I started putting together a list a list of books by Antiguan and Barbudan authors and books about Antigua and Barbuda back in 2005 for the Independence literary arts exhibition at the national Museum; I’ve been editing and updating it ever since. It includes books by Antiguan and Barbudan writers, both born and adopted, as well books by Antiguan descendents born elsewhere; some with non-specific connections to the island who feature Antigua prominently in their writings may also make the cut. I’m just trying to make it as complete as possible. Any errors and/or omissions are unintentional. Just let me know and I’ll do the research and add them. Before you do, though, check the main list ‘Antiguan and Barbudan Writers’ for the complete listing as writers writing in more than one genre are listed only twice, so far: in one of the genre lists and the main list. Use the site’s search feature to find fiction, non fiction, children’s fiction, poetry and the main list of Antiguan and Barbudan writing. In any case, it should be noted that the list is not exhaustive as, solely at my discretion, I’ve limited it to writers with a book or CD, and have omitted publication in journals and/or periodicals purely as a matter of containment. I’ve since started separate lists for journal publications, Reviews of published works, song lyricists, screenwriters and playwrights. I will continue to build on these incomplete lists time allowing. And, before you ask, no I have not read them all…can’t promise that I will read them all. So, this is not a list of recommended reading from Antigua and Barbuda; rather, more broadly every book in the stated genre that could arguably qualify as Antiguan and Barbudan writing (do your own research re the quality of the books listed here and feel free to search the site for reviews of Antiguan and Barbudan books for those books that have received critical treatment). Finally, no problem with people utilizing or sharing the list, but a lot of time went into doing this, so please give credit where due and link back . Thanks. Which reminds me, on the point of giving credit where due, I discovered some of the books on this list via this photogallery.
Name: Kishma Anthony
About the Book: This book chronicles the thought process of a precocious little boy named Dylan, who was terribly afraid of going to the doctor to get shots. There was a special nurse named Nurse Jennie, who always helped to calm Dylan’s fear about having to get a shot from the doctor. Nurse Jennie genuinely loved children, she played with puppets and made funny animated animal sounds, to help to distract children from the fear of having to get a shot from the doctor. The book also helps to emphasize the importance of nurses in healthcare and the pivotal role that they play in the lives of those they provide care for.
About the Author: Kishma Anthony was born in St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands to Antiguan parents. As a child, Kishma’s love for the arts developed as she participated in several plays as a part of her school’s Communication Arts Showcase program. She enjoys using the creativity of voice in bringing to life the characters in the children’s books that she reads. Her earlier work as a child care provider in the Atlanta area helped to foster the unequivocal love and admiration that she has for children. Kishma is currently working towards a Master of Healthcare Administration degree. Her past experience working with children and her current educational pursuit naturally led to writing a series of books for children that addresses medical concerns. In her spare time, she enjoys having fun, spending quality time with family and close friends, and writing more about Dylan and his experiences.
Name: Zavian Archibald (illustrator)
Book: Fish Outta Water [w/author Joanne C. Hillhouse]. Pearson. UK. 2013.
About the Book: Meet Dolphin, the Arctic seal. Dolphin loves hearing tales of the Caribbean, but how will he fare when he finds himself on his very own Caribbean adventure? Will he finally get to meet a real dolphin?
About the Illustrator: Zavian Archibald is an Antiguan and Barbudan visual arts teacher, and freelance illustrator and concept artist. She studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Name: Barbara Arrindell.
Antigua my Antigua [w/illustrations by Edison Liburd]. 2011.
About the Books: The stories in Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Antiguan Stories are fictionalized retellings of Antigua’s legends and stories as told through the eyes of well know historical figures; and Antigua My Antigua is a colouring and activity book featuring sites of interest in Antigua and Barbuda. Barbara Arrindell is responsible for the concept, wording, and original design while the final illustrations and sketches are the work of Artist Edison Liburd.
About the Author: Barbara Arrindell is the manager of the Best of Books bookstore in Antigua and former coordinator of the Independence Literary Arts Committee among other things.
Name: Victoria Benjamin
Book: Island Girl. XLIBRIS. 2013.
About the Book: Growing up on the island of Antigua in the village of Swetes, with her brothers and sisters and relatives has left lots of memories in Victoria’s mind. Some of the memories are great and there are some that Victoria is uncomfortable with. She shares all in Island Girl.
About the Author: Dr. Victoria Benjamin is a Reading/Literacy Coach. She holds a bachelors degree in Sociology form Lehman College in the Bronx, New York. She also holds a masters degree in Elementary from the City College of New York and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Sarasota.
Name: Deshawn J Browne
Book: The Little Rude Boys/Girls. 2010. Dr. Noel Howell (publisher). Antigua.
Name: Ashley Bryan (author and illustrator)
- Ashley Bryan, third from left, with, left to right, Edward Albee, Nora Ephron, and Salman Rushdie – co-honourees at a New York Public Library event
Can’t Scare Me! Atheneum. USA. 2013.
Who Built the Stable? – A Nativity Poem. Atheneum. USA. 2012.
I’m Going to Sing: Black American Spirituals, Volume Two. Alazar Press. USA. 2012.
Walk together Children: African American Spirituals, Volume One. Alazar Press. USA. 2012.
