Antigua and Barbuda Children’s Literature

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. There’s a master list which you can find using the search feature to the right; and sub-lists like this one. It includes books by Antiguan and Barbudan writers, both born and adopted, as well as books by Antiguan descendents born elsewhere; some with non-specific connections to the island who feature Antigua and Barbuda 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 Writing’ which is the master list.  These lists are works in progress and I’ll never get around to reading all these books but hopefully you’ll find books that you want to read. But this is not a recommendations list, just a list (as complete a list as possible). Some books are traditionally published (i.e. the rights acquired by trade publishers for sale with writers receiving an advance and royalties per contract), published with a small or independent press (still traditional but on a different scale), published via a hybrid press (a mix of traditional publishing and self-publishing), or self-published (including vanity press or any mechanism through which the author pays to publish). 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.

CHILDREN’S FICTION

Name: Kishma Anthony

Book:

kishmaDylan’s Big Surprise at the Doctor [w/illustrator Sherri Molitor]. US Virgin Islands. 2013.

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.

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Name: Zavian Archibald (illustrator)

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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? An updated version of this book  (re-published as Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure), with all new illustrations by Trinidad and Tobago artist Danielle Boodoo Fortune and activities is available as of 2017 on the Caribbean Reads imprint.

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.

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Name: Barbara A. Arrindell.

Books:

UntitledThe Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Antiguan Stories [w/illustrations by Edison Liburd]. 2012.

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  historical figures who lived them.

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 A. Arrindell is the manager of the Best of Books bookstore in Antigua and former coordinator of the Independence Literary Arts Committee (famously resigning the post in an open letter urging the ministry to appoint someone with year-round responsibility for literary arts). She also heads Barbara Arrindell and Associates which offers training in public speaking, and human resource development (team building, customer service, gender relations re-training etc.), among other things.

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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.

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Name: S. Khalilah Brann

Book: The ABCs of the Black Panther Party (w/Chemay Morales-James). Decolonizing Education Publishing. USA. 2017.

About the Book: Decolonizing Education Publishing™ aims to produce literary work that is deliberate in centering black and brown experiences, narratives, history, and cultural contributions. Decolonizing Education Publishing is a collaboration between the founders of Culturally Responsive Education of the African Diaspora (CREAD) – which supports teachers in ensuring positive racial identity development through education – and My Reflections Matters (MRM) – which provides the tools necessary to help combat institutional and internalized racism. The ABCs of the Black Panther Party, the first book from Decolonizing Education Publishing, introduces children 7 to 12 to the Black Panther Party. It supports the expansion of children’s oral and written language while awakening their social consciousness.

About the Author: A daughter of the Caribbean (specifically Antigua and Barbuda), S. Khalilah Brann is an educator, curriculum developer, consultant, coach, a self proclaimed Cultural Ambassador, Researcher and Producer. She received her Masters of Education in Secondary English and her Masters of Educational Leadership from Long Island University. She is the co-founder of Decolonizing Education Publishing and Founder of CREADnyc.com, and spent a decade as an English and History teacher in the NYC Dept of Ed. Project partner Chemay Morales-James is a Nuyorican, by birth, raised in Connecticut by her Puerto Rican born parents. She, too, is a lifelong educator. The pair became friends in 2013 at NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.

Wadadli Pen connection: S. Khalilah Brann, RIP, was a strong contender for the Wadadli Pen Readers Choice Book of the Year, 2019.

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Name: Byron Braithwaite

Book: Byron B’s Book of Children’s Poetry. 2012.

About the Book: Poetry in the language of young people; organized under the sub-heads of nature, social commentary, and spirituality to help young people navigate life.

About the Author: Guyanese born, Brathwaite has lived in Antigua since 1988.

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Name: Deshawn J Browne

Book:

Little Rude Boys. littleKindle edition (2nd edition as D. J. Browne with L. Markham). I & I Books. 2016.

The Little Rude Boys/Girls. Dr. Noel Howell (publisher). Antigua.. 2010.

deshawne_brown_md.jpgAbout the Book: When a sick grandmother was forced to take in ten abandoned grandchildren, resentment develops amongst the children. From sibling rivalry to sexism – conflicts arose. As the girls compete against the boys in the various games and challenges, follow them to see who emerges at the top. Dr. Howell has directed a film, released 2017, according to IMDB, based on this book. Seemingly, a revised edition with a new cover, perhaps perceived as more international, was released in 2016..

