Page-turners for young minds: Must-read books for children Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Happy Read Across Jamaica Day! Reading is a window to a world which offers everyone a chance to imagine, learn and grow.

As we celebrate Read Across Jamaica Day and Child Month 2024, the Lasco Cornflakes and Loop News teams wish to ensure that the spirit of fostering a love for books, reading and storytelling begins with our youngest. 

Let’s dive into the pages of some must-read books that not only entertain but also educate and inspire our young readers. 

1.    Black Girl uTwinkle: Building Positive Self-concept for Black Girls – Zanjainie Watson

With heartfelt passion, Zanjainie Watson reveals how important it is for black girls to accept and love themselves—an absolute necessity for developing high self-esteem.

“Black Girl uTwinkle” is a wonderfully affirming book which provides reasons girls should accept the way God created them. It highlights God as the ultimate source of cultivating positive self-concept.

2.    The Unforgiveness Monsters: A Lesson on Forgiveness – Rowanne Sylvester

For children, learning to forgive someone who has let them down or hurt their feelings can be difficult.

In “The Unforgiveness Monsters”, Jamaican author Rowane Sylvester introduces children to forgiveness skills such as letting go of the ‘monsters’ that are weighing them down and learning to accept an apology and move forward without holding grudges.

It encourages children to let go of disappointment, not for the benefit of others, but for themselves.

3.    Adventures of Nelly: Spring Vale – Kristina Morgan

This beautifully illustrated picture book is the first in a series of adventures of a black girl, Nelly, in the Jamaican countryside. It provides representation not often depicted and provides a unique view that introduces children to what it is like growing up in the Caribbean.

Set in Jamaica around the 1980s, each page carries the innocence, freedom, and sweet nostalgia of the kind of childhood that every child should enjoy. This story is filled with happiness, love and community.

4.    The Jumbies – Tracey Baptiste

This thrilling story by Caribbean author Tracey Baptiste is set on the island of Trinidad and follows the main character, Corinne La Mer, as she confronts sinister creatures known as jumbies who threaten her village.

With its richly drawn characters and spine-tingling plot, “The Jumbies” offers a captivating blend of adventure, mystery, and Caribbean folklore that is sure to keep readers entranced from beginning to end.

This fairy tale story highlights the power of bravery and the thrill and drive for adventure in every child.

5.    Anna Carries Water – Olive Senior 

In this delightful family tale set in Jamaica, we meet Anna, a determined young girl who faces a unique challenge. Unlike her older brothers and sisters, who can carry water on their heads, Anna carries it by hand from the spring every day.

Through her perseverance, Anna demonstrates the power of determination and achieves her goal.

Commonwealth Prize-winning author Olive Senior skilfully weaves this story, showcasing her poetic writing skills. The book also features fantastic illustrative work by Laura James.

Young readers are sure to learn new words and phrases as they follow Anna’s journey. 

As we celebrate Read Across Jamaica Day and Child Month, let us remember that the magic of storytelling knows no bounds.

These handpicked selections offer not only captivating narratives but also valuable lessons that will resonate with children from all walks of life. 

From the enchanting realms of Caribbean folklore to the empowering journey of self-discovery, each book serves as a gateway to imagination, empathy, and understanding.

So, let’s continue to nurture a love for reading in our young ones, for within the pages of a book, endless possibilities await.