Thursday, August 1, 2013
Books from the Caribbean: A new book from Barbados
This book is Turtle Tracks: the tale of a nesting hawksbill turtle, a picture book, written and delightfully illustrated by Sue Trew, published by Best of Barbados, 2013. The book gives interesting facts about the nesting of hawksbill turtles, but in a way that makes the turtle the protagonist and the reader a participant in this journey. It's therefore educational, supporting of the environment and the cherishing of all the things which are valuable on our planet, as it deals with a topic in which children can become engaged. Most of all, for me, the language is charming. It draws the children into the wonders of nature, reinforcing the author's illustrations by the magic of words. In addition, there are discussion facts in the back of the book, and in keeping with the technological world in which our children interact, there is a website for them to check out. The dedication also leads us to the website of the Barbados Sea Turtle Project.
This book was purchased at the airport in Barbados, and since I try as much as possible to be balanced in my comments on this blog, and many of them might appear to be critical of my own island's approach to the stocking of local children's books in our bookstores, I must give the following information. I visited a leading bookstore in Barbados and confidently asked for Barbadian children's books. I was led to the usual collection of Caribbean literature for CXC books. So had I not got the opportunity at the airport I would not have seen this delightful book. And now I recall that all the Barbadian children's books I have bought over the years, have been obtained at the airport in the Best of Barbados store.
Consequently, one might conclude that the fact that our local children's books are in some of our stores, is due to the constant work by our authors and the Book Industry Association of Jamaica. Therefore, I must take back all my harsh comments about Jamaicans and reading. Well, just some. I guess we all face the same challenges in this region. Our authors just have to be persistent and vigilant in their socialization of our people about local children's literature.