Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘non-fiction’

Vegbooks recommends Elephant Journey by Rob Laidlaw and Brian Deines

Posted on March 3rd, 2016 by pajamapress

“Rob Laidlaw, one of my favorite children’s authors covering animal protection topics, recently released his latest title, Elephant Journey, which follows Toka, Thika, and Iringa in their travels and experiences. (I received a copy of this book to review.)

ElephantJourney_Website…This lifelong journey to sanctuary was no small feat, and the majority of the book’s pages focus on the last leg of the journey from the zoo to California: the fabrication of special transport units, the Canadian-US border crossing, and overcoming mountainous, snowy terrain. Subdued oil paintings by Brian Deines based on actual footage from the trip make this a calm, easy-to-follow and hopeful storyline. And this wouldn’t be a Laidlaw title unless their was some science, which comes in the form of an index, photographs and additional information at the end of the book.

So much of what PAWS does goes without the recognition it deserves. This 40-page book does a beautiful job of telling a powerful story that demonstrates why sanctuaries, animal activists, and nonprofits are so important: because they help real animals who have endured so much, like Toka, Thika, and Iringa, and are making great strides towards creating a world free from harm, free of captivity.

Recommended.”

Click here to read the full review.

Kirkus Reviews praises “heartfelt picture book” A Year of Borrowed Men

Posted on January 22nd, 2016 by pajamapress

A Year of Borrowed Men | Michelle Barker & Renné Benoit | Pajama Press“A tender memoir of human decency during wartime as seen through the eyes of the author’s then-8-year-old mother. The setting for Barker’s story is rural Germany toward the end of World War II. Her mother’s family has been sent three French prisoners of war to help at the farm, as German menfolk were in short supply. These are the borrowed men. “When the war was over, we would have to give them back.” This sentence, early on, conveys the youthful sense of fairness that permeates the book: the Frenchmen should be treated with respect, fed well, allowed to celebrate holidays. Barker’s grandmother did just so and quickly learned she would be imprisoned if she continued….Readers will learn some French and German, get a look at life on a farm during wartime, and get the slightest bitter taste of how war changes people: the village policeman used to be kind, ‘but since the war began, he had changed, and we knew enough to be afraid of him.’ An author’s note reveals that Barker’s grandfather would not return from war, nor would her uncle, who is an important character of the story. The addition of old family photos from that time is poignant. This heartfelt picture book helps readers appreciate wartime’s toll.”

Elephant Journey a 49th Shelf Favourite Picture Book of 2015

Posted on December 14th, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“This book captures the real-life journey of three elephants from the Toronto Zoo to their new home at an animal sanctuary in California, the story also framing the difficulties of wild animals in captivity and our changing understanding of zoos and their purposes. From acclimatizing the elephants to their travel crates, to transporting the crates by crane onto transport trucks, and then those transport trucks’ long, winding journey across the continent (which includes the drivers dousing the wheels with water as the brakes start to overheat while they’re climbing up and down mountains in Utah and Nevada), Laidlaw’s words and Deines’ illustrations work perfectly together to bring this tale to life.”

Click here to read the full post.

Seven Metroland Media outlets recommend Elephant Journey

Posted on December 14th, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“A heartwarming nature adventure for children, Elephant Journey: The True Story of Three Zoo Elephants and their Rescue from Captivity chronicles the steps in relocating the last three surviving elephants at the Toronto Zoo to their more appropriate home at the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California.

Rob Laidlaw, author and founder of Zoocheck, has written an entertaining account of this journey for young children where he shows how the less than an acre enclosure, with Canadian winters, was nothing like the native African home the animals should be enjoying.

After considerable work and effort by many people, the three elephants—Toka, Thika and Iringa—were transported to a much more suitable and healthier place. The PAWS sanctuary boasts “eighty acres of natural land” where the animals can explore “hills, trees, streams, and grasslands” compared to the “barely one acre of mostly barren ground” in Toronto the animals were forced to endure for years.

At the end of the inspirational story the author has included information about elephants and the dramatic events that resulted in their rescue and better life at the PAWS sanctuary.

Complemented with excellent illustrations by Brian Deines and photographs, Elephant Journey is an important book, with an important message, that parents, teachers and other educators would be wise to share with their children.”

