I discovered Ashley Bryan’s children’s books after meeting and interviewing him a few years ago. I was late to the party as the US born Antigua descended charismatic and easy-to-talk-to man was an award winning author and illustrator and a lot more besides including a WWll veteran as I learned during the interview. I enjoyed his insights on, well, everything (read article here). I really enjoyed our chat and hoped to stay in contact with him…and I suppose I have in a way as increasingly I reach for my copy of Dancing Granny (a gift from him) whenever I have to read to children and my own work is inappropriate. Thankfully I now have my own children’s book Fish Outta Water (or will soon as it’s on the market) but much as the kids enjoyed it the rhythm and rhyme and music of the Dancing Granny remains a favourite. Just ask the kids at the Antigua Public Library camp who when I visited today (July 15th 2013) beat the chairs and clapped along, helping me “shake it to the East, shake it to the West…”
UPDATE! images courtesy the Antigua Public Library …and this lovely note from Chief Librarian Ryllis Mannix:
“…thanks a lot for the FANTASTIC job with the children! They love it and will not stop talking about Anancy and Granny! That’s what it’s all about!
I have even heard talk of going to Best of Books and getting a copy!
The younger ones also love the one you wrote and will be telling their parents about it!
Thanks a MILLION once again! It was GREAT!”