Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘diverse-books’

My Beautiful Birds is “both fascinating and heart-breaking” says The Crimson Review of Children’s & YA Literature

Posted on September 8th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: My Beautiful Birds Author: Suzanne Del Rizzo Publisher: Pajama Press“This refugee experience, written from the unique perspective of a small boy, is both fascinating and heart-breaking. While the story is lovely, the real successes are the polymer clay illustrations, done by the author. They are brightly colored, have wonderful detail and give the story some nice texture. This book is relevant and lovely, and is an excellent book to teach children about being a refugee.”
Reviewed by Lindsay Davis

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I Read Kids’ Books Journal says My Beautiful Birds “inspire[s] empathy and understanding…for young readers”

Posted on September 6th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: My Beautiful Birds Author: Suzanne Del Rizzo Publisher: Pajama Press“There is a fine line to walk when writing for children about the horror and deprivation of war, especially when that story is about a child of the same age. The author needs to inspire empathy and understanding without causing anxiety for the young readers. In My Beautiful Birds, Del Rizzo has done a masterful job of straddling that line and in doing so has not only given a beautiful story, but also a teachable moment for kids ages 4-10….

I am not even going to be shy about admitting that I had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up. I simply judged this book as ‘need to read’ by the positively stunning artwork on the cover, art that has been perfectly described as dimensional illustrations. I am fond of using a euphemism for ‘leaping off the page’ when it comes to talking about art in children’s books, but that is such pale terminology for what this book offers. If there were no text to tell the reader what is happening in the story, the reader would still be pulled in to Sammi’s world; Birds fly, the smell of smoke fills the air, you can feel the grit of the sand and the hear the rasping of canvas tents. Sammi’s fears and hopes have been rendered in infinite detail with this beautifully textured sculpted art.

The war in Syria and other parts of the world are in the news almost nightly. In addition to being a wonderful story, this book can also be a tool to explain to little ones about the war and the people it affects. It is told in a way that is completely accessible to kids and adults alike….

I am looking forward to Del Rizzo’s latest release, in the fall, A World of Kindness.”

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Literacious calls Small Things “A truly powerful story”

Posted on September 4th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Small Things Author: Mel Tregonning Publisher: Pajama PressPersonal Reaction: This is an extremely powerful, wordless graphic novel about the anxiety and worry that affects one little boy and yet is so universal in its imagery. I think this would make a powerful addition to an older elementary and even middle school classroom and would be a great conversation starter for a class, book discussion or even one-on-one about anxiety, expectations, and self care….A truly powerful story that will resonate with many.”

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2 Pajama Press books featured on CBC Books “13 Canadian middle-grade books to watch for this fall” recommended reading list

Posted on August 23rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Swallow’s Dance by award-winning author Wendy Orr and Too Young to Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits to be Reunited with Her Family by debut author Van Ho with Marsha Skrypuch have both been featured in the 2018 CBC Books “13 Canadian middle-grade books to watch for this fall” reading list.

The Theory of Hummingbirds gets an “Excellent” rating from Children's Books & Media Reviews from Brigham Young University

Posted on August 22nd, 2018 by pajamapress

“Michelle Kadarusman uses her own personal experience to weave a beautiful story about change, friendship, acceptance, and finding your place in the world. The characters develop naturally throughout the story and the emotions are described in a way that helps the reader relate to the book and stay engaged and absorbed in the story. The Theory of Hummingbirds would be great for any student in upper elementary, middle school and high school. The book doesn’t contain any language or sensitive material, making it a great book for anyone young or old. The way that Alba deals with her differences and life struggles is inspiring and will change the life of anyone who reads her story.”

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Kirkus Reviews says A Good Day for Ducks is “just right to enjoy after a rainy-day outing”

Posted on July 24th, 2018 by pajamapress

“Impressionistic illustrations use light, splashy washes of color with scratchy ink outlines and white backgrounds, conveying both the excitement of the rainy outdoor scenes and the familiar, cozy atmosphere inside. The simple plot, short length, and rich vocabulary make this a fine choice for toddlers just beginning to listen to real stories, but there’s enough interest and action for older preschoolers as well. Just right to enjoy after a rainy-day outing while sipping a cup of hot chocolate and perhaps wearing a pair of bunny slippers.”