A Nativity Poem. All Things Bright and Beautiful [w/illustrator with Cecil F. Alexander]. Atheneum. USA. 2010.
Poems and Folktales (preloaded digital audio player). Findaway World. USA. 2010.
Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song. Atheneum. USA. 2009.
Ashley Bryan: Poems and Folktales. Audio Bookshelf. USA. 2007.
My America [as illustrator w/Jan Spivey Gilchrist]. HarperCollins. USA. 2007.
Let it Shine. Atheneum. USA. 2007.
Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan [as illustrator w/Nikki Giovanni and Darwin Henderson]. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. USA. 2005.
A Nest Full of Stars: Poems [as illustrator w/James Berry]. Greenwillow Books. USA. 2004.
All Night, All Day: A Children’s First Book of African American Spirituals. Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing. USA. 2003.
Ashley Bryan’s ABC of African Poetry. Atheneum. USA. 2001.
Salting the Ocean: One Hundred Poems by Young Poets [illustrator w/ Naomi Shihab Nye]. Greenwillow Books. USA. 2000.
I, too, Sing America: 3 Centuries of African American Poetry [as editor and narrator w/Catherine Clinton and Renee Joshua-Porter]. Audio Bookshelf. USA. 2000.
How God Fix Jonah [as illustrator w/Lorenz Graham]. Boyds Mills Press. USA. 2000.
Why Leopard has Spots: Dan Stories from Liberia (World Stories) [w/Margaret H. Lippert and Won-Ldy Paye]. Fulcrum Publishing. USA. 1999.
Aneesa Lee and the Weaver’s Gift [as illustrator w/Nikki Grimes]. HarperCollins. USA. 1999.
The Night Has Ears: African Proverbs. Atheneum. USA. 1999.
The House with No Door: African Riddle Poems [as illustrator w/Brian Swann]. HMH Books for Young Readers. USA. 1998.
Ashley Bryan’s African Tales, Uh-Huh. Atheneum. USA. 1998.
What a Wonderful World [as illustrator w/George David Weiss and Bob Thiele]. Atheneum. USA. 1995.
The Story of the Three Kingdoms [as illustrator w/Walter Dean Myers]. HarperCollins. USA. 1995.
Ashley Bryan: Poems and Folktales. Audio Bookshelf. USA. 1994.
Lion and the Ostrich Chicks (audio cassette). Harcourt Brace and Company. USA. 1994.
Christmas Gif’ [as illustrator w/Joseph Rollins and Charlemae Rollins]. HarperCollins. USA. 1993.
The Story of Lightening and Thunder. Atheneum. USA. 1993. Aladdin. USA. 1999.
The Ox of the Wonderful Horns and other African Folktales. Atheneum. 1993.
Turtle Knows Your Name. Atheneum. USA. 1989. Aladdin. USA. 1993.
Sing to the Sun. HarperCollins. USA. 1992.
Climbing Jacob’s Ladder: Heroes of the Bible in African-American Spirituals [as illustrator with John Langstaff]. Margaret K. McElderry Books. USA. 1991.
The Dancing Granny. Caedmon Audio Cassette. USA. 1989.
Pourquoi Tales: The Cat’s Purr, Why Frog and Snake Never Play Together, Fire Bringer. Houghton Mifflin School. USA. 1989.
What A Morning: The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals [illustrator w/John Langstaff]. USA. Margaret K. McEldery Books. 1987. & Aladdin. 1996.
Lion and the Ostrich Chicks: and Other African Poems. Aladdin Paperbacks, Simon & Schuster. USA. 1986. Aladdin. USA. 1996.
The Cat’s Purr. Atheneum. USA. 1985. Macmillan/McGraw-Hill School Publication Co. USA. 1993.
I’m going to Sing (Black American Spirituals, Vol. 2). Atheneum. 1982.
Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum. Atheneum. USA. 1980, 1987.
Jethro and the Jumbie [w/co-author Susan Cooper]. Atheneum. USA. 1979.
Jim Flying High [as illustrator w/Mari Evans].Doubleday. USA. 1979.
I Greet the Dawn: Poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar [as illustrator and editor]. Atheneum. USA. 1978.
The Adventures of Aku. Atheneum. USA. 1976.
Walk Together Children. Marcel Dekker. USA. 1974.
Moon, for what do you wait? (Poems by Tagore) [as illustrator w/Rabindranath Tagore]. Atheneum. USA. 1967.
About the Books:
Can’t Scare Me! – A cautionary tale of fearlessness and many-headed monsters.
Who Built the Stable? – A Nativity Poem – Riding in an open Jeep across the plains of Africa, Bryan found himself comparing the terrain to Jerusalem, and the bumpy journey to that of Mary’s travel on a donkey. And he came up with a question: Who built the manger where Mary and Joseph found shelter? The answer is conveyed in this beautifully crafted picture book that envisions a young boy, a shepherd and carpenter both, who, out of love and kindness, cleared the way for another shepherd and carpenter to be born on Christmas day.
Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song – Ashley’s autobiography is full of art, photographs, and the poignant never-say-never tale of his rich life, a life that has always included drawing and painting. Even as a boy growing up during the Depression, he painted — finding cast off objects to turn into books and kites and toy and art. Even as a solder in the segregated Army on the beaches of Normandy, he sketched — keeping charcoal crayons and paper in his gasmask to draw with during lulls. Even as a talented, visionary art student who was accepted and then turned away from college upon arrival, the school telling Ashley that to give a scholarship to an African American student would be a waste, he painted — continuing to create art when he could have been discouraged, continuing to polish his talents when his spirit should have been beaten. Ashley went on to become a Hans Christian Anderson Award nominee, a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer, and a multiple Coretta Scott King award winner. As you might imagine, his story is powerful, bursting with his creative energy, and a testament to believing in oneself. It’s a book every child in America should have access to and it does what the very best autobiographies do; it inspires!
My America – Ashley Bryan and Jan Spivey Gilchrist remind that America’s strength and beauty come from the diversity of its people, wildlife, and landscape.
Let it Shine – With a kaleidoscope of color and cut paper, Hans Christian Anderson Award nominee and two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan celebrates three favorite spirituals: “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”
Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan -From “Acknowledgments,” by H. Nichols B. Clark: “Anyone who has met Ashley Bryan will attest that their day has been immeasurably brightened by this encounter. He has touched young and old in so many ways, and his ability to get audiences to chant, stomp, and sing poetry is truly legendary. Ashley’s art is the embodiment of a gesamkunstwerk — where the image, the word, and the music of the word all come to the fore.”
A Nest Full of Stars: Poems – In A Nest Full of Stars, James Berry will take you on a memorable trip through all the startling, humorous, sad, happy, painful, and joyful experiences of growing up.
Beautiful Blackbird – Long ago, Blackbird was voted the most beautiful bird in the forest. The other birds, who were colored red, yellow, blue, and green, were so envious that they begged Blackbird to paint their feathers with a touch of black so they could be beautiful too. Although Black-bird warns them that true beauty comes from within, the other birds persist and soon each is given a ring of black around their neck or a dot of black on their wings — markings that detail birds to this very day. Coretta Scott King Award-winner Ashley Bryan’s adaptation of a tale from the Ila-speaking people of Zambia reso-nates both with rhythm and the tale’s universal meanings — appreciating one’s heritage and discovering the beauty within. His cut-paper artwork is a joy.
All Night, All Day: A Children’s First Book of African American Spirituals -Bryan has selected twenty best-known and best-loved African-American spirituals, including the title song, “All Night, All Day,” and such others as “This Little Light of Mine,” “O When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” Glorious full-color pictures, piano accompaniment, and guitar chords help capture the spirit and essence of these timeless songs that can be enjoyed by people of every age and every level of musical skill.
Ashley Bryan’s ABC of African Poetry – Beautifully illustrated with his own tempera and gouache paintings, Ashley Bryan’s unique alphabet book will delight readers of any age.
Salting the Ocean: One Hundred Poems by Young Poets -There are 100 poems in this book by 100 poets who wrote their poems when they were in grades one through twelve. These poets are not famous. You have not read their poems before. These poets live anywhere. They are now dentists and dancers and teachers and students and construction workers. They write with fire. They could be you.
I, too, Sing America: 3 Centuries of African American Poetry – From the first known African American poet, Lucy Terry, to recent poet laureate Rita Dove, I, TOO, SING AMERICA captures the enormous talent and passion of black writers. This powerful and diverse, this unique collection spans three centuries of poetry in America as poets bare their souls, speak their minds, trace their roots, and proclaim their dreams in the thirty-six poems compiled here. The voices of Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, W. E. B. Dubois, and Gwendolyn Brooks, among others, create an energetic blend of tone and tempo, ardor and awe. From lamentations to celebrations, these poems reveal the ironies of black America, juxtaposing themes of resistance and reconciliation, hope and despair. Each poem is further illuminated with notes, a brief biography of the poet, and stunning visual interpretations.
How God Fix Jonah -“Utterly delightful” is how writer Zora Neal Hurston described this classic book when it was first published in 1946. Long out of print, Lorenz Graham’s beautiful collection of Bible stories, told in the idiom of West Africa, is available again in an expanded edition newly illustrated by Ashley Bryan.
Why Leopard has Spots: Dan Stories from Liberia (World Stories) -Discover why Leopard has spots, and what happens when Mrs. Chicken meets a hungry crocodile. These and other Dan tales are engagingly retold with dramatic black-and-white linoleum prints.
Aneesa Lee and the Weaver’s Gift -Thirteen interrelated poems and as many radiant illustrations create not only a celebration of the ancient art of weaving but a joyful exploration of how love and hard work can mesh separate threads–or separate people–into a harmonious whole.
The Night Has Ears: African Proverbs – Ashley Bryan says, “My mother had a proverb for any situation, attitude, or event.” Having grown up with proverbs, it was no surprise to Mr. Bryan when he began reading African literature to find African proverbs along with African stories. Each proverb here is credited to a specific tribe, yet, as Ashley Bryan explains, most were known in other tribes as well, and are true for people everywhere. This is a book to treasure for its rich universal wisdom and its gloriously evocative illustrations.
Carol of the Brown King – The ways of telling about the very first Christmas are as many and as varied as the stars in the sky. And so it was for Harlem Renaissance literary star Langston Hughes, who recounted those long-ago events in six different ways — in live poems he wrote and in one he translated from the Spanish. In this memorable book, these six poems are simply and movingly illustrated by Ashley Bryan.