About the Author:

Deshawn J. Browne was 12, then a student at Golden Grove Primary, when he wrote the book, and attending Antigua Grammar School when it was launched a year later.

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Name: Ashley Bryan

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

Books:  

I am loved (illustrator w/Nikki Giovanni). 2018.

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books).  Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. USA. 2016.

Sail Away, Poems by Langston Hughes (as illustrator). 2015.

By Trolley Past Thimbleton Bridge (author with illustrator Marvin Bileck. Alazar Press. 2015.

Ashley Bryan’s Puppets: Making Something from Everything. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. USA. 2014.

thesunisquietThe Sun is So Quiet. Henry Holt & Co. (BYR) [as illustrator w/Nikki Giovanni]. USA. 1996 & Square Fish. 2014.

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 2. Atheneum, 1982; Alazar Press, 2012.

all thingsA Nativity Poem. All Things Bright and Beautiful [illustrator with Cecil F. Alexander]. Atheneum. USA. 2010.

Ashley Bryan: Poems and Folktales.Audio Bookshelf. USA. 1994, 2007. Findaway World. USA. 2010. 

Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song. Atheneum. USA. 2009.

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.

beautiful blackbirdBeautiful Blackbird (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner). Atheneum. USA. 2003.

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.

Jump Back, Honey: The Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar (editor and co-author of introduction; co-illustrator with Brian Pickney and 4 other illustrators). Disney-Hyperion. 1999.

The Night Has Ears: African Proverbs. Atheneum. USA. 1999.

The Story of Lightening and Thunder. Atheneum. USA. 1993. Aladdin. USA. 1999.

KingCarol of the Brown King [as illustrator w/Langston Hughes]. Atheneum. USA. 1998.

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 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., (Lion and the Ostrich Chicks audio cassette) Harcourt Brace and Company. USA. 1994., Aladdin. USA. 1996.

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.

Christmas Gif’ [as illustrator w/Joseph Rollins and Charlemae Rollins]. HarperCollins. USA. 1993.

The Ox of the Wonderful Horns and other African Folktales. Atheneum. 1993.

Turtle Knows Your Name. Atheneum. USA. 1989. Aladdin. USA. 1993.

The Cat’s Purr. Atheneum. USA. 1985. Macmillan/McGraw-Hill School Publication Co. 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.

dancing grannyThe Dancing Granny. Rep ed. 1st Aladdin ed., 1980; Atheneum, 1977. Aladdin, 1987. 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.

Sh-Ko and his Eight Wicked Brothers (with illustrator Fumio Yoshimura). 1988.

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.

Fabliaux: Ribald Tales from the Old French (illustrator), (Apollo, Thomas Y. Crowell Co.), 1965, 1966. For the First Time Done into English With Afterword and Notes, by Robert Hellman and Richard O’Gorman (Greenwood Press), 1976.

Black American Spirituals Vol. 1: Walk Together Children. Marcel Dekker, 1974; Atheneum, 1981; Alazar Press, 2012.

Moon, for what do you wait? (Poems by Tagore) [as illustrator w/Rabindranath Tagore]. Atheneum. USA. 1967.

Black Boy (illustrator), by Richard Wright (World Publishing Company). 1950.

About the Books:

I am loved – There is nothing more important to a child than to feel loved, and this gorgeous gathering of poems written by Nikki Giovanni celebrates exactly that. Hand-selected by Newbery honoree Ashley Bryan, he has, with his masterful flourish of color, shape, and movement, added a visual layering that drums the most important message of all to young, old, parent, child, grandparent, and friend alike: You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. As a bonus, one page is mirrored, so children reading the book can see exactly who is loved—themselves!

Freedom Over Me – Newbery Honor Book; Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book; Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book: Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away. In his gentle yet deeply powerful way, Ashley Bryan goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that CAN’T be bought or sold—dreams. Inspired by the actual will of a plantation owner that lists the worth of each and every one of his “workers”, Bryan has created collages around that document, and others like it. Through fierce paintings and expansive poetry he imagines and interprets each person’s life on the plantation, as well as the life their owner knew nothing about—their dreams and pride in knowing that they were worth far more than an Overseer or Madam ever would guess.

Sail Away, Poems by Langston Hughes – a collection of Langston Hughes’ poems of water and the sea. Ashley’s collage illustrations for this book have been compared to works by Matisse and Jacob Lawrence in issue 12 of the quarterly Canadian art journal, Kolaj (2015), by art historian, Dan Kany.

