Pendziwol, Jean E. 1965-

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Pendziwol, Jean E. 1965-

Personal

Born 1965, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada; married; husband's name Richard; children: Erin, Colin, Ryan.

Addresses

Home—Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Author and storyteller. Worked for a printing company and an advertising agency; freelance writer and photographer.

Writings

No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons), illustrated by Martine Gourbault, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.

Dawn Watch, illustrated by Nicolas Debon, Douglas & McIntyre/Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.

The Red Sash, illustrated by Nicolas Debon, Anansi/Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

A Treasure at Sea for Dragon and Me: Water Safety for Kids (and Dragons), illustrated by Martine Gourbault, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Once upon a Dragon: Stranger Safety for Kids (and Dragons), illustrated by Martine Gourbault, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

The Tale of Sir Dragon: Bullying Strategies for Kids (and Dragons), illustrated by Martine Gourbault, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2007.

Sidelights

Canadian author and storyteller Jean E. Pendziwol has published a number of books for young readers, including Dawn Watch and The Red Sash. Pendziwol made her literary debut in 1999 with No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons), "a fine non-didactic and ‘non-frightening’ book to use in teaching fire safety to young children," according to Dave Jenkinson in Canadian Review of Materials. After a young girl meets a friendly dragon at the beach, she invites her new fire-breathing friend back to her home for tea. All is well until the dragon sneezes, causing him to spew flames from his nostrils that set the girl's house ablaze. While the dragon panics and tries to hide from the fire, the little girl, who has been trained to handle emergencies, takes the necessary steps to get them both safely outdoors. Booklist contributor Lauren Peterson complimented Pendziwol's "lively rhyming text, which ends with a catchy fire safety poem that kids can easily memorize." Racquel Holladay, writing in Childhood Education, noted that the entertaining book "will definitely heighten children's awareness of fire safety."

The little girl and her amiable companion make a return appearance in A Treasure at Sea for Dragon and Me: Water Safety for Kids (and Dragons). During an outing to the beach, the friends pretend to be pirates searching for buried treasure. When the dragon recklessly dives into shallow water and swims beyond the designated safety zone, the girl, her father, and a lifeguard work together to teach the creature some valuable lessons. According to School Library Journal reviewer Judith Constantinides, Penziwol's book addresses "an important topic for which there is a scarcity of easy material." In Once upon a Dragon: Stranger Safety for Kids (and Dragons) the two friends enter a fairy-tale world where they are tempted by such characters as the Big Bad Wolf and the witch from "Hansel and Gretel." Though the dragon is all too willing to accept the strangers' offerings, the little girl manages to steer him out of harm's way. "In rhyming text, this book introduces important messages about personal safety without being alarmist," noted Linda Berezowski in a review of Once upon a Dragon for Resource Links.

A girl and her father take a sailing trip across Lake Superior in Dawn Watch, "an evocative view of an elemental experience," according to Booklist contributor Gillian Engberg. As they cross the water, the pair basks in the beauty of the night sky. Just before daybreak, the father heads briefly to the cabin, leaving his daughter to keep watch for ships and lights. The youngster imagines all sorts of dangers, including pirates and sea monsters, but her fears vanish once she spies land. "The lyrical, first-person narrative quietly captures the wonder of the universe during a late-night journey," Shawn Brommer observed in School Library Journal.

Set in the early nineteenth century, The Red Sash provides a glimpse into the lives of Canadian fur traders, known as voyageurs, through the eyes of a young Metis

boy. Living near Fort William, a major British trading post, the boy longs to be just like his father, who, like all voyageurs, is a skilled and respected canoeist who can be identified by the red sash he wears. When another trader damages his canoe in a squall, the boy gets an opportunity to prove his worth. "Historically accurate, this story is full of interesting details that add to its authenticity," School Library Journal reviewer Robyn Walker commented. Writing in Horn Book, Joanna Rudge Long similarly noted that in The Red Sash "Pendziwol gives just enough detail for a real sense of this long-ago way of life."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 1999, Lauren Peterson, review of No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons), p. 982; November 1, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Dawn Watch, p. 493; April 15, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of A Treasure at Sea for Dragon and Me: Water Safety for Kids (and Dragons), p. 1458; December 1, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of The Red Sash, p. 55; May 15, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Once upon a Dragon, p. 52.

Canadian Review of Materials, October 29, 1999, Dave Jenkinson, review of No Dragons for Tea.

Childhood Education, fall, 1999, Racquel Holladay, review of No Dragons for Tea, p. 45.

Horn Book, January-February, 2006, Joanna Rudge Long, review of The Red Sash, p. 69.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2004, review of Dawn Watch, p. 966; September 1, 2005, review of The Red Sash, p. 980.

Resource Links, June, 1999, Shirley Lewis, review of A Treasure at Sea for Dragon and Me, p. 6; June, 2005, Linda Ludke, review of No Dragons for Tea, p. 8; December, 2005, Victoria Pennell, review of The Red Sash, p. 7; April, 2006, Linda Berezowski, review of Once upon a Dragon, p. 9.

School Library Journal, December, 2004, Shawn Brommer, review of Dawn Watch, p. 117; July, 2005, Judith Constantinides, review of A Treasure at Sea for Dragon and Me, p. 91; January, 2006, Robyn Walker, review of The Red Sash, p. 111; June, 2006, Lisa Gangemi Kropp, review of Once upon a Dragon, p. 124.

ONLINE

Groundwood Books Web site,http://www.groundwoodbooks.com/ (January 21, 2007), "Jean E. Pendziwol."