The House with No Door: African Riddle Poems – The succinct poetic images in this delightful and often moving collection have been gathered from various African sources by Brian Swann, a preeminent scholar, poet, and collector of riddles from around the globe. Warm and colorful paintings by renowned author-illustrator Ashley Bryan make this book a treasure. There are twenty-two poetic visions to ponder in this noteworthy collection.
Ashley Bryan’s African Tales, Uh-Huh -The fourteen stories in this collection are some of his favorites, previously published in The Ox of the Wonderful Horns; Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum (Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration); and Lion and the Ostrich Chicks (Coretta Scott King Honor Book). Retold with rich, musical narration, and illustrated with Mr. Bryan’s distinctive paintings, these tales are full of fun and magic and a few lessons to be learned. They are tales of tricksters, chieftains, and both wise and foolish creatures. You will learn why Frog and Snake never play together, or why Bush Cow and Elephant are bad friends, or of the problems that a husband has because he likes to count spoonfuls. Although the stories come from many parts of Africa, they are full of the universal human spirit, to be shared and treasured for every generation, uh-huh.
The Sun is So Quiet – The quiet and noisy, wintery and sometimes sunny poems in The Sun Is So Quiet will always make you smile. Nikki Giovanni describes riding rainbows, tiptoeing through strawberry patches, licking chocolaty fingers, snuggling under covers, and many other wonderful childhood moments. Ashley Bryan’s warmest, most colorful illustrations make each page look like a bright, beaming smile.Together, they have created a collection that you can linger over like a peppermint candy cane or enjoy as quickly as a snowflake melts on your nose.
What a Wonderful World – What simpler way could there be to express to children the beauty and the harmony in the world around them than through the lyrics of this song by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, made famous by the great Louis Armstrong? And what better visual accompaniment than the bright colorful artwork by award-winning Ashley Bryan depicting children of many backgrounds (and Louis Armstrong himself) performing a puppet show that brings the lyrics to life. Here is a book of brightness, wonder, and hope to be shared by all.
The Story of the Three Kingdoms – An original fable about the People, who—through the power of their storytelling—came to live at peace with Elephant, Shark, and Hawk, rulers of the Earth, the Sea, and the Air. Bryan’s swirling pictures in bright colors add liveliness.
Christmas Gif’ – The importance of Christmas in African-American life is affirmed in an anthology of poetry and prose by such writers as Harlem Renaissance stars Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston; rereleased with forty-five linoleum block illustrations.
The Story of Lightening and Thunder – In this retelling of a West African tale, Ma Sheep Thunder and her impetuous son Ram Lightning are forced to leave their home on Earth because of the trouble Ram causes.
The Ox of the Wonderful Horns and other African Folktales – “Five lively stories which make delightful reading-aloud. Style and plot provide all kinds of histrionic opportunities for the reader, making it as much fun for him as the listener”.–Publishers Weekly.
Sing to the Sun – Ashley Bryan’s his first book of original poetry; 23 poems and dazzling pictures that speak to the heart and the soul.
Turtle knows Your Name – A young village boy living in the Caribbean has one problem–his name is so long that not one person can remember it. He thinks it is the longest name in the world, until his grandmother asks him to find out her name.
What A Morning: The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals – Five exuberant spirituals, pictured in strong, brilliantly colored paintings, tell the Christmas story chronologically. The music includes simple arrangements for singing and piano and guitar chords. Full-color illustrations
Lion and the Ostrich Chicks: And Other African Poems – Four folktales from different parts of Africa include the title story, in which a clever mongoose outwits a foolish lion while rescuing six ostrich chicks. Coretta Scott King Honor Book.
The Cat’s Purr – Cat and Rat are friends, but when Rat tricks Cat and plays the cat drum, which only cats may play, Cat ends up swallowing the drum, and that is how he got his purr.
I’m Going to Sing: Black American Spirituals, Volume Two – Readers will recognize such popular favorites as “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Each song is accompanied by linocut illustrations.
Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum – Five traditional Nigerian tales include Hen And Frog, Why Bush Cow And Elephant Are Bad Friends, The Husband Who Counted The Spoonfuls, Why Frog And Snake Never Play Together, and How Animals Got Their Tails.
Jethro and the Jumbie – Angry at his brother for not taking him deep-sea fishing, Jethro stomps off, meets a jumbie, and enlists its help in changing his brother’s mind.
Jim Flying High – A proud flying fish named Jim is rescued from a tree by Olukun, the Chief of the Water.
I Greet the Dawn: Poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar – A brief biography of the poet (born in 1872 and one of the first African-American poets to gain national recognition) precedes a collection of his works, most in standard English rather than dialect, with such themes as love, hate, death, nature, and religion.
The Dancing Granny – Spider Ananse gets Granny started dancing so he can raid her garden, but his own trick does him in.
The Adventures of Aku – When sent to retrieve their master’s magic ring from Spider Ananse, Okra the cat and Okraman the dog prove their true worth.
About the author: Ashley Bryan was born in NY to Antiguan parents, grew up during the Depression, served in World War II, and has won numerous awards, including the Coretta Scott King award for illustration, six Coretta Scott King Honours, the Arbuthnot Prize, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. The former Fulbright scholar has also lectured, and lives in Islesford, one of the Cranberry Isles off the coast of Maine.
