Sunday, April 13, 2014

Picture Book Review: Anna Carries Water

I've had a number of requests to review Caribbean books. As a matter of sifting quality through the quantity, I will review only traditionally published books that have gone through the editors' mill.
If your self-published book has had significant sales, send a query letter first.
Above All,
Happy Writing,

Synopsis: Anna fetches water from the spring every day, but she can’t carry it on her head like her older brothers and sisters can. In this charming and poetic family story set in Jamaica, Commonwealth Prize-winning author Olive Senior shows young readers the power of determination, as Anna achieves her goal and overcomes her fear. 

I Review: Anna Carries Water (Amazon link):
Anna Carries Water is an attractive picture book for adults to read aloud to under fives anywhere, especially those who are ready to dip into the wider, multi-cultural world. Some Caribbean readers (the illustrations place Anna in rural Jamaica) may find the text more stilted than rhythmic and the illustrative style too naive, but I think both text and illustration go together well enough to capture the West Indian innocence of our rural village life, that many parents and grandparents across the diaspora, may find pleasingly nostalgic. Anna Carries Water may prove difficult for inexperienced readers to enjoy independently at first, but children who spend little time outside the home, pre-school or Kindergarten may become inspired by Anna's daily walk to collect water, and be willing to line up and mimic her journey. What kids wouldn't want to have a go at balancing buckets of water on their heads? Regardless of culture, the challenge of accomplishing difficult skills and overcoming our illogical fears are universal concerns for kids and their interested grown ups everywhere. JJ

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