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A Story About Afiya by James Berry & Anna Cunha (Softcover)

A Story About Afiya by James Berry & Anna Cunha (Softcover)

Regular price $8.99 USD
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Children's Picture Book - Ages 5-8

A gorgeously illustrated and joyful celebration of a young Caribbean girl’s childhood.

This joyous celebration of childhood, culture and place by the late Jamaican poet follows a young girl named Afiya ('health' in Swahili) whose summer frock 'collects' what she sees as she dances across an island in motion: One day butterflies adhere to it, imprinting their vivid patterns, another day flocks of birds or fish in the waves.

For its Brazilian illustrator each airy panoramic spread is a fresh canvas, like Afiya's newly washed dress each morning. Cunha’s color palette, mixing earth tones and pastels, is the perfect complement to Berry’s wondrous words.

Winner of the Northern Lights Picture Book of the Year Award 2020. USBBY Outstanding International Books 2021. New York Times, 25 Best Children's Books of 2020. Kate Greenaway Medal Nomination 2021. A Guardian Children's Book of the Month 2020.

"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.

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