In the meantime, check out My article on Meeting Ashley Bryan.
Name: Jolyon Byerly
Books:Shadows on the Moon: A Lizard and Bungle Adventure [w/illustrator Katie Shears]. Macmillan. UK.1998.
About the Book: On an island in the Caribbean Sea lives a lizard with an amazing tail. One day while he’s out adventuring with his good friend, the Bungle Bird, a strange object flashes through the sky. What can it be?
About the Author: Jolyon Byerley arrived in Antigua from Norfolk, England in 1957 to work in the yachting industry.
Name: Rachel Collis
About the Book: Part travelogue, part action-adventure, this debut novel is about Michael and his sister Tammy who travel reluctantly with their mother to Montserrat, where she plans to remarry. When their soon-to-be new family member enchants one sibling, the other sibling is filled with bitterness. It’s a long road to becoming a family and an even longer road to embracing his new home and culture.
About the Author: Poet and short fiction writer Rachel Collis lives in Antigua in the West Indies where she works as an analyst for the Ministry of Tourism. As a former teacher and a tourism planner, Collis first began telling the story of Michael and Tammy in weekly installments in the local newspaper to entertain young persons whose activities were curtailed by the eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano on Montserrat in 1995. Collis is also a recording artist who released her first CD album of calypsos and ballads entitled “My Montserrat” in 2000.
Name: Cray Mahalia Francis
Honey Dew’s Carnival Fever. GoldnLia Publishing. USA. 2014.
About the Books:
Ever wonder about the revelry and joy carnival brings to children? Read all about ten-year-old Honey Dew as she explores the rich culture of Antigua and carnival during her summer vacation. When Honey Dew travels back to her native country, Antigua, facing her fears is least on her mind. As carnival draws near, Honey Dew worries that she will not be able to participate in the annual Children’s Carnival due to an unexpected illness. However, through her experiences with sandy shores, mango picking, coal pot baking, and masquerading, inquisitive Honey Dew enjoys a summer vacation that is filled with memorable moments. Above all, she learns to appreciate the people and the land which gives her Carnival Fever. HONEY DEW’S CARNIVAL FEVER is a realistic fiction chapter book written for young readers (ages 7-10) who want to explore themes of culture and diversity, personal narratives, and character traits.
About the Author:
Cray Mahalia Francis, Ed.M. is a native of Antigua and Barbuda, but has lived much of her life in the U.S.A. She’s called The Bronx, in New York, her home for over twenty-five years. There, she has pursued her passions of The Arts through acting and singing, and now, as a writer. She hopes Honey Dew’s Carnival Fever will bring carefree joy to all readers- children and adult alike. Additionally, she wrote this book to serve the purposes of diversity and multi-cultural education- offering a Personal Narrative written from the perspective of an emigrant child. Francis is a graduate of Middlebury College, VT (’05) where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Additionally, Francis has earned a Master Degree in Childhood Education from Mercy College, NY (’08), and a Master of Education in School Building Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, NY (’10). A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, she has been featured as an education expert in the online periodical, Hot Chalk Education Network. Francis lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Name: Melinda Fletcher
Books: The Dancing Pyjamas. AuthorHouse. USA. 2012.
About the Book: The book ‘The Dancing Pyjamas’, was created by Melinda Fletcher to put a friend’s son Dillon to bed. His inability to settle down made her think of a possibility that it may not have been him at all but the pyjamas. Eventually, having formulated the story, she would tell it to him at bed time. She has since told modified versions of ‘The Dancing Pyjamas’ to countless children, all of whom ask for it over and over again.
Name: Carol Faye George
Mari Warner series of environmentally themed comic books e.g. Mari Warner and Recycling (all self-published by the author)
Name: Shannon Gilligan
About the Book: You are on a sailing trip with your family. One night you stop on the island of Antigua. Some children who live there tell you that the island is haunted by a ghost. Are you brave enough for Ghost Island?
About the Author: Shannon Gilligan, to the best of my knowledge has no Antiguan roots or ties; she is listed here as a writer of a work in which Antigua features prominently. She is a writer and interactive game designer. In 2003, Shannon formed Chooseco with R. A. Montgomery to re-launch Choose Your Own Adventure to new generations of readers. She lives in Vermont.
Name: Joanne C. Hillhouse
With Grace [w/illustrator Cherise Harris]. Little Bell Caribbean. New York. 2016.
Musical Youth (2nd Placed for the Burt Award for Teen/Young Adult Caribbean Fiction). Caribbean Reads Publishing. St. Kitts-Nevis/USA. 2014.
Breaking with Tradition in Round My Christmas Tree. Caribbean Reads Publishing. St. Kitts-Nevis/USA. 2014.
Fish Outta Water [w/ illustrator Zavian Archibald]. Pearson. UK. 2013.
About the Book:
With Grace. Grace leads a carefree life in Grace’s Peak, and looks down upon the rest of the villagers who are not as fortunate as she, but when a young girl comes in search of assistance, both lives are forever changed as truths about love, family and community are unearthed.
