This holiday season children, parents and teachers are in for a special treat when Governor de Jongh, First Lady Cecile de Jongh and Santa Claus himself greet them at the Annual Children’s Holiday Party and present I am the Virgin Islands to the children of the Territory.
The hardcover picture book by St. Thomas native Tiphanie Yanique and with photo collages by her husband, photographer Moses Djeli, is the new entry in the annual December “book surprise” started five years ago by Mrs. de Jongh. Everyone will recognize U.S. Virgin Islands landmarks, landscapes, and the faces of local children in the picture-collages that illustrate I am the Virgin Islands.
“When we received the poem, I am the Virgin Islands by Tiphanie, we knew that we had a very special project in our hands” explains Mario Picayo, Editor-in-Chief at Little Bell Caribbean, the New York-based publishing company responsible for the production of the book.
“I felt a big responsibility over a project carrying such a meaningful title,” Picayo adds, “The images as well as the design of the book convey the passion, love and respect that the author expresses for her Virgin Islands. My history and my family’s belong to the Virgin Islands, this book is part of me as well.”
It took several months of trial and error for the creative team responsible for the final product to find the perfect balance. But a perfect balance they did find. Photographer Moses Djeli created a series of collages, based on his photographs that are a beautiful kaleidoscope of Virgin Islands’ past, present and future inviting the reader to explore each image, and to find its many meanings.
And how can the rest of us get a copy of I am the Virgin Islands? A commercial edition of the book will be available for purchase at bookstores and Amazon.com later this week.
I am the Virgin Islands was the Office of the Governor’s enthusiastic selection for the December Holiday Book Gift. Each holiday season children in our school system receive a recyclable tote bag with healthy snacks and a hardcover, fully illustrated picture book written by a local author and illustrated by a local artist. Efa and the Mosquito by Alscess Lewis-Brown and The Lesson Box by Tregenza Roach are two titles in the series. A great way to promote literacy, encourage children to read, and to promote our local talented writers and artists. The books are handed out at elementary schools in the Territory and at the Annual Children’s Holiday Parties held by the Governor, Mrs. de Jongh and Santa Claus himself in early December (contact the Office of the Governor for details).
Buy your copy of I am the Virgin Islands, and take home a truly unique treasure in book form and a perfect way to say “I am the Virgin Islands” to family and friends.
Governor and Mrs. de Jongh’s children’s holiday parties will be held on St. Thomas, Saturday, December 8th, and on St. Croix, Saturday December 15th.
Author Tiphanie Yanique will join the celebrations and sign copies of her book.