By Trolley Past Thimbleton Bridge – This extraordinary labor of love, thirty years in the making, was illustrated by Ashley’s dear friend, Marvin (Buddy) Bileck—originally intended for a manuscript by Virginia Wolf. When Bileck’s intensely intricate drawings took longer than the publisher’s deadline allowed, the project was withdrawn, and Ashley convinced his friend to keep going, himself writing a new, whimsical poem for Buddy to incorporate into the brilliant, playful drawings. It took another thirty years for this book to reach its audience—finally—thanks to the talent and vision of Ashley’s friends at Alazar Press. Note: Bileck’s drawings are so detailed and playful, they are best enjoyed with a magnifying glass!

Ashley Bryan’s Puppets – Beloved storyteller and creator Ashley Bryan reveals the vibrant spirit of found objects in this magnificent treasury of poetry and puppets. Little Cranberry Island. It’s a small island, with fewer than a hundred inhabitants, but it’s got more than its share of treasures—including the magnificent Ashley Bryan himself, a world-renowned storyteller and author of such classics as All Night, All Day and Beautiful Blackbird. Daily, for decades, Ashley has walked up and down the beach, stopping to pick up sea glass, weathered bones, a tangle of fishing net, an empty bottle, a doorknob. Treasure. And then, with glue and thread and paint and a sprinkling of African folklore, Ashley breathes new life into these materials. Others might consider it beach junk, but Ashley sees worlds of possibilities. Ashley Bryan’s two-foot-tall hand puppets swell with personality and beauty, and in this majestic collection they make their literary debut, each with a poem that tells of their creation and further enlivens their spirit.

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.

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.

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.

All Things Bright and Beautiful all things– Bryan interprets Cecil F. Alexander’s 19th-century hymn with cut-paper art defined by swirling geometrical shapes in neon hues, contributing to a pervasively jubilant atmosphere.

Ashley Bryan: Poems and Folktales – audio book, audio CD which presents a joyful collection of African poems and folktales selected from several of Bryan’s books.

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.

Jump Back, Honey: The Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar – This celebration of early twentieth century poet Paul Laurence Dunbar is brought to life by Ashley and five of his distinguished colleagues: Carole Byard, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney and Faith Ringgold. In the afterward, each illustrator writes a poignant tribute to the ongoing influence and contribution of Dunbar’s poetry to African-American culture.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder – An illustrated collection of black spirituals about Old Testament heroes.

The Dancing Granny – Spider Ananse gets Granny started dancing so he can raid her garden, but his own trick does him in.

Pourquoi Talespourquoi

Sh-Ko and his Eight Wicked Brothers – Ashley met Japanese sculptor Fumio Yoshimura while the two artists were teaching together at Dartmouth College. After hearing Fumio tell this traditional Japanese folktale, Ashley wrote a retelling of the tale and encouraged his friend to illustrate the story in traditional Japanese ink-wash. In this classic story, Sh-ko is not valued by his eight older wicked brothers, who all think him to be stupid and ugly. But Sh-ko is rewarded for having a kind heart and a desire to help others. Ashley’s beautiful rendition of the universal tale teaches that a good character will always prevail.

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 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.

Fabliaux: Ribald Tales from the Old French – Fabliaux is a collection of little fables written in thirteenth and fourteenth century France by minstrels, translated by Ashley’s longtime friend, Robert Hellman. This book was the first published work Ashley illustrated in linoleum block illustrations.

Black American Spirituals Vol. 1: Walk Together Children – Ashley Bryan hand-cut the linoleum block prints for the original 1974 publication of this collection of negro spirituals, as well as the staff and notes to aid any child on a C-recorder who might attempt to play them. This collection, with a new color cover and forward, was brought back by Ashley’s friends at Alazar Press, along with its companion volume: I’m Going to Sing—a gorgeous and important testament to the spirit of freedom that resided in the African-American slaves who artfully created and preserved these classic songs.

Moon, for what do you wait? – Short poems reprinted from “Stray Birds” by Rabindranath Tagore, copyright 1916. Tagore is one of India’s greatest poets, and writes about nature. A delightful picture book for children; every page is decorated with colorful block prints. Hardback book, with dust jacket, measures 7.75 x 6.25 inches. “Moon, for what do you wait?” “To salute the sun for whom I must make way.”

Black Boy – Ashley did the drawings for Black Boy during his last semester at Cooper Union, after he returned from WWII. This first illustrated edition of Richard Wright’s famous autobiography was published four years later. It is a very obscure edition, and it can only be purchased through rare book stores and sites.

