Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘childrens-book’

My Beautiful Birds is “A stunning offering for libraries wishing to add to their collection of hopeful yet realistic refugee tales” says School Library Journal

Posted on February 24th, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_website“…While walking one day, Sami realizes that the sky he sees from camp is the same sky as in Syria and that if his pigeons were strong enough to fly, they might be strong enough to survive. Will this insight allow Sami to open up and accept the new friends that might come his way? Or will the refugee camp be nothing more than a segue between two pieces of his life? Exquisite dimensional illustrations using Plasticine, polymer clay, and other media bring a unique, lifelike quality to the page, enriching Sami’s story to its fullest potential when paired with the often lyrical prose. VERDICT A stunning offering for libraries wishing to add to their collection of hopeful yet realistic refugee tales.”
—Brittany Drehobl, Eisenhower Public Library District, IL

Read the full review in the March 2017 issue of School Library Journal

French Toast gets a positive review from The International Educator

Posted on February 21st, 2017 by pajamapress

FrenchToast_Website“When you are blind, you don’t see skin color and you truly know that everyone is the same. Phoebe doesn’t like it when kids from school call ‘Hey, French Toast!’ or tease her for her accent. Her Nan-ma is blind and asks Phoebe to describe the colors of family and friends. Their talk helps Phoebe to look at things in a different light. …Phoebe discovers that Nan-ma doesn’t even know her own skin color until she tells her it is like maple syrup. Suddenly being called French Toast isn’t so bad anymore…”

CM Magazine recommends Under the Umbrella for it’s sense of rhythm and pacing

Posted on February 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

undertheumbrella_website“I have always enjoyed reading rhyming text out loud to groups of unsuspecting story time children as the atmosphere of the story unfolds in a rhythmic manner and comes alive when I do. The pace and anticipation of the story is set through the author’s clever ability to create the mood with simple words. The dark mood of the man in the story is felt by the quick and short sentences within the rhyming text, and it seems to become more urgent with every step that he takes through the stormy streets of Paris. When the worst of all things happens and his umbrella is blown from his hands, the man encounters a young boy who transports him to a better place, a place that is bright and warm where the rhythm of the rhymes has changed the atmosphere to illustrate a luxurious longing for the treats in the shop window….

The writing and illustrations in this book complement each other well and work together to highlight the special moment that the two characters share. One could say that they are in the calm of the storm before heading back out to continue their day. This story can be read with a group or shared with one child quite successfully….

Recommended.
Tamara Opar

The International Educator gives French Toast a positive review

Posted on February 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

FrenchToast_Website“When you are blind, you don’t see skin color and you truly know that everyone is the same. Phoebe doesn’t like it when kids from school call ‘Hey, French Toast!’ or tease her for her accent. Her Nan-ma is blind and asks Phoebe to describe the colors of family and friends. Their talk helps Phoebe to look at things in a different light.…Phoebe discovers that Nan-ma doesn’t even know her own skin color until she tells her it is like maple syrup. Suddenly being called French Toast isn’t so bad anymore…”

Read the full review on page 40 of the February 2017 issue of The International Educator

My Beautiful Birds is highly praised by Youth Services Book Review

Posted on February 8th, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_websiteWhat did you like about the book? Sami, a recent Syrian refugee, explores his very powerful, personal perspective of the pain, healing and hope of his resettlement ordeal. Suzanne Del Rizzo’s incredible attention to each detail in the story line, dialogue and exceptionally detailed polymer clay and acrylic art work of the landscape and living conditions, beautifully combines to allow the reader to absorb the profound emotional loss that Sami has experienced and continues daily. The hopeful symbolism of reconnecting with his beloved birds begins his self-healing process that takes flight in the community and spreads as he welcomes his newest refugee friend. I appreciated that the book did not explain, blame or discuss any political themes, leaving these questions outside Sami’s innocent mind, allowing him to focus on reality, humanity and survival. I hope this book inspires others to realize the daily plight of refugees. I appreciated the “Author’s Note” on the last page that simply outlined facts about the refugee crisis, sadly noting that half of those displaced are innocent children like Sami.

Anything you didn’t like about it? NO, it was well thought out and executed beautifully.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Everyone that works in any small way for social justice and peace, parents that want to expose and inspire young children to social justice issues, ministers, religious education teachers., community organizers.”
Diane Neylon

Click here to read the full review

Pickle Me This says My Beautiful Birds helps us to “recognize the humanity common to all of us”

Posted on February 8th, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_website“In Suzanne Del Rizzo’s picture book, My Beautiful Birds, a young Syrian boy is forced to leave his wartorn home and make the long journey to the relative safety of a refugee camp. The story is enlivened by Del Rizzo’s plasticine illustrations with their rich purple and golden hues. Of all the things that Sami has left behind, it’s his pigeons he misses the most, the birds he fed and kept and as pets….Where he finds solace, though, is in the sky, one thing that is familiar to him, ‘wait[ing] like a loyal friend for me to remember.’ In the clouds, he sees the shapes of his birds: ‘Spiralling. Soaring. Sharing the sky.’”

Click here to read the full review

A good review for Good Morning, Grumple from Publishers Weekly

Posted on January 30th, 2017 by pajamapress

goodmorninggrumple_website“This padded storybook with sturdy cardstock pages follows a mother’s persistent efforts to get her sleepy ‘grumple’ out of bed in the morning. Allenby’s intermittently rhyming text traces the mother’s escalating actions, which involve singing ever-louder…Gauthier’s naif collages sweetly emphasize the warmth between parent and child (they resemble a cross between a panda and a squirrel), even when the little one’s eyes are squeezed tight in a desperate attempt to hang onto sleep a little longer.”

Read the full review in the January 30 issue of Publishers Weekly

Under the Umbrella gets a Starred Review from Kirkus Reviews

Posted on January 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

undertheumbrella_website“A grumpy man fights a rainstorm and other pedestrians but learns a lesson when his umbrella goes flying. Pithy poetry pairs with artful illustrations in this Canadian import, translated from the French….Arbona’s fantastical illustrations play with perspective, shape, and pops of bright color that enliven scenes primarily composed of black, gray, and white. Buquet’s text is translated into well-crafted verse by Woods. Memorable and instructive without a hint of didacticism.”

Click here to read the full review

Sky Pig makes Kids’ BookBuzz reviewer Jewel want to make her own Plasticine pictures

Posted on January 10th, 2017 by pajamapress

SkyPig_Website“…I really liked Sky Pig but I think the illustrations were my favorite part. They were made out of plasticine, paper, fuzz, and even watch gears. The illustrations were so detailed, I couldn’t stop looking at the pages. These illustrations make me want to make my own plasticine pictures. I really like looking for the mouse and chicken with her egg on every page. I like that even when Ollie failed over and over again, he kept getting up and trying new ideas to help him fly. His friend Jack was a very good friend who was always there to help Ollie follow his dreams.”
—Jewel, Age 8

Click here to read the full review

Adrift at Sea is one of the “Top 10 Books to Explore Themes of Immigration and Refugees” says readingpowergear.wordpress.com

Posted on January 9th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“This is the beautiful true story of a family’s survival in the face of overwhelming odds as they leave Vietnam in search of a new life….The amazing life-like illustrations and large format makes it an engaging read-aloud. I appreciated the historical facts and real photos of Tuan in his family included at the back of the book.”

Click here to read the full review