New Picture Book Celebrates Joy of Caribbean Carnival

Written by Red Carpet Shelley. Posted in Books, Caribbean Culture


Published on November 29, 2012 with No Comments

Few picture books are set in the Caribbean, but a new picture book takes readers on a delightful journey to the village of John John in Trinidad. Drummer Boy of John John, released in October from multicultural children’s book publisher LEE & LOW BOOKS, tells the story of a young boy named Winston who makes a surprising musical discovery just in time for Carnival.

Inspired by the early life of Winston “Spree” Simon, a pioneer in the development of the steel drum, Drummer Boy of John John uses sun-drenched paintings and musical text to celebrate the beauty of Caribbean culture and music, as well as the rewards that come with never giving up.

Both the author, Mark Greenwood, and illustrator Frané Lessac were inspired by their own time spent in the Caribbean. Lessac lived on the island of Monserrat, and Greenwood traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean as well as spending many years as a session drummer in London. “Being a musician, I was always interested in writing something about the musical culture of the Caribbean,” Greenwood said. “Our planet has an extraordinary musical diversity.”

Drummer Boy of John John received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, which called it “a joy to read.”




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