About the author: Ashley Bryan, who is both an author and illustrator, was born (1923) 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. A non-profit, the Ashley Bryan Center, has been established to preserve, protect, and care for his art and collections, and to promote his legacy.

ashleybryancovers

My article on Meeting Ashley Bryan.

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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.

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Name: Agnola Charles-Snowball

39159220_687916011556994_7525935506173984768_nBook: What Happens to Number 1 to 10? Let’s Have Fun Counting Numbers. Xlibris. 2016.

About the Book: This book is about numbers. The same numbers repeat over and over from one to ten to teach children numbers. It’s also about friends who are on their way to the zoo. The book is written with the concept of comprehension and retention followed by ten questions.

About the Author: Agnola Charles-Snowball loves writing. She has written many inspirational songs and poems. She is a mother of two and a grandmother of three. She has taught typing, kindergarten, and Sunday school, and wants to make learning fun for children. Antiguan, she lives in the US.

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Name: (children of Barbuda)

Book: Voices from the Lagoon. Holy Trinity School. Barbuda. 2010.

About the Book: There are 27 pieces in all built around themes like camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, crab catching, snorkeling, and life in Barbuda. “We know it is young writing,” indicated reading specialist attached to HTS, Fransene Massiah-Headley, in a Daily Observer article ahead of the book’s November 2010 release, “but the great sycamore tree begins with a seed.” School principal, Charlene Harris, meanwhile, said, “My thing is, as you write, you will get better at it; just as, as you read, you will develop the skills that are necessary.” The book project grew out of journaling exercises initiated at the school, a process very much enjoyed by the students, who the teacher indicated were also quite responsive to having an audience for their work. The school did a limited run of the books with hopes to print more. We are not sure if they did.

About the AuthorSee images of the child-authors from the launch.

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Name: Rachel Collis 

Book: rachelcollisEmerald Isle of Adventure. Surge. USA. 2008.

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.

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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.

About the Author: Melinda Fletcher has worked both in the travel and hospitality industry. She was also the co-host of the ABS TV show Keeping it Real.

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Name: Cray Mahalia Francis

Books: Honey Dew’s Carnival Fever. GoldnLia Publishing. USA. 2014.

About the Book: 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.

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Name: Faye France

Books:

Sunny Dreams of Rainbows (w/Jacquelin Webson, co-author and tullipstudio, illustrator). FigTreeDrive Press. 2018.

When Grandma Comes to Stay (When Family Comes to Stay Book 1) (w/Jacquelin Webson , co-author and Jayamini Attanayake, illustrator). FigTreeDrive Press. 2018.

Will You Be My Friend? (Making Friends Book 1) (w/Jacquelin Webson, co-author and tullipstudio, illustrator). FigTreeDrive Press. 2018.

About the Books:

Sunny Dreams of Rainbows-Left alone by his young owners who are too busy to properly take care of him a young puppy sets out on a search to find a friend. Along the way, he encounters surprises and heartbreak as he tries to make friends with a lot of different animals, but they all turn against him. However, the little dog is tough and never gives up; until finally, he finds friendship in the most unexpected place.

When Grandma Comes to Stay (When Family Comes to Stay Book 1) -A family with young children is filled with joy and excitement when they find out that their grandmother is coming to stay with them for a while. As they wait anxiously for her arrival, they reminisce about all the wondrous things they get to do with her when she visits.

Will You Be My Friend? (Making Friends Book 1)-Left alone by his young owners who are too busy to properly take care of him a young puppy sets out on a search to find a friend. Along the way, he encounters surprises and heartbreak as he tries to make friends with a lot of different animals, but they all turn against him. However, the little dog is tough and never gives up; until finally, he finds friendship in the most unexpected place.

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Name: Carol Faye George

Books: Mari Warner and book 2 Mari Warner and Recycling [w/illustrator Jason Hendrickson]. Antigua and Barbuda. 2009.

About the Book: A series of environmentally themed comic books e.g. in book 2 Mari Warner (whose names sound like a certain weed) and her friend Dave debate the proper way to dispose of a soda can. The bickering is humorous and ultimately good-natured, entertaining while reinforcing how the reader can better benefit the environment. Mari is the conscience of all Antiguans and Dave is the devil’s advocate. Fictional waste recycling plant manager Ms. B makes an appearance reinforcing Mari’s message; the book ends with Dave’s decision to “step up to de plate” and Mari had served the environment for another day and proved to herself that “girls are smarter” as she mused to herself in the last panel. The book series was funded by an anonymous donor.

