5 Books Published by Lantana Publishing on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about A Story About Afiya by James Berry A Story About Afiya

by James Berry
Lantana Publishing (Apr 07, 2020)
Read Detailed Book Description

In 1991, prolific Jamaican poet and Coretta Scott King Honor author James Berry (A Thief in the Village) wrote A Story About Afiya, an exquisite celebration of the simple magic of childhood. Lantana Publishing, founded “because all children deserve to see themselves in the books they read,” here debuts a dazzlingly illustrated posthumous edition of the poem magnificently enhanced by Brazilian artist Anna Cunha’s work.

Afiya is a lively young girl with fine black skin that shows off her white clothes and big brown eyes that laugh and long limbs that play. Her wardrobe consists of a single white summer frock she wears and washes every night. But this dress is something spectacular: every day [it] picks on something to collect, strangely. Throughout the summer, each of Afiya’s daily adventures imprints memorable details onto the blank canvas that is her summer frock: Afiya passes sunflowers and finds the yellow fringed black faces there. As her summer outings continue, she emerges from a walk through a resplendent garden with red roses in clustered bunches. On another day, she wanders through high grass and returns adorned with butterflies. Despite the dress’s nightly washings, the sharp pictures in colour remain untouched; yet, by morning, that same dress is cleared and ready, hanging white as new paper in anticipation for her next great discovery: pigeons in formation, tigers at the zoo, fishes under ruffled waves. With so much to do, Afiya’s summer passes quickly, too soon revealing the windswept leaves of October, falling, ushering in the autumn season.

Berry, who lived in Great Britain, was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to poetry before he died in 2017. The poet’s partner, Myra Barrs, an author, teacher and publisher, writes in a brief foreword that James Berry created a magic world for Afiya. She adds that Anna Cunha “has re-imagined the poem and created an enchanting fantasy landscape for Afiya’s adventures.” Each double-page spread is a marvelous new portrayal of Afiya, who seems perpetually in motion, dancing, flying, climbing, exploring and enjoying the delightful panoramas all around her. When readers open the book, its initial square shape expands into a wide beckoning landscape, with each page turn revealing a dynamic new view. From front to back, even the endpapers extend gorgeous, inventive invitations to readers.

As if emphasizing Afiya’s glowing, rounded pink cheeks—her Swahili name means ’health’—Cunha generously infuses her palette with rich pink and vibrant red hues. In visually accentuating Afiya’s free-roaming, outdoor-oriented, boundless explorations, Cunha affirms the essential necessity of encouraging childhood creativity to be untethered and free. As Barrs rightfully concludes, This book is a wonderful weaving together of two imaginations.’ Indeed, indeed! —Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon

Shelf Talker: The posthumous publication of Jamaican poet James Berry’s ’A Story About Afiya’ makes its debut in this visually spectacular edition illustrated by Brazilian artist Anna Cunha.

Click for more detail about Sing to the Moon by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl Sing to the Moon

by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl
Lantana Publishing (Oct 01, 2018)
Read Detailed Book Description

For one little Ugandan boy, no wish is too big. First he dreams of reaching the stars and then of riding a supernova straight to Mars. But on a rainy day at his grandfather’s house, he is brought down to earth with a bump. Do adventures only happen in galaxies far away or can he find magic a little closer to home? A touching story of a grandfather’s love for his grandson and the quiet pleasures of a rainy day.

Click for more detail about Sleep Well, Siba and Saba by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl Sleep Well, Siba and Saba

by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl
Lantana Publishing (Oct 01, 2017)
Read Detailed Book Description

Forgetful sisters Siba and Saba are always losing something. Each night, they dream about the things they have lost that day. But one night, their dreams begin to reveal something entirely unexpected … .

Click for more detail about The Wooden Camel by Wanuri Kahiu The Wooden Camel

by Wanuri Kahiu
Lantana Publishing (Oct 01, 2017)
Read Detailed Book Description

Etabo dreams of being a camel racer. One day he might even beat his older brother when they race. But with the price of water rising, Etabo’s father must sell the camels, and his siblings must find work. What will Etabo do now? From acclaimed Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu and Italian illustrator Manuela Adreani, this story of love and hope centers on the inspiring Turkana people of northwest Kenya. Told with gentleness and humor, it is a universal story about keeping one’s dreams alive.

Click for more detail about Chicken in the Kitchen by Nnedi Okorafor Chicken in the Kitchen

by Nnedi Okorafor
Lantana Publishing (Sep 01, 2017)
Read Detailed Book Description

What would you do if you woke up one night to find the shadow of a giant chicken passing your bedroom door? Go and investigate, of course! When Anyaugo follows a giant chicken into her kitchen one warm night in Nigeria, she embarks on a fun-filled adventure where nothing is quite as it seems. Is the mischievous giant chicken a friend or a foe? More importantly, will Anyaugo be able to save the food for the New Yam Festival the next day?