By Yolanda T. Marshall
I know many of you are looking forward to the parade and all the Caribbean events in the city. Please remember to apply your sunscreen, drink lots of water and be safe on the road. I am looking forward to reading Sadé Smith’s new book, Julie and the Mango Tree, vibrantly illustrated by Sayada Ramdial. Sadé is also the brilliant traditionally published Canadian/Jamaican author of Granny’s Kitchen, which is illustrated by the prize-winning, Canadian illustrator, Ken Daley.
What inspired you to write Granny’s Kitchen, your Forest of Reading nominated children’s book?
The story for Granny’s Kitchen was inspired by my younger sister when she was little and my grandmother in the kitchen. She would always ask my grandmother for breakfast until one day, my grandmother decided to teach her how to make it herself. This is a common practice in Caribbean households, where the grandparents share their cooking recipes and techniques with their grandchildren to pass them down the generational timeline. Originally, my grandmother taught my sister how to make bacon and eggs, but I wanted to add some of my Jamaican background to the story and I changed the recipes to Jamaican breakfast foods instead. I wanted the story to resonate with readers who were taught how to cook by their grandparents. The story brings back a sense of nostalgia for many older readers and it reminds them of their childhoods. I also added the recipes in the back of the book so readers can follow along and experience a wonderful and important part of Jamaican culture. Everything’s better with breakfast!
You must be excited about the launch of your new book. Can you tell us more about it?
I am super excited about Julie and the Mango Tree which comes out on August 8, 2023. This beautiful book is illustrated by Sayada Ramdial who is of Trinidadian descent. The story is about a little girl named Julie who loves mangoes (like me) and she tries everything to get a mango but she just can’t get one. She tries many schemes and strategies to get a mango, but nothing works. You must read the book to see if and how she finally gets a hold of her favourite snack. The story is about determination, patience, and perseverance with a valuable lesson of being grateful. This book is filled with fun and vibrant illustrations that will make you very hungry for mangoes and there are also yummy and simple recipes in the back of the book for readers to try at home!
Please join Sadé Smith for the launch of Julie and the Mango Tree at A Different Booklist store on Sat. August 12th from 4 pm – 6 pm.
Let’s reflect on our Canadian and Caribbean history and culture with these sweet reads.
Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada
Written by Natasha L Henry-Dixon
“When the passage of the Abolition of Slavery Act, effective August 1, 1834, ushered in the end of slavery throughout the British Empire, people of African descent celebrated their newfound freedom. Now African-American fugitive slaves, free black immigrants, and the few remaining enslaved Africans could live unfettered live in Canada – a reality worthy of celebration.” – Dundurn Press, 2010.
Keman’s First Carnival
Written by Yolanda T. Marshall (me)
“This was Keman’s first experience of Toronto’s annual Caribbean Carnival. The excited Canadian 8-year-old and his mother enjoyed the rituals at the Caribbean celebration, such as picking a flag to wave, the Caribbean-influenced foods, dancing, costumes, and music.” – Garnalma Press, 2016.
Please support your local bookstores, such as A Different Booklist, Notability Mobile Bookstore, Nile Valley Books, Knowledge Bookstore and Manifest Bookstore.