Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

CanLit for LittleCanadians reviews Dance of the Banished

Posted on August 22nd, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGBDance of the Banished is an old tale.  It’s the familiar love story in which two young people are separated, here by family, distance and war.  But, sadly, it’s also the story of prejudice, fear, and injustice, and the subsequent torment that intensifies that separation.  Dance of the Banished may be an old story in its foundations, but its context is wholly unique, expertly researched and penned by award-winning author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch…By creating legitimate characters in her fiction who bring varied and personal perspectives to the situations experienced and who speak through their questions and confusions and convictions, Marsha Skrypuch can tell the whole story, not just the public one….And we are grateful for that opportunity and bold honesty.”

Click here to read the full review.

A Brush Full of Colour is “larger than life – CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on August 19th, 2014 by pajamapress

ABrushFullOfColour_HR_RGB“…this book is virtually larger than life. Within a scant 40 pages, the authors share Ted Harrison’s progression from the coal-mining County Durham in England, to art school and military service post-WWII, teaching, immigration to Canada, and full-time artistry…A Brush Full of Colour is an exemplary youngCanLit biography having: informative text, organized well under headings such as Childhood, Travelling the World, Life in the North, and A Full-Time Artist; an assortment of visuals, including photographs and samples of Ted Harrison’s artwork throughout his career; quotes from the artist; and key features of non-fiction texts such as a table of contents, index and resources section…”
Click here to read the full review.

Getting Kids Reading reviews the “magnificent” A Brush Full of Colour

Posted on August 19th, 2014 by pajamapress

ABrushFullOfColour_HR_RGB“…Here’s a book that will be as interesting for you as it will be for your child.

A Brush Full of Colour is a vibrant, fact-based picture book about Canadian artist Ted Harrison.

While the book takes you (the parent) through the life of a great painter, it will also take your child on a journey of a different kind—of beauty and exploration. The paintings in the book are colourful and magnificent. You don’t even have to be able to read to enjoy looking at the gorgeous images…”

Click here to read the full review.

Sal’s Fiction Addiction calls A Brush Full of Colour an “inspiring book”

Posted on August 15th, 2014 by pajamapress

ABrushFullOfColour_HR_RGB“…The table of contents for this lovely new book from Pajama Press entices with the promise of a foreword by the artist himself, and then goes on to let the reader know that soon they will learn about Ted’s childhood, his world travels, his life in the north, and his life as a full-time artist. I couldn’t wait to get started as I have been in awe of his work for many years.

…The bright colors and the dancing lights of the northern skies gave him the inspiration he needed to let his imagination grow and flourish. His family’s life in the Yukon, and the place itself, is depicted in the many wonderful pieces of art that are included in this welcome and inspiring book. His legacy lives on in the books he has written, in his paintings that hang in galleries, and public and personal collections, and in his wisdom shared about the need for art in schools, and in our lives…”
– Sally Bender

Click here to read the full review.

ALA Booklist calls When Emily Carr Met Woo a “sweet story”

Posted on August 1st, 2014 by pajamapress

WhenEmilyCarrMetWoo_RGB“Emily Carr is one of Canada’s most celebrated painters and poets. Born in 1871 in British Columbia, Carr spent most of her life as a starving artist. This picture-book tells the story of Carr’s love of animals, her struggle to fit into mainstream life and make ends meet, and her adoption of a lovable monkey that she named Woo. For 15 years, Woo lived in Carr’s household, making mischief, providing companionship and accompanying Carr on artistic expeditions into the Canadian forests. However, when Woo takes her mischievous behavior too far, she puts her life in danger and leaves Carr desperate for his quick recovery. Full-color illustrations bear an uncanny likeness to the actual people and places they represent and are a perfect complement to the storybook-style narrative. Back matter includes photographs of Carr and Woo and a bibliography. This sweet story of friendship and love will spark interest in the art and poetry of a Canadian national treasure.”

– Erin Anderson

CanLit for LittleCanadians reviews Bear on the Homefront

Posted on July 17th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnTheHomefront_Internet“…Inspired by events recounted in Aileen Rogers’ diary, Bear on the Homefront takes Teddy out of the war zone but still working to comfort those impacted by war. And by giving Teddy a voice, Stephanie Innes (the great niece of Aileen Rogers) and Harry Endrulat have endeared the little bear with even more heart than his simple form may suggest.  His longing for Aileen and his honest reflections are not dissimilar to the children’s own, though they all recognize the value in perseverance, even if it is difficult.

The text and atmospheric oil on canvas illustrations of Brian Deines lend an authenticity to the memories held within Bear on the Homefront.  Teddy has an important story to tell…For his heroic efforts in comforting and giving voice to others when their own words and thoughts probably failed them, Teddy is now safe and treasured at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.  So, Bear at the Homefront gives us one more happy ending from a time when there weren’t many.”

Click here to read the full review.