About the Author: Carol Faye George is known in Antigua and Barbuda for her work as an Environmental Educator. She was at one point the recycling plant manager, and educator with the Environment Division. The books were incorporated in to the Division’s cadet programme and distributed to the 39 schools involved in the programme. In addition to the cadet programme, and its awards ceremony, she was involved in the Division’s environmental camp and Eco Zone TV programme.

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Name: Shannon Gilligan

ghost islandBook: Ghost Island (Choose Your Own Adventure Series)* (with illustrator Keith Newton). Chooseco. 2008.

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.

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Name: Gemma Handy

BookExplore Antigua and Barbuda [w/ Irene Danic and illustrator Manuel Morgado]. Island Books Ltd. China. 2017.

About the Book:

This 50-page colouring book is a companion book to the vividly illustrated book for adults of the same name. It invites readers to engage with Antigua and Barbuda’s rich history and culture – from Amerindians to Carnival – and children especially to learn about the country through activity. The books are the product of two years of research.

About the Author:

Gemma Handy has worked as a ournalist in the UK and the Caribbean, including since the early aught-teens, Antigua and Barbuda where she was for a short time editor of the Daily Observer newspaper. She freelances from Antigua (her mother’s home) where she is a programme host on English Harbour Radio and editor of Luxury Locations. Her co-author Irene Danics is a teacher from Canada who love to travel; she created the initial book in the Explore series, Explore Turks and Caicos. After that book’s success with locals and tourists, she realized it could be created for different islands.

Wadadli Pen connection: Gemma Handy’s Explore Antigua and Barbuda was in the running for the Wadadli Pen Readers Choice Book of the Year, 2019.

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Name: Anne Harewood George

Book:

Delilah the Donkey and the Missing Tooth (w/illustrator Izzy Bean). Createspace Independent Publishing Platform. 2017.

About the Book: Delilah the Donkey is excited for picture day at Animal Academy but disaster strikes when her tooth falls out. What will she do? Can anybody help her?

About the Author: Anne Harewood George is a communications specialist, a criminologist and an educator who has been passionate about writing since she was a child. She was born and raised in Canada but her second home is Antigua and Barbuda which has 365 beautiful beaches and the best carnival in the world.

Wadadli Pen connectionDelilah the Donkey and the Missing Tooth was in the running for the Wadadli Pen Readers Choice Book of the Year 2019.

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Name: Joanne C. Hillhouse

Books:

lost spanish cover 2Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe. [w/illustrator Danielle Boodoo-Fortune & translators Loudymar Lightfoot and Nneka Edwards]. Caribbean Reads Publishing. St. Kitts-Nevis/USA. 2018.

Cover
Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure
[w/illustrator Danielle Boodoo-Fortune]. Caribbean Reads Publishing. St. Kitts-Nevis/USA. 2017.

with-graceWith Grace [w/illustrator Cherise Harris]. Little Bell Caribbean. New York. 2016.

Breaking with Tradition in Round My Christmas Tree. Caribbean Reads Publishing. St. Kitts-Nevis/USA. 2014.

About the Book:  

¡perdida! Una Aventura En El Mar Caribe (Spanish Edition of Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure) – Cuando Delfín, la foca ártica se encuentre lejos de su hogar y en las cálidas aguas del Mar Caribe, tiene que depender de nuevos amigos de distintas especies. ¿Volverá a su hogar en el Ártico?

LOST! A Caribbean Sea Adventure – When an Arctic seal named Dolphin finds himself far from home in the warm Caribbean sea, he has to rely on new friends for help. Will he make his way back to his Arctic home? This book, an update of 2013’s Fish Outta Water (illustrated by Zavian Archibald), includes a short story and a puzzle. With illustrations by Trinidad and Tobago artist Danielle Boodoo Fortune.

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. With illustrations by Barbadian artist Cherise Harris.

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.

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 (a Burt award winning teen/young adult novel). Her writing also appears in several anthologies and various international publications (fiction, poetry, non-fiction). Two of her books – The Boy from Willow Bend and Musical Youth – have been official selections for the secondary schools reading lists in Antigua and Barbuda, and other Caribbean islands. She freelances as a writer, editor, writing coach, and course/workshop coordinator. She is the founder and coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and the resident blogger at Wadadli Pen.

