Look no further than these best children’s books of 2023, which are brimming with the adventure and magic of the colorful and vibrant Caribbean culture. Prepare to enter a world of explorers, cultures, and friendships set against a backdrop of some of the most stunning islands in the world.
1. Island Born, Junot Dias (Dominica Republic)
A young girl named Lola is asked by her teacher to draw a picture of where she is from in the picture book “Island Born” by Junot Diaz. Lola embarks on a quest to find out from her family and friends what memories they have of the island she left behind when she was a baby because she is unable to recall it. Lola discovers about the splendor and vibrancy of her native Dominican Republic through their tales.
2. Black Girl u Twinkle, Zanjainie Watson (Jamaica)
Zanjainie Watson’s collection of poems titled “Black Girl u Twinkle” honors the beauty and tenacity of black girls. The poems address subjects like identity, friendship, and self-love.
3. My Soca Birthday Party with jollof rice and steel pans, Yolanda T Marshall (Guyana)
The birthday celebration of a young girl named Janelle is chronicled in the picture book “My Soca Birthday Party with Jollof Rice and Steel Pans” by Yolanda T. Marshall. With music, food, and traditions that honor her Guyanese heritage, Janelle’s party is a fusion of Caribbean and West African culture.
4. Chronicles of Coryn: 7 Days of Fun, Coryn Anaya Clarke (Trinidad and Tobago)
The chapter book “Chronicles of Coryn: 7 Days of Fun” by Coryn Anaya Clarke chronicles the exploits of Coryn, a young girl from Trinidad and Tobago, during her summer break from school. She and her friends set out on a new adventure every day, taking part in activities like exploring a nearby nature preserve and parades.
5. Bajan Baby What Do You See, Terry Ann M. Hopkin (Barbados)
A picture book called “Bajan Baby What Do You See” by Terry Ann M. Hopkin introduces young readers to the sights and sounds of Barbados. The book encourages kids to explore their surroundings and appreciate their beauty through vibrant illustrations and rhyming text.
6. Today I am an Astronaut by Lisa Henry (Trinidad & Tobago)
A picture book called “Today I Am an Astronaut” by Lisa Henry inspires kids to dream big and pursue their interests. In the book, a young girl named Zoey imagines herself as an astronaut traveling through space. The book inspires kids to embrace their curiosity and pursue their dreams through Zoey’s journey.