U.S. Virgin Islands Selects “A Caribbean Journey” as Holiday Gift to Children, December 2008

First Lady of the United States Virgin Islands, Cecile de Jongh, helps Santa hand out presents to the children of the Territory.

Dec. 10, 2008- Thousands of copies of Campanita Book’s A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (read and discover what happened to the Z) were distributed to the children of the United States Virgin Islands this week by the First Lady of the Territory, Cecile de Jongh, by Santa Claus himself, and by many helping elves. “Read, Recycle and Reuse” was the theme of this year’s holiday festivities where recyclable green bags with many “goodies” were handed out to the children in the three main islands of St Croix, St John, and St Thomas.
Mario Picayo‘s book, released in October 2007, has been a huge hit in the Caribbean and in the United States.  The Midwest Book Review wrote: “A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) is an ABC picture book that leads the reader through the Caribbean islands as well as through the alphabet . . Simple, color illustrations  . . . enliven this wonderfully educational picture book.” 

And renowned Caribbean author Silvio Torres-Saillant (Caribbean Poetics and An Intellectual History of the Caribbean) commented: 

“ (the book) describes insular portions of the Caribbean region in a manner that truly teaches and delights the child reader for whom the book is intended… Picayo delivers historical details throughout with beautiful simplicity, as in the explanation of ‘what happened to Z,’ which alerts readers to the slavery period and the presence of Africans in the cultures of the region. With equal command of well chosen details, Griswold’s visual side of the story depicts the rural, the urban, the past, the present, tradition, and change while giving women their due at the center of life in the Caribbean, and suggesting the region’s racial and cultural diversity. The images and the words combine to disrupt many of the visual stereotypes that often recur in representations of the Caribbean.  I can think of no better book for children to begin the life-long adventure of knowing the Caribbean”.
The gift is extra significant, since it is a Special Edition made exclusively for the United States Virgin Islands’ Office of the Governor. Among the features that make it a Special Edition are, a Preface from First Lady de Jongh, and a map of the US Virgin Islands.
The preface by de Jongh reads:
It is my great honor as First Lady of the United States Virgin Islands to join Mario Picayo and his many readers worldwide in celebrating the proud cultures of the Caribbean. A Caribbean Journey from A to Y is a wonderful expression of the diversity of the Caribbean peoples and their lifestyles. It takes us on a journey through the islands of the region and shares important and interesting facts about each location.
As you turn the pages, you will discover the many special places, foods, and experiences of the Caribbean. Truly a treasure all on its own, this delightful book is a journey to places near and far that we can all enjoy. It is a reminder of our shared ancestry and celebrates the similarities and differences of each of the islands and their people. Perhaps what we learn the most from this wonderful book is that we are all God’s children, each of us brothers and sisters in paradise.
As a Virgin Islander and as a passionate advocate for children and literacy, I am proud to join you on this educational journey through the Caribbean. Enjoy!

To get your own copy, or for more information about A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (read and discover what happened to the Z) and other titles by Campanita Books, please visit us at editorialcampana.com. Our books are available at your favorite books seller, and online at Amazon.com and many other virtual bookstores
View the article written by Molly Morris for the St. Thomas Souce: http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2008/12/11/santa-claus-visits-firetruck-christmas-draws-near


Mario Presents at Cultural Center, St. Thomas


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