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Community Soup has “the perfect ingredients”—Canadian Children’s Book News

Posted on February 20th, 2014 by pajamapress

CommunitySoup_LR“It’s soup day at a Kenyan schoolhouse. While the teachers stir the broth, the children gather vegetables from the community garden. All except for one. Little Kioni is looking for her missing herd of goats, only to discover that they have followed her to school and are now wreaking havoc in the garden.  A frustrated Kioni announces, ‘These pesky goats make me so mad… I’d like to put them in the soup.’ This statement turns out to be a ‘eureka’ moment in that the wayward goats do make a contribution to the soup… with their milk!

Alma Fullerton has incorporated the perfect ingredients to create an engaging and charming picture book. With its conversational tone, including a dash of questions and exclamations, Community Soup makes for an excellent read-aloud. One section is similar to ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’ which adds to the fun: ‘Kioni has a herd of goats/with hair of calico./And everywhere Kioni goes,/those goats are sure to —/ GO!’

Fullerton’s colourful three-dimensional art, which integrates paper sculpture and mixed media collage, draws readers into that lovely far-away community garden where cooperation, sharing, and commitment are so very important. One can almost feel the textures emanate off the pages. And, as a bonus, a recipe for pumpkin vegetable soup is included…”
—Senta Ross

New reviews of Cat Champions

Posted on February 18th, 2014 by pajamapress

CatChampionsRob Laidlaw’s Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends is getting attention on both sides of the border as the US publication date approaches. Here are some of the things reviewers have had to say:

“Far from being tragic,…the book offers a powerful message: that young people can make a difference…As a library worker, I want to put this book in the hands of every child who cares deeply about cats. Perhaps another “Cat Champion” will join the effort to make the world a better place for cats.”—Cynthia Parkhill, Information Professional

“A perfect balance between the sometimes tough ‘real-life’ aspects of animals’ lives, and the enjoyable and positive aspects of their lives, whether they be owned, rescued or feral. ‘Cat Champions: Caring for Our Feline Friends’ promises to be as awesome as [Rob Laidlaw’s] previous books.”—CatInformation.net

Click the links above to read the full reviews.

The Year’s Best with Resource Links

Posted on February 7th, 2014 by pajamapress

Resource Links magazine published its list of “The Year’s Best” books  for 2013 this week. Five Pajama Press books made the list:

Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass

Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass

Nix_C_PRINT_Nov13.indd

Nix Minus One by Jill MacLean

The Stowaways by Meghan Marentette

The Stowaways by Meghan Marentette

Cat Champions by Rob Laidlaw

Cat Champions by Rob Laidlaw

Hoogie in the Middle by Stephanie McLellan and Dean Griffiths

Hoogie in the Middle by Stephanie McLellan and Dean Griffiths

Congratulations to our authors and illustrator whose books were recognized.

Check out the full list here.

Sal’s Fiction Addiction suggests The Stowaways for long January nights

Posted on December 18th, 2013 by pajamapress

TheStowaways_C_July14.indd“It’s a great read for the family or for the classroom. There is certainly fun involved, and excitement, and even a bit of tension. What more can we ask?   Long winter nights or January afternoons at school just beg for a fitting story to share. This could be it!”
—Sally Bender

Click here to read the full review.

Graffiti Knight a “gripping page-turner…Highly recommended”—Kirkus Reviews

Posted on December 11th, 2013 by pajamapress

GraffitiKnight_MedThis gripping page-turner set in 1947 East Germany explores the aftereffects of war and occupation.

World War II is over and Germany partitioned among the victors. For most in the Soviet-occupied zone, life is grim and anything but peaceful. Hunger’s a constant companion, trust in short supply. Most despise their Russian masters and even more, the German police—Schupos—who do their bidding. With their elders embittered and broken, friendship sustains 16-year-old narrator Wilm and his friends, Karl and Georg. Pretending to spy on the Schupos blows off steam, but after the Schupos beat up Wilm’s amputee father and Wilm learns of the brutal sexual assault on his sister, Anneliese, the game turns real. Supported by Karl and Georg, Wilm starts by scrawling graffiti calling the Schupos “puppets” and vandalizing police vehicles. Risk-taking proves energizing and deeply satisfying—also addictive and eventually desensitizing. It’s at odds with his growing interest in building bridges. The engineer who mentors him lends him books and encourages his interest, but their connection weakens as Wilm’s acts of sabotage escalate. The authentic setting, compelling characters and taut, suspenseful plot claim attention throughout. Bass refuses to oversimplify human beings. When motivations are tangled and complex, actions, even the best-intended, have unforeseen consequences.

A different kind of war story, highly recommended.

Click Here to visit Kirkus Reviews

The 2013 Pajama Press Annual Book Launch and Art Show

Posted on November 25th, 2013 by pajamapress

On November 7th Pajama Press celebrated nine books published in 2013 at the Annual Pajama Press Book Launch and Art Show, an event Open Book Toronto called one of “the season’s hottest literary events.” The launch included great food, Ontario wine, excellent company, book signings, and walls filled with framed original picture book art.

Thank you to everyone who came out to make the evening wonderful, including authors and illustrators Jill MacLean (Nix Minus One), Sue MacLeod (Namesake), Alma Fullerton (Community Soup), Stephanie McLellan (Hoogie in the Middle, Tweezle into Everything), Karen Bass (Graffiti Knight), Tara Anderson (Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That), Meghan Marentette (The Stowaways), and Rob Laidlaw (Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends). Special thanks to the young Cat

Champions who also came out, to our photographers, and to Claude Viens, chef extraordinaire.

