by Shivanee Ramlochan, Paper Based Blogger
Cover of Children’s Stories from The Bocas Lit Fest 2011
A tremendously important part of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest revolves around the ways in which the youngest readers are involved. Since the festival’s inception in 2011, one of the most popular and well-attended arms of the program is the KFC Children’s Storytelling series of events. In the run-up to the festival days, storytelling sessions are held at KFC restaurants across the country, including locations in Tobago, Couva, Chaguanas, San Fernando, Point Fortin, Mayaro and Arima. The festival days themselves boast a specific children’s programme that is crammed full of exciting activities, at which local storytellers and entertainers do their best to ensure that the young minds in attendance are endlessly delighted.
This book of sixteen tales is divided into two parts: the first features stories told by youngsters beneath the age of 10, and the second showcases the work of children aged 11 through 15. The titles of some stories are the same, but this is where the similarities stop. Each of the sixteeen fables is equally precious, highlighting the talent, creativity and boundless imagination of our nation’s budding wordsmiths. The entire collection is vividly illustrated by carnival and theatre designer, Clary Salandy. Salandy’s energetic, exuberant art helps bring the stories to life, as boisterous market scenes, animated sea creatures and erupting volcanoes emerge from the printed pages.
A particularly fine example of the flourishing successes that can accompany children’s book publishing in our region, this collection would make a splendid Christmas present for:
- aspiring young writers, in an effort to ensure them that it’s never too early to have authorly ambitions;
- young readers eager to hear interesting stories told by a body of their peers;
- collectors of children’s reading material who wish to expand their Caribbean title range.