This is me (Joanne C. Hillhouse) when I was rocking my cornrowed’fro-hawk. I’m reading from Ashley Bryan’s Dancing Granny under the Western Union children’s tent at the 2010 Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival. As I’m not myself a writer of children’s books but often get asked to read to children (perhaps because of my work with the Cushion Club and Wadadli Pen, and the fact that my first book is entitled The Boy from Willow Bend, who knows?). It’s a privilege and I embrace it when I can. But it means that I often have to draw on the writings of actual children’s writers…sometimes past Wadadli Pen stories…sometimes the writings of talents like Philip Sherlock and Ashley Bryan, since they’re both good for an anansi tale or two. When I’m reading, I lose myself in the story (and I have to credit the time reading to kids at the Cushion Club for making me comfortable with looking and acting like a fool in service to the story) and so I rapped the rapping parts while they kept the beat. It was a fun day.
It’s not clear if there will be an ABILF 2012 but I hope there is, even a children’s literary fair if not a full on festival as a reminder to the kids that reading is not only fundamental, it’s also fun.
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Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it,
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