Monday, April 17, 2017
Sunday, February 5, 2017
The novel: Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay:
The publisher: Harper Collins from its UK publisher Papillote Press
What better news to start my blogging for 2017. I had reviewed this book in 2016. I loved it. Congratulations to Diana and Papillote Press. I am reposting the review below for your interest:
Thursday, December 8, 2016
From 2007-2011, Dr. Rebecca Tortello served as a Senior Advisor/Consultant to the Minister of Education with special responsibility for early childhood, primary and parenting issues. Dr. Tortello holds a PhD in Comparative Education and Sociology from Columbia University, a Masters in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in History and Literature from Harvard University.
A former Assistant Professor of Education at New York’s Adelphi University, for the past ten years, Dr. Tortello regularly lectures at the University of the West Indies. She is the author of a number of articles on education as well as the popular history book, “Pieces of the Past – A Stroll Down Jamaica’s Memory Lane” (now in its second printing). Dr. Tortello has edited and advised on a number of early childhood series for Jamaica and co-written the Teacher's Guide for Pearson's "1,2,3, You and Me." She has also written a number of children’s books including "My Jamaican ABCs," “Nancy and Grandy Nanny,” and the Ministry of Education’s titles, “Big and Strong” and “Colouring My School.”
From April 2012 to February 2015, Dr. Tortello focused on expanding the scope of the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation as its General Manager. In March 2015, she began a new position as Quality Education Advisor at UNICEF Jamaica.
The Grade 3 class connected immediately with the story about Abigail's "Poufey" hair. Both the boys and girls enjoyed reminiscing on their own Poufey hair and having it combed and de-tangled to their own occasional "OW!" The children joined in the "one two twist, one two twist" chorus as Abigail's mother daintily parted and twisted her hair to produce eight beautiful twists all over Abigail's head. They LOVED the illustrations and in particular the girls exclaimed with delight when they saw Abigail's trendy outfit and hairstyle at the end of the story. The session ended with the students drawing different aspects of the story. The Class Monitor then formally thanked me on behalf of the students. A truly delightful experience to see how the book boosted the self image of the children and helped them to celebrate and appreciate their African roots. I was subsequently invited to be a guest reader to a Grade 4 class on June 1, Literacy Day.
Bio: Marie Cunnigham-Clarke, is a Communications Consultant (retired). She conceptualized and is responsible for adjudicating a Speak Up Programme at St Andrew High School for Grades 7-10 students. The programme aims to improve students' use of Standard English through annual conversational, poetry and literary competitions. Grade level winners receive cash and book prizes.
Marie was recently elected President of The International Proxy Parents (IPP), a non-profit organization which raises funds for less fortunate children in Jamaica. Each year IPP gives over $1.5m in scholarships and assistance to State run childrens' homes in Jamaica.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
(I am having all sorts of challenges with the font, as I capture the words of the authors. So apologies for that, but I think you will enjoy what they have to say, what motivates them. I love hearing why authors write what they write.)
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
|I am a widow and the mother of three boys and grandma to nine. I have won several silver and bronze medals and certificates of merit in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission literary competitions. I have had historical articles and short stories published in The Gleaner, The Observer, Jamaica InterCom (No longer published) . My children's stories have also been aired on the local children's programme, Colgate Cavity fighters programme. In addition, some of my children's stories published in collections by The Children's Writers Circle, are The Ghost in “Double Trouble and other stories” and Lydia in “Just Suppose and other stories”. Selectco published Late Again in Little Lennies Leisure Time Book. 1. Ginn Publishers used Why the Rainbird Calls the Rain in their New Caribbean Reader Book and Carlong Publishers used The Legend of Martha Brae in TeK Mi, Noh TekMi!, one of the books in their Sand Pebbles series. The Ministry of Education uses some of my stories in their print publications. In their audio Books they have used Midnight Earns Friends, Night Blooming Cereus, Toady, None Like Me and Why the Rain Bird Calls the Rain. “Kids Read”, a Canadian Publication has used Midnight Earns Friends in its Summer 2015 collection. The Little Christmas Tree was published as a story colouring book |
●I hold a diploma in writing for children from the Institute of Children's and I am Fellow Of The Life Management Institute with specialties in Personnel Management and Administrative Management
●Presenter and Resource person for CARICOM/OAS workshop for new writers held at the Liguanea Club Jamaica in 2000
●Chosen by the JCDC as a Children’s writer to represent Jamaica at the Canadian Caribbean Cultural Exhibition in Toronto Canada in June 2003
Saturday, November 12, 2016
On a recent Saturday, after thinking about it for some time, I finally had ‘morning coffee’ with writers – three children’s writers, one adult and one poet, a male. The first time we have had a male for any meeting here. (And my husband joined us because he knows the poet, and actually seemed to enjoy our literary conversation) We were supposed to be looking at the usual, the viability of children’s writing, marketing and other miseries. However, as we always do, we wondered off agenda to things of general interest, bearing in mind that anything we actually mention can be considered fuel for creativity. And this time, here with us was a writer writing in another genre. Our poet wondered if any of us had ever considered writing poetry. It turned out two of us had. I have known him from he was a young poet of 19 or so, impressing us with his poems at the gate at the bottom of a hill on which his cousin, my friend, lived. I think she and I were about 14. How far we have all come. Bona fide writers.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
I do recall when I was working with Olive Senior (yes, the Olive Senior) at the Institute of Jamaica Publications, us having a poetry reading by Lorna Goodison at the Institute of Jamaica with 5th and 6th forms from as many schools as we could. The auditorium was almost full. The students were enthusiastic, and this had nothing to do with school set books; it had to do with poetry. Afterwards the students crowded around the stage like Lorna Goodison was a rock star, (which she is, come to think of it) asking questions, just wanting to share with her their joy at having experienced the event. (If anyone who was there reads this and can tell me that my memory of this event needs some clarification/correction, please feel free to do so). This occasion is right up there with important memories in my life. I was overwhelmed that the students were overwhelmed.