Tuesday, 20 May 2014

ONCE UPON A TIME: Tales of adventure and vivid imagination perfect for growing kids

ISLAND LIFE: Mandara's book introduces the kindergarten and Grade One set to aspects of Jamaican heritage.

“Reading maketh a full man.” You hear this refrain constantly around Child’s Month, when greater consideration is being given to literacy among the very young, as local libraries and book publishers jostle to get their latest offerings properly noticed. And this year is no different, with the best of the most recent releases exploring ideas of fantasy, friendship, family and everything in between, with laudable results.

Eye-catchingly illustrated and humorously told, Tracey McNair’s Suck Finger Pickney spins the delightful tale of Anika and Ricky, two impressionable kids drawn together by their love of thumb-sucking. As brawta for the parents, McNair smartly weaves in useful information on the physical and emotional factors that usually accompany the hard-to-break habit.

Your adventure-loving tots, meantime, will certainly fall for Gina Harvey-Lewis’ The Adventures of Lumi and Lizzy, the intriguing story of a magical unicorn, her best friend and their exciting journey home through an enchanted forest, meeting interesting new pals along the way.

While author Maizle Goulbourne charts similar territory with When the Sun and the Moon Ran Away, a fascinating yarn about two youngsters from outer space (Marlon Moon and Sally Sun) who become fast friends in their attempt to flee home and the restrictions imposed by their families, Adrian Mandara MD offers the vibrant Jamaica My Island Home (for ages four to six), which introduces the kindergarten and Grade One set to aspects of Jamaican heritage, our island beauty, and their role in preserving it.

Finally, encourage your tweens and teens to pick up Colleen Smith-Dennis’ eye-opening coming-of-age saga The Salt Loses Her Savour that follows an ambitious high-school cheerleader who loses her innocence before she knew it was hers to lose. As with her previous efforts (the award-winning Inner-City Girl and For Her Son), the author combines sharp plotting with empowering and timely messages that resonate across age barriers.

*All the titles mentioned above are available via LMH Publishing Limited and at booksellers islandwide.

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