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Showing posts from October, 2019

[Self-Publishing Journeys] Stacey Alfonso-Mills, Bish Denham, Kellie Magnus, Jo-Anne Mason, Geoffrey Philp

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by Summer Edward
Five self-published children's authors share their personal reflections and sound off on the self-publishing debate.
Early on in my practice as a children's literature blogger, I received an email from Trinbagonian children's author Joanne Gail Johnson that still remains salient in my mind. Johnson, someone who has successfully navigated the traditional publishing path and published several well-received children's books with a major Caribbean publisher, wrote to offer me her opinion on self-publishing.

I had been blogging about Caribbean children's books for a while and would occasionally highlight a self-published book that I thought was valuable for whatever reason. Johnson was not flat-out against self-publishing, but shared her reservations that self-publishing could undermine the development of a serious children's publishing institution. She wrote:

"I resist promoting the idea of self publishing... for now I see that we are circumvent…

[Book Giveaway] Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle

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To celebrate World Poetry Day and International Day of Forests (March 21, 2016), we'll be giving away a copy of Newbery Honoree and Pura Belpré winner Margarita Engle's middle grade to young adult novel, Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal!

Masterfully written in melodic free verse poetry, Silver People "brings to life every bit of Panama, from the horrible working conditions of the islanders, forced to dig the canal for next-to-nothing wages, to the lush forest and wildlife" (School Library Journal). Engle has described the book as "my personal love letter to [the endangered] tropical rain forests." Many thanks to Margarita Engle for generously donating a signed copy of the book.


Quick 'n' Easy Instructions

To be entered into the draw to win, you must fill out and submit the entry form below.Giveaway is open until March 20, 2016 at midnight EST.You must be at least 18 years of age to enter. The winner will be chosen randomly on World Poetry …

[Book List] Caribbean Books for Children to Read on Earth Day

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Today is Earth Day! According to the Earth Day website, the Earth Day campaign is "designed to provide people with the opportunity to unite their voices in a call for a sustainable future." These environmentally-conscious children's books are all set in the Caribbean and can be used to help children and adults alike think about what they can do to help protect and preserve the environment.



1.The Promise of the Pawiby Janice Hernandez, illustrated by Leizelle Guinness
(Lonsdale Saatchi & Saatchi)

Published by the Guardian Wildlife Trust in collaboration with the Asa Wright Nature Centre (Trinidad), The Promise of the Pawi highlights the plight of Trinidad’s only endemic bird, the endangered Trinidad Piping Guan or Pawi. The Promise of the Pawi is aimed at children 4 to 11 and serves a dual purpose – to educate young readers and to raise funds to support the work of the Trust.

2.Beba and Little Sister Island/ Beba y la Isla Nenaby Rafael Landrón, illustrated by Maria Anton…

[Book List] Summer & Fall 2016 Releases- Caribbean Books for Children & YAs

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The year 2016 has already been an interesting year for Caribbean children's and young adult books. The spring release cycle brought us breakout books like Malaika's Costume by Jamaican-Canadian writer Nadia L. Hohn with illustrations by Irene Luxbacher and the YA novel A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry. Another YA debut, Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay, marks the Jamaican's author's first crossover into writing for younger audiences.

There have also been some noteworthy new works from veteran authors, of which Eric Velasquez's picturebook Looking for Bongo and Full Moon Night in Silk Cotton Village: A Collection of Caribbean Folk Tales by John Agard and Grace Nichols with illustrations by Rosie Woods stand out particularly. In February, Agard's typically quirky chapter book Going Batty was also released. Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina already looks to be another triumph for the award-winning Cuban-American author.

With Puerto Rican-American author Da…

[Quiz] How well do you know Caribbean children’s literature?

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Who doesn't love quizzes? We do! It's been a while since we've been itching to create our very own quiz, and now, thanks to Qzzr, we've done just that. Our Children’s Books Trivia Quiz will put your knowledge of Caribbean literature for young readers to the test, covering everything from character names to author trivia to the plots of beloved stories. See how well you know some of the best-loved Caribbean children’s books around, and don’t forget to share your results on Facebook and Twitter afterwards.





[Excerpt] Coming to England by Floella Benjamin

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Revisiting the classic book twenty years later.


A few years ago, I had the rare experience of speaking with Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE via telephone for a two-part interviewAnansesem ran in our May 2012 issue. It was a conversation I will never forget. We talked at length about her books for young people and her work championing causes close to her heart: children's rights; diversity and inclusion; young people's online safety. One of the things I remember most about that talk is the emotion in Benjamin's voice as she spoke about her experiences as a black immigrant child during England's "Windrush era". Decades after setting off on a ship to a new land, that classic immigrant's journey still informs the person Benjamin is; indeed, it has shaped her into the outspoken advocate for immigrant children that we know her as today.

In 1995, Benjamin published her classic memoir Coming to England recounting her childhood in Trinidad, immigration to England in…