Tata and the Big Bad Bull by Juleus Ghunta (Monday Meme-ing)


I just uploaded my review of new children’s picture book Tata and the Big Bad Bull:

“…if lower primary school teachers and parents with young readers are looking for a culturally-relatable read-aloud or read-a-long with humorous cues– bunny, duck, and dog lined up with the children to catch the bus among the first of these; colourful detail -the bee at the entrance to bee hive tunnel and the crocodile with sharp teeth on full display at the foot of the bridge over crocodile pool- among them; and rhyming couplets and repetition of a certain key phrase, this could be a good pick.”


Read the full review.

I’m linking this with Book Date’s It’s Monday, what are you reading? (the kid lit edition)


What am I reading? I’ve got several books in progress – dipping in to them as my schedule and attention allows. This week I dipped in to Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings (I’m about 455 pages in and still about 1/3 to go; man this book is long…and dense) and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: the Story of Success (only about 48 pages in). I’m enjoying both tbh but time to read is just scarce, man. I need to ride the bus more; that’s when I seem to get most of my reading done.


I haven’t blogged much here this week but, if you’re interested, here are some posts from my other blog: A post on a local art showa post about a Caribbean writer being tapped for a PEN lifetime achievement award, and a post on new film Skate Kitchen whose cinematographer is from Antigua. As for the blogosphere, I’m most looking forward to seeing the film Black Panther, but after reading Eva Langston’s What can a Wrinkle in Time Teach us about Writing? I’m keen to see that one too (though I haven’t read the book).


Love, 5 Books for the Child in Your Life

I am one of five authors recently invited to submit on the theme of love in the context of the writing of our children’s picture books.

There is US based Puerto Rican author Anika Denise, who in discussing the young diva in her book Starring Carmen!starring carmen, writes, “Carmen may be the star of the book, but it was in writing the character of Eduardo (Carmen’s brother) that I came to the heart of the story. It’s about the unconditional love that exists in families.”

There is US author Matt Taveres,who, in telling the story of baseball player Pedro Martinez in Growing Up Pedro, noted, “I realized that it was impossible to tell Pedro’s story without telling the story of his brother, Ramon. And maybe that is the message of love in Growing Up Pedro: all of our stories are intertwined, and it’s impossible to tell one person’s story without also telling the stories of their loved ones.”

There is Canada based Jamaican author Olive Senior who untangles black girls relationship with their hair in Boo-noo-noo-nous Hair, illustrated by US based artist of Antiguan descent Laura Jameshair-their second project together, I believe, after Anna Carries Water. For anyone who doesn’t understand our complicated journey to love, after the diseases of slavery and colonialism and the still pervasive messages that privilege other standards of beauty, as black people (the relationship with our hair being only one symptom of this), consider Senior’s statement that her book is about “a mother’s love for her child and her gracious way of healing the wounds of inferiority imposed by racial difference or images of ‘beauty’ that don’t reflect who we are.”

There is Puerto Rican Lulu Delacre’s whose book, one of many, is How Far do You Love Me? who through a game she played with her daughters explores the expansiveness of parental love, so expansive not even death could kill it. She writes, ” it wasn’t until my youngest daughter died, that I realized that I love her as much in death as I did in life. For me, this means that she still is.”

And then there is me, and as I write in my piece, I was really trying to write myself back in to a positive space after a negative encounter. “In the end, I believe writing this story helped me shoo some negative energy (creative expression is nothing if not cathartic) and reminded me of the power of love (and the pen) as a curative for (and a shield against) bad mind, bad energy, and bad soil.” My book is With Grace.with-grace

You can read all the authors’ musings in Anansesem (the Caribbean children’s ezine’s) special Love issue here.



New book coming soon

So, just got advance copies of Fish Outta Water – my first ever ever ever children’s picture book – in the mail. So psyched to finally see it.

It’s illustrated (beautifully) by Zavian Archibald and published by Pearson, part of its Stepping Stones series – a literary and language arts series designed specifically for Caribbean children http://caribbean.pearson.com/steppingstones

Back cover blurb:

Meet Dolphin, the Arctic seal. Dolphin loves hearing tale 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?