December 2013 Issue

Christmas Eve by Sayada Ramdial
The start of a new year is a time of promise and hope. At Anansesem, we are ever filled with the hope that we can continue to create a friendly, healthy space for Caribbean children's literature.

In this online "space", contributors to the ezine and readers both, are shaping stories that bridge the distance between the old and the new, adult and child readers, and the different figurative and literal spaces where children's stories are read and enjoyed: our homes, libraries, schools, and our hearts. We thank you for making our online space a community, and we look forward to even more community-building and creativity this year.

Our current issue, the December 2013 issue, reveals an awareness of the importance of creativity in writing for children, and in our cultures. In twelve-year-old Tyrin Culmer's story "Paint" artistic creativity plays a role in the reconciliation between a mother and daughter; in "What A Lime of a Night!" by Bajan writer Gale Weithers, a young boy learns a lesson only when his mother resorts to creative measures; and in the story "Ndiyamasi" by well-known children's author Tololwa Mollel, a young boy taps into the creative power of storytelling to deal with spooky happenings at night. Meanwhile, in the poems "Tess" by Patricia Whittle and "Jammin' in Jamrock" by Latoya Wakefield, it is the creativity of language, of words and images, that is at play.

The theme of creativity also runs through our nonfiction section. Interviews with Margarita Engle and Carol Ottley-Mitchell, author of the Caribbean Adventure Series, reveal a lot about the creativity involved in writing historical fiction, while book club volunteer Joanne C. Hillhouse's essay, "Adventures in Reading with Children", underscores the need for creative approaches when reading or doing reading instruction with children.

We are also happy to publish our virtual roundtable: "Broader, Better Conversations for Caribbean Children's Literature: Experts Speak Out", the first of what we hope will be many more of these group discussions, and a rare interview with Vashanti Rahaman, author of such picturebooks as Divali Rose and A Little Salmon for Witness. Lastly, our Featured Illustrators, Sayada Ramdial and Laura James, demonstrate in their artwork, the dynamic creativity of Caribbean children's illustration.

For 2014, our wish is that we will all enjoy a year of creative exploration, creative sharing, and creative daring. We look forward to broader, better conversations, and more joy in the exciting realm of children's literature as we continue to build our creative community together.

On behalf on the Anansesem team,

Summer Edward
Managing Editor

By Kids/Teens

Paint (fiction) by Tyrin Culmer

Contributions by the Young at Heart


What A Lime of a Night! by Gale Weithers


• Jammin’ in Jamrock by Latoya Wakefield
• Tess by Patricia Whittle


• Adventures in Reading with Children by Joanne C. Hillhouse
• Awakening an Interest in HistoryInterview with Caribbean Adventure Series Author, Carol Ottley-Mitchell
• Shining a Light on the Human Condition in Books for ChildrenInterview with Vashanti Rahaman
• Silver People and The Adventure of HistoryInterview with Margarita Engle
• Broader, Better Conversations for Caribbean Children's Literature: Experts Speak Out - Virtual Roundtable with Joanne Gail Johnson, Mario Picayo, Sujin Huggins, and Summer Edward


Illustrations from Anna Carries Water by Featured Illustrator, Laura James
Christmas Illustrations by Featured Illustrator, Sayada Ramdial
• An Intelligent Iguana by Sayada Ramdial

Guests from Around the World

• Ndiyamasi (fiction) by Tololwa Mollel

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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  1. Tyrin Culmer Was justed Published in your December issue Paint was here story. You have her as a boy in the write up about her at the end,but Tyrin is a girl. I am her Mother and I am so glad that you loved her story enough to put it in your magazine. Thank you this made my day!

  2. Tracy, our apologies for the gender mix-up; it's fixed now. We're very happy to publish a talented young writer. Keep writing Tyrin!