This review was published in:

Inside Halton
Our Windsor
MuskokaRegion.com
DurhamRegion.com
NorthBayNipissing.com
ParrySound.com
Simcoe.com

Elephant Journey is an important book.”—CM Magazine

Posted on December 14th, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“…Elephant Journey is an important book. For those who grew up with the elephants at the zoo, for those who only visited Toko, Thika, and Iringa once or twice, or for those who have never had (and may never have) a chance to experience the elephant exhibit in Toronto, this book is a worthwhile read. It’s a positive look at the decisions made by activists in both Canada and the US to help the elephants live a happier and healthier life, and it’s an fascinating look at the incredible journey the elephants made to reach their new home in California.

Highly Recommended.”

Click here to read the full review.

Elephant Journey “An appealing animal-rescue book”—Booklist

Posted on December 14th, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“Toka, Iringa, and Thika, three female elephants at the Toronto Zoo, showed signs of illness, people became concerned about their living in a cold climate with so little room to roam. In a clearly written narrative, Laidlaw explains how the three elephants were moved from the zoo to an animal sanctuary in California. Led into crates that were loaded onto a flatbed trailer, the elephants made the long journey west, where they were greeted by other elephants and released onto an 80-acre preserve of grasslands with hills, trees, and streams. Based on photos of the elephants’ journey, Deines’ oil paintings illustrate the text very effectively. An animal-rights activist and the author of children’s books such as Saving Lives and Changing Hearts: Animal Sanctuaries and Rescue Centers (2013) and Wild Animals in Captivity (2008), Laidlaw mentions his personal involvement in the project in the four-page appended section. Illustrated with color photos, this section comments on elephants in general as well as the facts behind the narrative. An appealing animal-rescue book.”

— Carolyn Phelan

Click here to read the review on BooklistOnline.com

Elephant journey “brings complex issues of animal protection to life”—Pickle Me This

Posted on November 6th, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_InternetElephant Journey: The True Story of Three Zoo Elephants and their Rescue from Captivity, by Rob Laidlaw and Brian Deines, is a fantastic non-fiction book that uses the power of narrative (and the award-winning Deines’ gorgeous illustrations) to bring complex issues of animal protection to life…

…Four pages of photographs, fact boxes and additional text add context and background to Laidlaw’s story, though the book stands well enough on its own without it. It’s a harrowing story with a most hopeful ending, and will make a definite impression on readers of all ages.”
—Kerry Clare

Click here to read the full review.

 

Sal’s Fiction Addiction praises “compelling” Elephant Journey

Posted on October 23rd, 2015 by pajamapress

ElephantJourney_Internet“I have long admired the work that Rob Laidlaw does to help protect wild animals from the indignity of being held captive, whether by a circus or a zoo. His books for children have informed, enlightened and encouraged readers to get involved in making a difference in the life of any animal.

In his newest book Rob tells the story of three elephants from the Toronto Zoo who are eventually moved to a healthier place, where they might live their lives as they were meant to be lived. Their story is compelling and caused a lot of anxiety for those who love animals.

…Brian Deines’ fabulous oil paintings chronicle their trip. His paintings were made using footage from the trip, and accurately portray for interested readers the joy and bravery of these magnificent pachyderms as they journeyed across a vast land to a more suitable home.

Back matter includes clear and appealing photographs, captioned with accurate and much appreciated further information. An Acknowledgements section, and an index can also be found there…”
—Sally Bender

Click here to read the full review.

New Animated Trailer for Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World

Posted on October 30th, 2014 by pajamapress

Watch Celia Godkin’s peregrine falcons swoop and dive in the new animated book trailer for Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World.

Animations by Maryna Nekrasova

Cat Champions nominated for the Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award

Posted on October 16th, 2014 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is proud to announce that Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends has been nominated for the 2015 Forest of Reading Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award.

CatChampionsAn inspiring book by biologist and animal activist Rob Laidlaw, Cat Champions is the companion book to No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs, which won the same award in 2013. Both titles explore the challenges facing animals around the world and the remarkable ways in which young “Cat Champions” and “Dog Champions” are helping them. Readers are encouraged and empowered to make a difference, too.

Since its publication in the fall of 2013 Cat Champions has also been nominated for the Red Cedar Book Award and the Hackmatack Award, and has been a Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection and a Resource Links “The Year’s Best” selection.

The Forest of Reading, run by the Ontario Library Association, is the largest recreational reading program in Canada. Over the next several month, more than 250,000 participants will read a shortlist of books nominated for their age range and vote for their favourite. We are honoured to once again take part in this important initiative.