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Name: Carel Hodge

Books:

ChristmasChristmas Carnival in Round My Christmas Tree. Caribbean Reads Publishing. St. Kitts-Nevis/USA. 2014.

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.

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Name: Farida Isaac-Carr

Books:

cover activityCalypso Princess: Colouring and Activity Book (w/illustrator Aminata Joseph). 2019.

bookcovaCalypso Princess: The Grand Celebration (w/illustrator Aminata Joseph). 2018.

About the Book:

Calypso Princess: Colouring and Activity Book – inspired by Calypso Princess: the Grand Celebration and the music and scenery of Caribbean carnivals, the book features over 20 pages of mazes, word puzzles, and pictures of costumes and steel pan.

Calypso Princess: The Grand Celebration – September is Jel’s favorite time of the year for three reasons; It is Carnival time in the Island of Redonda, her favorite flowers are in bloom, and most importantly, it’s her birthday. Find out how Jel becomes the first Calypso Princess. This children’s book is filled with Caribbean culture but would be a joy for all princesses in the making.

About the Author:

Antigua-born Farida Isaac-Carr graduated from Skidmore College in the United States with a bachelor’s degree in human services. She is, at this writing (2019), employed as a senior welfare officer with the Antigua and Barbuda government. She was the 2018-2019 VP of Membership at the Antigua Toastmasters Club, which she credits in her book for building her confidence to become a children’s author. You can also find her reading, dancing zumba, and coaching or playing volleyball. Her debut children’s book Calypso Princess, The Grand Celebration and accompanying Calypso Princess Coloring and Activity Book seek to share the beauty of the Caribbean culture and promote positive self-identity.

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Name: Laura James (illustrator)

Books:

Boonoonoonous Hair [w/author Olive Senior]. Tradewinds. 2018.

Anna Carries Water [w/author Olive Senior]. Tradewinds. 2014.

About the Books:

Boonoonoonous Hair – in this vibrant and exquisitely illustrated picture book, written by Commonwealth Prize-winning Jamaican-Canadian Olive Senior, and with pictures by the acclaimed artist Laura James (the team that created Anna Carries Water), a young girl learns to love her difficult-to-manage, voluminous and boonoonoonous hair.

Anna Carries Water, set in Jamaica, is 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.

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Name: S. E. James

Books

carlong publishers

Forest Fever. Carlong Publishers. Jamaica. 2014.

[w/ illustrator Lyndell Benjamin]:

Kidnapped at the Beach.  Sharon Publications. Antigua. 2003.

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.

Wadadli Pen connection: S. E. James participated in the Wadadli Pen fundraiser and literary showcase Word Up! 2006. She also donated copies of her books – Tragedy on Emerald Island, A Narrow Escape, and Kidnapped at the Beach – to the first Wadadli Pen Challenge, 2004.

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Name: Tameka Jarvis-George

Books:

genesis 2A Day in the Life of Genesis: Wash the Dog [w/illustrator Anson Henry]. 2014.

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’.

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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.

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Name: Iris Josiah

Books:

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.

51EvZnfLNHL__SY498_BO1,204,203,200_Tiny Hen’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 Rabbit cover5Tiny Bird (Tiny Island Stories). Tiny Island Press. UK. 2012.

Tiny Goat  (Tiny Island Stories). Tiny Island Press. UK. 2012.

Tiny Hen (Tiny Island Stories). Tiny Island Press. UK. 2012.

Tiny Rabbit cover2Tiny Pig (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.

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Name: Jamaica Kincaid

Book: Party: a Mystery (w/illustrator Ricardo Cortes). Black Sheep. USA. 2019.

About the Book:

Three girls–Pam, Beth, and Sue–attend a party to celebrate the publication of the first of the Nancy Drew mystery books. There are many distractions at the fancy affair: flower arrangements, partygoers, refreshments, and lots and lots of marble. Suddenly, the oldest girl, Pam, sees what can only be described as something truly…bilious…not good! Beth sees it too. The youngest, Sue, does not, and as usual she has a hard time getting anyone to tell her anything. Party: A Mystery is a beautifully drawn adventure story that promises questions that will grab children, but does not guarantee an answer.

About the Author:

Jamaica Kincaid is an Antiguan-American novelist, essayist, gardener, and gardening writer. She was born in St John’s, Antigua. She lives in North Bennington, Vermont, during the summers, and is Professor of African and African American Studies in Residence at Harvard University during the academic year.

