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Collins Readies Rollout of #OwnVoices Caribbean Children’s Books

Updating this post to share the good news that the two Antiguan and Barbudan titles quoted in this post about the Collins Big Cat series, Turtle Beach by Barbara A. Arrindell w/Zavian Archibald and The Jungle Outside by Joanne C. Hillhouse w/Danielle Boodoo Fortune, are now available in the UK market. So many intersections – Danielle, a Trini, previously illustrated my book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure. Zavian, an Antiguan, illustrated the earlier edition of that book Fish Outta Water. Barbara has variously over the years been a patron (in her own right and as manager of The Best of Books), partner, and Wadadli Pen team member. And I am, of course, the founder and coordinator of Wadadli Pen.

Barbara’s book is already picking up reader reviews days in to its release: “This is a lovely book and beautifully illustrated” and “I liked the succinct text. The subject matter encourages the reader to consider their personal interaction with the environment.  It is lovely to think of Anais returning for the anniversary.”

We all look forward to your support of The Jungle Outside and Turtle Beach, children’s picture books with strong environmental messages and/or energy. Find them online or in the real world wherever books are sold as the UK January 2021 launch is followed by rollout in other markets in the coming months.

Wadadli Pen

Image of new Caribbean titles in the Collins Caribbean Schools Catalogue 2021.

A number of Caribbean authors and illustrators, including some from Antigua and Barbuda, have signed on to produce books for the Collins Big Cat series of children’s books. I am one of those authors – and my book The Jungle Outside, (ETA cover) illustrated by Trinidad and Tobago’s Danielle Boodoo Fortune, who also created visuals for my Caribbean Reads edition of Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, is among books in the series (my only book under contract with Collins) that are already being promoted online. Let’s check them out.

Each book has the following preamble: “Collins Big Cat supports every primary child on their reading journey from phonics to fluency. Top authors and illustrators have created fiction and non-fiction books that children love to read. Book banded for guided and independent reading, there are reading notes…

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