Musical Youth. Music, Discovery, Love. Can one summer make the difference of a lifetime? Zahara is a loner. She’s brilliant on the guitar but in everyday life she doesn’t really fit in. Then she meets Shaka, himself a musical genius and the first boy who really gets her. They discover that they share a special bond, their passion for music, and Zahara finds herself a part, not just of Shaka’s life, but also that of his boys, the Lion Crew. When they all get roles in a summer musical, Zahara, Shaka, and the rest of the Lion Crew use the opportunity to work on a secret project. But the Crew gets much more than they bargained for when they uncover a dark secret linking Shaka and Zahara’s families and they’re forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about class, colour, and relationships on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Musical Youth placed second in the 2014 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.
Round My Christmas Tree. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas in the Caribbean? Do you know what’s Anansi’s favourite Christmas treat? Have you ever tried stilt-walking? Eaten green carrot cake? Picked sorrel ’til your fingers turned red? In ‘Round My Christmas Tree you’ll find a little bit of everything that makes Christmas Christmas in the Caribbean. Stories, poems, recipes, and art that range from the sacred to irreverent and from heart-warming to just down-right funny. Joanne’s story is about two sisters growing up and growing apart, and how the younger sister’s melancholy over this taints their usual Christmas traditions; while an unexpected gift delivers a happy ending.
Fish Outta Water. Meet Dolphin, the Arctic seal. Dolphin loves hearing tales of the Caribbean, but how will he fare when he finds himself on his very own Caribbean adventure? Will he finally get to meet a real dolphin?
About the Author: Joanne C. Hillhouse, born in Ottos Antigua, is also the author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, and Musical Youth. Her writing also appears in several anthologies.
For more visit the fiction pages and/or http://jhohadli.wordpress.com Joanne C. Hillhouse is the founder of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and the resident blogger at Wadadli Pen.
Name: Carel Hodge
About the Book:
Round My Christmas Tree. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas in the Caribbean? Do you know what’s Anansi’s favourite Christmas treat? Have you ever tried stilt-walking? Eaten green carrot cake? Picked sorrel ’til your fingers turned red? In ‘Round My Christmas Tree you’ll find a little bit of everything that makes Christmas Christmas in the Caribbean. Stories, poems, recipes, and art that range from the sacred to irreverent and from heart-warming to just down-right funny. Carel’s contribution is a short story called Christmas Carnival about an Antiguan young lady who goes to St. Kitts for Christmas and learns to stilt walk. She wants to take part in the New Year’s parade but her dad won’t allow it.
About the Author:
Carel Hodge is a communications professional with an interest in social change – specifically finding innovative ways of engaging society and the media in addressing developmental, health and social concerns among younger populations within the Caribbean.
Name: Laura James (illustrator)
Book: Anna Carries Water [w/author Olive Senior]. Tradewinds. 2014.
About the Book: set in Jamaica, about a girl learning to balance water from the spring on her head.
About the illustrator:
Laura James has been working as a professional artist and illustrator for over twenty years. In addition to painting sacred images from various religions, she portrays women, families, and scenes of everyday life; blending intricate patterns, text, vibrant colors and sometimes surreal imagery into what she calls “art for the people.” Laura is best known for her illustrations (34 painting rendered in the Ethiopian Christian Art style) in the award winning Book of the Gospels lectionary published in 2000 by Liturgy Training Publications, Chicago, Illinois. Her other projects include Nannies and Other Mothers where she attempts to shed light on a subject long neglected by popular culture. The Nanny Series – A Post-colonial Reading incorporates a paper and slide presentation around this project, and was first presented at the 2nd ISA Forum of Sociology in Buenos Aires, Argentina in August 2012. James’ work is widely collected and exhibited, and she has also organized many exhibitions and special events. She lives and works in the Bronx, NY.
Name: S. E. James
Forest Fever. Carlong Publishers. Jamaica. 2014.
[w/ illustrator Lyndell Benjamin]:
A Narrow Escape. Sharon Publications. Antigua. 2003.
Tragedy on Emerald Island. Sharon Publications. Antigua. 2002.
About the Books:
Forest Fever – Jerry from the Caribbean island of Dominica was on his first class trip into the forest at Boiling Lake. Disaster struck when they got caught in a storm and Jerry lost his way in the darkness and fell into a hole. He
woke up weak and sick in a secluded village far up in the mountains. He wondered if he was a victim of Forest Fever. He realized that some of the men who had rescued him from death, thought that he had been sent to spy on them. He would not be allowed to leave. In desperation he decided to fi nd a way to escape, even if he had to travel through the treacherous mountains. Would he make it?
Tragedy on Emerald Island, A Narrow Escape, Kidnapped at the Beach – The saga begins in Tragedy on Emerald Island when the Soufriere Hills volcano on Montserrat, long dormant, wakes up after hundreds of years. Jamie’s life was torn apart. His parents decided to stay in Montserrat but to send the children and their grandmother, to live with an aunt on the neighbouring island of Antigua. In Antigua, though, there was more trouble brewing, as a hurricane blew in. In A Narrow Escape, the boys get trapped in the unsafe zone of the volcano plagued island. Kidnapped at the Beach picks up with Jamie recovering from burns received in book two, and witness to a series of odd incidents which lands him in the cross hairs of a band of criminals. Captured and thrown into a cell where his only cell mate is a rat, does he have any hope of escape?
About the Author: Sharon James, born in Dominica of Antiguan parents, is a Human Resources Development Manager. She writes fiction primarily for children between the ages of 8 and 12 and all of her books are based in the Caribbean.