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Name: Sara Louise Kras 

Book:

Antigua and Barbuda (Cultures of the World). Benchmark Books/Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books. Singapore. 2008.

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.

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Name: Alscess Lewis-Brown.

Books:

Footprints into the Sunrise: Alexander Hamilton’s Life Through the Eyes of a Young Boy. Little Bell Caribbean. 2014.

moko3Moko Jumbi Majorette (with illustrators Wayne Bully Peterson and Cynthia Hattfield). Little Bell Caribbean. USVI. 2013.

Moko2Promise of the Pomegranate (Book Two of the Moko Jumbie Majorette Series) (with illustrators Wayne Bully Peterson and Cynthia Hattfield). Little Bell Caribbean. USVI. 2012.

moko 1Moko Jumbi Dreams (with illustrators Wayne Bully Peterson and Cynthia Hattfield). Little Bell Caribbean. USVI. 2012.

Efa and the Mosquito. (with illustrator Cynthia Hattfield). Little Bell Caribbean. USVI. 2010.

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 and editor 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.

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Name: Edison Liburd (illustrator)

Books:

Best of Books Colouring Book-1Antigua My Antigua[w/author Barbara Arrindell]. Antigua. 2011.

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. He’s also created a series of inspirational books for adults.

Wadadli Pen connection: Edison gave two scholarships to his arts camp to Wadadli Pen, 2011.

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Name: Diana J. A. Molyneaux

Book:

The Rollercoaster Rainbow: Rainbow Fun Ride. AuthorHouse. 2014.

About the Book:  Journey on a roller coaster ride with Mother Nature’s friendly rainbow. Watch as Elijah’s rainbow pal comes alive and allows him to enjoy nature and friends from far above. Elijah lives far away from everyone but on one rainy day he goes on an exciting journey with his new found pal. Depending on the weather, from that day onwards, the Roller Coaster Rainbow takes him to play as often as he can. Elijah never has another lonely day at his house on the steep hill again.

About the Author: Diana J. A. Molyneaux likes to write about nature, the Earth’s natural resources, and natural disasters in creative ways for the enjoyment of young readers. Born in Antigua and Barbuda, she enjoys sailing, hiking, and nature walks. She hopes to pass on her love for beautiful, tropical scenes in her writing.

********

Name: Amos Morrill

Book: augusta andAugusta and Elliott. Island Nation Press LLC/Turtles Too Limited. 2007.

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)

Books:

how the starfishHow the Starfish got to the Sea [with illustrations by Sasso]. 1992. Sister Vision. Canada.

how the east pondHow the East Pond got its Flowers. 1991. Sister Vision. Canada.

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 that 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.

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: Samantha Dian Samuel

Books:

78701317_505966469990997_8899231885817806848_oJourney to Discovery: Carl’s Summer Adventure (w/illustrator Sonalli Andrew). Antigua. 2019.

About the Book:

School’s out and Carl can’t wait to get to camp. As a regular kid in 2nd grade, Carl likes to spend time with his family and friends, but this summer is different. Join him as he goes on an adventure that will change his life!

********

Name: Naomi Smith

Book: SM73147-250x250Aunt Mazie’s Secret  w/Dylan Smith (illustrator).  Edan’s Publishers. Canada. 2009.

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 or email wadadlipen@gmail.com

***

Name: Jenny Stow

Book: the house that jack builtThe House that Jack Built. Frances Lincoln. 2009.

About the Book: A fresh take on 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.

About the Author: Author and illustrator Jenny Stow is American and has lived in Antigua.

***************

Name: Calesia Thibou

Book: cadrielCadriel and Jadiel: A Day at the Beach [with illustrator Gail M. Nelson]. Steuben Press, Second Edition 2010.

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.

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.

*****

Name: Lolette Thomas

Books:

Mermaid Janine (w/illustrator Jennifer Northway). Scholastic. 1993.

Janine and the New Baby (w/illustrator Jennifer Northway). Mammoth (re-issue edition). 1993.

Janine and the Carnival (w/illustrator Jennifer Northway). Egmont Children’s Books. 1989.

About the Books:

Mermaid Janine – Janine wants to be able to swim like her relatives in Antigua, so she takes swimming lessons and tries very hard to swim the length of the pool and pass the course.

*****

Name: Jacquelin Webson

Books:

Sunny Dreams of Rainbows (w/Faye France, co-author and tullipstudio, illustrator). FigTreeDrive Press. 2018.