Alma Fullerton and her art. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton and her art. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton, Brian Deines and Rob Laidlaw. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton, Brian Deines and Rob Laidlaw. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton and Gillian O'Reilly. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Alma Fullerton and Gillian O’Reilly. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Alma Fullerton and Jill MacLean. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Alma Fullerton and Jill MacLean. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Brian Deines and Wallace Edwards. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Brian Deines and Wallace Edwards. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Camillia Kahrizi and Kate Edwards. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Camillia Kahrizi and Kate Edwards. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Charlotte Teeple, John Spray and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Charlotte Teeple, John Spray and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Christine Vyhnal, Erika Miklasevics, and Sam and Penny Klarreich.

Christina Vyhnal, Erika Miklasevics, and Sam and Penny Klarreich.

Claude Viens. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Claude Viens. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Dean Griffiths' art. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Dean Griffiths’ art. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Dean Griffiths's The Stowaways "Character Sketch". Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Dean Griffiths’s The Stowaways “Character Sketch”. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Dean Griffiths The Stowaways "Dedication Page". Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Dean Griffiths The Stowaways “Dedication Page”. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Cat Champions, Eddie Nikkifork and Jasmine Polsinelli. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Cat Champions, Eddie Nikkifork and Jasmine Polsinelli. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Emily and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Emily and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Former Fitzhenry & Whiteside crew, Max Arambo, Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Penny Taylor. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Former Fitzhenry & Whiteside crew, Max Arambo, Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Penny Taylor. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Gail Winskill and Claude Viens. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Gail Winskill and Claude Viens. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Gail Winskill giving her speech. Photo credit: Lisa Meyers.

Gail Winskill giving her speech. Photo credit: Lisa Meyers.

Harry Black and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Harry Black and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Jane Glassco and Mary Anne Cree. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Jane Glassco and Mary Anne Cree. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Karen Bass, Martin Gould, Gisela Sherman and Marsha Skrypuch. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Karen Bass, Martin Gould, Gisela Sherman and Marsha Skrypuch. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

The crowd listening to the speech. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

The crowd listening to the speech. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Max Arambo. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Max Arambo. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Meghan Marentette and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Meghan Marentette and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Meghan Marentette. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Meghan Marentette. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

"Or where sunbeams"  by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

“Or where sunbeams” by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Rachel Seigel, Susan Menchinton and Arthur Gale. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Rachel Seigel, Susan Menchinton and Arthur Gale. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Rebecca Bender, Eva and Greg Higgison. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Rebecca Bender, Eva and Greg Higgison. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Staff, authors, illustrators and cat champions. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Staff, authors, illustrators and cat champions. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Sue MacLeod, Jill MacLean and Alma Fullerton. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Sue MacLeod, Jill MacLean and Alma Fullerton. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Tristan, Erin, Sarah and Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Tristan, Erin, Sarah and Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

"When Strange Shadows" by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

“When Strange Shadows” by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

"When the Lights" by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

“When the Lights” by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Aliya Stacey and Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Aliya Stacey and Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Brian Deines. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Brian Deines. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Erin Woods. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Erin Woods. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Gail Winskill, Terry Jones and Liz Sloan. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Gail Winskill, Terry Jones and Liz Sloan. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Karen Bass. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Karen Bass. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Kieran Zierer Clarke. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Kieran Zierer Clarke. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Spectacular launch for The Stowaways in Halifax

Posted on November 21st, 2013 by pajamapress

On Sunday November 17th it was standing room only as 100 reading fans descended on the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia in Halifax to celebrate with Meghan Marentette as she and fellow author Jill MacLean launched their new books.

The Stowaways, Meghan’s debut novel about a family of adventurous mice, has been causing excitement since its release in October. It has been featured in Canadian Family Magazine, on Global Television, and in the Fall 2013 Books for Everybody catalogue. Meghan Marentette has been welcomed enthusiastically by fans at the Pajama Press Fall Book Launch and Art Show, at a special Meet-and-Greet at the flagship Indigo store in downtown Toronto, and—of course—at her Halifax book launch. Click on the thumbnails below to see pictures of that exciting event.

Sal’s Fiction Addiction reviews Cat Champions

Posted on November 20th, 2013 by pajamapress

CatChampions“…the best part of the whole book comes when Mr. Laidlaw describes the ‘champions’ in detailed profiles, for the work they do to ensure that cats are safe, well fed and loved…There are ideas galore that can be shared to help improve the lives of the many kittens and cats that are in need of help throughout the world. Just one of them might appeal to you and your family. Check it out!”

Click here to read the full review.

Waterloo librarian recommends Nix Minus One

Posted on October 21st, 2013 by pajamapress

Nix_C_PRINT_Nov13.indd“You will think about the characters in this book, even when you’re not reading. Animal lovers, especially, won’t be able to put it down.

Note: Nix Minus One is one of 10 works of fiction nominated in the White Pine (Grades 9 – 12) category for the 2014 Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading Awards.”

— Heather Woodley, a collections development librarian with the Region of Waterloo Library.

Click here to read the full review.

The Pajama Press Annual Fall Book Launch and Art Show

Posted on October 18th, 2013 by pajamapress

We are looking forward to welcoming guests and authors and illustrators from across the country to our Annual Fall Book Launch and Art Show on November 7th, 2013. The evening will include refreshments, book sales and signings, and framed art sales from our talented illustrators. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to erinwoods@pajamapress.ca by October 31st. We hope to see you there!

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