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Canadian Children's Book News calls The Theory of Hummingbirds an "endearing story"

Posted on June 18th, 2018 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“In her first middle grade novel, author Michelle Kadarusman skilfully uses emotional honesty to capture the turmoil of not fitting in and the hard journey to acceptance in terms children can easily understand. Alba’s spirited nature keeps her afloat through the tough times having a clubfoot has caused, but she is not immune to wanting to be like her classmates, or dreaming of breaking free from her disability.

Alba and Levi’s friendship is a joy to read about. Able to ground each other when needed, they also support putting aside skepticism and doubt for the sake of the other….Drawing on a tale from Peru, Kadarusman ends The Theory of Hummingbirds with the constructive message that all we can do is what we can do. Even a hummingbird dropping beads of water on a raging fire makes a difference, and Alba’s endearing story is sure to change readers as well.”
—Amy Mathers

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Midwest Book Review “unreservedly recommend[s]” Where's Bunny? for daycare and preschool collections

Posted on June 3rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Where's Bunny? Author: Theo Heras Illustrator: Renné Benoit Publisher: Pajama Press“Humor, helpfulness, and heart combine as Baby’s big sister helps to see him – and, of course, his stuffed bunny – through the nighttime routine from bath to bed. Little listeners ages 1 to 3 will connect with familiar sensory language of warm, tickly water and blanket snuggles, and they will be able to enjoy it time and again in this study-format…Where’s Bunny? will make bedtime a happy time for the whole family and is unreservedly recommended for daycare center and preschool collections.”

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Where's Bunny? “is a great choice for little ones” says Canadian Bookworm

Posted on June 2nd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Where's Bunny? Author: Theo Heras Illustrator: Renné Benoit Publisher: Pajama Press“At various points in the book, the question “Where’s bunny?” is asked, and each time this is asked, there is an opportunity to look for the bunny in the drawing on that page. Most children have a stuffy of some kind that is a favourite bedtime pal, and this let’s that be part of the ritual as well….Bedtime books are a great way to introduce routine to children, and make getting ready for bed a pleasant time….I also liked that the book showed diversity without being about diversity.

This book is a great choice for little ones.”

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Small Things “offers a significant potential gift: understanding, and the possibility of recovery” says The Times Literary Supplement

Posted on May 11th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Small Things Author: Mel Tregonning Publisher: Pajama Press“When giving children books, well-meaning adults may feel impelled to offer challenge, too – opting for text-dense vocabulary boosters at the reader’s diagnosed level, with the difficulty ramped up a little for luck. However gentle, though, this sort of nudge is not an unalloyed blessing. It may pluck children out of storylines in which they were ecstatically resident; deny them the elegant plotting of a well-turned mystery, the satisfying structure of a pony story or the terseness of a comic adventure….

A frequent casualty of the utilitarian focus on advancement and sheer length is illustration, and the reader’s respect for it. The children told “You’re too old for picture books” are not only banished abruptly from an enchanted kingdom. They are also held back from winkling out images’ stored secrets of detail, and from learning the artist’s language of window-frame, colour, light, shade, emphasis, the single line that communicates mood, or loss, or season – everything we mean by “visual literacy”. Sophisticated, demanding concepts may also be com­municated, via illustration, to readers unable or unwilling as yet to parse the complex language required.

Small Things, a wordless graphic novel by Mel Tregonning, and finished, after her death, by Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin), is an extra­ordinary example: an illustrated book that communicates difficult, painful ideas solely via intricate monochrome graphite drawings….[T]o the ten- or twelve-year-old besieged by incipient anxiety or depression it offers a ­significant potential gift: understanding, and the possibility of recovery….The image of a small, vulnerable body breaking down by degrees, while deeply discomfiting, honours the weight of what it conveys; and the book as a whole celebrates the helpfulness of uncon­ditional love, while successfully avoiding a superficial, unduly swift resolution….”

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