When Grandma Comes to Stay (When Family Comes to Stay Book 1) (w/Faye France, co-author and Jayamini Attanayake, illustrator). FigTreeDrive Press. 2018.

Will You Be My Friend? (Making Friends Book 1) (w/Faye France, co-author and tullipstudio, illustrator). FigTreeDrive Press. 2018.

About the Books:

Sunny Dreams of Rainbows-Left alone by his young owners who are too busy to properly take care of him a young puppy sets out on a search to find a friend. Along the way, he encounters surprises and heartbreak as he tries to make friends with a lot of different animals, but they all turn against him. However, the little dog is tough and never gives up; until finally, he finds friendship in the most unexpected place.

When Grandma Comes to Stay (When Family Comes to Stay Book 1) -A family with young children is filled with joy and excitement when they find out that their grandmother is coming to stay with them for a while. As they wait anxiously for her arrival, they reminisce about all the wondrous things they get to do with her when she visits.

Will You Be My Friend? (Making Friends Book 1)-Left alone by his young owners who are too busy to properly take care of him a young puppy sets out on a search to find a friend. Along the way, he encounters surprises and heartbreak as he tries to make friends with a lot of different animals, but they all turn against him. However, the little dog is tough and never gives up; until finally, he finds friendship in the most unexpected place.

Wadadli Pen connection – her books Sunny Dreams of Rainbows, When Grandma comes to stay, and Will you be my Friend were in the running for the Wadadli Pen 2019 Readers Choice Book of the Year.

*****

Name: Juneth Webson

Book: 51582lJTKoL__SY346_Milo’s First Winter (Milo’s Adventures)(w/illustrator Ros Webb). Fig Tree Drive Press/Amazon Digital Services. 2018.

About the Book: Milo’s First Winter is a picture book for children between the ages of three and eight years of age. It tells the enchanted tale of Milo, a black and white kitten, that got out of the house while it was snowing. It was Milo’s first time seeing the snow and he was in such awe of the snowflakes that he kept trying to catch them. This chasing after snowflakes took Milo on an unforgettable adventure.

About the Author: A former student of the TOR Memorial, Webson is an Antiguan and Barbudan resident in New York, from where she finds ways to give back to Antigua and Barbuda – from books to Villa Junior Secondary School to prizes for the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge. She is a tax professional, and a cultural activist who has been involved in artist and event development and promotion.

Wadadli Pen connection –Juneth’s book, Milo’s First Winter, was in the running for the Wadadli Pen Readers’ Choice Book of the Year, 2019. She also contributed prizes to the Wadadli Pen Challenge, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018.

*****

Name: Floree Williams Whyte

Book: The Wonderful World of Yohan (with illustrator Stoogeco). Moondancer Books. Antigua. 2017.

About the Book:  Welcome to the Wonderful World of Yohan! Yohan’s world is a creation of his vivid imagination. This series of short stories follow Yohan’s imagination-inspired adventures. From day to day his adventures transform his reality and often lead him into accidental mischief.

About the Author: Floree Williams Whyte is a Wadadli Pen partner. She has two previous books Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses and Through a Window. In 2017, she founded the independent press Moondancer Books.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

6 Comments

Filed under A & B WRITINGS, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen News

6 responses to “Antigua and Barbuda Children’s Literature

  1. It’s nice to bump into a fellow blogger from ANU & BBQ.Im from Barbuda & NYC by the way.I’m a poet/writer/dating coach.

  2. What a lot of work! Good work. Kudus to you and your project.

  3. B. Babcock

    I am looking for a children’s picture book illustrator, preferably from Antigua and Barbuda. Can you email me?

    • Hi B. Babcock, of the illustrators listed here, a number are Antiguan and/or Antiguan descended – some like award winning author-illustrator Ashley Bryan (who does his own books; not sure about commissions) and Laura James (who works on Olive Senior’s books) are US based; and some like Zavian Archibald, Lyndell Benjamin, Edison Liburd, and Anson Henry (?) are local. Danielle Boodoo Fortune is Trinidadian; Cherise Harris is Barbadian. There are more (off the top – Antiguan-Barbudan artists like Heather Doram, Glenroy Aaron, Mark Brown, and Jordan Browne for instance are Antiguans who’ve done cover art for books like The Boy from Willow Bend, Musical Youth, The Road to Wadi Halfa, and London Rocks). You can perhaps begin by googling to find their portfolios and contact information; illustrators who are available for commissions will typically have a public platform (including social media) with contact information.

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