9 Picture Book Biographies About Caribbean Women

With all that's happened in our global community in the past few days, we've had to hit pause on our Great Ladies of Caribbean Children's Literature essay series that we started publishing in celebration of Women's History Month; understandably, most people's minds, including those of our Great Ladies, are occupied with other things at the moment. We'll publish the rest of the essays in April. 

In the midst of our recent collective shock, Women's History Month still matters. I think about how my grandmothers (one of whom is still very much alive at age 103) lived through the Spanish flu pandemic that started in 1918 and two World Wars as well. I think of my maternal great-grandmother, the illegitimate daughter of a Venezuelan dictator, who fled to Trinidad in search of freedom and had to build a new life from nothing. I think of all of my great-great-grandmothers who survived the horrors of slavery. As we process the current difficult moment, their lives and stories call to me across time as reminders of the strength and wisdom we can draw from those who came before us.

In troubled times, I'm always drawn to, and always draw on, the lessons and triumphs of women's history, which are also, in part, the lessons and triumphs of feminine wisdom. In a pandemic I think we're already beginning to relearn feminine wisdom: the value of mothering and domesticity, and of the feminine traits of gentleness, empathy, humility, receptivity, and sensitivity, attributes that all of us, both female and male, may have lost sight of or neglected to cultivate.

Before the 'storm' hit, I wrote an annotated bibliography for EBSCOhost Novelist in observance of Women's History Month titled '9 Picture Book Biographies About Caribbean Women' (at the end, I mention 2 picture books that will be published later this year as well as 2 picture books that are fictional tributes to notable Caribbean women, as opposed to biographies, bringing the list to 13); you can access that bibliography here if you (or your institution) have a subscription:, or alternatively search for it in the NoveList Plus or NoveList K-8 Plus databases by entering UI 449635 in the search bar.

About the Author

Summer Edward is the Editor-in-Chief here at Anansesem. Her writing and art have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Her home on the web is

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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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