Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘diverse-books’

The Joplin Globe says Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is “touching…

Posted on December 2nd, 2018 by pajamapress

The Joplin Globe

“Written in sparse prose, SHARI GREEN’s MACY McMILLAN AND THE RAINBOW GODDESS is touching without being full of angst. Macy McMillan is a typical sixth grader with one exception — she’s deaf. In a refreshing twist, this story doesn’t use Macy’s hearing as a main focal point. Instead, we are introduced to a pre-teen who is anxious about making and keeping friends, her mother’s wedding, a new step family, a school project, and oh, by the way, she also happens to be deaf. Green’s ability to relate the story through Macy’s eyes sets this book apart….

As Macy’s life moves on, she is forced to face some hard truths. But with the help of Iris the Rainbow Goddess and her advice, her perspective changes. The ‘life is hard but friends can make it easier’ message of this story comes through but is relayed subtly. Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is sure to appeal to anyone struggling with the challenges of friendships in the middle grades.”
—Tammie Benham

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CM Magazine “Highly Recommends” Penguin Days

Posted on November 29th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Penguin Days Author: Sara Leach Illustrator: Rebecca Bender Publisher: Pajama PressCM Magazine

“Lauren is an eight-year-old girl with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and she sees the world in her own unique way. Penguin Days is a stand-alone book that also continues a story begun in Slug Days, with Lauren encountering challenges this time beyond school that help her stretch and grow. Not only must she attend her first-ever family wedding, but she is going to be a flower girl!…

Sara Leach’s writing is finely crafted as well as highly readable for the intended age group—no small feat— and Lauren’s first-person voice is just as compelling as it was in Leach’s previous work. Ongoing mix-ups and dilemmas present themselves within a strong, plot-driven storyline, and, while the resolution is authentic and satisfying, readers will no doubt anticipate further books about this delightful character.

Adding to the hilarious escapades in the text are Rebecca Bender’s kid-friendly black-and-white illustrations. Penguin Days would make great independent-reading fare for classroom and school libraries as well as additions to units on identity and difference.

Highly Recommended.
Bev Brenna

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Foreword Reviews calls Penguin Days a “lighthearted story…”

Posted on November 28th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Penguin Days Author: Sara Leach Illustrator: Rebecca Bender Publisher: Pajama PressForeword Reviews

“A lighthearted story, Penguin Days follows Lauren, who is on the autism spectrum. She sometimes misreads social cues, like not understanding why others laugh; she is not always included in groups….

Pencil illustrations by Rebecca Bender appear on nearly every spread. They feature Lauren and her family and are insightful in showing the way she navigates the world, including feelings that Lauren herself might not pick up on or understand. The book’s chapter breaks sometimes interrupt the flow of the story, which might imitate how Lauren sees her own world.

In Penguin Days, Lauren’s family learns to accept one another, no matter how challenging a situation might seem.”
—Rebecca Monterusso

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My Beautiful Birds illustrations “remin[d] me of many amazing sunsets and cloud-filled skies,” says That’s Another Story

Posted on November 26th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: My Beautiful Birds Author: Suzanne Del Rizzo Publisher: Pajama PressThat’s Another Story

“The story is told in a way that helps younger children connect to the feelings of sadness and fear of the refugee experience.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful, reminding me of many amazing sunsets and cloud-filled skies I have experienced.”

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ASLC Litpicks says My Beautiful Birds is a “must for every school library…”

Posted on November 25th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: My Beautiful Birds Author: Suzanne Del Rizzo Publisher: Pajama PressASLC Litpicks

“Canadian Suzanne Del Rizzo has created a gorgeously layered and textured vision of a refugee camp in Syria based on a true story….Politics and worldviews are conspicuously absent, as Del Rizzo’s incredibly detailed paint, Plasticine and polymer clay illustrations make Sami and the camp come to life. The camp is shown as a clean and safe place, with none of the darker elements of refugee life. This allows the focus to remain on the consequences of war for one young boy and his triumph over adversity, and brings the story to a level that young children in this country will be able to access and empathize with. A must for every school library.”

—Lissa Davies

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Small Things “black and white panel illustrations tell a thousand words…” says Vancouver Family Magazine

Posted on November 23rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Small Things Author: Mel Tregonning Publisher: Pajama PressVancouver Family Magazine

“It may be impossible to know if childhood anxiety is on the rise, or if society is simply and finally calling it what it is. But in either case, the challenge is clear: many kids experience intense fear and uncertainty in an increasingly changing world. Small Things by Mel Tregonning (Pajama Press Inc., 2018) confronts this reality with stunning illustrations that depict a boy whose worry follows him around like so many clinging monsters, and eats away at him like chipping China. The book is wordless, but the black and white panel illustrations tell a thousand words about the plight of anxiety and ultimately the healing power of acceptance and connection.”

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Small Things offers “hope,” says ASLC Litpicks

Posted on November 22nd, 2018 by pajamapress

ASLC Litpicks

“This large graphic novel styled picture book tells the story of a young boy whose anxiety manifests itself as tiny beings, who gnaw away at his very identity. The powerful imagery of anxiety and worry as beings is told entirely through wordless illustrations. They eat away at him, affecting his social interactions, school work and increases his sense of loneliness. When he opens up to his sister, he learns that others may be experiencing similar feelings. ‘Small things’ can grow, as anxiety can, to become something too big to deal with on one’s own. Though this book offers no easy answers, it does end with hope after sharing his worries with his family.”

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“The young protagonist…has some real spunk and AGENCY” says Worlds of Words about When the Rain Comes

Posted on November 21st, 2018 by pajamapress

Worlds of Words

“What a beautiful book about such a terrible phenomenon! The reality, however, is that flooding happens across the world and has the potential for great destruction. The young protagonist in this picturebook has some real spunk and AGENCY. I think this is a wonderful book to share with young people, showing Malini’s responsibility but also the danger of flooding.”

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Kirkus Reviews call Bender’s illustrations in Penguin Days “soft, gentle…and illuminate Lauren’s narrative.”

Posted on November 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Penguin Days Author: Sara Leach Illustrator: Rebecca Bender Publisher: Pajama PressKirkus Reviews

“Lauren, who has autism spectrum disorder, is back for a second outing following Slug Days (2017)…..

Lauren relates her prickly feelings in a believably forthright voice that offers readers welcome insight into her perspective. Her emerging understanding of facial expressions helps her relate her parents’ and teacher’s periodic frustrations with her difficulties, yet their occasional annoyance is neatly juxtaposed against her thoughts and feelings….

Bender’s soft, gentle illustrations expand and illuminate Lauren’s narrative.”

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Bringham Young University calls When the Rain Comes “Excellent…”

Posted on November 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

Brigham Young University, Children’s Book & Media Reviews

“Rating: Excellent…

Told in free verse from Malini’s point of view, this tale reveals the coming-of-age of a young Sri Lankan girl. A note at the back of the book explains more about life in Sri Lanka, the importance of rice as a staple food, and the two monsoon seasons which affect the area. Readers unfamiliar with this small country would likely benefit from reading the note first to provide context for the story. Poignantly written, When The Rain Comes provides insight into the diversity of life through Malini’s weighty struggle to ensure prosperity for her community in the coming year.”

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