Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘early-readers’

Pencil: A Story with a Point will “delight younger readers…” says CM Magazine

Posted on November 30th, 2018 by pajamapress

CM Magazine

“Veteran author Ann Ingalls has produced a book with a lightweight plot but much lighthearted play with language that will delight younger readers just learning about verbal humour as well as teachers who could use this book as a lesson on the pun as literary device.

Dean Griffiths is a British Columbia illustrator with a number of awards to his name. He has filled the pages of Pencil with familiar objects which are candy-colourful and plastic in their contours, as well as expressive images of the two dark-eyed, dark-haired children. Tooth-marked and a little off-kilter, Pencil is definitely a character in his own right in the story. The spread showing the shadowy interior of the junk drawer where a small green flashlight illuminates little but a number of pairs of eyes is especially captivating.

Recommended.”
—Ellen Heaney is a retired children’s librarian living in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

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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Penguin Days highlights “love, acceptance, and friendship,” says Kirkus Reviews

Posted on November 27th, 2018 by pajamapress

Kirkus ReviewsCover: Penguin Days Author: Sara Leach Illustrator: Rebecca Bender Publisher: Pajama Press

“Lauren, who has autism spectrum disorder, is back for a second outing following Slug Days (2017)….A scratchy dress, a little vomit, and an accidental fall into the calves’ stall will all get in the way, although Lauren’s dislike of new situations and a bad case of stage fright are the biggest challenges. Lauren relates her prickly feelings in a believably forthright voice that offers readers welcome insight into her perspective….

Bender’s soft, gentle illustrations expand and illuminate Lauren’s narrative. Plenty of white space and short chapters make this empathetic effort extra accessible to a broad audience….

Another fine and enlightening peek into Lauren’s unique, often challenging world that displays her differences but highlights the needs she shares with all children: love, acceptance and friendship. (Fiction. 5-9)”

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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 says Waiting for Sophie is “full of child-like imagination and silliness.”

Posted on November 6th, 2018 by pajamapress

Brigham Young University, Children’s Book & Media Reviews

“Waiting for Sophie is ideal for a young reader who is transitioning to reading chapter books. Full of child-like imagination and silliness, Liam keeps the reader entertained as he goes on adventures with his family right at home. Although this book would be especially relatable to a soon-to-be big brother or sister, it can teach any child the importance of patience when waiting. Each page is adorned with colorful illustrations.”

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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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Kiss the Book rates the audience appeal for Timo Goes Camping as “HIGH”

Posted on August 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Timo Goes Camping Author: Victoria Allenby Illustrator: Dean GriffithsBUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) – ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH …

This early chapter book is a great read about planning ahead, taking notes, and being nice to your friends. The illustrations are so beautiful, this is a nice series.”

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Timo's Party “hits on some wonderful themes for young readers” says School Library Journal

Posted on May 31st, 2018 by pajamapress

timosparty_website“This second beginning chapter book to feature Timo and his friends hits on some wonderful themes for young readers. In addition to displaying kindness and friendship, the narrative deals with courage and anxiety in a way that children can understand and potentially identify within themselves. There are just enough colorful illustrations to make the text less intimidating for those beginning to read independently, and it concludes with an Apple Banana Cake recipe….[A] solid addition to beginner chapter books.”
–Shana Shea, Windsor Public Library, CT

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Timo Goes Camping is an “engaging and thoughtful chapter book” says Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Posted on May 30th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Timo Goes Camping Author: Victoria Allenby Illustrator: Dean Griffiths“In this engaging and thoughtful chapter book Timo the rabbit has an adventure with his friends and the trip challenges them in many ways. Timo is forced out of his comfort zone and in the end this turns out to be a good thing.”
—Marya Jansen-Gruber

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