Coming To England

A twentieth-anniversary edition of Floella Benjamin’s classic memoir. Includes a new foreword by the author and some additional historical information. Beautifully illustrated by Michael Frith. Floella Benjamin was just a young girl when she, her sister and two brothers arrived in England in 1960 to join their parents, whom they had not seen for fifteen months. They had left the island paradise of Trinidad to make a new home in London – part of a whole generation of West Indians who were encouraged to move to Britain and help rebuild the country after the Second World War. Reunited with their mother, Floella was too overwhelmed at first to care about the cold weather and the noise and dirt from the traffic. But, as her new life began, she was shocked and distressed by the rejection she experienced. She soon realized that the only way to survive was to work twice as hard and be twice as good as anyone else.

Featured in WOW Review Volume X, Issue 3.

Coconut Kind of Day: Island Poems

In poems that ring with Caribbean rhythm, Lynn Joseph follows a young girl in Trinidad throughout her day, from arriving late at school to pulling fishing nets from the sea. Illustrated with glowing pastels that burst with the color and spirit of island life. Full-color illustrations.

Drummer Boy of John John

A story inspired by events in the boyhood of Winston “Spree” Simon, a pioneer in the development of the steel drum, in which he discovers he can create tunes by banging on discarded cans. Includes author’s note, glossary, and sources.

Gregory Cool

When he goes to visit his grandparents and his cousin on the island of Tobago, Gregory misses home at first, but as he gets to know both the island ways and his relatives, Gregory begins to enjoy himself.

My Two Grannies

An appealing story about a mixed-race family learning to accept different traditions and customs. Alvina has two grannies: Grannie Vero from Trinidad and Grannie Rose from England. When Alvina’s parents go on vacation, both grannies arrive to look after Alvina. But the two grannies have two very different ideas about what to eat, what to play, even what stories to tell. The grannies get angrier and angrier with each other, but Alvina devises a plan so that each granny can have her own way — or so she hopes! This sweet, funny story about tolerance and understanding reminds children that no matter how great the differences may seem, there’s always room for common ground.

How to Catch a Fish

Thirteen linked verses and handsome, mood-drenched paintings show how we catch fish–from New England to the Arctic, to Japan and Namibia and beyond. This lovely picturebook–about fishing, geography, people and customs, and the bond between parent and child fishing together–will appeal to everyone who’s cast a line in the water.

The Mermaid’s Twin Sister: More Stories from Trinidad

This sequel to “A Wave in Her Pocket” offers six stories based on Trinidad’s folklore, in a framework of contemporary island life.

Angel’s Grace

Grace has always had wild red hair like no one else in her family and a birthmark on her shoulder that her mother told her was the mark of an angel. When Grace is sent from New York to spend the summer with her grandmother in Trinidad, she looks through the family album and discovers a blurred photograph of a stranger with a birthmark — her birthmark — and Grace is full of questions. No one is able to identify the man in the photo, and Grace is left with no choice but to find out who he is and what he might mean to her. What Grace does not know is that her search will lead to a discovery about herself and her family that she never could have imagined. Tracey Baptiste’s first novel is a tender coming-of-age story set on the island of Trinidad. Angel’s Grace explores the meaning of identity and truth, and the unbreakable ties of a family bound by love.

(Paula Wiseman Books)

Jump Up Time: A Trinidad Carnival Story

Carnival is supposed to be a happy time, but Lily wishes it were over. Her family has been working on the gorgeous hummingbird costume for months, but it’s Lily’s big sister, Christine, who will wear it at the Children’s Carnival. Lily doesn’t want to wait till next year for her chance to jump up in costume.