Resource Links highly recommends Revenge on the Fly

Posted on July 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

RevengeOnTheFly_C“Will Alton and his father are new immigrants to Canada. They are learning that Ontario in 1912 is not a welcoming place for immigrants and that the grand life they dream of is elusive. Will sees a chance to better their circumstances when he enters a fly-catching problem. The question is, how far is he willing to go to catch enough flies to win?

I enjoyed this book tremendously. The story moves quickly, and Will is an immensely appealing narrator. Will is intelligent but also crafty; honest, but not above bending the rules to his own interests. He’s also sensitive, having lost his younger sister and then his mother, and it is this aspect of his personality that makes Will’s ultimate revenge on the fly so complex and so satisfying. The idea of fly-collecting contest – as disgusting as it might seem to us today – was inspired by real events and real historical figures. This inspiration offers a unique and unexpected way to explore Will’s larger story.

Beyond the main plot, readers will find many absorbing themes, such as issues of poverty and class, bias and discrimination, sickness and loss. The story identifies emerging urban tensions (such as cars displacing horses, the luxury of indoor plumbing, which only some possess, and the need for government-mandated public health policy), but does so within the context of Will’s telling, so that the text never feel didactic, dry of stuffy. This is a book that will reward follow-up conversations, and it could be well used in the classroom.

One feature I particularly appreciated about this book was its intense focus on Will’s physical world. Sensory details are brilliantly captured, enriching our sense of history and the immediacy of the story. We smell with Will the awful garbage and rotting manure he digs through in pursuit of flies, see the ragtag boarding-house he and his father inhabit, taste the sweet and tart Christmas memory an orange evokes, feel the sting of the strap he receives for disobeying the principal and its throb for hours afterward. And of course we see and hear and feel the thousands of flies Will kills – an ick factor that adds a delicious frisson to the story. Certainly part of the enjoyment of the book comes from its physical presentation. The copy I read has a gigantic, highly detailed fly laminated on the back cover (as well as numerous smaller laminated flies on the front cover), so that as I read, I was constantly touching the raised graphic and reminded of the fly and the evil it represents to Will – a very effective design decision!

Revenge on the Fly is an excellent book, one I expect to see nominated for awards in the coming months. It will make readers laugh, cringe, shudder – and think. I recommend it highly.

Thematic links: Insects; Health; Canadian History”

– Leslie Vermeer

The National Reading Campaign is captivated by When Emily Carr Met Woo

Posted on July 1st, 2014 by pajamapress

WhenEmilyCarrMetWoo_RGB_72dpi“Award-winning author Monica Kulling’s When Emily Carr Met Woo offers a glimpse into the world of an iconic Canadian artist…Dean Griffith’s watercolour and pencil crayon illustrations capture Woo’s mischievous antics, from chasing dog’s tails, to plucking artificial cherries from the hat of an unsuspecting visitor….

This captivating picture book biography, written with elegance and straightforward simplicity, artfully captures Emily Carr’s passion for her craft, as well as her love for animals. End notes and an archival photograph add depth and historical details and provide a great introduction for young artists.”

Click here to read the full review.

National Reading Campaign reviews Bear on the Homefront

Posted on June 25th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnTheHomefront_Internet“Innes and Endrulat cleverly tell the story from Teddy’s point of view, so the reader, like Teddy, hears Aileen’s explanations of what is going on as well as William’s and Grace’s secrets.  Like the two children, Teddy ends up spending the war far from his beloved Aileen wondering if he will ever see her again.

Brian Deines soft atmospheric illustrations and rich colours convey an old-fashioned feel to the story. An afterword gives some background on the real Aileen (great-aunt of Stephanie Innes) and the real Teddy who now resides at the Canadian War Museum.”

Click here to read the full review.

Nix Minus One wins Ann Connor Brimer Award

Posted on May 22nd, 2014 by pajamapress

NixMinusOnePajama Press is proud to congratulate Jill MacLean, whose young adult novel Nix Minus One has won the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature. The award was presented yesterday at the Atlantic Book Awards gala in Charlottetown, PEI, following a week-long festival with events across the Atlantic provinces.

A powerful story about a teenaged boy growing up in small-town Newfoundland, Nix Minus One has also been nominated for the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year, the White Pine Award, and the Snow Willow Award, among other honours.

A second Pajama Press title, The Stowaways by Meghan Marentette, was also shortlisted for this award. Both authors are residents of Nova Scotia.

The Ann Conner Brimer Award is given annually “to the author of a children’s book which has made an outstanding contribution to children’s

literature in Atlantic Canada” (www.atlanticbookawards.ca). This is the third time a book by Jill MacLean has been selected.

Pajama Press is honoured to have Nix Minus One chosen for this prestigious award.

Authors Meghan Marentette, Janet Cameron, Jan Coates, and Jill MacLean at the gala

Authors Meghan Marentette, Janet Cameron, Jan Coates, and Jill MacLean at the gala