Name: Tameka Jarvis-George
About the Books:
The Adventures of Genesis, is a series of short rhyming stories written through the eyes of the author’s daughter Genesis, when she was five years old. “Being pregnant for a second time, made me so much more aware of how fast she was growing up, that I started to jot down details about every little thing she did… Eventually, I turned my observations/journal entries into animated snippets of her precocious five year old self.”
About the author:
Tameka Jarvis-George… is an Antiguan writer, who currently resides on the island. She has been writing creatively for over 20 years, publishing 3 books of poetry and most recently, her first novel, Unexpected in 2010. Since becoming a parent, she has dabbled in drafting stories for her own children, never thinking beyond doing something that was entertaining for them. Then, a friend who’d read one of her children’s pieces, encouraged her to add children’s fiction to her resume’.
Name: Omari Jeremiah
Books [with illustrator Bernie Rollins]:
Paperboy 4. 2007.
Paperboy 3: The School of Doom. 2006.
Paperboy II: Overwhelming Odds. 2005. Morton Books. New Jersey.
Paperboy. 2004. Morton Books. New Jersey.
About the Books and Author: The Paperboy series is a children’s book actually written by a child. Omari, New York born but of Antiguan descent, wrote the first book when he was only 12. Paperboy is the story of an ordinary 11-year-old boy (Michael Wood) who becomes a superhero (Paperboy), by defending other students and standing up to bullies.
Name: Iris Josiah
Tiny Pig’s Alphabet Book (Tiny Island Stories). Tiny Island Press. UK. 2015.
Tiny Goat’s Alphabet Book (Tiny Island Stories). Tiny Island Press. UK. 2015.
Tiny Bird’s Alphabet Book (Tiny Island Stories). Tiny Island Press. UK. 2015.
Tiny Goat (Tiny Island Stories). Tiny Island Press. UK. 2012.
Tiny Hen (Tiny Island Stories). Tiny Island Press. UK. 2012.
Tiny Rabbit (Tiny Island Stories). Tiny Island Press. UK. 2012.
About the Books: On Tiny Island, far, far away lived Tiny Rabbit, Tiny Pig, Tiny Goat, Tiny Bird, Tiny Hen and many other tiny animals. A series of fun stories with bright, lively and colourful narrative that feed the imagination of young children. This beautifully told and illustrated story about Tiny Bird is ideal for the home, primary schools, libraries, playgroups, nurseries and bedtime reading.
About the Author: Iris was born in Antigua and Barbuda where she grew up in a tiny village on the south side of the island. As a child, she tended to the village’s animals and would often be seen helping her grandmother hoe and plough the land. At the age of twelve, Iris immigrated to the United Kingdom where she attended secondary school. A graduate in Philosophy of the London University with a Post- Graduate Certificate in Education from Greenwich University, her first job was a play leader in which she worked with primary school and younger children. It was then that she wrote Tiny Rabbit and Tiny Pig; others would follow in the years to come. Iris has taught English for many years and has given her time generously to public service.
Name: Sara Louise Kras
About the Book: The highly regarded Cultures of the World series celebrates the diversity of other cultures. An abundance of vibrant photographs stimulate the imaginations of young readers as they travel the globe.
About the Author: Sara Louise Kras was born in Washington, where she spent a childhood exploring and reading books. She turned her love of reading and adventure to writing after years travelling abroad as an adult. Her first published book was Giant Lizards and she has published 28 books since, continuing to travel for for research and fun. She has no specific roots or ties that I am aware of; she is listed here as an author of a work in which Antigua and Barbuda features prominently.
Name: Alscess Lewis-Brown.
Footprints into the Sunrise: Alexander Hamilton’s Life Through the Eyes of a Young Boy. Little Bell Caribbean. 2014.
Tamarind Bear’s Dream. USVI. 1985.
About the Books: Moko Jumbi Majorette is the tale of Lexi who continues to work towards her goal of becoming the first ever moko jumbi majorette in the Carnival parade. In this third and final installment of the Moko Jumbi Majorette series, Lexi must face the challenge of believing in herself, even when not everyone else does. Promise of the Pomegranate (book two of the Moko Jumbi Majorette series) finds 10-year-old Lexi finds herself closer to her dream when her brother agrees to teach her the hard moves needed to become a Moko Jumbi Majorette; however, life becomes a roller coaster for our young heroine as she learns that getting what you want comes with a price. Moko Jumbi Dreams is the story of Lexi who dreams of being a majorette in the Carnival parade; and not just a usual majorette but a majorette on stilts, a moko jumbi. Efa and the Mosquito is the story of Efa who one day rescues a smart, fast talking mosquito trapped in a net. For her kindness she is granted a wish…and so her adventure begins. It is the story of a curious girl, her music loving family, a very special mosquito, and their unforgettable adventure together.
About the Author: Alscess Lewis-Brown was born in Antigua and educated in the USVI. A life long educator, she has taught in Japan, Antigua and the USVI where she has also served as a board member of the esteemed Caribbean Writer literary journal. She is a part time instructor at the University of the Virgin Islands in addition to being a human resources professional, mother, and grandmother.
Name: Edison Liburd (illustrator)
Balloons [w/with author Dr. John Calvin Alberty]. Alberty. USA. 1999.
