Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘illustrations’

Under the Umbrella will be enjoyed by “anyone who dislikes rainy days” says Winnipeg Free Press

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 by pajamapress

undertheumbrella_website“Anyone who dislikes rainy days would enjoy Under the Umbrella by French author Catherine Buquet and illustrated by Marion Arbona…

Arbona’s artwork, in gouache and pencil, is the real highlight of this rhyming story. She is a three-time Governor General’s Award finalist, and her unique illustrations evoke the very feeling of a rain-soaked day. For youngest readers (2-4).”
—Helen Norrie

Click here to read the full review

Resource Links can’t say enough about The Stowaways

Posted on January 27th, 2014 by pajamapress

TheStowaways_C_July14.inddThe Stowaways tells the story of twin brothers, Rory and Morgan Stowaway, and their family, which includes Mama, Papa, Gran, and their little sister, Bimble. They are Weedle mice, and they live next to a Cranberry Bog near Biggle’s farm. Unlike the other Weedle mice around them, The Stowaways have a strong spirit of adventure. At the beginning of the story, the reader learns that Grampa disappeared while on an adventure with Great Aunt Hazel, and is believed to be dead. Consequently, Papa has become extremely cautious and concerned for his family’s safety, limiting their travels and trying to restrain their natural inclination towards adventure. However, this restrictive parenting cannot stop Rory and Gran, who go searching for Grampa after discovering clues relating to his possible whereabouts. When they get captured by humans at the Museum of Natural Curiosity and do not return home, Morgan goes after them without telling Mama and Papa. The result is an exciting adventure that brings the family closer together, reignites all of their adventurous spirit, briefly reunites them with Grampa, and finally, sends them all off into the great unknown when a storm destroys their home.

Marentette has created a lovely world that combines animals and fantasy with humans and reality in an original and lively story. Her writing style is elegant yet conversational. Each character has been given a unique and vibrant personality, and the reader is carried through the story caring for their well-being and excited to see what precarious situations they find themselves in next. Griffiths’ simple, black-and-white illustrations jump off the page and add another dimension to this beautiful book.

There are many potential discussion points for students, which makes this story even more interesting to read. The tensions between family members are well-developed, and display many of the issues that all families face. Papa is overly protective and does not want his family to go on any potentially-dangerous trips; Gran is spunky and strong-minded and does what she pleases; and Rory and Morgan are rivals with a relationship that evolves and improves over the course of the story. There are also tensions between the Stowaway family and the rest of the Weedle mice, who do not understand the family’s desire to go on adventures and mock them for it. In addition, there is the general conflict with humans, who capture mice in order to conduct research on them in laboratories. Marentette’s story is therefore not only charming, but also clever and thought-provoking.”

Rating: E—Excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!

Thematic links: Animals; Mice; Family; Adventure

Caroline Chung

National Reading Campaign praises The Stowaways

Posted on October 22nd, 2013 by pajamapress

TheStowaways_C_July14.indd“The clarion call to adventure is irresistible to a certain kind of mouse. Not since Stuart Little has the heart of a valiant mouse beat quite so fiercely as that of Rory Stowaway in Meghan Marentette’s first novel, The Stowaways. It meets and exceeds all the expectations of a good mouse story, with a well-constructed and self-sufficient mouse world, a teeny-tiny hero set against impossible odds, and an adventure brimming with mystery that scampers from chapter to chapter.”

— Charis Cotter

Click here to read the full review.

Agy Wilson reviews Community Soup

Posted on July 22nd, 2013 by pajamapress

“Fullerton masterfully runs through the paces and emotions of tracking down the pesky, calico haired goats, her illustrations colorful and very tactile. Very different and visually appealing with her mixture of painted and reference materials, cloth and cut outs[.] I really liked the feel of the illustrations.”

—Agy Wilson, author/illustrator

Click here to read the full review.

Ten Reasons Children should not “Graduate” from Picture Books

Posted on September 10th, 2012 by pajamapress

More and more parents are encouraging their kids to move on from picture books, to graduate to early readers and chapter books. They feel that the pictures are a crutch, that the medium is too childish. We disagree. Vehemently.

1. Reading at the highest level possible sounds good, but it’s exhausting. To really enjoy books, kids need to read things that are “too easy” some of the time.

2. Many picture books are not “too easy” at all; they’re written for adults to read aloud to kids. Since they are so comfortable with the picture book medium, kids often pick up these books and practise reading advanced vocabulary without feeling intimidated by it.

3. Pictures help kids make advanced inferences about the text – which lets picture book authors use more advanced sentences and ideas than junior novel writers usually can.

4.The illustrations of a picture book often tell a slightly different story than the text does, which introduces the opportunity for critical thinking, high-level conversations about the book, and good, old-fashioned appreciation for a great story told in an interesting way.

5. Illustrations are often a child’s first introduction to fine art.

6. School children once learned pure information by rote, but now there is just too much information out there. Instead, schools teach kids the skills they need to keep learning on their own. Picture books are specially crafted to foster imagination and critical thinking, which are both essential for this style of learning.

7. Picture books are perfect for shared reading. Everyone knows they are great for giving children and caregivers the chance to cuddle up and share an experience, but the benefits go farther than simple bonding. When you read together, you talk about what you read. When you talk about what you read, you encourage your child’s comprehension skills. So often, kids can read at a much higher level than they can actually comprehend, which makes the entire process simply mechanical. Sharing a book, and talking about it, ensures they are not just reading the words and tuning out the story.

8. Picture books often use rhyme, rhythm, and word play that are great for developing language skills.

9. Picture books are great teaching tools! Visit a classroom and watch how a teacher introduces a new topic, whether it’s frogs, or pioneers, or poverty, or war. He or she will probably gather the students (even older ones), open a picture book, and start to read.

10. People get passionate about picture books! Our favourite stories and characters stay with us all of our lives and make us want to share them with the next generation. Don’t stifle that urge, and don’t limit it to the first few years of life. Picture books are powerful things, so share and share and share!

Don’t Laugh At GiraffeSneak preview on Facebook

Posted on April 18th, 2012 by pajamapress

The giraffe and the bird are making their Facebook debut! Following the success of their first picture book, Giraffe and Bird, the two companions are getting ready to star in its sequel, Don’t Laugh at Giraffe. The two are in a race to see who can get the most “Likes” on his Facebook page before the publication date on May 15, so be sure to click here to support the bird, and click here to support the giraffe!