Friday, January 3, 2014

Reading at Buckingham Primary School

On December 9, 2013,  I went to make a presentation of "Delroy in the Marog Kingdom" to Buckingham Primary School, located on the road from Montego Bay to Hopeton through Granville, Camrose and Kempshot. A book-reading was arranged by Tamika Williams to follow my visit to her award-winning Ahhh Ras Natanga Garden and Gallery. The book was donated by Donna Delgado as part of 1 Love Medusa Reunion's activities in July 2012, when members of the group bought copies of my book to be donated either to the school they attended, or to a school of my choosing. I read to grades 4 to 6. As usual, I carried a toy frog and a pot which grabbed the students' attention from the beginning,  They remained focused until the end. I hope the excerpts I read were enough to whet their appetites so they will read the book for themselves.
      I then went to grades 1 and 2 to read "Beautiful Blackbird" by Ashley Bryan. When I read this book to grade 1 classes in another school, the children lost interest halfway through, perhaps because I had no props. This time, inspired by Mara Menzies storytelling, I tried some of her techniques. Of course, I had to read rather than tell the story, but my sister, here on holiday, held the book for me. My arms were free to flap like birds' wings and the children flapped theirs also, like the birds who flew in from all over with a flip-flop-flapping of their wings. For the Show Claws Slide, the children followed instructions to
"Tip tap toe to the left, spin around,
Tip tap toe to the right, stroke the ground."
     There were opportunities throughout the story to involve the children in actions and song. The response was very different this time, as the children were engaged and listening throughout the whole story, so much so that they wanted me to read it again. My next challenge is to choose popular tunes for the songs, so children can join in.
     "Beautiful Blackbird" is adapted from a tale from the Ila speaking peoples from Zambia.  Ashley Bryan (born July 13, 1923) is an African-American writer and illustrator of children's books. Most of his subjects are from the African American experience. He was U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2006 and he won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his contribution to American children's literature in 2009. 
       If you are interested in donating a copy of "Delroy in the Marog Kingdom" or "Beautiful Blackbird" or any other book to your alma mater, please message me at

Presenting my book to Mrs. Allen, Grade 6 Teacher

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