December 2016— Relaunch Issue

Snocone by © Jackie Hinkson. From Lost at Carnival
As I sit down to write this, Christmas is just a few days away. A lot of us are tackling our Christmas shopping lists, trying to pin down the perfect present for a loved one or someone who touched our lives this year.

I find myself thinking about gifts as well. But the gifts I'm thinking about are the gifts of being heard, the gifts of being seen. The gifts of sharing one's voice, one's stories— these are the gifts that move the world forward and that's why publishing platforms like ours are so important. Publication is a gift and it's one the writers and illustrators whose work appear in this issue have earned, rather than been given.

They share their gifts with us and as we share them back with you, we hope something comes to life in you the reader. Their words, their art, their stories can, and will, plant something in your imagination, in your consciousness, that will bear fruit later. This is the ancient cycle of sowing and reaping that fuels humanity. If we don't keep this cycle alive in our communities, in our writing communities in particular, we will lose the gifts our children need to live and live well.

Just a few of the gifts offered up in this issue: Budding Trinbagonian illustrators Jade Achoy and Jeunanne Alkins counter-intuitively use digital art to tell environmental tales and the results are mythical.

Imam Baksh (Guyana), CODE Burt Award winning author of Children of the Spider, proves why he's a YA author to watch with his space adventure science-fiction story, "Clara in the New World."

We honour meritorious self-published children's authors in the second installment of our Self-Publishing Journeys essay series; this time, it's picturebook authors Gregory Skeete (Barbados), Marjuan Canady (Trinidad and Tobago) and Gail Morong (Trinidad and Tobago) sharing their stories of creative self-agency.

Get a feel for the latest works of John Lyons and Lynn Joseph, two established Trinbagonian authors who happened to publish books for young people with the same title this year; veteran Jamaican educator and children's author Helen Williams reviews one and we share an exclusive excerpt from the other.

We are excited to share Caribbean-Canadian picturebook authors Nadia L. Hohn (Jamaica) and Itah Sadu (Barbados) in conversation. They discuss their journeys as diaspora children's authors against the backdrop of bookselling, teaching and Toronto's literary culture.

It is with the giftedness of our communities in mind that we keep this online platform alive for yet another year. We are especially encouraged by those who welcomed us back with zest after our two-year hiatus. We hope you will be a sower and share forward the writing and art in this issue with someone who needs reminding that our fields are indeed fertile.

All the best for a 2017 grounded in clarity, patience and hope.

On behalf of the Anansesem team,

Summer Edward



• Clara in the New World, 2492 A.D. by Imam Baksh, Burt Award winning author of Children of the Spider

• Excerpt from Dancing in the Rain by Lynn Joseph, Américas Award winning author of The Color of My Words

• Pitch Match Madness by Fidelia Fisher


• Excerpt from Morning Star Horse/El caballo Lucero by Margarita Engle, Newberry Honor winning author of The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom

• Bougainvillea Girl by Fidelia Fisher

• Playground Tra-la-la by Fidelia Fisher

Special Segment: Self-Publishing Journeys

• A Bucket List Item Crossed Off: Write a Children’s Storybook by Gail Morong, author of Lost at Carnival

• A Pelican, A Publisher, Potential and Possibilities by Gregory Skeete, author of the Pilly the Pelican Children's Book Series

• Creating Callaloo from Scratch: Finding my Power through Self-Publishing by Marjuan Canady, author of the Callaloo Series


• Author to Author: A Conversation between Caribbean-Canadian picturebook authors Nadia L. Hohn (Malaika's Costume) and Itah Sadu (Greetings, Leroy!)

• 28 Surefire Ways to Keep your Children’s or YA Book on the Radar by Marsha Gomes-Mckie, Regional Adviser of the Caribbean South chapter of the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

• Dr. Aisha Spencer's review of  Dancing in the Rain by John Lyons

• Dr. Carmen Milagros-Torres's review of  Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay

• Helen Williams's review of  Malaika's Costume by Nadia L. Hohn

• Jamaica's Children's Writers Circle (1983-2006): A Retrospective by Diane Browne and Lorrise DaCosta


• Iguana by Merry Phillips

• Illustrations from The Black Lake by Featured Illustrator, Jade Achoy

• Illustrations from Ready. SET...HATCH! by Featured Illustrator, Jeunanne Alkins

Guests from Around the World

Night Owl and Limerick by Victoria Krylova (poetry, 16 years old)

Sock Bugs by Nicole Steadman (poetry)

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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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