Posted on December 1st, 2013 by pajamapress
“Nat the cat is an expert sleeper…most of the time.
In the morning, the humans in the family bump and clatter and honk and hurry, but from somewhere comes a snore. Who could that be? It’s Nat the orange tabby cat; he can apparently sleep anywhere. “Flopping halfway off a shelf, / Folded over on himself, // With his paws all tucked inside, / Or with limbs flung open wide— / Nat the cat can sleep like that!” He can sleep through anything and almost anywhere—but when night comes and the house is quiet, Nat springs into action; he can never sleep through the night. And his humans probably don’t either, since Nat plays with someone’s toes in bed, races down a shadowy hallway and even rides a hobbyhorse. Canadians Allenby and Anderson have captured a cat any young ailurophile will recognize. The simple rhyming text listing the odd (yet realistic) places Nat can sleep during the daytime and all the silly mischief he and his black-and-white kitten sidekick get up to at night will hook young listeners. The watercolor, acrylic and pencil illustrations of floppy, goggle-eyed Nat and his buddy are a just-right pairing.
Good kitty fun that will demand repeated reads. (Picture book. 3-6)”
Posted on November 13th, 2013 by pajamapress
“Tweezle is tired of being the baby monster of the family. He’s a big boy now—and has some not-so-helpful ways of showing it!
McLellan and Griffiths’ previous work, Hoogie in the Middle (2013), had middle monster Hoogie feeling invisible and frustrated. Now Tweezle takes a stand against his birth order. Everyone calls him “little,” but he wants to do something BIG. He tries to help in the kitchen, but the dishes crash to the floor. He tries to help outdoors, but he ends up knocking everything over in the shed. His sisters shout at him: “You’re the lint at the bottom of my pocket!” and “The mud on the bottom of my sneakers!” After this, little Tweezle mysteriously goes missing. His family finds him helping a baby bird that has fallen from the nest. Tweezle has had a big idea after all.Although furry, green and whiskered, Tweezle shares many commonalities with toddlers who are gaining independence. Older siblings in particular will recognize the ways Tweezle’s good intentions sometimes work against him.
…[T]his tale about an endearing monster family spotlights some very real moments of childhood growth. (Picture book. 3-6)”
Posted on May 8th, 2013 by pajamapress
“Writing in free verse from the perspective of 15-year-old Nixon ‘Nix’ Humboldt, acclaimed Canadian author MacLean (Home Truths, 2010, etc.) presents an intriguing coming-of-age story set in rural Newfoundland and centered on the love-hate relationship between siblings.
Quiet and a bit of a loner, Nix takes respite from the taunting of class bullies and from bearing the occasional brunt of his gregarious older sister Roxy’s wrath by helping out in his father’s woodworking shop, where the various boxes, frames and birdhouses he creates help to express the inner feelings he often has difficulty verbalizing. Sixteen-year-old Roxy, on the other hand, drives her teenage angst outward by pursuing the most popular (though shady) senior in high school, experimenting with alcohol and repeatedly defying her parents’ wishes. Where Nix admits “The first time / I came across the word / introversion / was the first time / I recognized myself,” Roxy struggles to come to terms with who she is, appearing at one point in Nix’s estimation both “overfed and ravenous / cranky and smug / hyper and exhausted” after blowing her curfew one night. And yet the siblings’ deep-seated love for each other cannot be denied when tested by their overprotective parents, immature classmates or in the wake of grave tragedy.
Well-crafted and intense, an engrossing family drama in which both young and old learn what it means to grow up. (Verse novel. 12 & up)”