Written by: Lynn Joseph
Illustrated by: Sandra Speidel
For Ages: 4 years and up
Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Culture & Traditions, Caribbean Islands, Poetry, Community, Family, Love.
Summary: This book is a collection of poems about life in the Caribbean islands. The narrator is a young girl of color, and these short poems illustrate island life through her eyes. School, snail races, markets, and the sea are just a few of the topics the books covered. Beautiful paintings illustrate the moments captured in these poems, and help to showcase the people of color that call these islands their home.
In an Author’s Note on the last page, Lynn talks about her childhood growing up in Trinidad. She wrote the poems to remember this life, and share it with others. Poetry is a fun medium to introduce to young children, and commemoration of a childhood is a great topic for a book! Having a narrator that’s a young girl of color is a voice often erased, but this book celebrates the mundane moments that children find so special. We encourage you to check this book out and introduce it into your regular curriculum in a variety of subjects!
- What was your favorite poem?
- What did you notice about the subjects the narrator chose to write about?
- What do you think makes a poem, a poem?
- What do you do in your life that you could write a poem about?
Continuing the Conversation:
- Learn more about Trinidad, where the author is from, or another Caribbean island. What is unique about them compared to other places? Take a classroom tour of these islands, and learn what is special about each of them.
- Learn more about poetry, and it’s different styles. Try writing your own! Or, work in partners and one person can write a poem, the other can illustrate it.
- The illustrator for this book has a very distinct style. Experiment with different painting styles and find the one you connect with! Paint to illustrate some of your poetry.
About the Author & the Illustrator:
Lynn Joseph grew up in Trinidad, but moved to Baltimore when she was 10. After that, she spent lovely summers back in Trinidad. She received a Bachelor’s in English, and then went to law school! She currently lives in New York where she writes full-time and practices law part-time. Check out her website for a fantastic and in-depth interview to learn more about Lynn’s life!
Sandra Speidel is known for her figurative and abstract paintings, which reveal a rich and complex surface quality and ambiguous interpretation. Though her paintings are anchored in classic painting and drawing, they suggest a broader story through the exploration of abstract elements.
Sandra attended Duke University in North Carolina as an English and art major. She later received a degree in journalism and came to California to work as a writer for WomenSports Magazine.
She soon returned to art, studying at the San Francisco Academy of Art University. Before turning to fine art painting in 2000, she enjoyed a very successful career as an illustrator. Among her clients were Apple Computers, FTD Florists, the US Postal Service, and Warner Books. She illustrated 19 books for children, including three for Maria Shriver.