lives of his mother and baby sister, prompting him to attempt to catch and kill more flies than all of the other participants. He must also grapple with an equally powerful urge to beat a rival competitor from school who cheats to win. Those who relish the notion of smashing, squashing, and swatting bugs should appreciate this novel in the same outrageous way as Thomas Rockwell’s How to Eat Fried Worms (Random, 1973). McNicoll, however, fuels the gross factor even more with graphic descriptions of the fly’s attraction to excrement and defecation on the same food eaten by people. This adds some scientific basis to the story, coupled with the fact that there really was a Fly-Swatting Contest in Canada. Ultimately, Will is portrayed as more than just a top-notch bug catcher; he comes to recognize that there is far more to bettering society and saving lives than winning contests. Pair this novel with Makiia Lucier’s A Death-Struck Year (Houghton Harcourt, 2014) for more in-depth knowledge about the fight against rampant disease.”

A Year of Books believes Dance of the Banished is “important to read”

Posted on August 28th, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“Similar to this author’s previous novels, this story wove together history and a compelling story of injustice, hope and tenacity to survive in terrible conditions…Both Ali and Zeynep show incredible bravery and compassion as they help others avoid persecution. The author shared that while the book is fiction, “every single thing in my book happened”. This book is important to read and as Zeynep says, “what I have witnessed is evidence of a terrible crime and the world must know about it, because, he says, that what we forget, we are bound to repeat”.

Click here to read the full review.

Dance of the Banished Book Launch

Posted on August 25th, 2014 by pajamapress

On Friday, August 22nd at 11 am, one hundred plaques were unveiled across Canada. They commemorated Canada’s enemy alien internment operations in the First World War, a little-known part of our history that saw Canadian citizens imprisoned in camps across the country because they had immigrated here from nations with which the British Empire was now at war.

Plaque

The vast majority of internees were Ukrainian, targeted because their passports read “Austrian.” Canadian immigration officials did not make a distinction between ethnic Austrians and others who then belonged to—and were even persecuted by—the Austrian empire. Similarly, all immigrants from the Ottoman Empire were labelled “Turks.”

In 1914, one hundred of these “Turks”—really Alevi Kurds—were rounded up in Brantford, Ontario, on the charge of having plotted to destroy the post office. Although the charge was proven to be false, they were sent to the wilderness of Kapuskasing to build and then occupy a prison camp there.

At Friday’s ceremony, hosted by the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. John, Ukrainians came together with Armenians, Kurds, dignitaries, and supporters of Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, who put together many pieces of this history while researching her newest novel, Dance of the Banished. This young adult historical novel tells the stories of two Alevi teenagers in the First World War: Ali, who comes to Brantford to work and is interned in Kapuskasing, and his fiancée Zeynep, who is left behind in their homeland of Anatolia where she helps other Alevi Kurds rescue 40,000 of their Armenian neighbours from the Armenian Genocide.

A launch was held for Dance of the Banished following the plaque unveiling. Below, reviewer Helen Kubiw of CanLit for LittleCanadians (left) poses with the author and a signed copy of the book.

MarshaAndHelen

For more information about Dance of the Banished, visit the following links.

For more information about the recognition of Canada’s internment operations, visit the links below.