Scenes from a Caribbean Childhood

Rudolph the Reindeer by Shannon Bryan, 6 yrs
by Joanne C. Hillhouse

are beautiful
and Snow-on-the-Mountain*
at Christmastime
and a smile.

The sun
feels nice
and the beach;
even saltwater
burning your eyes.

Guavas taste
and fresh picked
and a just-for-fun
game of dominoes.

The stars are nice
at night
and grass for lying
and the scent of fresh
baked sugarcakes
blowing in on the wind.

*Snow-on-the-mountain is a type of flower found in the Caribbean; it flowers white and only at Christmas


About the author...

Joanne C. Hillhouse (who also writes under the name 'jhohadli') is the author of two books of fiction: The Boy from Willow Bend and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight. A former Breadloaf fellow, her fiction and poetry have, also, appeared in Tongues of the Ocean, Mythium, Ma Comère, The Caribbean Writer, Calabash, Sea Breeze, Women Writers: A Zine, and more. She was awarded a 2004 UNESCO Honour Award for her contribution to literacy and the literary arts. Among her projects are the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize. She’s a freelance writer, journalist, editorial consultant, and producer (having worked in print, film, and TV). For more, visit

About the illustrator...

Shannon Bryan is 6 years old and lives in Barbados.

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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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