About the Books: Antigua My Antigua is a colouring book featuring sites of interest in Antigua and Barbuda.
About the Illustrator: Edison Liburd is an Antiguan artist well known for the vibrancy and fluidity of his pieces.
Name: Amos Morrill
About the book: A charming, richly illustrated book about Augusta and Elliott’s efforts to keep the ocean clean. Written and illustrated by Amos Morrill, a native New Yorker, who brings his unique sense of whimsy to this simply written message for children of all ages.
About the author: (excerpted from his obituary in the 8th October 2014 Daily Observer): “Amos Morrill lX, 90, died Friday, September 26th, 2014 at his home in Coolidge, Antigua, following a long illness…born in New York City and raised in Paris, France and New Canaan, Connecticut…he lived his entire adult life in Antigua. He is a graduate of the Hotchkiss School and Yale University. He served as a weatherman in the U.S. Army during World War ll. In 1948, Mr. Morrill moved to Antigua to assist his mother and stepfather design and build the Mill Reef Club. By the time the Club was finished, Mr. Morrill fell in love with Antigua and he never left…he was a charter captain…cofounder of the Coco Shop, founder of the Turtle Gate Inn and the Schooner café …he worked as an interior designer and architectural consultant…as well as co-manager of the Coco Shop. In 2000, he wrote and illustrated a children’s book Augusta and Elliott, devoted to environmental awareness and the importance of keeping our ocean clean. In 2000, he was made an honorary Antiguan citizen, which was a most joyous occasion for Mr. Morrill. He spent many years happily designing stage sets and floats for Carnival, and he designed and constructed the games for the Sunnyside School fetes …He was a voracious reader, an imaginative storyteller, a wonderful cook, and a lover of theatre and cinema.”
Name: Dr.Althea Prince (as Althea Trotman)
About the Books: How the Starfish got to the Sea is a Caribbean story set in 1800s Antigua. It features characters like the elder Papa Biggis and the healer Mother Sillah. The story is about a star lost its ability to shine after falling to earth. How the East Pond got its Flowers is also set in Antigua; it is the story of Mother Sillah and Tullah, a young girl destined to do great things despite being enslaved in colonial era Antigua.
For her non-children titles, visit the Antiguan and Barbudan writers, fiction writers, and non fiction writers lists.
About the Author: Antiguan born, Canada-based, Althea Prince is the award winning author of several books, making her one of the most prolific and profound authors coming out of Antigua and Barbuda. She’s also been an educator, publisher, editor and mentor to several Antiguan writers. In 2007, she received the first Antigua and Barbuda International Writers’ Festival Award for Literary Excellence.
Name: Naomi Smith
About the Book: N/A
About the Authors: N/A. The internet says this book is set in Antigua but I don’t know anymore; if you do, either about the book or the author, hit me up in the comments.
Name: Jenny Stow
About both Book and Author: Author and illustrator Jenny Stow, who has lived in Antigua, brings a fresh take to the timeless tale of “the dog that worried the cat” and “the rat that ate the malt” in Jack’s house with paint, ink, and crayon collage technique using sponges and rollers that renders the lush vegetation, bright colors, and blazing skies of the Caribbean as the perfect setting for this irresistible rhyme. The book was shortlisted for the shortlisted for The State of Maryland’s Black-Eyed Susan Picture Book Award. According to Publishers Weekly “a Caribbean setting adds zest to a well-known verse in this effervescent picture book. All the familiar characters – the rat, cat and dog and the cow with the crumpled horn – are here, refreshingly depicted against cerulean blue skies, golden sands and an abundance of lush vegetation…Each of the rhyme’s characters, however incongruous, appears perfectly at home in its surroundings.” The School Library Journal wrote, “Stow depicts the list of characters and creatures enumerated in recognizable fashion; however, by relocating the entourage, she establishes a certain ethnic orientation in the interpretation that acknowledges the chant’s universality… Stow evokes the warmth, vitality, and texture of island culture. Despite the several other worthwhile versions of this rhyme currently in print, this fresh look deserves a place on most picture book shelves.”
Name: Calesia Thibou
About the Author: Calesia Thibou was born on the beautiful Island of Antigua were she stills lives with her husband and daughter. Calesia enjoys writing poems and short stories. She also enjoys going to the beach with her family. She wrote this book in order that she may share her love for the beach and reading with others.
About the Book: The warmth of the Caribbean sea awaits you as you read the pages of this picturesque story. Come along with Cadriel and Jadiel – two lovable children – as they explore the beautiful Fort James Beach and enjoy the sights around them. Go on a Caribbean vacation as you read the pages of this book.
Name: Stacey Towle Morgan
About the Book: In Adventure in the Caribbean, Hope and Annie take a trip to sunny Antigua in the West Indies. There, the sisters make a new friend a young Antiguan girl named Zoe. When Zoe and the girls discover a hidden map, they set out on an exciting search for treasure. Will they find it before the Browns have to go home?
About the Author: Stacy Towle Morgan has been writing ever since she was eight, when she set up a typewriter in the closet of the room she shared with her sister. She is a graduate of Cedarville College and Western Kentucky University and has written numerous feature articles and several books for children. Morgan and her husband, Michael, make their home in Indiana. She has no specific ties to Antigua as far as I’m aware but is listed here as the author of a work in which Antigua features prominently.
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