Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘diverse-kidlit’

When the Rain Comes provides “A fascinating slice of Southeast Asian life” says ForeWord Reviews

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 by pajamapress

WhenRainComes_website“The dramatic sights and sounds of a Sri Lankan monsoon surround Malini and her formidable ox as they struggle to higher ground, in Alma Fullerton’s When The Rain Comes. A fascinating slice of Southeast Asian life…Creative lines and saturated coloring from Kim La Fave’s paints and pencils capture the exotic riot and relentless rains of Malini’s village.”

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“Heartfelt and timely, [My Beautiful Birds] deserves to be shared” hails Sal’s Fiction Addiction

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_website“…As books can do, this second release from Pajama Press today helps those who read it to see through a window into others’ experiences and to begin to understand and empathize with their journey to a new life.

Suzanne Del Rizzo imagines what it might have been like for Sami’s family. War sends them scrambling on a long trek to a refugee camp. The realities of life there are grim, especially for Sami who had to travel without his much loved pigeons….

A closing author’s note provides information for her readers concerning work being done to help refugees by the United Nations Refugee Agency. The original art was created with polymer clay and acrylic, and also includes children’s paintings on the endpapers. The inside images are colorful, textured and appealing. I found myself particularly attracted to the striking and unexpected variety in perspective. There are the dark shadows of war; there is also light-filled promise for a better future. Books like this are needed to help our students and children begin to understand the plight of refugees around the world. Heartfelt and timely, this book deserves to be shared.”

Click here to read the full review

A great review for My Beautiful Birds from Geo Librarian

Posted on February 24th, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_website“[Sami] can’t bring himself to get involved in school or even playing games with the other children, until he discovers that beauty can be found in even the most discouraging circumstances.

I think my favorite thing about this book though are the gorgeous illustrations. Using…polymer clay, and other mixed media Del Rizzo has created illustrations that really pop out at you. The story itself really touched my heart…here we have a young boy who has lost his home, his pets, pretty much his whole world, and he grieves the loss, but when new birds fly into his life, he finds a reason to rejoice despite his humble circumstances.”

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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

Water’s Children “will be appreciated in classrooms and at home” says Sal’s Fiction Addiction

Posted on February 22nd, 2017 by pajamapress

waterschildren_website“…In this book about water in its many forms, we are introduced to twelve children of the world, quick to share what it means to them. They have been invited by the author to share their thoughts. They do so in their own language, and their answers will inspire those children who share it to voice their own thoughts and may lead to valuable discussion about its importance to every one of us.

Written in poetic form, and accompanied by light-infused illustrations that are full of life and detail, it is a book that will be appreciated in classrooms and at home. Water is our most precious resource, and each speaker honors that….”

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My Beautiful Birds “is a tale of sorrow and suffering and promise” says CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on February 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_website“In My Beautiful Birds, author-illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo offers a poignant story of a Syrian child refugee traumatized by leaving his cherished pigeons behind. It is a tale of sorrow and suffering and promise, and beautifully rendered in Suzanne Del Rizzo’s distinctive art….

The sadness and trauma in this little boy’s life is so palpable, from the family’s departure to their adjustment to the refugee camp and to the despondency that permeates Sami’s new life. Through use of colour and the texture of her art–here polymer clay with acrylics–Suzanne Del Rizzo balances the shadows of war and trauma with the bright colours of youthful exuberance and pastels of hope for a future. There’s the tumultuous skies and the ordinary days, and the anger of loss with the chirpiness of birds and children at play. I know the excellence of her art, complex in the depth of detail and its ability to evoke emotions. But Suzanne Del Rizzo has demonstrated a new depth to her writing. Perhaps it’s the tragic circumstances of the story but Suzanne Del Rizzo has put heart and hope into her words, giving breath to a staggering situation, suffusing it with some degree of optimism where there is so little. My Beautiful Birds provides a promise that all the darkness from that Syrian skyline of smoke is behind Sami and remains open to a bright sky of birds and lightness, the landscape of his future.”

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Adrift at Sea is featured on Booklist Online

Posted on February 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“In this picture book for somewhat older readers, Ho narrates the story of his perilous escape from postwar Vietnam, in 1981, describing his pain at leaving behind loved ones and relief upon being rescued by an American aircraft carrier after six days adrift on the ocean. The text is terse and unembellished, leaving the rich images to capture the emotional events. Photographs of the family bookend the story and remind readers of the events’ reality.”

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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

CM Magazine admires the “outstanding artwork” in My Beautiful Birds

Posted on February 8th, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_website“Suzanne Del Rizzo both wrote and illustrated My Beautiful Birds. The illustrations are mixed media, including plasticine, polymer clay, and acrylic. The plasticine and clay provide colourful yet dimensional illustrations to accompany the story. Two of my favourite illustrations are the powerful images of Sami’s painting of his beloved pigeon becoming covered in black smears, and, on the following page, the clouds in the purple and pink sky transforming into birds.

The topics of Syria and the refugee crisis are so timely and important that I’m very pleased Pajama Press has produced a picture book to address not only the topics but also the human emotions around them….written in simple words, My Beautiful Birds is very poetic with a significant amount of depth and symbolism….The outstanding artwork, along with the multi-faceted themes, would give older elementary readers much to discuss and explore.

Because of its timely content and poignant illustrations, My Beautiful Birds is a worthwhile purchase for home, school, and public libraries.”
Dr. Kristen Ferguson

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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