[Featured Illustrators] Danielle C. McManus-Sladek

Danielle C. McManus-Sladek's self-published e-picturebook, My Grandma's Journey is a fictional story inspired by her grandmother, Evelyn Brissette's, journey from Jamaica. It tells of Evelyn's adventure on a ship destined to America when she was seven years old, and her special friendship with a girl named Edna Marsh. You can preview My Grandma's Journey on

In the illustration "Evelyn Leaves Kingston", a sad Evelyn is held in the arms of her mother Edith as she waves goodbye to friends and family. For this illustration McManus-Sladek used watercolor, pastels, and brown sepia ink outlines. She channeled her own memories of moving across town as a child in creating this illustration.

The illustration "Evelyn Remembers" shows Evelyn thinking about all the things she left at home including her cat, Murry; Evelyn is flying back to Jamaica with her favorite blanket that her mother made her. Her blanket reminds her of home and the smell of home. McManus-Sladek used cut-out paper along with watercolors, colored pencils, and sepia ink.

Evelyn Leaves Kingston

Evelyn Remembers

Danielle on what Caribbean children's illustration means to her:

Caribbean children's illustration means education and history to me. I think it is important to educate everyone about different cultures other than your own and to educate yourself about your own culture as well. I have noticed there are many negative depictions of the Caribbean and definitely a lack of children's books that speak about it in a positive and beautiful way. It is important to me as an illustrator and author to educate children and adults about a culture that is both special and meaningful."


Danielle C. McManus-Sladek is of Jamaican descent and currently resides in New York where she works as a freelance illustrator. Some of her clients include Crain's New York Business, Easy Spirit/Jones Apparel, MacsWomen, and Lam Design. She has currently written and illustrated five children's books. Presently her work is being shown at Mystic Seaport in the exhibit entitled, 'Restoring a Past, Charting a Future.' As an ambitious artist and entrepreneur, she launched her children's book company, Little Timeless Tales, and a greeting card store on Etsy.

View more of Danielle's work here:

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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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